Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Noun Test Examples

Find the error (Singular/Plural) among the following statements:-

1. I'm not totally certain for the facts but from what I have heard, it seems that there were several people injured.

(a) totally
(b) for
(c) injured

2. Come on in and please make yourself comfortable and please don't stand there, take a place.

(a) on in
(b) make yourself comfortable
(c) place

3. Come on we can't wait much longer. Just make your mind up and please make a choose.

(a) Come on
(b) mind up
(c) choose

4. I've been walking for ages in the pouring rain and as a consequence my clothes is wet through.

(a) for
(b) pouring
(c) is

5. We've got an open fire in our house and the great thing is to go looking for woods to put on the fire.

(a) We've got
(b) looking
(c) woods


PART A: Read each sentence below. Locate each noun that you find and decide whether it is "proper noun" or "common noun".
1. The girl and her friend could not find the newspaper.
2. Farmers in the United States grow vegetables, fruit, and wheat.
3. Each student should have a pen, pencil, and two folders.

PART B: Write the plural form of each noun below.
1. teacher
2. ax
3. wish
4. mouse
5. sky

PART C: Rewrite each phrase, such as "keys which belong to mom" to follow this pattern: "my mom's keys."
1. the offices which belong to the principals
2. the studios which belong to the artists

Remember, common nouns are plain, ordinary nouns. Proper nouns are NAMES of nouns. Proper nouns are always capitalized.
Proper noun: none
Common noun: girl, friend, newspaper
Proper noun: United States
Common noun: Farmers, vegetables, fruit, wheat
Proper noun: none
Common noun: student, pen, pencil, folders

To make a noun plural:
a) add -s- to most nouns
b) add -es- to nouns that end with s, sh, ch,or x
c) add -ies- to nouns that end with a consonant and y
d) some nouns have to change the entire spelling of the word

1. teachers
2. axes
3. wishes
4. mice
5. skies

1. the principals' offices
2. the artists' studios
3. Sam's bicycle

Pick out any noun phrases from the following.
1. My mother's sister is dead.
2. The Lake District is renowned for its high rainfall.
3. That film was the one I had wanted to see for a long time.

1. The noun phrase in this sentence is My mother's sister.
2. There are two noun phrases in this sentence.
(a). The first is The Lake District.
(b). The second is high rainfall.
3. There are two noun phrases in this sentence.
(a). The first is That film.
(b). The second is a long time.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Noun: Case

NOUN-CASES is another topic which comes under NOUN. The CASE of a noun tells us about the position of that noun in a sentence. In English there are FIVE cases.

• Nominative case
• Objective case (or Accusative case)
• Dative case
• Possessive case (or Genitive case)
• Vocative case

1. Nominative case:

A noun is said to be in the Nominative case if it is the subject of a verb. (SUBJECT is the person or the thing who or which carries out the action of the verb in the sentence)


• Mr. John is an intelligent boy.
Mr. John is a proper noun in Nominative case.

• The painter paints the portraits.
The painter is a common noun in Nominative case.

• I am buying vegetables for my family.
“I” is a pronoun in Nominative case.

These examples carry another term "pronoun" which is a word used to represent a noun.

For example:

I, We, You, He, She, it and they are the seven pronouns. There are only seven pronouns. Only other variations of these seven pronouns are there. Those variations can be used in place of the nouns.

2. Objective case (or Accusative case):

Nouns or pronouns are said to be in Objective cases if they are the direct objects of verbs or if they are the objects of preposition.
(Direct object is the person or the thing upon whom or upon which the action of the verb is carried out).


• I met your sister.
“Your sister” is in objective case.

• The vendors sell mangoes.
“Mangoes” is in objective case.

• The book is on the table.
“Table” is in objective case.

It is object of the preposition ‘on’.

• This is one of my policies.
“Policies” is in objective case.
It is object of the preposition ‘of’.

The next one in the Noun-cases is:

3. Dative case:

A noun is said to be in dative case if it is the Indirect object of the verb. (Indirect object of the verb is the noun for whom or for which the action of the verb is carried out). There should not be a preposition before the indirect object because in that case it will be the object of that preposition.


• The teacher gave the students few exercises.
“Students” is in dative case. It is the indirect object of the verb ‘give’.

• The Postman brought me a letter.
“Me” is in dative case.

• Get him a pen.
“Him” is in dative case.

