How do you differentiate between a noun, verb, adverb, and adjective?

1 Answer
Apr 7, 2016


Nouns are things, adjectives describe things, verbs are what the things do, and adverbs are how they do it.


A noun is a solid thing in the sentence. It could be London, Margaret or box - places, people and objects all count as nouns. You can think of the entire sentence being a tent and nouns are the pegs that keep it firmly stuck to reality.

The verb describes what the nouns actually do - which is why they are patronisingly called doing-words. If Margaret jumps, then she does a jump, meaning jumps is the verb. Verbs are important because without them nothing actually happens or changes.

Adverb literally means to the verb, because adverbs describe how the verb is done. Adverbs often end in '-ly', like quickly, furiously, excitedly or dully. In the phrase he spoke loudly, loudly describes how he spoke, so is an adverb.

The adjective describes the noun. It acts like an adverb but to the thing rather than the action. They can range from simple colours and sizes (the big red shoe, where big and red are both adjectives, because they describe the shoe) to metaphysical statements, like metaphysical, because it describes statement, the noun. State, incidentally, is a verb, because it is something you can do.

The study of parts of a sentence is called syntax, which is a noun. Syntactic is the adjective, and syntactically is the adverb.