What are all the parts a sentence can be made of?

Noun, verb, adjective, pronoun, adverb etc. And what is a short description of the function of each?

I know these can be found online and in text books but they tend to be spread out over many chapters or volumes even. Or are there books/websites showing this all on one page with a short description.

  • 3
    See Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Part_of_speech Dec 2, 2014 at 9:42
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    Post this question on ELL, -you'll get a much better answer there than you will here, I promise :) Here you'd get rubbish like nouns are subjects or nouns are things or adverbs describe verbs! It may be called ELL but there's some serious grammarians over there, and everyone's welcome to ask questions :) Dec 2, 2014 at 18:27
  • 1
    Well, there's categories of stuff, like noun, noun phrase (NP), verb, verb phrase (VP), adjective, etc.; and then there's grammatical function within a structure, for example in the structure of a clause are functions like subject, predicator/verb, object, predicative complement, etc. You'll probably want to get a copy of a good modern textbook on grammar, such as the 2005 textbook by Huddleston and Pullum, A Student's Introduction to English Grammar. (cont.)
    – F.E.
    Dec 4, 2014 at 22:02
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    @AndrewLeach The section on English in that article is criminally poor :( [Verbs are actions, pleugh] Dec 7, 2014 at 1:56
  • @Araucaria I suggested Wikipedia as a starting point for research. But the article is editable, if there is scope for improvement above primary-school descriptions. Dec 8, 2014 at 8:36

1 Answer 1


Like Andrew said, the parts of speech are all the different types of words: nouns, verbs, etc. Towson University has a decent, if somewhat old, guide online for English. The guide goes into the different roles and functions each part of speech can have in a sentence.

Other languages have other elements, such as particles or tones, that English does not have.

  • That does not address the functions side of this question though! :) Dec 3, 2014 at 16:06
  • @Araucaria - Now it does! ^_^ The guide explains them, at least partially. A full answer would take an entire textbook.
    – miltonaut
    Dec 3, 2014 at 16:23
  • I'll accept this, as it points one into the right direction with a centralised place to get the answers.
    – McGafter
    Dec 4, 2014 at 9:14
  • @McGafter Crumbs, don't give up that easily - anyone trying to answer this is going to be taking a wee bit of time if they're going to do it properly! :) Dec 4, 2014 at 20:40

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