The English language has many parts of speech, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, adverbs and prepositions. Learning about the parts of speech is essential to understanding how to structure sentences and communicate effectively. Nouns and verbs are some of the most common parts of speech, and some words, depending on how they are used, can function as both.

What Are Nouns and Verbs?

A noun is a part of speech commonly defined as a person, place, thing or idea. Verbs are action words and describe what nouns do. In the sentence "The boy played in the rain," "boy" and "rain" are nouns and "played" is the verb.

Can a Word Be Both a Noun and Verb?

Some words can function as either a noun or a verb, depending on their usage. In the sentence "The children play soccer," the word "play" is the verb because it describes what the noun -- "the children" -- is doing. But in the sentence "We went to the play," "play" is used as a noun. The word "park" is another example of a word that can be used as a noun or a verb. When you "go to the park," the word "park" is a noun, because it is a place. However, when you "park the car," the word "park" is now an action word, or a verb.