A Dash Of Skill And Nine Parts Of Speech

I try not to take things for granted. It still happens from time to time. I know the basics of writing and I know I make mistakes. Everyone does. I also know that not everyone knows what I know and vice versa.

I have A blog coming up that uses terminology that made me pause. Wait maybe I need to go back a few steps and toss in a refresher…  For myself and for anyone that might be interested.

Speech is part of life. Sentences, dialog and everything written contains speech. The necessary words that bring to life what we want to say. To do this we use words. Glorious, wondrous words. Only not all words are created equal. Not all words do the same thing. Some types of words have purpose.

There are nine basic types of words in the English language. (some say eight others will argue ten, and that’s fine. I’m going with the nine I know.) I went to Wikipedia to remind myself of the definitions, give my self a reprieve so I don’t screw them up and hear about it forever and ever.

  1. Verb – They convey an action (bring, read, walk, run, learn), an occurrence (happen, become), or a state of being (be, exist, stand). (Verbs are sometimes classified into two: lexical Verbs such as; work, like, run. Also auxiliary Verbs such as; be, have, must
  2. Noun –  They describe a thing or a person. Such as; living creatures, objects, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas.
  3. Adjective –  They a describe noun such as; good, big, blue and fascinating.
  4. Determiner – They limit or determine the noun. Such as; some, many, an, some, and numbers. (These are sometimes classified as adjectives thus the eight)
  5. Adverb – They describe a verb, adjective or adverb. Such as; quickly, silently, well, badly, very, really. (Um… a lot of filter words are adverbs)
  6. Pronoun – They replace a noun with words such as; I, you, he, she and some.
  7. Preposition – They link nouns to other words. Such as; To, at, after, on and but.
  8. Conjunction – They join clauses, sentences or words. Like these; and, but, when.
  9. Interjection – I blogged about this one on it’s own!  An exclamation mark at the end of a sentence or the word “well” typically found at the start!

I know this is a lot to take in, and each have so much more than the rudimentary explanations above and the examples I’m about to give.

Example time

Noun verb   noun verb Verb
Amber sings. Amber is singing.
pronoun verb noun
She loves parrots.
noun verb adjective noun
Animals love good people.
noun verb noun adverb
Amber sings songs well.
noun verb adjective noun
Amber sings good songs.
pronoun verb preposition determiner noun adverb
She walked to the door swiftly.
Some fell on the ice badly.
pron. verb adj. noun conjunction pron. verb pron.
She hates big spiders but I adore them.
He loves chapter books but you loathe them

The following didn’t fit in a graph but contain all of the nine components.

interjection/  pron./ conj. /det. /adj. /     noun / verb/  prep./ noun /   adverb
Well,                she      and    my    young   dog     walk    to       town     quickly.

pron./ conj. /det. /  adj. /  noun /            verb/   prep./  noun /   adverb/  interjection
She       and    your   old     boyfriend     kiss    at         school    often      !

At this point in my life I’m comfortable writing a sentence and knowing I have the necessary components. I do think it’s good to refresh and remind ourselves what words are all about. Despite knowing them, I still pause when someone asks, whats a good verb for… or I need a better adjective for…

My advice about the nine parts of speech.
You might not need to know what they are to use them, but don’t presume everyone does. Not everyone is a walking dictionary. I know I’m not, which is why I’m constantly researching and learning.

-Sheryl

Related Posts

Hey! Its’ Interjection

Conversing is easy…not!

Exorcising Exposition

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My Posts From The Start

 Reprieve

Hey! Its’ Interjection

When I’m writing conversation I try to make it flow and express emotion the situation clearly. Conversation is not meant to be filler, nor should it ever be. It must be part of the story, what keeps it moving forward while developing characters and their relationships.

I have learned that a simple statement can be read out of context very easily(I’ve experienced this). The reader isn’t necessarily on the same page as I am, and cant possibly be on the same page if I don’t make my writing and intent clear. This leaves the reader to jump to voicing conclusions and set the tone themselves. This can be influenced by their own mood. You hope that they get it right in their minds voice, that it sounds appropriate. Chances are, if you’re hoping and they’re guessing, it will be wrong. This can lead to a frustrated reader when they find out you meant something different than what they interoperated. Bad writer, now go have a time out!

One word can make all the difference. Without action tags these can still express the feeling or emotion. When I’m trying to dress up a lame statement for a night out on the conversation, I’ll try a few approaches to find the winning outfit.
One simple interjection at the beginning dramatically change the statement.
An interjection in grammar is:

1.    Any member of a class of words expressing emotion, distinguished in most languages by their use in grammatical isolation, as Hey! Oh! Ouch! Ugh!

2.    Any other word or expression so used, as Good grief! Indeed! *source: dictionary.com

I’ll start with this.
“I have so much to learn.”
Yawn… Let’s interject some style.

“Ugh! I have so much to learn.”

“Yay! I have so much to learn.”

“Oh no! I have so much to learn.”

“Damn! I have so much to learn.”

That cleared it up a bit. If I read any one of those I would give it the right tone or expression.

Now changing the tone can be as easy as changing the action tag. Like swapping flats for heels. Or a suit for a tuxedo.

Dressed to under-impress:
“Come on, it’s time to go.” Sasha opened the door.
Sweatpants and t-shirt effort. Lame. How did she open the door? What was she doing? What tone did she have in her voice? How can I expect a reader to know what’s in my head? Back to the dressing room we go. Let’s try it with an action tag then with the tag and the added word.

Frustration or impatience
“Come on, it’s time to go.” Sasha tilted her head back rolling her eyes to the ceiling as she opened the door.
“Ugh! Come on, it’s time to go.” Sasha tilted her head back rolling her eyes to the ceiling as she opened the door.

Excitement
“Come on, it’s time to go.” Sasha grinned as she opened the door.
“Yay! Come on, it’s time to go.” Sasha grinned as she opened the door.

Urgency
Sasha glanced at her watch. “Come on, it’s time to go.” She opened the door quickly.
Sasha glanced at her watch. “Oh no! Come on, it’s time to go.” She opened the door quickly.

Annoyance
“Come on, it’s time to go.” Sasha furrowed her brow as she opened the door.
“Damn! Come on, it’s time to go.” Sasha furrowed her brow as she opened the door.

Anger
“Come on, it’s time to go.” Sasha stomped her foot as she opened the door.
“Argh! Come on, it’s time to go.” Sasha stomped her foot as she opened the door.

I try to make each sentence or statement count. I may not succeed but if I address most of them I happy.

My advice about Interjections
I generally use them sparingly because they often come with the mighty over used exclamation point. If the situation is intense or needs a strong reaction, try them. Don’t forget  to try an action tag.

-Sheryl

Related posts worth checking out:
Unidentified Fervent Outburst!

Show and tell

Tag! You’re it.

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