The 9 Parts of Speech: Definitions and Examples

  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

A part of speech is a term used in traditional grammar for one of the nine main categories into which words are classified according to their functions in sentences, such as nouns or verbs. Also known as word classes, these are the building blocks of grammar.

Every sentence you write or speak in English includes words that fall into some of the nine parts of speech. These include nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, articles/determiners, and interjections. (Some sources include only eight parts of speech and leave interjections in their own category.)

Parts of Speech

  • Word types can be divided into nine parts of speech:
  • prepositions
  • conjunctions
  • articles/determiners
  • interjections
  • Some words can be considered more than one part of speech, depending on context and usage.
  • Interjections can form complete sentences on their own.

Learning the names of the parts of speech probably won't make you witty, healthy, wealthy, or wise. In fact, learning just the names of the parts of speech won't even make you a better writer. However, you will gain a basic understanding of sentence structure  and the  English language by familiarizing yourself with these labels.

Open and Closed Word Classes

The parts of speech are commonly divided into  open classes  (nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs) and  closed classes  (pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, articles/determiners, and interjections). Open classes can be altered and added to as language develops, and closed classes are pretty much set in stone. For example, new nouns are created every day, but conjunctions never change.

In contemporary linguistics , parts of speech are generally referred to as word classes or syntactic categories. The main difference is that word classes are classified according to more strict linguistic criteria. Within word classes, there is the lexical, or open class, and the function, or closed class.

The 9 Parts of Speech

Read about each part of speech below, and practice identifying each.

Nouns are a person, place, thing, or idea. They can take on a myriad of roles in a sentence, from the subject of it all to the object of an action. They are capitalized when they're the official name of something or someone, and they're called proper nouns in these cases. Examples: pirate, Caribbean, ship, freedom, Captain Jack Sparrow.

Pronouns stand in for nouns in a sentence . They are more generic versions of nouns that refer only to people. Examples:​  I, you, he, she, it, ours, them, who, which, anybody, ourselves.

Verbs are action words that tell what happens in a sentence. They can also show a sentence subject's state of being ( is , was ). Verbs change form based on tense (present, past) and count distinction (singular or plural). Examples:  sing, dance, believes, seemed, finish, eat, drink, be, became.

Adjectives describe nouns and pronouns. They specify which one, how much, what kind, and more. Adjectives allow readers and listeners to use their senses to imagine something more clearly. Examples:  hot, lazy, funny, unique, bright, beautiful, poor, smooth.

Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, and even other adverbs. They specify when, where, how, and why something happened and to what extent or how often. Many adjectives can be turned into adjectives by adding the suffix - ly . Examples:  softly, quickly, lazily, often, only, hopefully, sometimes.


Prepositions  show spatial, temporal, and role relations between a noun or pronoun and the other words in a sentence. They come at the start of a prepositional phrase , which contains a preposition and its object. Examples:  up, over, against, by, for, into, close to, out of, apart from.


Conjunctions join words, phrases, and clauses in a sentence. There are coordinating, subordinating, and correlative conjunctions. Examples:  and, but, or, so, yet.

Articles and Determiners

Articles and determiners function like adjectives by modifying nouns, but they are different than adjectives in that they are necessary for a sentence to have proper syntax. Articles and determiners specify and identify nouns, and there are indefinite and definite articles. Examples of articles:  a, an, the ; examples of determiners:  these, that, those, enough, much, few, which, what.

Some traditional grammars have treated articles  as a distinct part of speech. Modern grammars, however, more often include articles in the category of determiners , which identify or quantify a noun. Even though they modify nouns like adjectives, articles are different in that they are essential to the proper syntax of a sentence, just as determiners are necessary to convey the meaning of a sentence, while adjectives are optional.


Interjections are expressions that can stand on their own or be contained within sentences. These words and phrases often carry strong emotions and convey reactions. Examples:  ah, whoops, ouch, yabba dabba do!

How to Determine the Part of Speech

Only interjections ( Hooray! ) have a habit of standing alone; every other part of speech must be contained within a sentence and some are even required in sentences (nouns and verbs). Other parts of speech come in many varieties and may appear just about anywhere in a sentence.

To know for sure what part of speech a word falls into, look not only at the word itself but also at its meaning, position, and use in a sentence.

For example, in the first sentence below,  work  functions as a noun; in the second sentence, a verb; and in the third sentence, an adjective:

  • Bosco showed up for  work  two hours late.
  • The noun  work  is the thing Bosco shows up for.
  • He will have to  work  until midnight.
  • The verb  work  is the action he must perform.
  • His  work  permit expires next month.
  • The  attributive noun  (or converted adjective) work  modifies the noun  permit .

Learning the names and uses of the basic parts of speech is just one way to understand how sentences are constructed.

Dissecting Basic Sentences

To form a basic complete sentence, you only need two elements: a noun (or pronoun standing in for a noun) and a verb. The noun acts as a subject, and the verb, by telling what action the subject is taking, acts as the predicate. 

In the short sentence above,  birds  is the noun and  fly  is the verb. The sentence makes sense and gets the point across.

You can have a sentence with just one word without breaking any sentence formation rules. The short sentence below is complete because it's a verb command with an understood "you" noun.

Here, the pronoun, standing in for a noun, is implied and acts as the subject. The sentence is really saying, "(You) go!"

Constructing More Complex Sentences

Use more parts of speech to add additional information about what's happening in a sentence to make it more complex. Take the first sentence from above, for example, and incorporate more information about how and why birds fly.

  • Birds fly when migrating before winter.

Birds and fly remain the noun and the verb, but now there is more description. 

When  is an adverb that modifies the verb fly.  The word before  is a little tricky because it can be either a conjunction, preposition, or adverb depending on the context. In this case, it's a preposition because it's followed by a noun. This preposition begins an adverbial phrase of time ( before winter ) that answers the question of when the birds migrate . Before is not a conjunction because it does not connect two clauses.

  • A List of Exclamations and Interjections in English
  • Sentence Parts and Sentence Structures
  • 100 Key Terms Used in the Study of Grammar
  • Closed Class Words
  • Word Class in English Grammar
  • Prepositional Phrases in English Grammar
  • Foundations of Grammar in Italian
  • The Top 25 Grammatical Terms
  • What Are the Parts of a Prepositional Phrase?
  • Open Class Words in English Grammar
  • What Is an Adverb in English Grammar?
  • Definition and Examples of Function Words in English
  • Telegraphic Speech
  • Sentence Patterns
  • Pronoun Definition and Examples
  • Lesson Plan: Label Sentences with Parts of Speech
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Is the Word “Is” a Verb?

Is the Word “Is” a Verb?

  • 2-minute read
  • 27th August 2022

Some words in English are so common that we might easily forget which part of speech they are. “Is” is one of these words that is tricky to label. Believe it or not, “is” is a verb, but it can easily be mistaken for another part of speech because it doesn’t follow the same rules as many other verbs. Read on for a deeper look into the function of the word “is.”

Though “is” is classified as a verb, it doesn’t describe an action as many other verbs do. “Is” is known as a state of being verb, which means it refers to the existence of something. The most common state of being verb is “to be,” and “is” is a derivative of this verb.

“To be” is an irregular verb, and its conjugations vary widely:

“Is” is the third person singular form of “to be” in the present tense. We use “is” with the subjects he , she , and it to describe mood, nationality, occupation, and more. Here are some examples:

He is a doctor.

She is Australian.

It is on the table.

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Auxiliary Verbs

To add some confusion to the mix, “to be” can also function as an auxiliary verb , which is a verb that goes in front of another verb to add meaning to a sentence. Auxiliary verbs can help form the tense, mood, or voice of a sentence. The duty of “is” as an auxiliary verb is often to create the present progressive tense:

Sandra is going to the baseball game.

The cat is chasing the mouse.

It’s also used to form the passive voice:

The cake is being eaten by the guests.

Proofreading and Editing

“To be” is one of the most common verbs in English, so it’s essential to learn all of its conjugations. To make sure you’re using “is” and the other forms of “to be” correctly in your writing, it’s helpful to have someone proofread [PI1]  and edit [PI2]  your work. You can try it by sending in a free 500-word sample to our expert editors today!

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Definition of speech

  • declamation

Examples of speech in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'speech.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Middle English speche , from Old English sprǣc, spǣc ; akin to Old English sprecan to speak — more at speak

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Phrases Containing speech

  • acceptance speech
  • figure of speech
  • freedom of speech
  • free speech
  • hate speech
  • part of speech
  • polite speech

speech community

  • speech form
  • speech impediment
  • speech therapy
  • stump speech
  • visible speech

Dictionary Entries Near speech

Cite this entry.

“Speech.” Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of speech, medical definition, medical definition of speech, legal definition, legal definition of speech, more from merriam-webster on speech.

Nglish: Translation of speech for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of speech for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about speech

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Parts of Speech

What are the parts of speech, a formal definition.

Table of Contents

The Part of Speech Is Determined by the Word's Function

Are there 8 or 9 parts of speech, the nine parts of speech, (1) adjective, (3) conjunction, (4) determiner, (5) interjection, (7) preposition, (8) pronoun, why the parts of speech are important, video lesson.

parts of speech

  • You need to dig a well . (noun)
  • You look well . (adjective)
  • You dance well . (adverb)
  • Well , I agree. (interjection)
  • My eyes will well up. (verb)
  • red, happy, enormous
  • Ask the boy in the red jumper.
  • I live in a happy place.
  • I caught a fish this morning! I mean an enormous one.
  • happily, loosely, often
  • They skipped happily to the counter.
  • Tie the knot loosely so they can escape.
  • I often walk to work.
  • It is an intriguingly magic setting.
  • He plays the piano extremely well.
  • and, or, but
  • it is a large and important city.
  • Shall we run to the hills or hide in the bushes?
  • I know you are lying, but I cannot prove it.
  • my, those, two, many
  • My dog is fine with those cats.
  • There are two dogs but many cats.
  • ouch, oops, eek
  • Ouch , that hurt.
  • Oops , it's broken.
  • Eek! A mouse just ran past my foot!
  • leader, town, apple
  • Take me to your leader .
  • I will see you in town later.
  • An apple fell on his head .
  • in, near, on, with
  • Sarah is hiding in the box.
  • I live near the train station.
  • Put your hands on your head.
  • She yelled with enthusiasm.
  • she, we, they, that
  • Joanne is smart. She is also funny.
  • Our team has studied the evidence. We know the truth.
  • Jack and Jill went up the hill, but they never returned.
  • That is clever!
  • work, be, write, exist
  • Tony works down the pit now. He was unemployed.
  • I will write a song for you.
  • I think aliens exist .

