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Year 5 Language and Literature

Parts of Speech

a tragic story

In English, there are eight parts of speech, which means there are eight possible jobs a word can do in a sentence. You know some of them from learning about language in Years 3 and 4. Here they are with examples of how each one can be used in sentences:

Noun: a word that names a person, place, animal, thing or idea
I love pizza and lemonade.
Measles is a terrible disease.

Adjective: a word that modifies, intensifies or tells something about a noun
It was a dark and stormy night.
My sister is really intelligent.

a tragic story

Pronoun: a word that takes the place of a noun
She loved to play hide and seek, but they did not.

Verb: a word that describes an action or a state of being
We caught and released 17 fish.
I am an insomniac.

Adverb: a word that adds to the meaning of a verb by telling how, or in what manner, the action occurred
She reads well.
We ran quickly to the porch.

Conjunction: a word that joins words, ideas or phrases in a sentence
The lady bought a new hat and a new bag.
Since they pulled my teeth, I can neither eat nor sleep.

Preposition: a word that tells you where one thing is in relation to another thing
The horse galloped over the brow of the hill and out of sight.
I stored my suitcase under the bed.

a tragic story

Interjection: a word expressing sudden emotion
I like it, but, good grief, it was expensive!
Ouch! That hurt.

Words have jobs, just like people. And, they can change jobs just as we do. For example, you might think that the word ‘run’ is always a verb because it describes an action. But look at the way it is used in each of the following sentences.

I run two miles a day.
Here, run is a verb; it describes an action.

My run lasts about 20 minutes.
Here, run is a noun; it names a thing.

In order to really understand a sentence, you have to recognise the words and also understand what job each word is doing in the sentence.


This activity is adapted from pages 47-49 of What Your Year 5 Child Needs to Know. This activity has a connection: click below to see the related activity.

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