January 7, 2014
Parts Of Speech – The Building Blocks Of Sentences (Part Three)
For part three of this particular grammar series, I want to write about four parts of speech less thought of but equally as important: prepositions, objects, conjunctions, and interjections. Though these do not pack the punch of nouns, verbs, adjective, and adverbs, they still play important roles in the building blocks of sentences. So, let’s get started.
Prepositions and Objects
It is hard to talk about prepositions without discussing objects, so I will define them both first and then move into the specifics of each.
The preposition creates a relationship between nouns and pronouns and another part of the sentence. It is the first part of the prepositional phrase, which includes at least the preposition and an object. An object has two roles. The first is as the direct object, which receives the action of the subject. The second role is that of object of the preposition, which simply means it follows the preposition thus completing the prepositional phrase.
Now, let’s breakdown each of these individually.
To identify prepositions, I use a really fun mnemonic device.
Can I go _____ the mountain?
So, if I replace the blank with the word I am trying to use as a preposition and this sentence makes sense, then I know I have a preposition. By the way, in this instance, the word ‘mountain’ is the object of the preposition.
Example 1: Can I go around the mountain?
Yes, so the word ‘around’ is a preposition.
Example 2: Can I go however the mountain?
No, this does not make sense, so the word ‘however’ is not a preposition.
I’d like to credit someone with this, but I do not remember if it was one of my primary school teachers or one of my parents who taught me this, so just know that I did not come up with it on my own.
To better help, here is a list of commonly used prepositions:
Of course, many other prepositions exist, but these are some of the most common.
Let’s talk first about the objects of verbs. In English, sentences should have a subject, verb, and object although often the object is dropped from a sentence. The subject performs the action. The verb is the action, and the object receives the action. To identify the object, one must ask whom or what.
Example 1: Dr. Rodriguez takes vitamin D3.
So, one would ask, “Dr. Rodriguez takes what?” and the answer is ‘vitamin D3′ thus this is the object because it receives the action of takes.
Example 2: She drives.
Here, when we ask “she drives what?” we have no answer, so we know that this is an example of a sentence with a dropped object.
Objects also play a role of completing a prepositional phrase.
around the bend
beneath the tree
from the laboratory
off the wagon
Now onto the last two parts of speech that receive less focus. First, let’s take a look at conjunctions. There are two types of conjunctions: coordinating and subordinating. In both cases, conjunctions connect things whether those be clauses or other parts of speech.
Coordinating conjunctions include for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. An easy way to remember these is FANBOYS.
Subordinating Conjunctions include far more words, so they do not have an easy way to identify them. Nonetheless, let’s look at examples:
as long as
in order that
This is a really good start.
For more info on how to punctuate conjunctions, see the article on commas.
This little part of speech is often forgotten when discussing parts of speech. It is simple to explain and work with thus I guess that means we just overlook it.
Quite simply, these are words used to express strong feeling or sudden emotion as well as sounds
Holy cow, did you see that?
Yes, I want another plate.
Indeed, you are correct about her.
Ick! That sounds gross.
These four parts of speech flesh out sentences to really make them shine, so it is important to use them and use them properly. Stayed tuned for the next part on…pronouns.
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