Are you a visual learner? Do you prefer video to text? Here is a list of all our grammar videos .

Video for Each Part of Speech

word is speech

The Most Important Writing Issues

The top issue related to adjectives, the top issue related to adverbs.

  • Extremely annoyed, she stared menacingly at her rival.
  • Infuriated, she glared at her rival.

The Top Issue Related to Conjunctions

correct tick

  • Burger, Fries, and a shake
  • Fish, chips and peas

The Top Issue Related to Determiners

wrong cross

The Top Issue Related to Interjections

The top issue related to nouns, the top issue related to prepositions, the top issue related to pronouns, the top issue related to verbs.

  • Crack the parts of speech to help with learning a foreign language or to take your writing to the next level.

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This page was written by Craig Shrives .

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Losing her speech made her feel isolated from humanity.

Synonyms: communication , conversation , parley , parlance

He expresses himself better in speech than in writing.

We waited for some speech that would indicate her true feelings.

Synonyms: talk , mention , comment , asseveration , assertion , observation

a fiery speech.

Synonyms: discourse , talk

  • any single utterance of an actor in the course of a play, motion picture, etc.

Synonyms: patois , tongue

Your slovenly speech is holding back your career.

  • a field of study devoted to the theory and practice of oral communication.
  • Archaic. rumor .

to have speech with somebody

speech therapy

  • that which is spoken; utterance
  • a talk or address delivered to an audience
  • a person's characteristic manner of speaking
  • a national or regional language or dialect
  • linguistics another word for parole

Discover More

Other words from.

  • self-speech noun

Word History and Origins

Origin of speech 1

Synonym Study

Example sentences.

Kids are interacting with Alexas that can record their voice data and influence their speech and social development.

The attorney general delivered a controversial speech Wednesday.

For example, my company, Teknicks, is working with an online K-12 speech and occupational therapy provider.

Instead, it would give tech companies a powerful incentive to limit Brazilians’ freedom of speech at a time of political unrest.

However, the president did give a speech in Suresnes, France, the next day during a ceremony hosted by the American Battle Monuments Commission.

Those are troubling numbers, for unfettered speech is not incidental to a flourishing society.

There is no such thing as speech so hateful or offensive it somehow “justifies” or “legitimizes” the use of violence.

We need to recover and grow the idea that the proper answer to bad speech is more and better speech.

Tend to your own garden, to quote the great sage of free speech, Voltaire, and invite people to follow your example.

The simple, awful truth is that free speech has never been particularly popular in America.

Alessandro turned a grateful look on Ramona as he translated this speech, so in unison with Indian modes of thought and feeling.

And so this is why the clever performer cannot reproduce the effect of a speech of Demosthenes or Daniel Webster.

He said no more in words, but his little blue eyes had an eloquence that left nothing to mere speech.

After pondering over Mr. Blackbird's speech for a few moments he raised his head.

Albinia, I have refrained from speech as long as possible; but this is really too much!

Related Words

More about speech, what is speech .

Speech is the ability to express thoughts and emotions through vocal sounds and gestures. The act of doing this is also known as speech .

Speech is something only humans are capable of doing and this ability has contributed greatly to humanity’s ability to develop civilization. Speech allows humans to communicate much more complex information than animals are able to.

Almost all animals make sounds or noises with the intent to communicate with each other, such as mating calls and yelps of danger. However, animals aren’t actually talking to each other. That is, they aren’t forming sentences or sharing complicated information. Instead, they are making simple noises that trigger another animal’s natural instincts.

While speech does involve making noises, there is a lot more going on than simple grunts and growls. First, humans’ vocal machinery, such as our lungs, throat, vocal chords, and tongue, allows for a wide range of intricate sounds. Second, the human brain is incredibly complex, allowing humans to process vocal sounds and understand combinations of them as words and oral communication. The human brain is essential for speech . While chimpanzees and other apes have vocal organs similar to humans’, their brains are much less advanced and they are unable to learn speech .

Why is speech important?

The first records of the word speech come from before the year 900. It ultimately comes from the Old English word sprecan , meaning “to speak.” Scientists debate on the exact date that humanity first learned to speak, with estimates ranging from 50,000 to 2 million years ago.

Related to the concept of speech is the idea of language . A language is the collection of symbols, sounds, gestures, and anything else that a group of people use to communicate with each other, such as English, Swahili, and American Sign Language . Speech is actually using those things to orally communicate with someone else.

Did you know … ?

But what about birds that “talk”? Parrots in particular are famous for their ability to say human words and sentences. Birds are incapable of speech . What they are actually doing is learning common sounds that humans make and mimicking them. They don’t actually understand what anything they are repeating actually means.

What are real-life examples of speech ?

Speech is essential to human communication.

Dutch is just enough like German that I can read text on signs and screens, but not enough that I can understand speech. — Clark Smith Cox III (@clarkcox) September 8, 2009
I can make squirrels so excited, I could almost swear they understand human speech! — Neil Oliver (@thecoastguy) July 20, 2020

What other words are related to speech ?

  • communication
  • information

Quiz yourself!

True or False?

Humans are the only animals capable of speech .

How to use speech to text in Microsoft Word

Speech to text in Microsoft Word is a hidden gem that is powerful and easy to use. We show you how to do it in five quick and simple steps

Woman sitting on couch using laptop

Master the skill of speech to text in Microsoft Word and you'll be dictating documents with ease before you know it. Developed and refined over many years, Microsoft's speech recognition and voice typing technology is an efficient way to get your thoughts out, create drafts and make notes.

Just like the best speech to text apps that make life easier for us when we're using our phones, Microsoft's offering is ideal for those of us who spend a lot of time using Word and don't want to wear out our fingers or the keyboard with all that typing. While speech to text in Microsoft Word used to be prone to errors which you'd then have to go back and correct, the technology has come a long way in recent years and is now amongst the best text-to-speech software .

Regardless of whether you have the best computer or the best Windows laptop , speech to text in Microsoft Word is easy to access and a breeze to use. From connecting your microphone to inserting punctuation, you'll find everything you need to know right here in this guide. Let's take a look...

How to use speech to text in Microsoft Word: Preparation

The most important thing to check is whether you have a valid Microsoft 365 subscription, as voice typing is only available to paying customers. If you’re reading this article, it’s likely your business already has a Microsoft 365 enterprise subscription. If you don’t, however, find out more about Microsoft 365 for business via this link . 

The second thing you’ll need before you start voice typing is a stable internet connection. This is because Microsoft Word’s dictation software processes your speech on external servers. These huge servers and lighting-fast processors use vast amounts of speech data to transcribe your text. In fact, they make use of advanced neural networks and deep learning technology, which enables the software to learn about human speech and continuously improve its accuracy. 

These two technologies are the key reason why voice typing technology has improved so much in recent years, and why you should be happy that Microsoft dictation software requires an internet connection. 

An image of how voice to text software works

Once you’ve got a valid Microsoft 365 subscription and an internet connection, you’re ready to go!

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Step 1: Open Microsoft Word

Simple but crucial. Open the Microsoft Word application on your device and create a new, blank document. We named our test document “How to use speech to text in Microsoft Word - Test” and saved it to the desktop so we could easily find it later.

Microsoft Word document

Step 2: Click on the Dictate button

Once you’ve created a blank document, you’ll see a Dictate button and drop-down menu on the top right-hand corner of the Home menu. It has a microphone symbol above it. From here, open the drop-down menu and double-check that the language is set to English.

Toolbar in Microsoft Word

One of the best parts of Microsoft Word’s speech to text software is its support for multiple languages. At the time of writing, nine languages were supported, with several others listed as preview languages. Preview languages have lower accuracy and limited punctuation support.

Supported languages and preview languages screen

Step 3: Allow Microsoft Word access to the Microphone

If you haven’t used Microsoft Word’s speech to text software before, you’ll need to grant the application access to your microphone. This can be done at the click of a button when prompted.

It’s worth considering using an external microphone for your dictation, particularly if you plan on regularly using voice to text software within your organization. While built-in microphones will suffice for most general purposes, an external microphone can improve accuracy due to higher quality components and optimized placement of the microphone itself.

Step 4: Begin voice typing

Now we get to the fun stuff. After completing all of the above steps, click once again on the dictate button. The blue symbol will change to white, and a red recording symbol will appear. This means Microsoft Word has begun listening for your voice. If you have your sound turned up, a chime will also indicate that transcription has started. 

Using voice typing is as simple as saying aloud the words you would like Microsoft to transcribe. It might seem a little strange at first, but you’ll soon develop a bit of flow, and everyone finds their strategies and style for getting the most out of the software. 

These four steps alone will allow you to begin transcribing your voice to text. However, if you want to elevate your speech to text software skills, our fifth step is for you.

Step 5: Incorporate punctuation commands

Microsoft Word’s speech to text software goes well beyond simply converting spoken words to text. With the introduction and improvement of artificial neural networks, Microsoft’s voice typing technology listens not only to single words but to the phrase as a whole. This has enabled the company to introduce an extensive list of voice commands that allow you to insert punctuation marks and other formatting effects while speaking. 

We can’t mention all of the punctuation commands here, but we’ll name some of the most useful. Saying the command “period” will insert a period, while the command “comma” will insert, unsurprisingly, a comma. The same rule applies for exclamation marks, colons, and quotations. If you’d like to finish a paragraph and leave a line break, you can say the command “new line.” 

These tools are easy to use. In our testing, the software was consistently accurate in discerning words versus punctuation commands.

Phrase and output screen in Microsoft Word

Microsoft’s speech to text software is powerful. Having tested most of the major platforms, we can say that Microsoft offers arguably the best product when balancing cost versus performance. This is because the software is built directly into Microsoft 365, which many businesses already use. If this applies to your business, you can begin using Microsoft’s voice typing technology straight away, with no additional costs. 

