Here in India learning Spoken English means a knowledge of grammar- mainly the 8 parts of speech i.e.; the grammar translation method is still widely used. Since, just a knowledge of the definitions of the 8 parts of speech is not enough to speak English, I wonder if the following may help in forming a sentence using these definitions.
The 8 parts of speech are: 1] noun, 2] pronoun, 3] verb, 4] adverb, 5] adjective 6] pre-position, 7] conjunction & 8] interjection. The definitions of these parts of speech are well known as:
1) A noun is the name of a person, place, animal or thing.
2) A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun. Etc.
While teaching Spoken English we also teach the formation of verbs in the simple, the continuous, the perfect and the perfect continuous forms in the present, past and future tenses, which usually have one or more than one word.
We also know that English has a rigid word order that cannot be changed without changing the meaning of the sentence, but this is usually taught as subject + verb, subject+ verb+object etc.
A sentence can be divided into the following parts. They are :
1] Subject + verb.
2] Subject + verb + direct object.
3] Subject + verb +indirect object+ object, etc.
The simplest word order is:
Subject + verb.
Examples of sentences based on the above word order are:
Birds fly, Fish swim, I sit, You walk etc.
We see that the subject can be a noun or a pronoun.
So, according to the above definition of a sentence we can write the structure of a sentence as: Subject+ verb = Noun/ pronoun+ Verb[s], where the [s] shows that the verb may have more than one word.
The next simplest structure is: Subject+ verb+ object, so, the structure becomes Noun/pronoun+ verb[s] + noun/pronoun, because the object is also a noun or a pronoun. An example of a sentence with the above structure is:
The boy kicked the football. We see that, usually, the noun is preceded by an article. So, the structure becomes Article + noun/pronoun+ verb[s] + article+ noun/pronoun.
Since, by definition an adjective precedes a noun and modifies it the structure becomes:
Article + adjective[s] + noun/pronoun + verb[s] + article + adjective[s] + noun/pronoun. An example of a sentence with the above structure is:
The young boy kicked the white football.
We also know that the definition of a preposition is that it is a word placed before a noun and that it is placed before the noun in the objective part of a sentence.
So, the structure becomes: Article + adjective[s] + noun/pronoun + verb[s]+ preposition+ article + adjective[s]+ noun/ pronoun.
An example of a sentence with the above structure is:
The young boy kicked at the white football.
Since we can have more than one adjective preceding the noun we have put [s] in brackets.
An example of a sentence with this structure is:
The tall, young boy kicked at the white, round football.
Conjunctions, of course, join two sentences in which case the above structure is just repeated in the two sentences which are joined.
Sentences can also start with dummy subjects like this, that, these, those, it, there, here etc. The sentence structure is just repeated with the dummy subject taking the place of the subject noun/pronoun.
This is a young, tall boy kicking at the white, round football.
In simple sentences the order of words just repeats with some parts of speech omitted sometimes, as in
1) He wore a shirt made of silk.
2) He is a man without an enemy.
In the second sentence the order of the parts of speech is:
Pronoun+ verb +article+ noun+ verb+ preposition+ noun.
3) An earthen pitcher stood on a three legged table.
The structure of this sentence is, of course:
Article+ adjective +noun+ verb+ preposition+ article+ adjective+ noun.
Some sentences from difficult texts also tend to follow the same structure:
The last syllable is called the Nucleus, or, the Tonic syllable.
Stress [in phonetics] [I wonder if it isn`t a general definition?] has been described as relative loudness.
Thus, if we teach the learners the above structure can we allow them to use the definitions of the 8 parts of speech that they have learnt.