English Grammar

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The same word used as different parts of speech


The following are some of the most important words which may belong to different part of speech according to the way in which they are used.
Always remember that it is the function or use that determines to which part of speech a word belongs in a given sentence.

ABOUT : Adverb. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins.
Preposition. There is something pleasing about him.
ABOVE Adverb. The heavens are above.
Preposition. The moral law is above the civil.
Adjective. Analyse the above sentence.
Noun. Our blessings come from above.
AFTER : Adverb. They arrived soon after.
Preposition. He takes after his father.
Adjective. After ages shall sing his glory.
Conjunction. We went away after they had left.
ALL : Adjective. All men are mortal. Its was all profit and no loss.
Adverb. He has all alone when I saw him.
Pronoun. All spoke in his favour.
Noun. He lost his all in speculation.
ANY: Adjective. Are there any witnesses present ?
Pronoun. Does any of you know anything about it ?
Adverb. Is that any better ?
AS : Adverb. We walked as fast as we could.
Conjunction. As he was poor I helped him.
Relat.Pron She likes the same colour as I do.
BEFORE: Adverb. I have seen you before.
Preposition. He came before the appointed time.
Conjunction. He went away before I came.
BETTER: Adjective. I think yours is a better plan.
Adverb. I know better.
Noun. Give place to your betters.
Verb. The boxes with which he provided me bettered the sample.- Froude
BOTH: Adjective. You cannot have it both ways.
Pronoun. Both of them are dead.
Conjunction. Both the cashier and the accountant are Hindus.
BUT: Adverb. It is but (=only) right to admit our faults.
Preposition. None but (=except) the brave deserves the fair.
Conjunction. We tried hard, but did not succeed.
Relat. Pronoun. There is no one but likes him. (=who does not like him
DOWN: Adverb. Down went the "Royal George."
Preposition. The fire engine came rushing down the hill.
Adjective. The porter was killed by the down train.
Noun. He has seen the ups and downs of life.
Verb. Down with the tyrant !
EITHER: Adjective. Either bat is good enough.
Pronoun. Ask either of them.
Conjunction. He must either work or starve.
ELSE: Adjective. I have something else for you.
Adverb. Shall we look anywhere else.
Conjunction. Make haste, else you will miss the train.
ENOUGH: Adjective. There is time enough and to spare.
Adverb. You know well enough what I mean.
Noun. I have had enough of this.
EVEN: Adjective. The chances are even.
Verb. Let us even the ground.
Adverb. Does he even suspect the danger ?
EXCEPT: Verb. If we except Hari, all are to be blamed.
Preposition. All the brethren were in Egypt except Benjamin.
Conjunction. I will not let thee go except (=unless) thou bless me ($415).
FOR: Preposition. I can shift for myself.
Conjunction. Give thanks unto the Lord ; for He is good.
LESS: Adjective. You are paying less attention to your studies than you used to do .
Adverb. The population of India is less than that of China.
Noun. He wants Rs. 500 for that watch. He won't be satisfied with less.
LIKE: Adjective. They are men of like build and stature.
Preposition. Do not talk like that.
Adverb. Like as a father pitieth his own children.
Noun. We shall not see his like again.
Verb. Children like sweets.
LITTLE: Adjective. There is little danger in going there.
Noun. Man wants but little here below.
Adverb. He eats very little.
MORE: Adjective. We want more men like him.
Pronoun. More of us die in bed than out of it.
Adverb. You should talk less and work more.
MUCH: Adjective. There is much sense in what he says.
Pronoun. Much of it is true.
Adverb. He boasts too much.
NEAR: Preposition. His house is near the temple.
Adjective. He is a near relation.
Verb. The time nears.
NEEDS: Noun. My needs are few.
Verb. It needs to be done with care.
Adverb. He needs must come.
NEITHER: Conjunction. Give me neither poverty nor riches.
Adjective. Neither accusation is true.
Pronoun. It is difficult to negotiate where neither will trust.
NEXT: Adjective. I shall see you next Monday.
Adverb. What next ?
Preposition. He was sitting next to her.
Noun. I shall tell you more about it in my next.
NO: Adjective. It is no joke.
Adverb. He is no more.
Noun. I will not take a no.
ONCE: Adverb. I was young once.
Conjunction. Once he hesitates we have him.
Noun. Please help me for once.
ONE: Adjective. One day I met him in the street.
Pronoun. The little ones cried for joy.
Noun. One would think he was mad.
ONLY: Adjective. It was his only chance.
Adverb. He was only foolish.
Conjunction. Take what I have, only (= but) let me go.
OVER: Adverb. Read it over carefully.
Noun. In one over he took three wickets.
Preposition. At thirty a change came over him.
RIGHT: Verb. That is a fault that will right itself.
Adjective. He is the right man for the position.
Noun. I ask it as a right.
Adverb. Serves him right ! He stood right in my way.
ROUND: Adjective. A square peg in around hole.
Noun. The evening was a round of pleasures.
Adverb. He came round to their belief.
Preposition. The earth revolves round the sun.
Verb. We shall round the cape in safety.
SINCE: Preposition. Since that day I have not seen him.
Conjunction. Since there's no help, come, let us kiss and part.
Adverb. I have not seen him since.
SO: Adverb. I am so sorry.
Conjunction. He was poor, so, they helped him.
SOME: Adjective. We must find some way out of it.
Pronoun. Some say one thing and others another.
Adverb. Some thirty chiefs were present.
STILL: Verb. With his name the mothers still their babes .
Adjective. Still waters run deep.
Noun. Her sobs could be heard in the still of night.
Adverb. He is still in business.
SUCH: Adjective. Don't be in such a hurry.
Pronoun. Such was not my intention.
THAT: Demonst. Adjective. What is that noise ?.
Demonst. Pronoun. That is what I want.
Adverb. I have done that much only.
Relative Pronoun. The evil that men do lives after them.
Conjunction. He lives so that he may eat.
THE: Def. Article. The cat loves comfort.
Adverb. The wiser he is, the better.
TILL: Preposition. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
Conjunction. Do not start till I give the word.
UP: Adverb. Prices are up.
Preposition. Let us go up the hill.
Adjective. The next up train will leave here at 12.30.
Noun. They had their ups and downs of fortune.
WELL: Noun. Let well alone.
Adjective. I hope you are now well.
Adverb. Well begun is half done.
Interjection. Well, who would have thought it ?
WHAT: Inter. Adjective. What evidence have you got ?
Interjection. What ! you don't mean to say so ?
Inter. Pronoun. What does he want ?
Relative. Pronoun. Give me what you can. What happened then, I do not know.
Adverb. What by fire and what by sword, the whole country was laid waste.
WHILE: Noun. Sit down and rest a while.
Verb. They while away their evenings with books and games.
Conjunction. While a great poet, he is a greater novelist.
WHY: Interro. Adverb. Why did you do it ?
Relative Adverb. I know the reason why he did it.
Interjection. Why it is surely Nanak !
Noun. This is not the time to go into the why and the wherefore of it.
YET: Adverb. There is more evidence yet to be offered.
Conjunction. He is willing, yet unable.