We hope this article has taught you how to use speech to text software in Microsoft Word, and that you’ll now be able to apply these skills within your organization. 

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word is speech

word is speech

Dictate your documents in Word

Dictation lets you use speech-to-text to author content in Microsoft 365 with a microphone and reliable internet connection. It's a quick and easy way to get your thoughts out, create drafts or outlines, and capture notes. 

Office Dictate Button

Start speaking to see text appear on the screen.

How to use dictation

Dictate button

Tip:  You can also start dictation with the keyboard shortcut:  ⌥ (Option) + F1.

Dictation activated

Learn more about using dictation in Word on the web and mobile

Dictate your documents in Word for the web

Dictate your documents in Word Mobile

What can I say?

In addition to dictating your content, you can speak commands to add punctuation, navigate around the page, and enter special characters.

You can see the commands in any supported language by going to  Available languages . These are the commands for English.


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The Eight Parts of Speech

  • Prepositions
  • Conjunctions
  • Interjections
  • Basic Sentence Structure
  • Sentence Fragments
  • Run-on Sentences and Comma Splices
  • Sentence Type and Purpose
  • Independent and Dependent Clauses: Coordination and Subordination
  • Subject Verb Agreement
  • Consistent Verb Tense
  • Other Phrases: Verbal, Appositive, Absolute
  • Pronoun Reference
  • Relative Pronouns: Restrictive and Nonrestrictive Clauses
  • Avoiding Modifier Problems
  • Transitions
  • Would, Should, Could
  • Achieving Parallelism
  • Definite and Indefinite Articles
  • Two-Word Verbs


There are eight parts of speech in the English language: noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. The part of speech indicates how the word functions in meaning as well as grammatically within the sentence. An individual word can function as more than one part of speech when used in different circumstances. Understanding parts of speech is essential for determining the correct definition of a word when using the dictionary.


  • A noun is the name of a person, place, thing, or idea.

man... Butte College... house... happiness

A noun is a word for a person, place, thing, or idea. Nouns are often used with an article ( the , a , an ), but not always. Proper nouns always start with a capital letter; common nouns do not. Nouns can be singular or plural, concrete or abstract. Nouns show possession by adding 's . Nouns can function in different roles within a sentence; for example, a noun can be a subject, direct object, indirect object, subject complement, or object of a preposition.

The young girl brought me a very long letter from the teacher , and then she quickly disappeared. Oh my!

See the TIP Sheet on "Nouns" for further information.


  • A pronoun is a word used in place of a noun.

She... we... they... it

A pronoun is a word used in place of a noun. A pronoun is usually substituted for a specific noun, which is called its antecedent. In the sentence above, the antecedent for the pronoun she is the girl. Pronouns are further defined by type: personal pronouns refer to specific persons or things; possessive pronouns indicate ownership; reflexive pronouns are used to emphasize another noun or pronoun; relative pronouns introduce a subordinate clause; and demonstrative pronouns identify, point to, or refer to nouns.

The young girl brought me a very long letter from the teacher, and then she quickly disappeared. Oh my!

See the TIP Sheet on "Pronouns" for further information.


  • A verb expresses action or being.

jump... is... write... become

The verb in a sentence expresses action or being. There is a main verb and sometimes one or more helping verbs. (" She can sing." Sing is the main verb; can is the helping verb.) A verb must agree with its subject in number (both are singular or both are plural). Verbs also take different forms to express tense.

The young girl brought me a very long letter from the teacher, and then she quickly disappeared . Oh my!

See the TIP Sheet on "Verbs" for more information.


  • An adjective modifies or describes a noun or pronoun.

pretty... old... blue... smart

An adjective is a word used to modify or describe a noun or a pronoun. It usually answers the question of which one, what kind, or how many. (Articles [a, an, the] are usually classified as adjectives.)

See the TIP Sheet on "Adjectives" for more information.


  • An adverb modifies or describes a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

gently... extremely... carefully... well

An adverb describes or modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb, but never a noun. It usually answers the questions of when, where, how, why, under what conditions, or to what degree. Adverbs often end in -ly.

See the TIP Sheet on "Adverbs" for more information.


  • A preposition is a word placed before a noun or pronoun to form a phrase modifying another word in the sentence.

by... with.... about... until

(by the tree, with our friends, about the book, until tomorrow)

A preposition is a word placed before a noun or pronoun to form a phrase modifying another word in the sentence. Therefore a preposition is always part of a prepositional phrase. The prepositional phrase almost always functions as an adjective or as an adverb. The following list includes the most common prepositions:

See the TIP Sheet on "Prepositions" for more information.


  • A conjunction joins words, phrases, or clauses.

and... but... or... while... because

A conjunction joins words, phrases, or clauses, and indicates the relationship between the elements joined. Coordinating conjunctions connect grammatically equal elements: and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet. Subordinating conjunctions connect clauses that are not equal: because, although, while, since, etc. There are other types of conjunctions as well.

The young girl brought me a very long letter from the teacher, and then she quickly disappeared. Oh my!

See the TIP Sheet on "Conjunctions" for more information.


  • An interjection is a word used to express emotion.

Oh!... Wow!... Oops!

An interjection is a word used to express emotion. It is often followed by an exclamation point.

The young girl brought me a very long letter from the teacher, and then she quickly disappeared. Oh my !

See the TIP Sheet on "Interjections" for more information.

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“Is” vs. “Are”: What’s The Difference?

  • When To Use Is Or Are
  • There Is Vs. There Are
  • Take The Quiz

The words is and are are forms of the verb be , the most commonly used verb in English. Because they’re used so frequently, it’s important to know the grammatical and functional difference.

In this article, we’ll explain the difference between is and are , show how to use them properly in sentences, and point out some tricky situations that may lead to confusion about which word is the correct choice.

⚡ Quick summary

Is and are are both forms of the verb be . Is is the third person singular present tense form. Are is the present tense form used with the second person singular and all plurals. The subject of a sentence determines whether is or are should be used. For example, is is used with the pronouns he , she , and it ; are is used with the pronouns you and they .

When to use is or are

The words is and are are forms of the irregular verb be . Is is the third person singular present tense form. Are is the second person singular and the first, second, and third person plural present tense form.

Verbs are typically considered to be irregular verbs if their past tense form and/or past participle are not formed by adding -ed or -d to the end of their root form. This is the case with be , as its past tense forms are was / were and its past participle is been .

Be is an especially odd case of an irregular verb as it changes considerably when conjugated into its different forms (conjugation involves changes based on the subject and tense of the sentence). The verb be is conjugated as follows:

  • be : root/infinitive Example: I’d like to be helpful.
  • am : first person singular present tense Example: I am helpful.
  • is : third person singular present tense Example: She is helpful, and he is , too.
  • are : second person singular, all plurals present tense Example: They are both helpful .
  • was : first and third person singular past tense Example: He was helpful yesterday .
  • were : second person singular and all plurals past tense Example: They were both helpful yesterday .
  • been : past participle Example: She has been helpful, and they have been helpful, too.
  • being : present participle and gerund Example: You are being helpful . (present participle)

If you’re confused about the past tense forms of be , check out our guide to the difference between was vs. were .

Back to the present tense. The word is is a present tense verb used with a third person singular subject, which typically includes every noun/pronoun that isn’t the pronoun I or you .

For example:

  • The house is old.
  • She is a carpenter.

The word are is a present tense verb used with a second person singular subject or any plural subject. For example:

  • You are my best friend.
  • Gorillas are intelligent animals.

Are is always used with the pronoun they , regardless of whether it’s used as a plural or singular pronoun.

Sentences that use the pronoun you can be confusing, since both the singular and plural you use are . In these cases, you’ll need to rely on context to determine whether the word you is singular or plural. For example:

  • You are a hard worker. ( You here is singular—indicated by the singular a hard worker .)
  • You are the first guests to arrive. ( You here is plural—indicated by the plural guests .)

As with all other verbs, you need to follow subject-verb agreement when using the forms is and are . You’ll need to be careful when dealing with confusing sentences that use collective verbs, units of measurement, names of diseases, or other tricky parts of speech. For example:

  • The colony of ants is underground. (The verb is agrees with the subject, the collective noun colony .)
  • Three hundred years is a long time. (The verb is agrees with the subject Three hundred years because it is considered a period of time, rather than a plural quantity of something.)
  • Shingles is a disease that affects many people. (The verb is agrees with the subject Shingles , which is treated as singular even though it sounds like a plural noun.)

You can learn about many more confusing instances of subject-verb agreement—and how to handle them—right here .

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there is vs. there are

In the phrases there is and there are , the word there serves as a pronoun that introduces a sentence or clause in which the verb comes before its subject or has no complement . Whether is or are should be used is determined by the noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that follows—specifically whether it is singular or plural.

  • There is a fly in my soup.
  • There are several flies in my soup .

Because fly is singular, is is used. Because several flies is plural, are is used.

Here’s a tip: if you’re confused about whether you should use is or are after there , swap there with the noun or noun phrase that follows the verb. Seeing the sentences in traditional subject-verb order can help to clarify what form should be used. For example:

  • A fly is in my soup.
  • Several flies are in my soup .

Examples of is and are used in a sentence

Let’s look at some examples—including some tricky ones—that show the different ways that we use is and are in sentences.

  • Sally is five years old.
  • Ben and Jerry are ice cream legends.
  • Cats is my favorite musical.
  • Prince is my husband’s favorite singer.
  • That box of chocolates is empty.
  • The rules by which the game is meant to be conducted are not written down.
  • Each quest to search for lost artifacts is more exciting than the last.
  • The deadly bacteria are sealed in an airtight container.
  • Mathematics is my favorite subject.

See how much you have learned with our quiz

To be or not to be a pro at using is or are , that is the question you can answer by taking our  quiz on these two forms of the verb be . You may surprise yourself with what you’ve learned!

What should you say: "It is I" or "It's me"?

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When you start breaking it down, the English language is pretty complicated—especially if you're trying to learn it from scratch! One of the most important English words to understand is the.

