Words with More than One Job


Words with More than One Job

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Many words in English can have more than one job, or be more than one part of speech. For example, “work” can be a verb and a noun; “but” can be a conjunction and a preposition; “well” can be an adjective, an adverb and an interjection. In addition, many nouns can act as adjectives.

To analyze the part of speech, ask yourself: “What job is this word doing in this sentence?”

In the table below you can see a few examples. Of course, there are more, even for some of the words in the table. In fact, if you look in a good dictionary you will see that the word but has six jobs to do:

  • verb, noun, adverb, pronoun, preposition and conjuction!

word

part of speech

example

work

noun

My work is easy.

verb

I work in London.

but

conjunction

John came but Mary didn’t come.

preposition

Everyone came but Mary.

well

adjective

Are you well?

adverb

She speaks well.

interjection

Well! That’s expensive!

afternoon

noun

We ate in the afternoon.

noun acting as adjective

We had afternoon tea.

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