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Getting started on classical Latin
Getting started on classical Latin

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4.2 Parts of speech

In describing the grammar of written Latin, the best method is to use the traditional classical grammar, as worked out by the Greeks and Romans themselves. As a preliminary exercise, it may be useful to be familiar with the ‘parts of speech’ in English.

Table 4 below gives a very brief explanation of the eight parts of speech which are found in both Latin and English. A fuller discussion of the most important terms follows.

Table 4 Parts of speech in English
Part of speechExplanationLatin derivation of the term
nouna naming wordnomen, a name
pronouna word used in place of a nounpro, instead of; nomen, a name
adjectivea 'describing' wordadiectum, thrown at, added
verba 'doing' or 'being' wordverbum, a word
adverba word added to a verb, adjective or another adverbad, to; verbum, a word
prepositiona word placed before a noun or pronounprae, in front of; positum, placed
conjunctiona joining wordconiunctum, joined
interjectionan exclamationinteriectum, thrown between, insert