But what part of speech is the word the, and when should it be used in a sentence? Is the word the a preposition? Is the a pronoun? Or is the word the considered a different part of speech?

To help you learn exactly how the word the works in the English language, we're going to do the following in this article:

  • Answer the question, "What part of speech is the ?"
  • Explain how to use the correctly in sentences, with examples
  • Provide a full list of other words that are classified as the same part of speech as the in the English language

Okay, let's get started learning about the word the !


What Part of Speech Is the Word The?

In the English language the word the is classified as an article, which is a word used to define a noun. (More on that a little later.)

But an article isn't one of the eight parts of speech. Articles are considered a type of adjective, so "the" is technically an adjective as well. However, "the" can also sometimes function as an adverb in certain instances, too.

In short, the word "the" is an article that functions as both an adjective and an adverb, depending on how it's being used . Having said that, the is most commonly used as an article in the English language. So, if you were wondering, "Is the a pronoun, preposition, or conjunction," the answer is no: it's an article, adjective, and an adverb!


While we might think of an article as a story that appears in a newspaper or website, in English grammar, articles are words that help specify nouns.

The as an Article

So what are "articles" in the English language? Articles are words that identify nouns in order to demonstrate whether the noun is specific or nonspecific. Nouns (a person, place, thing, or idea) can be identified by two different types of articles in the English language: definite articles identify specific nouns, and indefinite articles identify nonspecific nouns.

The word the is considered a definite article because it defines the meaning of a noun as one particular thing . It's an article that gives a noun a definite meaning: a definite article. Generally, definite articles are used to identify nouns that the audience already knows about. Here's a few examples of how "the" works as a definite article:

We went to the rodeo on Saturday. Did you see the cowboy get trampled by the bull?

This (grisly!) sentence has three instances of "the" functioning as a definite article: the rodeo, the cowboy, and the bull. Notice that in each instance, the comes directly before the noun. That's because it's an article's job to identify nouns.

In each of these three instances, the refers to a specific (or definite) person, place, or thing. When the speaker says the rodeo, they're talking about one specific rodeo that happened at a certain place and time. The same goes for the cowboy and the bull: these are two specific people/animals that had one kinda terrible thing happen to them!

It can be a bit easier to see how definite articles work if you see them in the same sentence as an indefinite article ( a or an ). This sentence makes the difference a lot more clear:

A bat flew into the restaurant and made people panic.

Okay. This sentence has two articles in it: a and the. So what's the difference? Well, you use a when you're referring to a general, non-specific person, place, or thing because its an indefinite article . So in this case, using a tells us this isn't a specific bat. It's just a random bat from the wild that decided to go on an adventure.

Notice that in the example, the writer uses the to refer to the restaurant. That's because the event happened at a specific time and at a specific place. A bat flew into one particular restaurant to cause havoc, which is why it's referred to as the restaurant in the sentence.

The last thing to keep in mind is that the is the only definite article in the English language , and it can be used with both singular and plural nouns. This is probably one reason why people make the mistake of asking, "Is the a pronoun?" Since articles, including the, define the meaning of nouns, it seems like they could also be combined with pronouns. But that's not the case. Just remember: articles only modify nouns.


Adjectives are words that help describe nouns. Because "the" can describe whether a noun is a specific object or not, "the" is also considered an adjective.

The as an Adjective

You know now that the is classified as a definite article and that the is used to refer to a specific person, place, or thing. But defining what part of speech articles are is a little bit tricky.

There are eight parts of speech in the English language: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. The thing about these eight parts of speech in English is that they contain smaller categories of types of words and phrases in the English language. A rticles are considered a type of determiner, which is a type of adjective.

Let's break down how articles fall under the umbrella of "determiners," which fall under the umbrella of adjectives. In English, the category of "determiners" includes all words and phrases in the English language that are combined with a noun to express an aspect of what the noun is referring to. Some examples of determiners are the, a, an, this, that, my, their, many, few, several, each, and any. The is used in front of a noun to express that the noun refers to a specific thing, right? So that's why "the" can be considered a determiner.

And here's how determiners—including the article the —can be considered adjectives. Articles and other determiners are sometimes classified as adjectives because they describe the nouns that they precede. Technically, the describes the noun it precedes by communicating specificity and directness. When you say, "the duck," you're describing the noun "duck" as referring to a specific duck. This is different than saying a duck, which could mean any one duck anywhere in the world!


When "the" comes directly before a word that's not a noun, then it's operating as an adverb instead of an adjective.

The as an Adverb

Finally, we mentioned that the can also be used as an adverb, which is one of the eight main parts of speech we outlined above. Adverbs modify or describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs, but never modify nouns.

Sometimes, the can be used to modify adverbs or adjectives that occur in the comparative degree. Adverbs or adjectives that compare the amounts or intensity of a feeling, state of being, or action characterizing two or more things are in the comparative degree. Sometimes the appears before these adverbs or adjectives to help convey the comparison!

Here's an example where the functions as an adverb instead of an article/adjective:

Lainey believes the most outrageous things.

Okay. We know that when the is functioning as an adjective, it comes before a noun in order to clarify whether it's specific or non-specific. In this case, however, the precedes the word most, which isn't a noun—it's an adjective. And since an adverb modifies an adjective, adverb, or verb, that means the functions as an adverb in this sentence.

We know that can be a little complicated, so let's dig into another example together:

Giovanni's is the best pizza place in Montana.

The trick to figuring out whether the article the is functioning as an adjective or an adverb is pretty simple: just look at the word directly after the and figure out its part of speech. If that word is a noun, then the is functioning as an adjective. If that word isn't a noun, then the is functioning like an adverb.

Now, reread the second example. The word the comes before the word best. Is best a noun? No, it isn't. Best is an adjective, so we know that the is working like an adverb in this sentence.


How to Use The Correctly in Sentences

An important part of answering the question, "What part of speech is the word the ?" includes explaining how to use the correctly in a sentence. Articles like the are some of the most common words used in the English language. So you need to know how and when to use it! And since using the as an adverb is less common, we'll provide examples of how the can be used as an adverb as well.

Using The as an Article

In general, it is correct and appropriate to use the in front of a noun of any kind when you want to convey specificity. It's often assumed that you use the to refer to a specific person, place, or thing that the person you're speaking to will already be aware of. Oftentimes, this shared awareness of who, what, or where "the" is referring to is created by things already said in the conversation, or by context clues in a given social situation .

Let's look at an example here:

Say you're visiting a friend who just had a baby. You're sitting in the kitchen at your friend's house while your friend makes coffee. The baby, who has been peacefully dozing in a bassinet in the living room, begins crying. Your friend turns to you and asks, "Can you hold the baby while I finish doing this?"

Now, because of all of the context surrounding the social situation, you know which baby your friend is referring to when they say, the baby. There's no need for further clarification, because in this case, the gives enough direct and specific meaning to the noun baby for you to know what to do!

In many cases, using the to define a noun requires less or no awareness of an immediate social situation because people have a shared common knowledge of the noun that the is referring to. Here are two examples:

Are you going to watch the eclipse tomorrow?

Did you hear what the President said this morning?

In the first example, the speaker is referring to a natural phenomenon that most people are aware of —eclipses are cool and rare! When there's going to be an eclipse, everyone knows about it. If you started a conversation with someone by saying, "Are you going to watch the eclipse tomorrow?" it's pretty likely they'd know which eclipse the is referring to.

In the second example, if an American speaking to another American mentions what the President said, the other American is likely going to assume that the refers to the President of the United States. Conversely, if two Canadians said this to one another, they would likely assume they're talking about the Canadian prime minister!

So in many situations, using the before a noun gives that noun specific meaning in the context of a particular social situation .

Using The as an Adverb

Now let's look at an example of how "the" can be used as an adverb. Take a look at this sample sentence:

The tornado warning made it all the more likely that the game would be canceled.

Remember how we explained that the can be combined with adverbs that are making a comparison of levels or amounts of something between two entities? The example above shows how the can be combined with an adverb in such a situation. The is combined with more and likely to form an adverbial phrase.

So how do you figure this out? Well, if the words immediately after the are adverbs, then the is functioning as an adverb, too!

Here's another example of how the can be used as an adverb:

I had the worst day ever.

In this case, the is being combined with the adverb worst to compare the speaker's day to the other days . Compared to all the other days ever, this person's was the worst... period . Some other examples of adverbs that you might see the combined with include all the better, the best, the bigger, the shorter, and all the sooner.

One thing that can help clarify which adverbs the can be combined with is to check out a list of comparative and superlative adverbs and think about which ones the makes sense with!


3 Articles in the English Language

Now that we've answered the question, "What part of speech is the ?", you know that the is classified as an article. To help you gain a better understanding of what articles are and how they function in the English language, here's a handy list of 3 words in the English language that are also categorized as articles.


What's Next?

If you're looking for more grammar resources, be sure to check out our guides on every grammar rule you need to know to ace the SAT ( or the ACT )!

Learning more about English grammar can be really helpful when you're studying a foreign language, too. We highly recommend that you study a foreign language in high school—not only is it great for you, it looks great on college applications, too. If you're not sure which language to study, check out this helpful article that will make your decision a lot easier.

Speaking of applying for college... one of the most important parts of your application packet is your essay. Check out this expert guide to writing college essays that will help you get into your dream school.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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Do you wonder how long it takes to deliver your speech?

This website helps you convert the number of words into the time it takes to deliver your speech, online and for free. This tool is useful when preparing a speech or a presentation. The number of minutes you will take is dependent on the number of words and your speed of speech, or reading speed.

Note: This calculator provides an indication only.

