English Learning Notes

Word Classes

On these pages we look at vocabulary categorised by word class (verbs, nouns, adjectives etc) and by word form (contractions, prefixes, suffixes etc). These pages deal mainly with vocabulary, for example word lists, meanings and sample sentences with the words in context. But see also the grammar of word classes.

Note that word classes are also called parts of speech.

Word Classes

Modern grammars normally recognise four major word classes (verb, noun, adjective, adverb) and five other word classes (determiners, preposition, pronoun, conjunction, interjection), making nine word classes (or parts of speech) in total. But note that some grammarians use different systems and may recognise eight or ten different word classes.

Verbs are action or state words like: run, work, study, be, seem

Nouns are words for people, places or things like: mother, town, Rome, car, dog

Adjectives are words that describe nouns, like: kind, clever, expensive

Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs, like: quickly, back, ever, badly, away generally, completely

Prepositions are words usually in front of a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element, like: after, down, near, of, plus, round, to

Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns, like: me, you, his, it, this, that, mine, yours, who, what

Interjections have no grammatical value - words like: ah, hey, oh, ouch, um, well

Phrasal Verbs
These pages contain lists of over 1,000 English phrasal verbs, all clearly explained with example sentences, notes and quizzes.Please note that this collection of phrasal verbs is not exhaustive. It does not contain all phrasal verbs or all meanings of them. It contains a good selection of the most commonly used phrasal verbs and their meanings.

A suffix is a group of letters placed at the end of a word to make a new word. A suffix can make a new word in one of two ways:1.inflectional 2. derivational

A prefix is placed at the beginning of a word to modify or change its meaning. This is a list of the most common prefixes in English, together with their basic meaning and some examples. You can find more detail or precision for each prefix in any good dictionary.

Prepositions of Place
This diagram shows some of the more common prepositions of place and indicates their meaning. There follows a sample sentence for each preposition shown.

Prepositions of Time
The sentences below this picture show the use of some common prepositions of time: at, in, during

Prepositions of Movement
Prepositions of movement show movement from one place to another place. These prepositions always describe movement and we usually use them with verbs of motion.

Common Prepositions
This is a short list of 70 of the more common one-word prepositions. Many of these prepositions have more than one meaning.

Negative Personality Adjectives
List of 100 common personality adjectives that describe people negatively

Positive Personality Adjectives
List of 100 common personality adjectives that describe people positively

Irregular Adjectives
A small number of adjectives are irregular in the way they make comparative and superlative forms.

Partitive Expressions with Uncountable Nouns
This is a list of one hundred partitive expressions containing a partitive + uncountable noun, each with an example sentence. The expressions are in alphabetical order based on the uncountable noun.

Nouns that are Count and Noncount
Some nouns can be both countable and uncountable, usually with a different meaning for each. This page lists the most common such nouns.

Regular Verbs List
There are thousands of regular verbs in English. This is a list of some 600 of the more common regular verbs. Note that there are some spelling variations in American English (for example, practise becomes practice in American English).