Proper Usage of Parts of Speech in English

English has 8 parts of speech into which scientists divide all the language words according to their functions. In today’s post from our English editing website we will take a closer look at each of them and outline the most common mistakes that students make in these parts of speech. Of course, you will get handy tips how to avoid them - either on your own or with the help of our professional copy editing and proofreading service. Get ready to facilitate everyday writing routine and create flawless essays hands down.


Nouns are the cornerstone of any language because they serve the function of naming objects, states, feelings and people in the surrounding reality. Nouns together with verbs create a framework for every paper, and only then other parts of speech join in.

The trick with nouns in English is that there are a lot of types of them; moreover, nouns have several forms that creates confusion, especially among the language learners (if you are one of them, we have an article that explains how everybody can practice grammar without paying to tutors or courses: Here we will dwell on plural forms of nouns and the Possessive Case – these topics seem to cause the majority of mistakes in academic writing.

Usually to change a noun into plural, you will need only an appropriate ending: –s or –es (a horse – horses, a mirror – mirrors). Be sure to change –y at the end of a word into i (a cherry – cherries). However, some people tend to forget about nouns that form the plural form by changing their roots (a foot – feet, a mouse – mice) or do not acquire any changes at all (a sheep – sheep, a deer – deer).

But the trickiest part is to remember that uncountable nouns do not have plural. It is quite widespread on the Internet to use words like knowledges, advices and furnitures. They are not proper English! In order to count such notions, you should include the phrase “a piece of”:

  • a piece of knowledge,
  • a piece of music,
  • a piece of writing.

As for the Possessive case, it does not seem to be a great problem to put an apostrophe and s at the end of a word, but even here mistakes may occur from time to time. Thus, do you remember that not only nouns referring to people can form the possessive? Inanimate objects and even abstract notions can have it too in set expressions: today’s newspaper, a stones throw away, in my mind’s eye.


Verbs are an unfortunate fount of mistakes in college papers. 16 English tenses contribute to this status, that is for sure, as well as tricky rules of subject-verb agreement and the notion of irregular verbs. One article will not be enough to help you out, but we have been writing on this subject a lot.

Thus, on our blog you can get familiar with the rules of using Past Perfect (the whole article is devoted only to this tense and provides not only rules, but also illustrative examples) or to learn Future Continuous without difficulties (here is the link: Royal Editing offers comprehensive guides on English tenses that will clarify everything that your school teachers failed to explain. Here you will find all the information a student might need with practical advice how to use it in writing.

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Now we will dwell on pronouns. These, judging by their name, represent the part of speech that substitutes nouns. We use them in writing to avoid tautology and to be concise. English has several types of pronouns, among which we can single out personal (I, we, they), possessive (my, our, their), reflexive (myself, ourselves, themselves), relative (who, whom, that), indefinite (much, few, neither) and demonstrative (that, these, those) ones.


Adjectives describe nouns and make our speech more abstract and beautiful. Those who have read us from the beginning know that there is not such a goal in academic writing to make the text either abstract or beautiful, which directs us to the logical conclusion: adjectives are unwelcome guests in college papers and essays. You should try to bring their number to acceptable minimum, then your paper will be meaningful and just to the point. This is also one of the strategies of being concise in what you write.


The same rules that we were just talking about in connection with adjectives apply to adverbs too. Generally adverbs in speech can modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs:

  • Sam could never run fast enough to win.
  • Now the gap became considerably larger.
  • He plays basketball quite often – two or three times a week at least.

But even knowing it, you should not make use of adverbs on a regular basis in academic texts. If you want to impress readers, in academic English it is better to achieve this goal with facts and statistics. Phrases like “considerably bigger” or “quite the same” will have little effect on the professor as compared to diagrams, tables and citations.

Universities love facts, and in order to succeed there, you will have to learn how to love them too. Our proof reading website for students is ready to plant this love by means of useful articles like this one and also by providing quality editing services. Having ordered our editing once, you will never want to do this job by yourself again because the quality we offer is well worth the money we charge.


Foreign students claim that prepositions in English account for the major part of grammar-related headache. In this language the meaning of the whole sentence can be changed dramatically because of the misuse of prepositions. Look at the examples:

  • The man broke down when he learned that a thief had broken in the night before and stolen his TV-set (to break down means to become upset, while to break in is to enter somebody’s premises without permission, usually to steal something). We bet you can easily imagine how a foreigner confuses these two phrasal verbs that sound so similar.
  • The ancient vase fell apart after it had fallen down. In other words, the vase got broken because it fell to the ground. Of course, normally nobody would include such similar phrases in one sentence, but we did it for the sake of a catching illustration.

The problem here is called phrasal verbs. These are verbs that have various meanings depending on the preposition after them. Some phrasal verbs have more than 20 meanings at the same time, and only the context helps to determine which one is used right now (for instance, to set off and to set up have around 10 meanings each). Mastering English phrasal verbs is a challenging task. Mobile applications, online articles and grammar books can definitely help, but to become a true expert, you will have to read more literature. There phrasal verbs are used in such abundance that everybody will learn them quicker.

If there is not much time at your disposal, the faster way to eliminate mistakes with prepositions is to find a professional and cheap paper editor online, and our website is a huge provider of those. Choose one of our top 10 writers or enter the personal ID of a specialist you want to work with to get the best experience of dealing with Royal Editing. There are more life hacks how to get the most out of our website, which you can fish out by contacting our managers.


Conjunctions exist to link words, phrases and clauses. They show relations between different parts within one sentence. It is considered inappropriate to start a sentence with a conjunction. None the less, you will see it a lot in different texts.

If you want to create a first-rate essay, get ready to blend different clauses into complete sentences. The more varied structures you employ, the more sophisticated the writing becomes. Although literary devices are prohibited in academia, an essay will only benefit if you choose to show connections between ideas by means of composite sentences with conjunctions.

In English there are two main types of conjunctions: coordinating and subordinating. The first group connects parts of compound sentences, while the second group is used in complex sentences. The difference will become more obvious if you compare these two examples:

  • I was determined to go to the pictures, but heavy snowfall ruined all my plans.
  • I did not go to the pictures because heavy snowfall ruined all my plans.

The first example illustrates how parts of a sentence can have equal weight, whereas in the second example formed an obvious distinction between the main and the subordinate clause.


Finally, we got to interjections that express people’s emotions. We will be brief about them as this part of speech almost never penetrates into academic papers. Words like oh, wow, and ugh are called interjections. Usually they are followed by exclamation marks and occasionally by commas:

  • We passed the test, hurrah!
  • Wow, the screen is much bigger than I thought.

With this we finish our synopsis on parts of speech in English. Note that sometimes linguists include articles, numerals and determiners in the list of English parts of speech as well, so do not be surprised to find them enumerated in other sources. If you have troubles mastering parts of speech, go to our order page and get online paper editing services at a cheap price. Professional writers will correct mistakes in the use of nouns and pronouns, subject-verb agreement, the excessive number of adjectives and adverbs and other imperfections in a paper. Learn more how to turn in only first-rate essays with Royal Editing: