Friday, January 29, 2010

The Eight Parts of Speech

I came across this little ditty in a 1938 edition of "A New Self-Teaching Course in Practical English and Effective Speech" published by The Better-Speech Institute of America. Perhaps it will of some assistance to anyone who is grammatically challenged.


All names of persons, places, and things
Are NOUNS, as Caesar, Rome, and kings.

PRONOUNS are used in place of nouns:
I think; she sings; they work; he frowns.

When the kind you wish to state,
Use an ADJECTIVE, as great.

But if of manner you would tell,
Use ADVERBS, such as slowly, well.
To find an adverb, this test try:
Ask, "How?" or "When?" or "Where?" or "Why?"

PREPOSITIONS show relation,
As with respect, or in our nation.

CONJUNCTIONS, as their name implies,
Are joining words; they are the ties
That bind together day and night,
Calm but cold, dull or bright.

Next we have VERBS, which tell
Of action, being, and state, as well.
To work, succeed, achieve, and curb --
Each one of these is called a verb.

The INTERJECTIONS show surprise,
As Oh! Alas! Ah me! How wise!
Thus briefly does this jingle state
The PARTS OF SPEECH, which total eight.


The book goes on to state that "some authorities give a ninth part of speech, the article. A and an are called the indefinite articles, and the is known as the definite article. The words are, in reality, adjectives, and they will be so considered in this course."

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