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The parts of speech explains the ways words can be used in various contexts. Every word in the English language functions as at least one part of speech; many words can serve, at different times, as two or more parts of speech, depending on the context.

adjective A word or combination of words that modifies a noun (blue-green, central, half-baked, temporary ).

adverb A word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb (slowly, obstinately, much ).

article Any of three words used to signal the presence of a noun. A and an are known as indefinite articles; the is the definite article.

conjunction A word that connects other words, phrases, or sentences (and, but, or, because ).

interjection A word, phrase, or sound used as an exclamation and capable of standing by itself (oh, Lord, damn, my goodness ).

noun A word or phrase that names a person, place, thing, quality, or act (Fred, New York, table, beauty, execution ). A noun may be used as the subject of a verb, the object of a verb, an identifying noun, the object of a preposition, or an appositive (an explanatory phrase coupled with a subject or object ).

preposition A word or phrase that shows the relationship of a noun to another noun (at, by, in, to, from, with )

pronoun A word that substitutes for a noun and refers to a person, place, thing, idea, or act that was mentioned previously or that can be inferred from the context of the sentence (he, she, it, that ).

verb A word or phrase that expresses action, existence, or occurrence (throw, be, happen ). Verbs can be transitive, requiring an object (her in I met her ), or intransitive, requiring only a subject (The sun rises ). Some verbs, like feel , are both transitive (Feel the fabric ) and intransitive (I feel cold , in which cold is an adjective and not an object).