4. Possessive case (Genitive case):

A noun is said to be in possessive case, if it denotes possession or ownership. A noun or pronoun in the possessive case is governed by the noun that follows it.


• This is your pencil.
“Your” is in possessive case.

• It is our idea.
“Our” is in possessive case.

• John’s sister has been hospitalized.
“John’s” is in possessive case.

5. Vocative case:

A noun or a pronoun is said to be in Vocative case if it is used to call (or to get the attention of) a person or persons.

• Mr. Bill, students are waiting for you in the main hall.
“Mr. Bill” is in vocative case.

• You there, stand up.
“You” is in vocative case.

• Brother, a letter for you.
“Brother” is in vocative case.

• Chairman, all the letters are posted two days ago.
“Chairman” is in vocative case.

The nouns do not change their forms in the Nominative and Objective cases. But few pronouns change their forms between Nominative and Objective cases.
Examine these sentences:-

1. John threw a stone.
2. The horse kicked the boy.

In sentence 1, the noun John is the Subject. It is the answer to the question, "Who threw a stone ?". The group of words threw a stone is the Predicate. The Predicate contains the verb threw.

What did John throw? - A stone. Stone is the object which John threw. The Noun stone is therefore called the Object.

In sentence 2, the noun horse is the Subject. It is the answer to the question, " Who kicked the boy ?". The noun boy is the Object. It is the answer to the question, "Whom did the horse kick ?".

When a noun (or pronoun) is used as the Subject of a verb, it is said to be in the Nominative Case.
When a noun (or pronoun) is used the Object of a verb, it is said to be the Objective (or Accusative) Case.

A noun which comes after a preposition is also said to be in the Accusative Case: as,
The book in in the desk.
The noun desk is in the Accusative Case, governed by the preposition in.

1. John broke the window. (Object)
2. The window was broken. (Subject)

It will be seen that Nouns in English have the same form for the Nominative and the Accusative.
The Nominative generally comes before the verb, and the Accusative after the verb. Hence, they are distinguished by the order of words, or by the sense.

This is Jane's umbrella.

Jane's umbrella - the umbrella belonging to Jane.
The form of the noun Jane is changed to Jane's to show ownership or possession. The Noun Jane's is therefore said to be in the Possessive (or Genitive) Case.

Formation of the Possessive Case

1. When the noun is Singular, the Possessive Case is formed by adding 's to the noun; as,
The boy's book.
The king's crown.

The letter s is omitted in a few words where too many hissing sounds would come together.
For conscience' sake.
For goodness' sake.
For justice' sake.
For Jesus' sake.
Moses' law.

2. When the noun is Plural, and ends in s, the Possessive Case is formed by adding only an apostrophe.
Boys' school.
Girls' school.
Horses' tails.

3. When the noun is Plural but does not end in s, the Possessive sign is formed by adding 's.
Men's club.
Children's books.

When a noun consists of several words, the Possessive sign is attached only to the last word.
I saw it at Asquith and Lord's.

When two nouns are in apposition, the Possessive sign is put to the latter only.
That is Tagore the poet's house.

When two nouns are closely connected, the Possessive sign is put to the latter.
Huntley and Palmer's biscuits.

Each of two or more connected nouns implying separate possession must take the possessive sign.
Gardiner's and Green's histories.
Goldsmith's and Cowper's poems.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Noun : Number

Consider the following pair of words.
Tree, trees.
Box, boxes.
Ox, oxen.
Man, men.

The first word of each pair denotes one thing, the second word of each pair denotes more than one.

A Noun that denotes one person or thing is said to be in the Singular Number as boy, girl, cow, tree, book, etc.
A Noun that denotes more than one person or thing is said to be in the Plural Number as boys, girls, cows, trees, books.

There are two Numbers in English - Singular and the Plural.

How Plurals are formed

1. The Plural of Nouns is generally formed by adding -s to the singular as,
boy, boys
girl, girls
pen, pens.

2. But Nouns ending in -s, -sh, -ch or -x form the plural by adding -es to the singular,
class, classes
kiss, kisses
tax, taxes
brush, brushes
box, boxes,
watch, watches.

3. Most nouns ending in -o also form the plural by adding -es to the singular as,
buffalo, buffaloes
mango, mangoes
potato, potatoes
hero, heroes
echo, echoes
volcano, volcanoes
cargo, cargoes.

4. A few nouns ending in -o, generally those which are in less common use merely add -s, as,
dynamo, dynamos
solo, solos
ratio, ratios
piano, pianos
photo, photos
stereo, stereos.

