Parts of speech


Noun (el sustantivo): The name of a person, place, thing, or concept. Some examples are: María (Mary, a proper name as opposed to a common noun), hombre (man), parque (park), libro (book), religión (religion). Nouns in Spanish have gender and number; that is, they are either masculine or feminine, singular or plural. Libro is masculine, religión is feminine; libro is singular (one book), libros is plural (two or more books).

Pronoun (el pronombre): A word which is used in place of a noun and from which it takes its gender and number. An example is él (he) to replace the expression mi hijo (my son, masculine singular). Pronouns are divided into: personal pronouns [e.g., yo (I), ella (she)], demonstratives [e.g., éste (this one), ésa (that one)], possessives [e.g, el mío/la mía (mine)], relatives [e.g., que, quien, la que, el cual (that, who, which)], and indefinites [e.g., alguien (someone), algo (something)]. Personal pronouns may serve as the subject of a verb [yo, , usted, etc.], the direct object of a verb [me, te, lo, la, etc.], the indirect object of a verb [me, te, le, etc.], reflexive [me, te, se, etc.], or the object of a preposition [, ti, usted, etc.].

Verb (el verbo): The part of speech which expresses an action or state in a variable form, according to the characteristics of the subject. There are several classes of verbs such as: active or transitive o [e.g., mover (to move) and bañar (to bathe) in Spanish require a direct object], intransitive [e.g., luchar (to fight) in Spanish normally does not have a direct object], copulative or linking [e.g., ser (to be)], impersonal [e.g., hay (there is/are)], and helping or auxiliary [e.g., he {hablado} (I have {spoken}), habríamos {spoken} (we would have {studied})].  There are three conjugations of verbs: -ar [e.g., hablar, to speak], -er [e.g., comer, to eat], and -ir [e.g., vivir, to live], each with typical sets of endings.  The endings in Spanish indicate mood, for example indicative or subjunctive, and the tense [or time, such as present, past, or future] within that mood, and the person [first (i.e., I or we), second (i.e., you), or third  (i.e., he/she or they)] and number [singular or plural].

Adverb (el adverbio): The part of speech which modifies or changes the meaning of a verb, adjective, or another adverb. There are adverbs of place [e.g., aquí (here), allí (there)], time [e.g., después (afterwards), pronto (soon)], manner [e.g., bien (well), rápidamente (quickly)], affirmation [e.g., (yes )], and negation [e.g., no (no), nunca (never)]. Adverbs may appear in comparative, superlative [e.g., más (more/most), peor (worse/worst)], y diminutive [e.g., ahorita (now)] forms.

Adjective (el adjetivo): A word which is used with reference to a noun to indicate a quality or to determine or limit the noun. Accordingly, adjectives are divided into descriptive and limiting. Examples of descriptive adjectives are inteligente (intelligent ), pequeño/-a (small).  Limiting adjectives include the demonstratives [e.g., este (this), esa (that), numerals [dos (two), cien (one hundred)], possessives [mi (my), tu (your)] and *articles [el/la/los/las (the), un/una (a/an), unos/unas (some)]. Since they modify nouns, adjectives may have various endings to agree with the noun in question according to whether it is masculine or feminine, singular or plural. Descriptive adjectives may also have comparative/superlative forms [bueno = good, mejor = better/best], absolute superlative forms [fácil = easy, facilísimoextremely easy], and diminutive forms [pequeño = small,  pequeñito = very small, tiny].

Preposition (la preposición): An invariable part of speech which unites words, denoting a relationship which exists between them. Examples include: a (to), ante (before) bajo (below), con (with), contra (against), de (of ), desde (from), en (in, at), entre (between, among), hacia (toward), hasta (until), para (for), por (for, by), según (according to), sin (without), and sobre (over, upon) and compound forms such as antes de (before), después de (after), encima de (on top of), and debajo de (underneath).

Interjection (la interjección): A part of speech which includes exclamations which express reactions and changes in mental states such as ¡ah! (oh!), ¡ay! (ow!, ouch!), ¡bravo! (well done!), and ¡uf! (ugh!).

Conjunction (la conjunción): An invariable word which serves to link words or phrases. Examples include y (and), o (or), pero (but), cuando (when), and porque (because). Conjunctions are often divided into two groups: coordinating conjunctions may be used to combine independent clauses (e.g., y, o, and pero); subordinating conjunctions (e.g. cuando and porque) introduce a subordinate or dependent clause.


*Some consider articles as another part of speech, the part which is used before a noun to limit it. Most consider articles as a specific type of adjective.

Examples of parts of speech within the context of a sentence:

(possessive) adjective

noun

verb

conjunction

verb

adverb

preposition

(demonstrative) adjective

noun

Mi

hijo

vive

y

trabaja

aquí

en

esta

ciudad.

My

son

lives

and

works

here

in

this

city.

interjection

verb

adjective

conjunction

pronoun

verb

adjective (article)

noun

¡Oh!

Es

maravilloso

cuando

ella

toca

el

violín.

Oh!

(It) is

marvellous

when

she

plays

the

violin.

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Contact: Fred F. Jehle

Home: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/

Indiana University - Purdue University Ft. Wayne
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499 USA

URL: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/courses/ptspeech.htm