Fun With Parts of Speech: Quadruple Usage Words

Last updated: May 24, 2018 at 5:29 am

clover photoI’ve mentioned earlier that we only stamp a word as a particular part of speech after we see how it is used in the sentence. And you may have already read my article on “triple usage words,” that is, words that can used as three different parts of speech.

To push things a bit further, there are some words that can be used four different parts of speech. We call these “quadruple usage words.” The word “round” is a good example of quadruple usage words. We can use the word “round” as a preposition, noun, adjective or verb.

Here are some examples.

  1. Northward, past Burlington beach, the highway leads into a clover leaf turn.
  2. If motorists round one traffic circle, they find themselves enroute to Hamilton, and if they go round the other one, they head for Toronto.
  3. In the past, a few mishaps have occurred, but most cars slow down inside the circle.
  4. A white line in the center divides the inside lane from the outside lane.
  5. Once inside the clover lead, the driver must continue until he turns right, onto the through highway outside the circle.
  6. In the past year, one traveler, on several round trips, complained that he had to drive through heavy fog.
  7. In his whimsical way, he said on each round he feared the unknown beyond, beyond each turn.

Adapted from Working with English by Rennie & Anderson.

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