Before looking at the types of words, it’s helpful to go back to what a ‘word’ is. A word is a unit of grammar. It can be selected and moved around relatively independently but can’t easily be split.

Some words can be joined together to make one word. For example, they connect with an apostrophe or a hyphen to create a new adjective.

There are many types of words that your children will learn about in the classroom. Types of words can be described as eight parts of speech in the English language: noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. Understanding parts of speech and using the correct English language term.

Why do we need to learn types of words?

It’s also essential that children can correctly identify the different word types when they are analyzing the work of others, whether that is a:

  • story
  • newspaper article
  • poem
  • factual report
  • play

They will need to be able to use the correct English language terms when discussing why writers have chosen to use certain types of words. For example, an author has used specific adjectives to present a character in a certain way.

Understanding word types can also help pupils improve their writing, as they will be doing so with a greater awareness of the impact of their word choices.

Learning word types is also a vital objective of the national curriculum in the UK. So your child will learn many different types of words to understand, read and write in KS2.

What are the types of words?

There are eight types of words. The English language terms most often used to describe these are ‘word classes’ or ‘parts of speech. These are:

  • nouns
  • determiners
  • pronouns
  • verbs
  • adjectives
  • adverbs
  • prepositions

However, some more words fall outside these ‘eight types’.

These are the different types of words in the English language. There are lots of different kinds of words that have a different impact on your pupils’ writing. These can be taught in the classroom to enhance writing to convey tone, description, facts, and emotions. Read on to find out what these words include and mean for your pupils’ writing.

  1. Nouns

Nouns are a type of word that function as the name of a specific object or set of things. For example, ‘chair’ is a noun describing an object you sit on. There are also different types of nouns, including collective nouns, compound nouns, plural nouns, common nouns, proper nouns, and abstract nouns.

  1. Adjectives

Adjectives are words used to describe a noun to make the writing more descriptive. For example, ‘The family lived in a beautiful cottage’ – here, the adjective ‘beautiful’ is used to create a more descriptive image of the house. An easy way to remember how to use adjectives is that they ‘add’ to the noun.

Example sentence: ‘She chose vibrant yellow shoes to match her coat.’

  1. Adverbs

Adverbs are a type of word that modifies an adjective, verb, or another adverb to express how an action is being carried out. They can communicate place, time, circumstance, manner, cause, and degree. For example, quickly, gently, then, there. The easiest way to consciously incorporate adverbs into our writing is to ask when, where, and how an action or event occurs.

  1. Verbs

Verbs are also often described as action words. Verbs can be used to convey an action that’s doing something. For example, the term ‘jumping’ or ‘running’. Alternatively, a verb can be used to describe an occurrence. For example, the word ‘became’ in the sentence ‘the caterpillar became a butterfly.

Example sentence: ‘The student ran to the bus stop because he was late for school.’

  1. Connectives

Connectives can be defined as ‘connecting’ two clauses in a sentence. Connectives can be conjunctions (but, when, because) or connecting adverbs (however, then, therefore).

Example sentence: ‘The young girl brought me a very long letter from the teacher, and then she quickly disappeared.’

  1. Pronouns

Pronouns are a special kind of noun. They’re used to reference a person rather than an object or place. Pronouns are often used in writing to identify a person talking to them or being talked about. They also help to reduce repetition, as we don’t have to refer to the person by name in every sentence.

For example, she, it, he, they, ze, and this.

Example sentence: ‘Ted is my friend. He is coming over later.’

  1. Preposition

Prepositions are a kind of word usually used in front of nouns or pronouns. They show the relationship between the noun or pronoun and other terms in a sentence and often indicate a position, location, direction, or time.

Example sentence: An example of a preposition is ‘around’ that can be used in a sentence such as ‘There was a white fence around the house.’

  1. Determiner

A determiner is a type of word that introduces a noun. The determiner is always placed in front of the noun. For example, ‘These apples are good.’

  1. Modal verb

Modal verbs indicate likelihood, ability, permission, or obligation. These types of verbs indicate possibilities and can be used to direct what could or should happen in a story. For example, the modal verb ‘should’ can be used in the sentence ‘The monster should go away.’

What type of word is ‘this’?

The word ‘this’ can be used in a variety of different ways and different contexts. Depending on the context, it can be used as an adjective, a definite article, a pronoun, or an adverb. So it’s a versatile word that we use all the time.

So when we answer the question ‘what type of word is ‘this’?’, it’s tricky to give one answer. It can’t be pinned down to one type of word.

Here’s how it can be used as different types of words.

  1. Adjective

The word ‘this’ can be called an adjective when it describes a noun. It’s most commonly used as an adjective to emphasize the noun being referred to in the sentence.

Example: This bag is mine.

  1. Definite Article

‘This’ can be referred to as a definite article when it’s used to identify or indicate a specific noun that the audience knows about already.

Example: I have to take this call.

  1. Pronoun

When ‘this’ substitutes a particular thing, such as another pronoun, it can be called a pronoun.

Example: Is this your idea?

The same sentence could be written with the pronoun ‘it’. Is it your idea? ‘This’ takes the place of the pronoun.

  1. Adverb

‘This’ functions as an adverb describing an adjective, a verb, or another adverb.

Example: I didn’t know you could get dogs this small.

What about collocations?

Collocation is a fancy way of saying words that go together. This word pair can often only make sense in a particular order. For example, we would usually say ‘back and forth instead of ‘forth and back. It sounds silly the other way around. These words that go together are often picked up from a young age and continue to do so as we grow up; you’ve probably said these without even realizing it!

Here are some examples of words that go together:

  • Bed and breakfast
  • Knife and fork
  • Pen and pencil
  • Nice and easy
  • Shoes and socks
  • Fun and games
  • Wait and see
  • Pots and pans
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cup and saucer
  • Read and write
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