- What are the main lexical categories?
- How do you tell the difference between them?
- Nouns are fairly simple- person, place, thing, idea. This includes topics such as thoughts or friendship, which are intangible but are still things or ideas.
- Verbs are also fairly simple. These include action words, such as run, leap, think, smile, etc.
- A good way to figure out if a word is a verb is to imagine it in the infinitive form- that is, put the word ‘to’ in front of it. For example, ‘to run’, ‘to smile’, etc. If the verb is conjugated, such as in the sentence ‘Catie runs across the room’, you can either change the verb to the unconjugated form or simply shorten the sentence to ‘Catie runs’ Sentences are not complete without a subject and a verb. In this case, ‘Catie’ is a noun and is the subject, so ‘runs’ must be the verb.
- Here is where it starts to get tricky. Adjectives and adverbs can often get mixed up, as they are quite similar in nature. The best way to remember adjectives is that they modify nouns.
- Therefore, to remember adjectives, figure out what the word is modifying. In the sentence ‘The dogwalker tripped over the rambunctious dog’, the word ‘rambunctious’ is modifying the word ‘dog’, which is a noun. Therefore, ‘rambunctious’ is an adjective in this sentence.
- Just as adjectives modify nouns, adverbs modify verbs.
- To determine if a word is an adverb, you again want to see what it is modifying. In the sentence ‘I walk quickly down the street’, the word ‘quickly’ is modifying ‘walk’. Therefore, ‘quickly’ is an adverb in this sentence.
Now, practice sorting these words into categories:
(If there is more than one category that might apply, choose one.)
Imagination * Concentration * Visualize * Quickly * Agree * Hesitantly * Beautiful * Ecstatic * Imaginary * Conspicuous * Vibrant * Ideally * Absently * Simple * Summarily * Maroon * Exuberant * Pattern * Identify * Conclude * Cabinet * Birthday * Sporadic * Unfrequently * Write * Right * Care * Cautious * Scribble * Empower * Warp * Store * Recycle * Light