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function word

A word that expresses a grammatical or structural relationship with other words in a


sentence.
In contrast to a content word, a function word has little or no meaningful content. Function
words are also known as grammatical words.
Function words includedeterminers (for example, the, that), conjunctions(and,
but), prepositions (in, of), pronouns (she, they),auxiliary vers (be,
have), modals (may, could), and!uantifers (some, both).
Content words are words that have meaning. They are words we would look up in
a dictionary, such as "lamp," "computer," "drove." New content words are constantly
added to the English language; old content words constantly leave the language as
they become obsolete. Therefore, we refer to content words as an "open" class.

Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are content parts of speech.
Content Words vs. Function Words
"ach word in "nglish elongs to one of the eight parts of speech. "ach word in "nglish is
also either a content words or a function word. #et$s think aout what these two types
mean%
Content & information, meaning
Function & necessary words for grammar
In other words, content words give us the most important information while function
words are used to stitch those words together.
Content Word Types
'ontent words are usually nouns, vers, adjectives and advers. A noun tells us which
oject, a ver tells us aout the action happening, or the state. Adjectives give us details
aout ojects and people and advers tell us how, when or where something is done.
(ouns, vers, adjectives and advers give us important information re!uired for
understanding.
Noun & person, place or thing
Verb & action, state
Adjective & descries an oject, person, place or thing
Adverb & tells us how, where or when something happens
Examples:
Nouns:
house
computer
student
lake
)eter
science
Verbs:
enjoy
purchase
visit
understand
elieve
look forward to
Adjectives:
heavy
difficult
careful
expensive
soft
fast
Adverbs:
slowly
carefully
thoughtfully
suddenly
Oter Content Words
*hile nouns, vers, adjectives and advers are the most important content words there
are a few other words that are also key to understanding. +hese include negatives no,
not and never, demonstrative pronouns including this, that, these and those, and
!uestion words what, where, when, how and why.
Function Word Types
Function words help us connect important information. Function words are important for
understanding, ut they add little in meaning eyond defining the relationship etween
two words. Function words include% auxiliary verbs, prepositions, articles, conjunctions and
pronouns. Auxiliary vers are used to estalish the tense, prepositions show
relationships in time and space, articles show us something that is specific or one of
many, and pronouns refer to other nouns.
Auxiliary vers & do, e, have , help with conjugation of tense
)repositions & show relationships in time and space
Articles & used to indicate specific or non,specific nouns
'onjunctions & words that connect
)ronouns , refer to other nouns
Examples:
Auxiliary Verbs:
do
has
will
is
has een
did
!repositions:
in
at
through
over
etween
under
Articles:
a
an
the
Conjunctions:
and
ut
for
so
since
as
!ronouns:
I
you
him
us
ours
she
Wy is tis "mportant#
-nowing the difference etween content and functions words is important ecause content
words are stressed in conversation in "nglish. Function words are non,stressed. In other words,
function words are not emphasi.ed in speech, while content words are highlighted.
-nowing the difference etween content and function words can help you in
understanding, and, most importantly, in pronunciation skills.
Exercise:
/ecide which words are function and content words in the following sentences.
Mary has lived in England for ten years.
He's going to fly to Chicago next week.
I don't understand this chapter of the book.
he children will be swimming in the ocean this time next week.
!ohn had eaten lunch before his colleague arrived.
he best time to study is early in the morning or late in the evening.
he trees along the river are beginning to blossom.
"ur friends called us yesterday and asked if we'd like to visit them next month.
#ou'll be happy to know that she's decided to take the position.
I won't give away your secret.
'heck your answers elow%
Exercise Ans$ers
'ontent words are in bold.
Mary has lived in England for ten years.
He's going to fly to Chicago next week.
I don't understand this chapter of the book.
he children will be swimming in the ocean at five o'clock.
John had eaten lunch before his colleague arrived.
he best time to study is early in the morning or late in the evening.
he trees along the river are beginning to blossom.
"ur friends called us yesterday and asked if we'd like to visit them next month.
#ou'll be happy to know that she's decided to take the position.
I won't give away your secret.