If this is your first teaching position overseas you are unlikely to be using anything but the most basic grammar – unless you have stated otherwise. Take a look at our basic grammar refresher for a reminder.
There are nine parts of speech — verbs, nouns, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, article, conjunctions, and interjections.
|Part of Speech||Basic Function||Examples|
|Verb||identifies action or state of being||eat, sing, believe|
|Noun||a person, place, or thing||Kate, London, ball|
|Adverb||modifies a verb||often, happily, lazily|
|Adjective||modifies a noun||hot, happy, lazy|
|Article||identifies and specifies a noun||a, an, the|
|Preposition||shows a relationship between a noun (or pronoun) and other words in a sentence||up, over, against, by, for|
|Conjunction||joins words, phrases, and clauses||and, but, or, yet|
|Interjection||expresses emotion||ah, whoops, ouch|
|Pronoun||These are words that stand in the place of nouns in order to avoid unnecessary repetition.||This, she, somebody|
Verbs are words that indicate actions or physical and/or mental states.
|Action||Jane hit her brother|
|Mental state||Paul was tired|
|Physical state||Kate was happy|
Most verbs have three forms. The first form (present) also uses an inflection to indicate third person singular:
|First form (present)||do(es),know(s), play(s), put(s)|
|Second form (past)||did, knew, played, put|
|Third form (past participle)||done, known, played, put|
There is a category of verb known as ‘auxiliary verbs’ or sometimes ‘helping verbs’. This category includes to be, to do and to have. This auxiliary is very important and shows the main verb is understood.
|Base||Present tense||Past tense||ing (participle)||ed(participle)|
|Be||is, am, are||was, were||being||been|
Nouns can be sub-divided into the following four types:
|Abstract||"An abstract noun names an idea, feeling, emotion, or quality."||beauty ,anger nature love ability|
|Collective||Nouns can also be collective. That means that a noun would name a group of people, animals, or things.||crowd audience group family staff|
|Common||These nouns name a general person, place or thing||toy , bus, car, tennis, town|
|Proper||These nouns name a specific person, place, or thing.||For example: Kate, David, London, England etc Capital letters are used in order to distinguish between common nouns and proper nouns|
|Demonstrative||This, that, these, those,||‘Have you seen that’|
|Distributive||Each, either, neither||‘Give me either’|
|Emphatic||Myself, yourself, his/herself, ourselves, etc.||‘Do it yourself!’|
|Indefinite||one, some, any, some-body/one, any-body/one, every-body/one||‘I’ll take that one, please’|
|Interrogative||What, which, who, where, why||‘Who was that?’|
|Personal||I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they||‘She went to the shop’|
|Possessive||mine, yours hers, his, ours, theirs||‘That was hers’|
|Reflexive||Myself, yourself, her/himself, ourselves, etc||‘He hurt himself’|
|Relative||That, what, which, who||‘The car that hit her drove away’|
|Demonstrative||This, that, these, those ('I like this picture.')|
|Distributive||neither, each, every ('Either wine is fine by me.')|
|Interrogative||What? Which? ('Which wine would you like?')|
|Numeral||one, two, three, etc.|
|Indefinite||all, many, several|
|Possessive||my, your, his, her, our, their|
|Qualitative||English, good, tall|
Most adjectives fit into the ‘Qualitative’ category, as their basic function is to describe.
Some adjectives are used to compare and contrast things:
Adverbs describe or add to the meaning of verbs, prepositions, adjectives, other adverbs and even sentences. They answer questions such as ‘How’, ‘Where’ or ‘When’. Many, but by no means all, adverbs are made from adjectives by simply adding the suffix ‘ly’.
|Adverbs of manner||carefully, gently, quickly, willingly (She kissed him gently on the forehead.)|
|Adverbs of place||here, there, between, externally (He lived between a pub and a noisy factory.)|
|Adverbs of time||now, annually, tomorrow, recently (I only returned recently.)|
|Adverbs of degree||very, almost, nearly, too (She is very rich.)|
|Adverbs of number|
|Adverbs of certainty||not, surely, maybe, certainly (Surely he's not drunk again!)|
|Interrogative||How? What? When? Why? (What does it matter?)|
Prepositions are linking words that introduce prepositional phrases and are generally followed by a noun.
For example: This is a picture of her mother, she is on the phone
Most prepositions are short, invariable forms e.g. about, after, as, at, by, for, from, to etc. They also consist of more than one word: in front of, next to, etc.
In TEFL we talk a lot about prepositions of time, place and movement:
|I'll see you at 5pm||I live in England||She went to the supermarket|
|I'll be home by 7||She is at work||She is flying from Gatwick|
|We're having a party on Saturday||The office is on the first floor||You’re book is over there|
|Let's have a party at Christmas||The school is next to the bank||The man was walking up the hill|
These can be defined as parts of the speech that can be used on their own. These can be used on alone or with other complete sentences.
“Psst! ah! oh! ha! hey! well! oh! ouch! hey! eh!
These are words that connect a words, phrases or clauses together. They are sometimes referred to as ‘linking’ words.
And, but, so, when, because
Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns in a sentence. If we look at the sentence below, we can replace the name of the person with the word ‘she’ this is
As the second sentence shows, a pronoun (like a noun) may serve as the subject of a sentence. The common subject pronouns are I, you, he, she, it, we, and they.
Generally, use definite articles (the) before specific nouns, while indefinite articles (a, an) precede non-specific nouns.