Getting started on classical Latin
Getting started on classical Latin

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Getting started on classical Latin

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

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