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What is a particle?



A particle is a word that

  • does not belong to one of the main classes of words
  • is invariable in form, and
  • typically has grammatical or pragmatic meaning.

The usage of the term particle varies. Some authorities include English prepositions and even English articles as particles.

Examples (English)
  • to (in marking infinitives)
  • up (in set up)
  • not
  • well
  • oh

Richards, Platt, and Weber 1985 208

  Here is a kind of particle:
  A particle is a kind of

Crystal 1985 222


Mish 1991 858


Crystal 1987 427


Pei and Gaynor 1954 161


Richards, Platt, and Weber 1985 208


Hartmann and Stork 1972 165


Schourup 1983 1

Context for this page:

Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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