Enter details below

The overview below provides an indication of the minutes for a speech (based on an average reading speed of 130 words per minute):

  • Words in a 1 minute speech 130 words
  • Words in a 2 minute speech 260 words
  • Words in a 3 minute speech 390 words
  • Words in a 4 minute speech 520 words
  • Words in a 5 minute speech 650 words
  • Words in a 10 minute speech 1300 words
  • Words in a 15 minute speech 1950 words
  • Words in a 20 minute speech 2600 words
  • How long does a 500 word speech take? 3.8 minutes
  • How long does a 1000 word speech take? 7.7 minutes
  • How long does a 1250 word speech take? 9.6 minutes
  • How long does a 1500 word speech take? 11.5 minutes
  • How long does a 1750 word speech take? 13.5 minutes
  • How long does a 2000 word speech take? 15.4 minutes
  • How long does a 2500 word speech take? 19.2 minutes
  • How long does a 5000 word speech take? 38.5 minutes

At revered Black school, Biden leans into faith and tells grads he hears voices of dissent

ATLANTA – President Joe Biden on Sunday warned graduates at one of the country's most revered African American academic institutions of "extremist forces aligned against the meaning and message of Morehouse" College in a commencement address that sought to lay out the stakes of the 2024 election.

"Graduates, this is what we're up against," Biden said during a 27-minute speech that leaned heavily into themes of faith and democracy in an appeal to Black voters. "They peddle a fiction, a character about what being a man is about − tough talk, abusing power, bigotry. Their idea of being a man is toxic."

"But that's not you. It's not us," he said.

Biden's remarks to the 414 graduates at Morehouse , an all-male historically Black college in Atlanta, came as he is struggling to unite Black voters , particularly Black men, around his candidacy. Many Morehouse students and faculty criticized Biden's participation when it was announced because of his support for Israel's war in Gaza.

"In a democracy, we debate dissent about America's role in the world. I want to say this very clearly: I support peaceful, nonviolent protest," Biden said on Sunday in response to the complaints. "Your voices should be heard. I promise you, I hear them."

Prep for the polls: See who is running for president and compare where they stand on key issues in our Voter Guide

No major disruptions, but peaceful protests target Biden

Although there were no major disruptions during Biden's speech, a few students walked out when Biden received an honorary Morehouse degree. More than a dozen graduates and at least three faculty members wore keffiyehs, while one student entered the ceremony draped in a Palestinian flag.

As Biden delivered his address, at least one female faculty member stood in the opposite direction, her fist raised, in a sign of protest.

Biden, wearing a maroon gown at the outdoor ceremony, said his administration is "working around the clock for more than just one cease-fire," but also to "bring the region together." He reiterated his support for a two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians live in peace.

"This is one of the hardest, most complicated problems in the world. There's nothing easy about it," Biden said. "I know it angers and frustrates many of you, including my family, but most of all, I know it breaks your heart. It breaks mine as well."

Biden added that leadership is about "fighting through the most intractable problems" to "find a solution by doing what you believe is right, even when it's hard and lonely."

About a mile away, pro-Palestinian protesters held a rally organized under the banner of "Say No to Genocide Joe Speaking at Morehouse." Morehouse's valedictorian also raised Israel's war in Gaza during his remarks before Biden took the lectern.

"It is my stance as a Morehouse man – nay as a human being – to call for an immediate and the permanent cease-fire in the Gaza Strip," graduating senior DeAngelo Jeremiah Fletcher said, with Biden sitting just steps behind him. Biden applauded in response.

Biden touts record with Black voters

Polling shows Biden is vastly underperforming his 2020 performance among Black voters, a reliably Democratic constituency, as some drift to Donald Trump, the former president and presumptive Republican nominee.

A New York Times/Siena College poll of six battleground states, including Georgia, found Biden has support from 60% of Black voters and Trump, while Trump is backed by 20% of Black voters. Biden won Black voters in the 2020 election by a 87%-12% margin, according to exit polls.

Ahead of Biden's arrival, Anwar Karim, a sophomore studying film at Morehouse and a member of Atlanta University Center Students for Justice in Palestine, told USA TODAY he was disappointed in his school’s choice of commencement speaker. He also decried Morehouse’s decision to award Biden an honorary degree, which is typically awarded to the school’s commencement speaker after a faculty vote.

“Morehouse College is dedicated to producing men of consequence who lead lives of service and leadership, and I just have to beg the question, when it comes to Biden, what is an example of his leadership?” Karim said Friday.

Biden commits to showing 'democracy is still the way'

In his speech, Biden touted his presidency as one that has delivered to Black Americans, pointing to efforts to invest in Black families and communities, cut child poverty, expand work opportunities, reduce prescription drug prices and cut student loan debt. He called out the "poison of white supremacy" and "systemic racism."

He said he is committed to "show that democracy, democracy, democracy is still the way," even in the face of inequality for Black Americans.

"What is democracy if Black men are being killed in the street? What is democracy if the trail of broken promises still leave Black communities behind?" Biden said. "What is democracy if you have to be ten times better than anyone else to get a fair shot? Most of all, what does it mean, as you've heard before, to be a Black man who loves his country even if it doesn't love him back in equal measure?"

Biden railed against new voting restrictions in Georgia and the "constant attacks on Black election workers." He also said those who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 "are called patriots by some," a clear reference to Trump.

“Not in my house," Biden said.

In the days leading up to his Morehouse visit, the White House focused on Black outreach. Biden met on Thursday with plaintiffs of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, on the 70th anniversary of the dismantling of the "separate but equal" precedent. On Friday, Biden met with leaders of the "Divine Nine" HBCU sororities and fraternities.

More: In a nod to history, Biden meets with Brown v. Board of Education families

In Atlanta on Saturday, Biden spoke to Morehouse alumni and others at a campaign event at Mary Mac's Tea Room. "The fact is, this election, lots at stake, lots at stake. It's not about me. It's about the alternative as well," Biden said. "My opponent's not a good loser, but he is a loser."

Introducing Biden, Morehouse President David Thomas said, "No administration in history, since the inception of historically Black colleges and universities, has invested more in our institutions than the Biden administration."

"And if you look at his policies, it is very clear that those investments are not charity," Thomas said.

Biden, 81, closed his remarks with a reference to his age, a liability that has hung over his reelection. When he started his political career, Biden said he was told he was "too young." Now he hears he's "too old."

"Whether you're young or old, I know what endures: The strength and wisdom of faith endures. And my challenge to you is to still keep the faith as long as you can," Biden said. "Together we're capable of building a democracy worthy of our dreams."

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The NFL responds after a player urges female college graduates to become homemakers

Rachel Treisman

word is speech

Kansas City Chiefs player Harrison Butker, pictured at a press conference in February, is in hot water for his recent commencement speech at Benedictine College in Kansas. Chris Unger/Getty Images hide caption

Kansas City Chiefs player Harrison Butker, pictured at a press conference in February, is in hot water for his recent commencement speech at Benedictine College in Kansas.

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker stirred controversy off the field this weekend when he told a college graduating class that one of the "most important titles" a woman can hold is "homemaker."

Butker denounced abortion rights, Pride Month, COVID-19 lockdowns and "the tyranny of diversity, equity and inclusion" in his commencement address at Benedictine College, a Catholic liberal arts school in Atchison, Kan.

The 28-year-old, a devout Catholic and father of two, also railed against "dangerous gender ideologies" and urged men to "fight against the cultural emasculation of men." At one point, he addressed women specifically.

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Why the nfl (still) has a diversity problem.

"I want to speak directly to you briefly because I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you, how many of you are sitting here now about to cross the stage, and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you're going to get in your career," he said. "Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world. But I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world."

Harrison Butker chokes up while discussing his wife, encouraging Benedictine College female grads to embrace motherhood. — The College Fix (@CollegeFix) May 13, 2024

"I can tell you that my beautiful wife Isabelle would be the first to say that her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother," Butker said.

The 20-minute speech has been viewed more than 455,000 times on YouTube since Saturday and generated considerable backlash — and memes — on social media, especially from people critical of his views on women. Many pointed out that Butker's own mom is a clinical medical physicist.

Butker also drew ire from fans of Taylor Swift, who is dating fellow Chiefs player Travis Kelce, a relationship that has famously helped bring many new female fans to the NFL. Later in the speech, he quoted Swift — though not by name — while talking about what he sees as the problem of priests becoming "overly familiar" with their parishioners.

The Swift-Kelce romance sounds like a movie. But the NFL swears it wasn't scripted

Super Bowl 2024

The swift-kelce romance sounds like a movie. but the nfl swears it wasn't scripted.

"This undue familiarity will prove to be problematic every time, because as my teammate's girlfriend says, 'Familiarity breeds contempt,' " he said, quoting a lyric from her song Bejeweled.

One Swift fan account joked about petitioning for the pop star to replace Butker as the Chiefs' kicker. A real online petition , calling for the Chiefs to dismiss Butker for his "sexist, homophobic, anti-trans, anti-abortion and racist remarks," has gained 95,000 signatures and counting since Monday.

Butker and the team have not commented publicly on his speech and the backlash to it, though late Wednesday the NFL issued a statement distancing itself from it.

"Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity," Jonathan Beane, the NFL's senior VP and chief diversity and inclusion officer told NPR on Thursday. "His views are not those of the NFL as an organization."

What else did Butker say?

Butker has been vocal about his faith, telling the Eternal Word Television Network in 2019 that he grew up Catholic but practiced less in high school and college before rediscovering his belief later in life.

Last year, Butker appeared in an ad for the nonprofit Catholic Vote urging Kansans to support a referendum that would limit abortion rights in the state (it was ultimately unsuccessful ). He's also one of several athletes who has partnered with a Catholic prayer app . And days after the Chiefs won this year's Super Bowl, Butker spent a week "in reflection" at a monastery in California.

He also gave the commencement address at his alma mater Georgia Tech last year, in which he urged students to "get married and start a family."

Women are earning more money. But they're still picking up a heavier load at home

Women are earning more money. But they're still picking up a heavier load at home

This time around, Butker started his speech by suggesting he had been reluctant to give it: He said he originally turned down the president's invitation because he felt that one commencement speech was enough, "especially for someone who isn't a professional speaker."

He was persuaded, he said, in part by leadership's argument about how many milestones graduating seniors had missed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As a group, you witnessed firsthand how bad leaders who don't stay in their lane can have a negative impact on society," he said in his opening remarks. "It is through this lens that I want to take stock of how we got to where we are and where we want to go as citizens, and yes, as Catholics."

He criticized President Biden for his handling of the pandemic and his stance on abortion, which he said falsely suggests people can simultaneously be "both Catholic and pro-choice."

