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What are the parts of speech for the bold words in the following four sentences and why:

  1. The after effects of the drug are bad.

  2. He told us all about the battle.

  3. He kept the fast for a week.

  4. Sit down and rest a while.

My answers to three of the questions are as follows:
For 2 - about is a adjective
For 3 - fast is adverb
For 4 - while is adverb

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  • Hi Rise! "after-effect" is hyphenated. A dictionary will tell you what part of speech it is. Here's one. Mar 22 at 3:36
  • Thanks Old Brixtonian, any idea about the other 3?
    – Rise
    Mar 22 at 3:41
  • How did you come up with your answers @Rise? "Fast" is often an adverb (and often an adjective), but the context of the sentence "He kept the fast" makes clear it can only be a noun. Did you understand the sentence, or did you try to apply a part of speech without knowing what the sentence meant? Regardless, only a noun can fit in that position (cf "He kept the computer", "He kept the house", "He kept the phone") so "fast" must be a noun there. Look at the structure of the phrase and the answers will often become clear. "He kept the slowly" would be ungrammatical, for example.
    – rjpond
    Mar 22 at 7:36
  • Thanks rjpond. For 3 - I now get it looking at the structure does make it a noun. Your examples illustrate how it can only be noun. I thought of it as adverb based on the idea that "kept" is the verb and "fast" is adding to it.
    – Rise
    Mar 22 at 14:35
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What are the parts of speech for the bold words in the following four sentences and why:

A. The after effects of the drug are bad.

B. He told us all about the battle.

C. He kept the fast for a week.

D. Sit down and rest a while.


A. The after effects of the drug are bad. Noun

after effects is hyphenated and forms a noun.

A noun is a word that represents a person, place, or thing.

Ref CED after-effect


B. He told us all about the battle. Preposition

"about" preposition (CONNECTED WITH); a film about the Spanish Civil War. Ref CED about

A preposition is a word that usually tells where or when something is in relation to something else.


C. He kept the fast for a week. Noun

"The" definite article We use the definite article in front of a noun

"fast"; noun; a period of time when you eat no food: Ref CED fast

However to me this sentence does not sound correct. But that was not the question.


D. Sit down and rest a while. NOUN

while; noun; a length of time: Ref CED WHILE

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