A noun is the name of a person, place, thing, idea, or quality.

Examples: John, Mary, boy, girl, children; Pasadena, CEC; classrooms, notebooks; freedom, intelligence; hope, anger, joy


A pronoun is usually a substitute for a noun. The noun is called the "antecedent" (but an indefinite pronoun has no antecedent).


a. Personal pronouns: I, mine, me; you, yours; he, his, him; she, hers, her; it, its; we, ours, us; they, theirs, them.

b. Interrogative pronouns: who, whose, whom, which, what

c. Relative pronouns (include): who, who, whose, which, that; whoever, whomever, whichever

d. Demonstrative pronouns: this, that, these, those

e. Indefinite pronouns (include): all, another, any, anybody, anyone, anything, both, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, many, neither, nobody, no one, none, one, others, some, somebody, someone, such

f. Intensive or reflexive pronouns: myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, themselves


A verb expresses an action or a condition (a state of being).

Examples: Robert will eat the hamburger. (action) Sara is happy. (condition or state of being)

Robert won't eat the hamburger. Sara isn't happy.

Will Robert eat the hamburger? Is Sara happy?


An adverb describes a verb, adjective, or other adverb. Adverbs usually tell how (for example: slowly), when (e.g., lately), where (e.g., there), how much (e.g., very), or why (e.g., therefore).

Example: He always chews his gum loudly.


An adjective describes or limits a noun.

Examples: tall, young, pretty, light, blue, new, white (The tall, young, pretty girl is wearing a light blue dress with her new white shoes.) (NOT: ...a light dress blue with her new shoes white.)

Adjectives and adverbs have three degrees of comparison: positive, comparative, superlative. Examples:

Mary has a smart child. Sara has a smarter child. Nancy has the smartest child.

Robert is an intelligent student. William is more intelligent than Robert. Kim is the most intelligent student.

The red car is expensive. The white car is less expensive. The blue car is the least expensive.

I'm a good painter. She's a better painter. He's the best painter.

I'm a bad singer. She's a worse singer. He's the worst singer.


A preposition usually shows the relationship between a noun or pronoun and another part of a sentence.

There are many prepositions, including: about, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, as, at, before, behind, below, beneath, between, beyond, beside, besides, by, down, during, except, from, for, in, inside, into, like, near, next, of, off, on, out, out of, outside, over, past, round, since, than, through, till, to, toward, towards, under, underneath, unless, until, upon, up, with, within, without.

Examples: My pencil is under my desk by my foot. Martha drove from LA to NY.


A conjunction connects words, phrases, and clauses.

Coordinate conjunctions connect words, phrases, and clauses of equal value: and, or, nor, but (and sometimes for). e.g., The dog and the cat are hungry.

Correlative conjunctions occur in pairs: both-and, either-or, neither-nor, not only-but also. e.g., Both the fish and the snake are thirsty.

Subordinate conjunctions connect unequal clauses (dependent clauses with independent clauses). They include: after, although, as, because, before, if, since, than, though, unless, until, when, where, while. e.g., After they ate, they had dessert.


An interjection is a word that expresses feeling or emotion; usually it is followed by an exclamation mark.

Examples: Oh! Ah! Wow! Darn! Gosh! Golly! Gee! Ow! Ouch! Yikes! Holy moly! Yippee! Hooray! Boo! Whew!