Butker blamed "the pervasiveness of disorder" for the availability of procedures like abortion, IVF, surrogacy and euthanasia, as well as "a growing support for degenerate cultural values and media."

6 in 10 U.S. Catholics are in favor of abortion rights, Pew Research report finds

6 in 10 U.S. Catholics are in favor of abortion rights, Pew Research report finds

At one point, he referenced an Associated Press article from earlier this month about the revival of conservative Catholicism that prominently featured Benedictine College as an example.

The school of roughly 2,000 gets top ratings from the Cardinal Newman Society , a nonprofit that promotes Catholic education in the U.S., for policies including offering daily mass and prohibiting campus speakers who "publicly oppose Catholic moral teaching."

"I am certain the reporters at the AP could not have imagined that their attempt to rebuke and embarrass places and people like those here at Benedictine wouldn't be met with anger, but instead with excitement and pride," Butker said, before making an apparent reference to LGBTQ Pride Month in June.

"Not the deadly sin sort of pride that has an entire month dedicated to it," he said, as laughter could be heard from the crowd.

How are people responding?

The official YouTube video of Butker's speech shows the crowd standing and applauding at the end, though the AP reports that reactions among graduates were mixed. Several told the outlet they were surprised by his comments about women, priests and LGTBQ people.

Kassidy Neuner told the AP that the speech felt "degrading," suggesting that only women can be homemakers.

"To point this out specifically that that's what we're looking forward to in life seems like our four years of hard work wasn't really important," said Neuner, who is planning on attending law school.

The Vatican says surrogacy and gender theory are 'grave threats' to human dignity

The Vatican says surrogacy and gender theory are 'grave threats' to human dignity

Butker's comments have gotten some support, including on social media from football fan accounts and Christian and conservative media personalities .

"Christian men should be preaching this regularly," tweeted former NFL player T.J. Moe. "Instead, it's so taboo that when someone tells the obvious truth that anyone who holds a biblical worldview believes, it's national news."

Still, other public figures — including musicians Maren Morris and Flava Flav — were quick to disagree.

Even the official Kansas City account weighed in, tweeting on Wednesday that Butker resides not there but in a neighboring suburb, Lee's Summit. The tweet has since been deleted and the account apologized for the tweet .

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted that he believed Butker holds a "minority viewpoint" in the state but defended his right to express it.

How student protests are changing college graduations

Campus protests over the Gaza war

How student protests are changing college graduations.

"Grown folks have opinions, even if they play sports," he wrote . "I disagree with many, but I recognize our right to different views."

Justice Horn, the former chair of Kansas City's LGBTQ Commission, was more critical, writing on X (formerly Twitter) that "Harrison Butker doesn't represent Kansas City nor has he ever." He called the city one that "welcomes, affirms and embraces our LGBTQ+ community members."

The Los Angeles Chargers also trolled Butker in its Sims-style schedule release video on Wednesday, which ends with a shot of his animated, number 7 jersey-wearing character cooking and arranging flowers in a kitchen.

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Biden delivers Morehouse commencement speech as some on campus express pro-Palestinian messages

ATLANTA — President Joe Biden delivered the commencement address at Morehouse College on Sunday morning, his most direct engagement with college students since the start of the Israel-Hamas war and a key opportunity for him to engage with a group of voters that data suggests is softening on him: young, Black men.

In his remarks, Biden ticked through his administration's policies that he said have aided Black Americans, including a record $16 billion in new aid for historically Black colleges and universities.

And, in a nod to the pro-Palestinian sentiment among Morehouse students and faculty, Biden reiterated his calls for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, more humanitarian aid in the region and support for a two-state solution that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state.

“We’ve been working on a deal as we speak. Working around the clock to lead an international effort to get more aid into Gaza, rebuild Gaza. I’m also working around the clock for more than just one cease-fire. I’m working to bring the region together. Working to build a lasting, durable peace,” he said.

As Biden spoke, roughly six students in the crowd sat turned away from him. Though Biden did not reference the action directly, his remarks touched on the “anger and frustration” felt by many Americans over the war, including by members of his own family.

“I know it breaks your heart. It breaks mine as well,” Biden said. “Leadership is about fighting through the most intractable problems. It’s about challenging anger, frustration and heartbreak. To find a solution. It’s about doing what you believe is right, even when it’s hard and lonely.”

Following the speech, Morehouse President David Thomas praised Biden for a “thought-provoking speech” he said was reflective of the president “listening.”

Joe Biden speaks at a podium

“You spoke to the hard issues confronting our nation and the world at this moment,” Thomas said before conferring an honorary doctorate degree onto Biden.

No significant, disruptive protests materialized, but some students and faculty members still expressed their support for Gaza during the ceremony.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations began even before Biden took the stage Sunday morning. As graduates and faculty entered the ceremony, at least eight students and three staff members wore pro-Palestinian garb, some adorned in Palestinian flags and others wearing keffiyeh scarves.

An opening prayer by the Rev. Claybon Lea Jr. urged those in power to be “accountable for valuing human life” across the globe.

“Whether they live in Israel or Palestine, Ukraine or Russia, the Congo or Haiti, God give us men that will value life and call us to accountability. Give us men who require all of us to live the golden rule and even follow the edicts of that Palestinian Jew named Jesus,” Lea said as Biden sat inches behind him.

In the most direct call to action of the ceremony, valedictorian DeAngelo Jeremiah Fletcher concluded his remarks by calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, framing his decision to speak on the conflict as a moral duty in line with the legacy of fellow Morehouse alumnus Martin Luther King Jr.

“It is important to recognize that both sides have suffered heavy casualties in the wake of Oct. 7,” Fletcher said. “From the comfort of our homes, we watch an unprecedented number of civilians mourn the loss of men, women and children while calling for a release of all hostages. For the first time in our lives, we’ve heard the global community sing one harmonious song that transcends language and culture. It is my stance as a Morehouse man named as a human being to call for an immediate and a permanent cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.”

As Biden took the stage, graduating students remained seated and silent, even as older alumni nearby cheered.

And during his remarks, faculty member Samuel Livingston held up the flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in an effort to bring attention to ongoing conflict in the region.

Sebastian Gordon, a graduating senior from Washington, D.C., was satisfied with Biden's remarks. “I know one concern that my class had was actions and words didn’t line up,” Gordon told NBC News. “I’m happy with his words that he said. I’m just going to continue to watch to make sure his actions line up with that.”

The protests during the commencement were largely peaceful, following instructions Thomas, the school president, gave to faculty and students across at least three meetings: The right to protest would be honored as long as they’re not disruptive.

Ahead of the commencement, Thomas told CNN that though he would not ask police to intervene should protests occur during Biden’s remarks, he would immediately bring the commencement to a halt.

“I have also made a decision that we will also not ask police to take individuals out of commencement in zip ties. If faced with the choice, I will cease the ceremonies on the spot if we were to reach that position,” Thomas said.

Even the most vocal student protesters at Morehouse predicted that protests during the commencement ceremony would likely not be disruptive, partially due to the volatility a police response would likely incite.

“I think that whatever happens on Sunday on the part of the people and the people who want to see some change is going to be peaceful,” sophomore Anwar Karim said. “I don’t see it erupting like it has at some of the other campuses, because we at HBCUs here are also just mindful of the fact of how interactions with police often go.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday that Biden spent several days working on the speech, tapping into a brain trust of senior advisers, including some Morehouse alums, to craft his message to the 415 Black men graduating from the school.

Biden previewed the tone of his remarks during a speech Thursday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision.

“Morehouse was founded after our nation’s Civil War to help prepare Black Americans who were formerly enslaved to enter the ministry, earn an education and usher them from slavery to freedom,” Biden said before announcing $16 billion in new investments for historically Black colleges and universities. “The founders of Morehouse understood something fundamental. Education is linked to freedom. Because to be free means to have something that no one can ever take away from you.”

Biden’s speech at Morehouse came against the backdrop of protests on college campuses nationwide over his handling over the war in Gaza, with many students and faculty members voicing opposition to the White House’s continued financial and military support for Israel. Some at Morehouse hoped Biden would speak directly to those concerns during his commencement remarks.

“I hope that we don’t get boilerplate language. I hope that we get something we haven’t heard before. I hope that his ethical, moral conscience trump any politics,” Morehouse professor Stephane Dunn said at a protest Friday.

Morehouse has also had pro-Palestinian protests on campus, though the HBCU did not see the same scale or escalation of demonstrations as some larger universities.

The school’s decision to host Biden as commencement speaker and award him an honorary doctorate degree almost immediately sparked protests among faculty and students, some continuing into the days leading up to the commencement ceremony.

“This is one big distraction on a day to celebrate the class of 2024 following Covid-19, but this is also an opportunity for students to make their voices heard during a time of increasing war and genocide in the Middle East,” Morehouse senior Calvin Bell said in reaction to Biden’s visit.

“We as students, faculty and alums who are standing on the right side of history do not stand with Biden,” Karim said. “We do not align ourselves with all of the clear and avid support that he’s had for a genocidal campaign on the part of the Israelis for the last over 200-plus days.”

Most recently, Morehouse faculty were split over the decision to award Biden an honorary doctorate degree at the ceremony. A letter circulated among staff members in protest of the decision got more that two dozen signatures in support, and the vote to award the degree passed 50-38, with roughly 12 faculty members abstaining.

The White House deployed its allies to Morehouse, both formally and informally, to assuage concerns and lower tensions over Biden’s visit.

Steve Benjamin, who heads the White House Office of Public Engagement, met with a small group of Morehouse students and faculty this month following a push from the school’s leadership for “direct engagement” from the White House.

During the meeting, some students expressed concerns about Biden overshadowing their graduation, while others implored Benjamin to ensure Biden’s speech doesn’t double as a campaign stump speech — frustrated with the idea of the commencement address being a vehicle for Biden to bolster support among Black voters.

That sentiment was shared by other Morehouse students critical of Biden’s visit.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he only accepted the invitation after Trump was already in [Atlanta’s] West End, trying to make gains and failing to make gains with our students here,” Morehouse student Malik Poole said at a campus protest ahead of Biden’s visit. “And this is coming at a time where voters of color are fleeing from Biden at record pace.”

