Grammar: The Parts of Speech

If we examine the words in any sentence, we observe that they have different tasks or duties to perform in the expression of thought.

Savage beasts roamed through the forest.

In this sentence, beasts and forest are the names of objects; roamed asserts action, telling us what the beasts did; savage describes the beasts; through shows the relation in thought between forest and roamed; the limits the meaning of forest, showing that one particular forest is meant. Thus each of these words has its special office (or function) in the sentence.

In accordance with their use in the sentence, words are divided into eight classes called parts of speech,—namely, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections

  1. A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing. Examples: John, brother, Sydney, table, car, anger, song.
  2. A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun. It designates a person, place, or thing without naming it. Examples: I, he, she, that, who, myself, themselves, it, which.

    Nouns and pronouns are called substantives. The substantive to which a pronoun refers is called its antecedent. Some examples are:

    Frank introduced the boys to his father. [Frank is the antecedent of the pronoun his.]

    The book has lost its cover. [Book is the antecedent of the pronoun its.]

    James and Peter served their country in different ways. [Their has two antecedents, connected by and.]

  3. An adjective is a word which describes or limits a substantive.

    The noun box, for example, includes a great variety of objects. If we say wooden box, we exclude boxes of metal, of paper, etc. If we use a second adjective (small) and a third (square), we limit the size and the shape of the box.

    Most adjectives (like wooden, square, and small) describe as well as limit. Such words are called descriptive adjectives.

    We may, however, limit the noun box to a single specimen by means of the adjective this or that or the, which does not describe, but simply points out, or designates. Such words are called definitive adjectives.

  4. A verb is a word which can assert something (usually an action) concerning a person, place, or thing. For example:

    The Wind blows.
    Tom climbed a tree.
    The fire blazed.

    Some verbs express state or condition rather than action.

    The treaty still exists.
    Near the church stood an elm.

    Sometimes a group of words may be needed, instead of a single verb, to make an assertion. This is called a verb-phrase.

    You will see.
    The tree has fallen.
    Our driver has been discharged.

  5. An adverb is a word which modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

    Example: “The river fell rapidly,” the adverb rapidly modifies the verb fell by showing how the falling took place.

    Most adverbs answer the question “How?” “When?” “Where?” or “To what degree or extent?”

    Adverbs modify verbs in much the same way in which adjectives modify nouns.

    Adjective: A bright fire burned.
    Adverb: The fire burned brightly.

    Adjective and adverbs are both modifiers. Adjectives modify substantives; adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.

  6. A preposition is a word placed before a substantive to show its relation to some other word in the sentence.

    The substantive which follows a preposition is called its object.

    A preposition is said to govern its object.

    In “The surface of the water glistened,” of makes it clear that surface belongs with water. In “Philip is on the river,” on shows Philip’s position with respect to the river.

    A preposition often has more than one object.

    Over hill and dale he ran.
    He was filled with shame and despair.

  7. A conjunction connects words or groups of words.

    A conjunction differs from a preposition in having no object, and in indicating a less definite relation between the words which it connects.

    In “Time and tide wait for no man,” “The parcel was small but heavy,” “He wore a kind of doublet or jacket,” the conjunctions and, but, or, connect single words time with tide, small with heavy, doublet with jacket.

  8. An interjection is a cry or other exclamatory sound expressing surprise, anger, pleasure, or some other emotion or feeling.

    Interjections usually have no grammatical connection with the groups of words in which they stand; hence their name, which means “thrown in.”

    Examples: Oh! I forgot. Ah, how I miss you! Bravo! Alas!

Source: An Advanced English Grammar with Exercises by George Lyman Kittredge and Frank Edgar Farley, 1913. Now in the public domain.

eBook Review: The Black Star of Kingston

The Black Star of Kingston

The Black Star of Kingston by S.D. Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb: A century before Heather and Picket’s adventures in The Green Ember, a displaced community fights for hope on the ragged edge of survival.

My place beside you,
My blood for yours.
Till the Green Ember rises,
Or the end of the world.

Whitson Mariner and Fleck Blackstar face old fears and new enemies, forging a legend that will echo through the ages.

Old wars haunt. New enemies threaten. An oath is born.

A hero rises.

My Review: Black Star is set 100 years prior to Heather and Pickett being born, so I found myself in a dilemma. The author recommends that after The Green Ember, we should read The Black Star of Kingston. However, for me that would mean leaving the characters I had grown attached to and starting again with a new set of characters. That didn’t sit well for me. I like to stay with the characters I know.

But I started reading Black Star. I did so with a little defiance in the back of my mind. If I didn’t like the new characters, I’d dump Black Star and return to Heather and Pickett’s story.

Black Star started out well, and carried me right through to the end of the book. It was a much faster, smoother read, in my opinion. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that I enjoyed this set of characters more!

This book felt more natural. I’m not sure why that was. Perhaps the author didn’t feel the need to “set up” the world and the characters for the reader, because that had already been done in The Green Ember. Whatever the reason, I really, really enjoyed Black Star.

Now I have another dilemma. Do I stick to the Tales of Old Natalia series or return to The Green Ember stories. Decisions, decisions.

eBook Review: The Green Ember

The Green Ember (The Green Ember #1)

The Green Ember by S.D. Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb: Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.

Kings fall and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons, and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend.

Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?

My Review: I chose this book to read for a couple of reasons:

  1. the book cover is great, and
  2. the rabbits on the cover made me think of Watership Down (which I loved).

Yes, there are rabbits in Watership Down and there are rabbits in The Green Ember, but I wouldn’t say the books are similar apart from that. The rabbits in The Green Ember wear cloths, build ships, make furniture and live life like a human.

That’s not a bad thing. The Green Ember is not Watership Down. Just like Watership Down is not The Green Ember. They are both stories involving rabbits. They are both different from my normal read in some way. I enjoyed them both, for different reasons.

The Green Ember started with a kite game. It didn’t last long, but it did take a little while for the action to start. However, once the story really begins, it was interesting. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. I believe in going with the flow and being accepting. Why shouldn’t a rabbit carry a sword? In their world, they can and they do.

Heather and Pickett are adorable. They display manners and loyalty, and portray a family unit that protects and care for each other. I like that because I think many books for younger readers sometimes step away from these things. And I believe young readers need to be reading exciting adventures, along with good morals.

As is often the case with a first book in a series, there is a lot of set up happening, which can slow an adventure down. However, the second half of the book moved much faster and gripped me much more.

As I said, I enjoyed this book. I will be reading more. In fact, I have already completed Black Star (review to follow soon) and I’m into Ember Falls now. Recommended.