January 22, 2008

#01-065: The Eight Parts of Speech - Part II

on the left, an older airplane making a turn; on the right, a grandiose old building
A banking airplane; the Bank of England
(Wikipedia: left, right)

Note: In Lesson #01-064 I asked the "part of speech" of ten words, and explained that there's no way to know what part of speech a word is until we see the words in a sentence. Let's look at each word from that lesson more closely.

Get Ready: Look at the two words in the caption to the picture. Can you think of other words that can be both a verb and a noun, some with very different meanings?

Here are the ten words from the "quiz" in the previous lesson. Let's see some of their meanings.

  1. wind: If you were thinking of a word that sounds like "tinned," then you probably guessed this was a noun: "The wind is blowing." But if it rhymes with "kind," then it was probably a verb: "Please wind my watch."
  2. mine: Possessive pronoun, right? "That watch is mine." But a mine is also a hole in the ground, where gold comes from: that's a noun. And to make a mine is to mine, a verb. And, long ago, it was used as an adjective in place of "my" in front of words beginning in vowels: "mine eyes have seen the glory."
  3. light: As a noun: "The light is on." As a verb: "to light a fire." Or as an adjective: "This bag is light." It is even sometimes used as an adverb: "I like to travel light."
  4. start: Often a verb: "Let's start the meeting." But also a noun: "The meeting was off to a great start." 
  5. wire: Your first thought was probably of a noun: telephone wire, piano wire, etc. But to send a cable or telegram is "to wire": "He wired some money home at the Western Union office."
  6. bank: The building with money is a noun. So is the side of a river. But you can bank your money (or go banking). Planes often bank as they prepare to land. And you can bank the coals from a fire to keep them burning. So bank is also a verb.
  7. really: Often an adverb: "It really doesn't matter to me." But perhaps just as often, an interjection: "Really? You're kidding!" In this case, we aren't actually doubting the speaker, but expressing surprise.
  8. seven: Numbers are usually used as adjectives, but the number itself is a noun, and so are many things with the number on them, such as a seven card, or a group of seven people or things: "Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven."
  9. water: Water itself is a noun. We also use it as a verb: "Please water my plants while I'm away."
  10. make: In almost all cases this is a verb: "Let's make a deal." But it can also be a noun, as in "What make of car do you drive?" or "What make of man is he?"

By the way, many nouns can be used as adjectives; for the above words, try "wind machine," "mine owner," "light switch," "wire cutter," bank account," and "water heater." Some think of these as adjectives; others say they're part of a "compound noun." Many verbs can do the same thing: "a broken agreement," "a crying baby."

In Lesson #01-066, we'll look at the jobs of each of the eight parts. 


Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Part_of_speech

Practice: Read the following sentences. Each one uses the same word (or at least words with the same spelling) twice. Figure out which of the "quiz" words above is used in each sentence.

  1. If I can _____ my old car easily, I figure my trip is off to a smooth _____.
  2. The hallway had _____ doors; the last one was marked with a _____.
  3. My boss had to _____ me authorization to buy more _____.
  4. I explained to the visitors that the uranium _____ was _____.
  5. I might own a _____ some day--but I wouldn't _____ on it!
  6. If there's too much chlorine in the pool _____, it makes my eyes _____.
  7. If the _____ is too strong, I _____ up my kite string and go home.
  8. I like to _____ coffee on a really expensive _____ of coffee machine.
  9.  _____? You expect me to finish my work _____ early?
  10. I had to _____ a candle after my bedroom _____ burned out.

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for January 22, 2008

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. start; 2. seven; 3. wire; 4. mine; 5. bank; 6. water; 7. wind; 8. make; 9. really; 10. light