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    • Join Date: Sep 2010
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    Post Label the part of speech HELP

    Hello all,
    I was asked to label the part of speech for each of the words in the following sentence:

    They made their way slowly across the deserted square.

    This is what I came up with. Please help me correct any errors.

    They pronoun or collective noun? made verb their pronoun way noun?
    slowly adverb across preposition the article deserted adjective

    Thank you for any advice or corrections you may have to offer.

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    Re: Label the part of speech HELP

    Mainly correct: 'they' is indeed a pronoun (not a noun of any kind!), and 'their', although technically a possessive-case form of the pronoun, nevertheless possesses certain syntactic features of the adjective*, and is therefore more commonly referred to by linguists nowadays as a possessive adjective, this label also serving usefully to distinguish the quasi-adjectival set 'my, your, their,...' from the exclusively pronominal set 'mine, yours, theirs,...'.

    *Cf. German mein, meine, meinen, etc., with correspondingly declined forms having existed in earlier forms of English too.

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