But still, Biden’s Morehouse visit came amid a concerted effort by his administration and campaign in the past week to sharpen his message to Black voters .

On Thursday, Biden met with plaintiffs and their family members from the historic Brown v. Board of Education case. The following day, he met with leaders of the Divine Nine, a group of historically Black sororities and fraternities, alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority herself. During his trip to Georgia, Biden attended an event Saturday focused on engaging Black voters. And following his commencement address, Biden will close out the weekend by delivering the keynote address at the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Detroit, where he plans to tout his administration’s accomplishments for Black Americans.

As data suggests that Black voters — particularly young Black voters — are souring on Biden, some at Morehouse recognized the “opportunity” Biden had to make his case to members of that voting bloc during his address.

“If you want ... these students to vote in the fall for you, you have to give them something that shows that you are hearing them,” Dunn said. “That you are trying to do something we haven’t heard about. This is the opportunity.”

word is speech

Nnamdi Egwuonwu is a 2024 NBC News campaign embed.

The lesson of Harrison Butker: Take words seriously, not kickers

The Chiefs specialist is entitled to the views expressed in his graduation speech, but misusing our language undermines its value

word is speech

I’m sure I should be more upset about Harrison Butker , but he’s just a kicker. He’s not even a very influential member of his own team. He deserves a merely proportional response. The best reply to Butker is to make fun of him; kickers hate that. Turn his name into a verb. When you “butker” something, it means to botch an intellectual argument with clumsy hyperbole to the point of obnoxiousness. To get “butkered” means to be preached to by a dude with a zealot’s beard that looks like it was combed with a harrow.

A petition is demanding the Kansas City Chiefs “dismiss Harrison Butker for discriminatory remarks” that he made at the Benedictine College commencement. It had garnered 126,000 signatures by Thursday. That’s exactly the wrong response — again, he’s just a kicker. It’s not like he’s the Bishop of Kansas City, he’s just a Kansas City Chief. You don’t fire a kicker for demeaning Taylor Swift as “my teammate’s girlfriend.” The right response is to sing Swift lyrics at him, preferably from “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived.”

Butker has every right to speak his faith and his mind and should be able to do so without fear of professional reprisal; he was representing only himself at a personal engagement at Benedictine. We’re always asking athletes to be role models, and it’s more than a little hypocritical to praise football players when they protest cops but to stifle one for being religious or conservative. Enough with the outrage over his beliefs. Who cares whether a kicker thinks a woman’s proper role is in the home, so long as you don’t have to live as a handmaiden in his household? I’m more concerned with his scaremonger, doomwatcher language. It’s his symptomatic inflationary alarmism that’s worth worrying about.

The cheapening of words by public speakers across the spectrum has begun to rob us all of perspective — and of the art of proper contextual retort. Inflate the word “trauma” with enough overuse, and there’s no meaning left in it. Every experience is equated at the same cheap, low level: What should be merely mildly upsetting becomes equated with actual torture — which denies actual sufferers recognition of their legitimate pain. Butker’s a victim of that: He’s just a kicker. But he’s guilty of it, too. The personal conduct of anyone who does not comport with his faith is “degenerate.”

Inflated words are throughout his speech. Butker drops calumnies like nickels. President Biden is “delusional” for the way he practices his faith. Pride Month is a “deadly sin.” Those who quest for diversity are engaged in “tyranny.” He is fighting against “the cultural emasculation of men.”

In Butker’s view, women are too encouraged to define success as attainable only through professional rewards, rather than through family. A fair enough point. But here is the inflationary way that Butker phrased it to the young women in the audience that rendered it idiotic. “I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you.”

Actually, here is a more appropriate use of “diabolical”: It describes the thousand-year persistence of teaching that young women are such dumb defenseless prey they cannot discern lies on their own and need a man with medieval monastic face hair to guide their morality and define their happiness. Even if he’s just an NFL kicker.

Inflationary language is, of course, inherently lazy. It’s the recourse of people who are trying to take shortcuts to power and influence. Butker is clearly over-striving for both, and, thanks to NFL hagiography, no doubt believes he’s equipped to lead. Sprinkled throughout his speech are grievances about government, and rather unnerving references to “the pervasiveness of disorder,” as if he’s the only man who can put us straight — forcibly. “If we are going to be men and women for this time in history, we need to stop pretending that the ‘Church of Nice’ is a winning proposition,” he says.

It was too bad that such an unrefined speech was delivered at Benedictine. The Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities takes some pains to stress the thoughtfulness and nuance of their rich educational tradition and to avoid categorical certainties and hyperbole. Its website says that to be rightly shaped by the Catholic intellectual tradition means to be “unafraid of ambiguity or the unknown,” and it gives “special attention to Christ’s unexpected arrival from outside in the person of the guest.” It urges students to put aside their preoccupations “in order to let the unexpected person in.”

Sounds like a commitment to the “tyranny” of inclusiveness.

St. Benedict himself cautioned against “the wicked zeal of bitterness which separates from God.” Now there is an articulate statement that sums up the reductive harm of inflationary language. In a recent essay on St. Benedict, the Catholic abbot Marion Nguyen expanded on this thought, describing it as a “kind of false fervor” that emanates from those who believe in the perfection of their own worship, and think they have more rigor than you or I. Butker’s inflationary language smacks of that false fervor.

It’s important not to overreact to Butker with the same false outrage and overstatement. His personal belief about women’s true vocation is not threatening in the least, and neither is the sidelong dumbellism he showed in statements such as, “Congress just passed a bill where stating something as basic as the biblical teaching of who killed Jesus could land you in jail.”

There is enough off-with-their-heads censoriousness in public life without recruiting a kicker into it. Keep Butker in his proper context, and scale. It’s the best way to fight inflation.

word is speech

Philanthropist who gave $30M to U Manitoba condemns 'hateful' valedictory speech, university for allowing it

'those words are not political opinion. they are hate speech and they are lies,' writes ernest rady.

An older, balding man in a suit smiles with his head slightly turned over his left shoulder

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The philanthropist behind the University of Manitoba's largest-ever personal donation — $30 million — has denounced a speech made by a valedictorian for medicine grads and admonished the university for letting it happen.

In a letter dated Monday, Ernest Rady says he was hurt and appalled by the remarks by valedictorian Gem Newman at the May 16 convocation for students from the Max Rady College of Medicine. The school was renamed in honour of Rady's father after the 2016 donation.

"Newman's speech not only dishonoured the memory of my father, but also disrespected and disparaged Jewish people as a whole," said Rady's letter, sent to U of M president Michael Benarroch and college of medicine dean Dr. Peter Nickerson.

Approximately two minutes of Newman's nine-minute address focused on the war in Gaza and called for a ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, which began after an Oct. 7 cross-border attack on Israel led by Hamas that killed roughly 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took 250 others hostage.

word is speech

University of Manitoba valedictory speech criticized by major donor

Israel launched an offensive in response that has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to the latest estimates by Gaza health officials . The Israeli military operation has also triggered a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, displacing roughly 80 per cent of the population and leaving hundreds of thousands of people on the brink of starvation, according to UN officials.

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"I'm sure that some of you here today are worried that you might face censure for speaking about the genocidal war that Israel is waging on the people of Palestine, that it could jeopardize your career before it's even begun," Newman said in his speech.

"But … surely, I don't have to remind any of you that advocacy is literally in our job description."

A video of the convocation that included Newman's speech had been posted to the U of Manitoba's YouTube page. By Tuesday, the video was no longer available there.

'Hateful lies': letter

CBC News reached out to Rady for an interview but he declined, saying everything he wanted to express about the speech is contained in his letter.

In the letter, dated May 20, Rady chastises the university for allowing Newman "to spew these hateful lies to a captive audience" and then posting the video "for all to see."

He demanded that the video be taken down and that the university denounce Newman's remarks.

"For failing to call out Gem [Newman's] words for what they are, the university is no better," the letter states.

He called on the university to "acknowledge they were not only inaccurate, but flat-out lies, that they were hurtful to the university's Jewish students and all people of the Jewish faith, and that the remarks do not have a place in any setting at the university."

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The day after the speech, a statement from Nickerson was posted on the UMNews website , in which he called Newman's remarks  "divisive and inflammatory."

He said some people were "disappointed and alarmed by the political message," which he called disrespectful to some audience members.

In his letter, Rady called that a "lukewarm" response.

"When I make a gift to an institution, I do it because I believe in that institution and I trust its governing body to do important, significant, and good work with that money," he wrote, adding he makes it a point to not impose any direction on an institution he helps.

  • Rady family gifts $30M to University of Manitoba health sciences

"But in this instance, by remaining silent, I would be complicit," he wrote, adding he has seen where "this kind of speech" has led to in the past. 

"Those words are not political opinion. They are hate speech and they are lies," he wrote. 

"They espouse the same age-old prejudices about Jewish omnipotence and thirst for domination that have been used for centuries to justify the atrocities committed against this religious group."

  • Read the full letter at the end of this story .

'Horrifying and disproportionate response': Newman

In a statement emailed to CBC News on Wednesday, college dean Nickerson confirmed the video that included the speech had been taken down.

"Mr. Rady was far from the first person to request that the speech be taken down due to the harm it has caused members of the Jewish community," he wrote, and the university "decided it was not appropriate to continue to host the speech on our channels."

The university is "listening to feedback from our broader community … many of whom have expressed deep distress at what was said," Nickerson wrote.

"We will discuss Mr. Rady's concerns with him directly."

He also said no decisions have been made around future U of M events.

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CBC News also reached out to Newman, who was on vacation and offered an emailed statement in lieu of an interview regarding Rady's reaction.

"Israel's conduct toward the people of Palestine is overtly genocidal," Newman's email said.

"[Israeli] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant have made their genocidal intent clear through both their words and actions. Both have a history of making dehumanizing statements about Palestinians, with Netanyahu describing them as 'the people of darkness' and Gallant calling them 'human animals.'"

Newman said his valedictory address was critical of a government engaged in a campaign of collective punishment of the Palestinian people that has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, calling Israel's actions a "horrifying and disproportionate response" to the Oct. 7 tragedy. 

