So, when we analyze language (spoken or written), we tend to classify words according to their syntactic roles or functions (right?): nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, and so on.
But what do we call that superset that contains all these subtypes?
I can't think what else to call them; so I've just been referring to them as types, word types, etc. But that seems way too ambiguous.
I feel like there's a technical term, or something more specific that I should know; on the tip of my tongue, but I'm drawing a blank.

1 Answer 1


You're looking for the term parts of speech:

There are eight parts of speech in the English language: noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.
The Eight Parts of Speech - TIP Sheets - Butte College

  • Actually, no. This is not an accurate list of the English parts of speech. There are more types than eight; in English, for instance, there are articles and complementizers, among other. The actual name for the actual list is word class, lexical class, or lexical category. May 6, 2018 at 20:14
  • This particular list is the original Latin list of 8 parts (nomen, pronomen, uerbum, aduerbium, participium, coniunctio, praepositio, interiectio), with Participle thrown out and Adjective put in its place (Roman grammarians didn't believe in adjectives; they called them nouns). May 6, 2018 at 20:15
  • That's.. not what I was looking for.
    – voices
    May 8, 2018 at 21:23

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