Fuck has a very flexible role in English grammar, including use as both a transitive and intransitive verb , and as an adjective , adverb , and noun .  It can also be used as an interjection and a grammatical ejaculation . Linguist Geoffrey Hughes found eight distinct usages for English curse words, and fuck can apply to each. For example, it fits in the "curse" sense ("fuck you!") as well as the "personal" sense ("You fucker"). Its vulgarity also contributes to its mostly figurative sense, though the word itself is used in its literal sense to refer to sexual intercourse, its most common usage is figurative- to indicate the speaker's strong sentiment and to offend or shock the listener.