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Primary teachers (or language pedants)... are parts of speech taught differently nowadays?

(26 Posts)
trefusis Sun 02-Aug-09 13:33:31

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mrz Sun 02-Aug-09 13:49:16

Peggy was amazed at all the goings on - is a verb not an adjective because amazed is Peggy's re action to the goings on not a descriptive words.


Every name is called a NOUN,
As field and fountain, street and town;

In place of noun the PRONOUN stands
As he and she can clap their hands;

The ADJECTIVE describes a thing,
As magic wand and bridal ring;

The VERB means action, something done -
To read, to write, to jump, to run;

How things are done, the ADVERBS tell,
As quickly, slowly, badly, well;

The PREPOSITION shows relation,
As in the street, or at the station;

CONJUNCTIONS join, in many ways,
Sentences, words, or phrase and phrase;

The INTERJECTION cries out, 'Hark!
I need an exclamation mark!'

Through Poetry, we learn how each
of these make up THE PARTS OF SPEECH.

RustyBear Sun 02-Aug-09 13:53:36

In your first example, I would have said 'was packed' was still a verbal form - it's a participle being used to modify a noun, so it is acting as an adjective. Exactly when it does evolve into an adjective is debatable - in the phrase 'The packed room was stuffy' it is much more obviously adjectival.

In your second example, hardware is a noun acting as a noun modifier.

primarymum Sun 02-Aug-09 13:54:12

I would class "was amazed" as a verb chain, where you have an auxilliary verb which shosw the tense and the non auxilliary which shows the action.
I would class hardware as an adjective describing the store
But on both counts I would be happy to be corrected

midnightexpress Sun 02-Aug-09 14:01:12

It's the difference between an active and a passive verb:

The show amazed me = active:

subject 'the show', verb 'amazed', object 'me'.

I was amazed by the show = passive:

object 'I' + verb 'was amazed' + agent 'the show'.

The passive is formed by the verb 'to be' + the past participle of the verb (ie amazed), but as rustybear says, it's acting adjectivally, so it's debateable.

'hardware' = noun acting as a modifier (so adjectival use of a noun, as rusty beasays).

stuffitlllama Sun 02-Aug-09 14:02:01

amaze is both transitive and intransitive but in this example it is used intransitively, past participle but definitely a verb

it amazed her ..transitive use
she was amazed by it ..transitive use
she was amazed.. intransitive use

there is an unspoken "by whatever"

I am also happy to be corrected smile

moondog Sun 02-Aug-09 14:03:13

Nice rhyme Mrz!
Where have you been Tref? Long time, no see.

trefusis Sun 02-Aug-09 15:06:23

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trefusis Sun 02-Aug-09 15:08:31

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Bucharest Sun 02-Aug-09 15:12:20

"Was amazed" is the passive form of the verb "to amaze". It could also be the verb "to be" plus the adjective "amazed".
In the Op's example, it could be both a verb or an adjective.

trefusis Sun 02-Aug-09 15:20:40

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trefusis Sun 02-Aug-09 15:21:46

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mrz Sun 02-Aug-09 15:25:49

The Nine Parts of Speech

Three little words you often see,
Are articles – a, an, and the.
A noun’s the name of anything
As school, garden, hoop, or swing.
An adjective tells the kind of noun –
Great, small, pretty, white, or brown.
Instead of nouns the pronouns stand –
Her head, his face, your arm, my hand.
Verbs tell of something to be done,
To read, sing, jump, or run.
How things are done the adverbs tell,
As slowly, quickly, ill, or well.
Conjunctions join words together,
As men and women, wind or weather.
The prepositions stands before
A noun, as at or through the door.
The interjection shows surprise,
As ah! how pretty --- Oh! how wise.
The whole are called nine parts of speech,
Which reading, writing, speaking teach.

midnightexpress Sun 02-Aug-09 21:56:45

They're verbs, but they're acting adjectivally.

I think you have to remember that the grammar labels are things that we attach to words to try and make sense of language. The language existed way before we had parts of speech describe it with. Unfortunately, English is more of an untameable beast and so some of the categories sometimes have rather fuzzy edges. grin

<ponders adverbs, the dustbin of grammar>

Bucharest Mon 03-Aug-09 18:02:33

An update- asked my British Council employed grammar guru- in the example given "was amazed" is most totally utterly definitely simply the verb to be + an adjective.

(I didn't tell her I was confused about it and thought it could be both a verb and an adjective as I'm actually her senior teacher for the next 8 weeks)

<Bucharest blushes and hopes GrammarGuru is not MNer>

trefusis Mon 03-Aug-09 18:13:17

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Bucharest Tue 04-Aug-09 18:29:31

Seemingly so...
Makes you wonder, doesn't it???

katiestar Wed 05-Aug-09 21:20:34

To take this one step further

' the kitchen was packed'
(with people) then packed = adjective

But would
'the kitchen was packed into a corner' mean that packed was then a verb ?

GrimmaTheNome Wed 05-Aug-09 21:56:05

We're in the process of getting DD up to speed for 11+ so we're getting tied up in these knots, having to some extent forgotten the rules we were taught. I can't help feeling... why on earth does it matter what part of speech something is? What matters is that someone can write clearly and grammatically, and read with good comprehension. Spelling and punctuation are essential in this, but knowing what label may be attached to a word really doesn't seem all that relevant.

I suppose it helps when it comes to learning a foreign language... tbh my own understanding of 'parts of speech' was probably helped more by learning French than by my English lessons.

Bucharest Thu 06-Aug-09 06:39:46

katiestar- yes, that's passive verb form of "to pack into" (will check with guru when I get to work though)

grimma- totally agree- definitely know more about grammar per se because of other languages I've done in the past. Bonkers really.

mrz Fri 07-Aug-09 13:21:08

Surely was is the subjunctive and amazed the verb ...

edam Mon 10-Aug-09 14:35:42

Agree with the thinking that in 'she was amazed' amazed is an adjective. Surely 'was' is acting as the (past tense) verb?

edam Mon 10-Aug-09 14:45:51

Just getting this straight in my head:

SHE (pronoun) WAS (verb - past tense of 'is') AMAZED (adjective).

I can't see how 'amazed' could possibly be a verb, given you've already got the verb in 'was'.

edam Mon 10-Aug-09 14:47:27

But then I was very frustrated at school that we didn't do more grammar. O-level English lang. just wasn't enough and the exam board didn't offer A-level lang! Born pedant, that's me. grin

cornflakegirl Mon 10-Aug-09 17:23:47

We have two ways of forming the present tense eg I walk, I am walking. Similarly the past tense eg I walked, I was walking. In "I am walking", walking isn't an adjective, it's part of the verb. And the same with "I was walking".

The passive voice then complicates things more with "I am amazed". But I think that amazed is still part of the verb.

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