Fill in the Blanks — What ‘part of speech’ are you in the organization?

In the same way as the 8 parts of speech together form the basic building blocks of the English language, individuals or employees tend to fill in the blanks that together result in an organization. As some of the parts of speech are necessarily needed to form any sentence in English and some other parts of speech may or may not be used, similarly in an organization there are certain roles that are indispensable while some others are support functions. In the modern, dynamic and continually changing environment in which all organizations operate, it is imperative from the point of view of an individual or employee to know whether one is the dispensable or indispensable block of the organization.

No sentence can be made without a subject (a noun or a pronoun) and a predicate (having verb as the main element). In the same way, the ‘nouns’ and ‘verbs’ in an organization are the ones who are indispensable. They are people who take charge and lead the organization and its various activities. A text in which all sentences have only noun as a subject becomes difficult to read and, therefore, for lucidity we use pronouns in place of nouns. In the same manner, for the smooth functioning of organizations ‘pronouns’ are required who take the place of noun as and when needed. Like pronouns in the English language, such persons should be multi-talented and capable of stepping into the shoes of different ‘nouns’ thereby ensuring they have multiple avenues to become nouns when the time comes.

The other parts of speech play supportive roles in one of the following ways:

  • Modifying the noun, pronoun or verb — i.e. adjective and adverb respectively. While they help highlight some attribute or intensity, adjectives and adverbs don’t have a special existence of their own. They need the crutches of a noun, pronoun or verb to be a contributor.
  • Showing relationship or connecting parts of a sentence — i.e. preposition and conjunction respectively. Conjunctions and prepositions are the most dispensable as sentences can be formed easily without them while still conveying the intended meaning.

If individuals in an organization find themselves in the category of an adjective, adverb, preposition or conjunction, then they need to seriously think about their future and chart a career path which makes them develop into nouns or verbs or pronouns at the least.

Below are the standard definitions of the various parts of speech (Source: www.dictionary.com):

Sentence: a grammatical unit of one or more words that expresses an independent statement, question, request, command, exclamation, etc., and that typically has a subject as well as a predicate.

Noun: any member of a class of words that can function as the main or only elements of subjects of verbs, or of objects of verbs or prepositions, and that in English can take plural forms and possessive endings.

Verb: any member of a class of words that function as the main elements of predicates, that typically express action, state, or a relation between two things, and that may be inflected for tense, aspect, voice, mood, and to show agreement with their subject or object.

Pronoun: any member of a small class of words found in many languages that are used as replacements or substitutes for nouns and noun phrases, and that have very general reference.

Adjective: any member of a class of words that modify nouns and pronouns, primarily by describing a particular quality of the word they are modifying.

Adverb: any member of a class of words that function as modifiers of verbs or clauses, and in some languages, as Latin and English, as modifiers of adjectives, other adverbs, or adverbial phrases.

Preposition: any member of a class of words found in many languages that are used before nouns, pronouns, or other substantives to form phrases functioning as modifiers of verbs, nouns, or adjectives.

Conjunction: any member of a small class of words distinguished in many languages by their function as connectors between words, phrases, clauses, or sentences.