"It is frankly incredible to me that advocating for a cessation of hostilities is seen as not only controversial, but somehow hateful," Newman wrote.

"Criticism of the actions of the Israeli government does not in and of itself constitute antisemitism. That accusation…  serves to trivialize the regrettably very real instances of antisemitism that do occur."

Since his valedictory address, Newman said he has received hundreds of supportive messages but also "more than my share of harassment and threats."

"But at the end of the day, I still get to hug my kids, something that so many parents in Gaza will never get to do again."

  • Read Ernest Rady's letter in full below or by clicking here .

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One word in Chalmers's budget speech perhaps went unnoticed, but it could make all the difference for Labor's re-election

Analysis One word in Chalmers's budget speech perhaps went unnoticed, but it could make all the difference for Labor's re-election

Jim Chalmers after budget speech

There's one word that Australians doing it tough perhaps didn't hear Treasurer Jim Chalmers say in his budget speech this week.

It's an innocuous word, the kind that can easily be missed.

"Treasury is now forecasting inflation could return to target earlier, perhaps even by the end of this year," he said.

Imagine if Winston Churchill had opted for a qualifier like perhaps. 

"We shall perhaps fight on the beaches" doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Nor does "I perhaps have a dream" or "I  perhaps will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man".

Granted, Chalmers wasn't seeking to go down in the annals of history, at least not with his speech.

Jim Chalmers, Anthony Albanese and Katy Gallagher laugh while holding budget papers

The treasurer has found himself in the invidious situation of having much to crow about but few people wanting to praise him for it. 

For the second year in a row, he landed a budget surplus , something those who sit opposite him in the parliament were unable to do once, let alone twice.

Surpluses are so rare in modern Australian history that it's been two decades since a federal government spent less than it earned in consecutive years.

"Look how well my budget is doing" is a hard pill to swallow for people with costs up the wazoo,  who are busy worrying how they're going to be able to keep a roof over their heads and food in their fridges. 

Chalmers' statement was deliberately not definitive — even if voters didn't hear the perhaps.

In doing so, Chalmers has set up a high-stakes gamble that if realised could bring with it a second term for his government. 

Labor's best path to re-election is with inflation easing, the Reserve Bank cutting rates at least once and voters feeling like a corner has been turned. If realised, Chalmers will be seeking the credit.

He'll perhaps be seeking anything but the credit if a pre-Christmas rate doesn't pan out. 

The curious cases of Andrew and Anthony

The headline announcements in the budget were $300 in energy bill relief for all households, capped pricing on PBS-listed medicines and a 10 per cent increase in Commonwealth Rent Assistance. 

Treasury forecasts the bill and rent relief alone will cut 0.5 percentage points off inflation in 2024-25, fuelling Chalmers's optimism that the Reserve Bank could cut rates before the election. 

The Coalition was quick to offer its support for all the government's cost-of-living measures , but that doesn't mean it didn't want to inflict some pain on Labor on the way through. 

Liberal frontbencher Paul Fletcher used Question Time to kill   two birds with one stone. Asking a veiled-hypothetical question, he wondered: If we take a typical Australian — let's call him Andrew — who recently had to relocate from Bellevue Hill to Parramatta for work reasons and happens to own five houses, including a newly acquired $12 million beach house at Palm Beach, will he be eligible to receive the rebate on all five houses?

That "typical Australian" sounded a whole lot like first-term Labor MP Andrew Charlton, who bought a house in Sydney's west after being pre-selected for the safe Labor seat. 

Despite supporting the measure, the Coalition have had no qualms in making clear that Australia's richest will be getting the energy bill relief on every house they own, a move Chalmers insists couldn't have been done any other way . Fletcher seemed to have forgotten that there were no shortage of politicians sitting behind him that will also receive a $300 rebate for each of the properties they own beyond their primary residencies. 

Even more problematic for Labor was the revelation on Thursday that financially vulnerable Australians stand to miss out on the full value of the bill relief, because the policy will slash the indexation of their welfare payments . 

The question about "Andrew" wasn't the only "hypothetical" question Labor faced in parliament this week.

Greens MP Max Chandler-Mather framed his question about a TOTALLY RANDOM landlord, who he called Anthony, who had both the power to raise the rent to whatever level he wants and to evict a tenant to sell the property and benefit from capital gains tax discounts.

That had NOTHING to do with the PM having spent his morning  explaining why he was booting the tenant in his Sydney rental property so he could sell it (that the tenant used to run a place called The Sausage Factory is a level of information that you simply can't make up).

Albanese, who now lives in the nation's fanciest public housing, deferred the question to the treasurer.

A day earlier he was in no mood to answer independent MP Monique Ryan's question about whether fossil fuel industry lobbyists or representatives were at a $5,000-a-head post-budget dinner that he is said to have attended. 

"I've stood and had the great honour of being the Australian Labor Party candidate in 10 elections. During those 10 elections as the candidate for Grayndler, I have spent less money on those 10 campaigns than the member for Kooyong did in her one," he shot back.

Anthony Albanese wears an orange Hermes tie while doing breakfast tv interviews

The only issues Albanese has been keen to talk about this week are the measures his government is taking to ease household living costs. 

He blitzed the media from morning to night on Wednesday, doing so in a dashing tie that has long caught the attention of eagle-eyed fashion observers.

The PM is no stranger to wearing the bright orange, embossed number, which we're all but certain is from the French luxury fashion house, Hermes (his office was in no mood to confirm that this week). 

Sadly for those seeking to buy it, the tie is no longer available on the company's website .

At $385, you'd also need more than the value of the energy rebate to pay for it. 

What else we've learned this week

Until this week, Labor's Future Made in Australia has felt more like a vibe than a policy with meat on the bones.

The budget went some way to fattening it up, with Labor outlining a raft of policies to drive investment in green manufacturing in Australia. 

After this week, it's clear that any reports the climate wars are dead have been greatly exaggerated , with our esteemed colleague Annabel Crabb noting the budget offers a preview of the fights to come in the next decade . 

Tensions within Labor are continuing to simmer with backbench senator Fatima Payman breaking ranks to accuse Israel of genocide in Gaza , comments Albanese has rebuked.

Late on Thursday the government struck a deal with the Greens to pass new emissions laws for vehicles , in return backing down on its plans to streamline offshore gas approvals.

But there was no deal to be made on laws that Labor, just weeks ago, was   insisting were urgent. Instead, the party ended the week quietly delaying its bid to gain extraordinary immigration powers . 

Perhaps the only thing more urgent than getting those powers was not having to talk about immigration detention, a policy that has haunted the government for the last six months, in the week of the budget.

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Jerry Seinfeld’s Speech Was the Real News

Why did the media focus less on his words and more on the 30 protesters who didn’t hear them?

Jerry Seinfeld speaking at a Duke podium

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Produced by ElevenLabs and News Over Audio (NOA) using AI narration.

On Sunday at Duke University, the comedian Jerry Seinfeld delivered a commencement address that was, bizarrely, overshadowed in the media by a tiny, nondisruptive protest.

Seinfeld gave a compliment and a warning to his Gen Z audience.

First came the compliment. “I totally admire the ambitions of your generation to create a more just and inclusive society,” he said. “I think it is also wonderful that you care so much about not hurting other people’s feelings in the million and one ways we all do that.”

Then came the warning. “What I need to tell you as a comedian: Do not lose your sense of humor. You can have no idea at this point in your life how much you are going to need it to get through. Not enough of life makes sense for you to be able to survive it without humor.”

Seinfeld went on to defend “the slightly uncomfortable feeling of awkward humor,” arguing that it is “not something you need to fix,” because even as Gen Z improves the world, it will remain “a pretty insane mess.” Humor, he said, is “the most survival-essential quality you will ever have or need to navigate through the human experience.”

Tyler Austin Harper: America’s colleges are reaping what they sowed

All of that is newsworthy. Seinfeld is a perceptive observer of life and an undeniable expert on comedy. Plus, as he told the graduates, “I am 70. I am done. You are just starting. I only want to help you.” If he is convinced that humor is a crucial salve—“the most important thing I am confident that I know about life”—those of us who’ll never enjoy his success or wealth had really better keep laughing.

Yet coverage of the commencement treated something just before his speech as more newsworthy: As the Associated Press reported, roughly 30 student protesters walked out of the graduation ceremony as Seinfeld was introduced. They represented a tiny fraction of the 7,000 students present.

Media outlets covered the Duke graduation with headlines like these: “As Seinfeld Receives Honorary Degree at Duke, Students Walk Out in Protest” ( The New York Times ); “Duke Students Walk Out to Protest Jerry Seinfeld’s Commencement Speech in Latest Grad Disruption” ( USA Today ); “Duke Students Walk Out of Jerry Seinfeld’s Commencement Speech Amid Wave of Graduation Antiwar Protests” (NBC News); “Jerry Seinfeld’s Speech at Duke Commencement Prompts Walkout Protesting His Support for Israel” (Reuters); “Duke University Students Walk Out on Jerry Seinfeld’s Commencement Speech, Chant ‘Free Palestine’” (Fox News); “Watch: Anti-Israel Students Walk Out of Duke University Commencement to Protest Jerry Seinfeld” ( Breitbart News ).

Why was that the focus? The war in Gaza is, of course, more newsworthy than any commencement and has been covered extensively. Many protests about the war are newsworthy, too.

Read: This is helicopter protesting

But the airing of grievances at Duke was not notable for the number of people who participated, or for any insight offered on Gaza, or for even a remote prospect of affecting the conflict. To the credit of the students who walked out, it didn’t even disrupt the speech. So it was suspect, I think, to treat the protest as more important than the event that the activists sought to leverage for attention. A protest in and of itself does not confer importance.

Journalists often fail to distinguish between substantively newsworthy protests and mere deployment of the protest mode—a bias that activists have learned to exploit. Social media is optimized to signal-boost conflict more than attempts at distilling wisdom. And too many Americans revel in rather than resist conflicts.

The result at Duke: Coverage of a newsworthy speech was informed, more than any other factor, by the subset of the audience that did not hear it. At least, in the midst of a tragic war abroad and a vexing culture war at home, we can shake our heads and laugh about that absurdity.


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