5. Nouns ending in -y preceded by a consonant, form their plural by changing -y into -i adding -es as,
baby, babies
lady, ladies
city, cities
pony, ponies
army, armies
story, stories.

6. Several nouns ending in -f or -fe form their plural by changing -f or -fe into v and adding -es as,
thief, thieves
wife, wives
wolf, wolves
life, lives
knife, knives
calf, calves
shelf, shelves
loaf, loaves.

chief, chiefs
dwarf, dwarfs
hoof, hoofs
gulf, gulfs
brief, briefs
belief, beliefs
grief, griefs
roof, roofs
proof, proofs.

A few nouns form their plural by changing the inside vowel of the singular as
man, men
woman, women
foot, feet
tooth, teeth
goose, geese
mouse, mice
louse, lice.

There are a few nouns that form their plural by adding -en to the singular as,
Ox, oxen, child, children.

Some nouns have the singular and the plural alike as,

I bought three dozen oranges.
Some people reach the age of three score and ten.

Some nouns are used only in the plural.
1. Names of instruments which have two parts forming a kind of pair as
Bellows, scissors, tongs, pincers, spectacles.
2. Names of certain articles of dress, as
Trousers, drawers, breeches.
3. Names of diseases as
Measles, mumps.
4. Names of games as
Billiards, draughts.

Some nouns originally singular are now generally used in the plural as
Alms, riches, eaves.

The following plural forms can be used in singular as,
Mathematics, physics, mechanics, politics, news, innings.
Mathematics is his favorite study.

Certain Collective Nouns though singular in form, are always used as plurals, as

These poultry are mine.
Whose are these cattle?
There are few gentry in this town.

Note- As a Common Noun, 'people' means a nation and is used in both singular and plural as
1. The French are a hard-working and brave people.
2. There are many different peoples in Europe.

A Compound Noun generally forms its plural by adding -s to the principal word as,
Singular - Plural
Son-in-law - sons-in-law
Man-of-war - men-of-war
Step-son - step-sons
Maid-servant - maid-servants

Some nouns have different meaning in the singular and the plural.
Singular - Plural
Advice: counsel - Advices: information
Good: benefit - Goods: merchandise
Respect: regard - Respects: compliments
Force: strength - Forces: troops

Letters, figures and other symbols are made plural by adding an apostrophe and s as,
There are more e's than a's in this page.
Add two 5's and three 2's.

Abstract Nouns have no plural.
Hope, charity, love, kindness.

Names of substances or materials known as Material Nouns, are also not used in the plural.
Copper, Tin, Iron, wood.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Noun : Gender

We know that living beings are of either the male or the female sex.

A noun that denotes a male animal is said to be of the Masculine Gender.
A noun that denotes a female animal is said to be of the Feminine Gender.
A noun that denotes either a male or a female is said to be if the Common Gender.
For example, parent, child, friend, pupil, servant, thief, enemy, cousin, person, student.

A Noun that denotes a thing that is neither male nor female is said to be of Neuter Gender.

Ways of Forming the Feminine of Nouns

There are three ways of forming the Feminine of Nouns
1. By using an entirely different word; as

Masculine - Feminine
Bachelor - maid, spinster
Boy - girl
Brother - sister
Buck - doe
Bull - cow
Bullock - heifer
Cock - hen
Dog - bitch
Drone - bee
Gentleman - lady
Horse - mare
Husband - wife
King - queen
Lord - lady
Sir - madam

2. By adding a syllable (-ess, -ine, -trix, -a ) as

Masculine - Feminine
Author - authoress
Baron - baroness
Count - countess
Giant - giantess
Host - hostess
Jew - jewess
Lion - lioness
Steward - stewardess
Poet - poetess
Shepherd - shepherdess
Actor - actress
Benefactor - benefactress
Conductor - conductress
Founder - foundress
Hunter - huntress
Prince - princess
Tiger - tigress
Waiter - waitress
Master - mistress
Duke - duchess
Emperor - empress
Murderer - murderess
Hero - heroine
Administrator - administratrix
Fox - vixen
Czar - czarina

3. By placing a word before or after as
Masculine - Feminine
Bull-calf - cow-calf
He-goat - she-goat
Jack-ass - jenny-ass
He-bear - she-bear
Man-servant - maid-servant
Grandfather - grandmother
Landlord - landlady
Peacock - peahen
Milkman - milkmaid

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