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CHAPTER 1

NOUNS

A Noun is called a naming word.

Why is a Noun called a naming word?


A Noun is called a naming word because it names a person, an animal, a
place, a thing or an idea.

Study the following sentences carefully.


1. That man is Albert.
• The noun ‘man’ in sentence 1 names a person.
EXAMPLES: boy, girl, lady, baby, tailor, Bala, Sally

2. The alarm went off accidentally.


• The noun ‘alarm’ in the sentence 2 names a thing (an item).
EXAMPLES: chair, clip, tractor, plane, shirt, gun, cup, spade

3. America is a large continent.


• The noun ‘America’ in sentence 3 names a place.
EXAMPLES: market, mosque, temple, Sibu, Kelana Jaya, Japan

" EXERCISE 1.0


Underline all the nouns in the following sentences and indicate whether
they name a person, an animal, a place, a thing or an idea.
1. Where are Emmy and her aunty?
2. Can I have this tea and biscuits?
3. Lions and tigers eat meat.
4. Cats and dogs are tame animals.
5. Anger is not a good virtue.

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" EXERCISE 1.1


Fill in the blanks using the following nouns.
stage ground site singers chief dancing
effort children camp advice crowd happiness
work encouragement
The __________ stopped at a large open __________. “Here we will
build our __________.” All of us will use our __________ to do the
__________ that has to be done,” said the chief. But some of the
__________ would not work. All they did was sing and dance. The
__________ did please the chief who was watching then from the
__________. Slowly the __________ rose from his chair and walked up
to the ____________ where he joined the __________. Everyone was
filled with __________. They thanked the chief for his __________ and
__________.

" EXERCISE 1.2


List five nouns under each of the categories below. The first one has been
done for you.
PERSON ANIMAL PLACE THING IDEA
Child Parrot House Pen Sorrow
________ ________ ________ ________ ________
________ ________ ________ ________ ________
________ ________ ________ ________ ________
________ ________ ________ ________ ________

IN A NUTSHELL
• A Noun is known as a naming word.
• A Noun names a person, an animal, a place, a thing or an idea.
• A Noun normally answers the questions ‘who?’, ‘what?’, or ‘whom?’.

KINDS OF NOUNS
There are various kinds of nouns that perform different functions namely:
Common Nouns Proper Nouns Possessive Nouns
Collective Nouns Abstract Nouns Compound Nouns

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Intensive English Grammar

COMMON NOUNS
Common Nouns are nouns that name a common person, animal, place,
thing or an idea, viz:
• Common Nouns that name a person
EXAMPLES: boy, woman, child, baby, youth, guy, lad

• Common Nouns that name an animal


EXAMPLES: dog, cat, rat, mouse, deer, lion, tiger, snake, fish, hen,
pigeon, duck, crow
• Common Nouns that name a thing
EXAMPLES: cabbage, carrot, water, vegetable, house, sugar, powder,
milk, bicycle, cream, bottle, tea
• Common Nouns that name an idea
EXAMPLES: fear, anger, death, bravery, courage, happiness, joy,
sorrow, theft

Some Common Nouns are made up of more than one word. Such nouns
are referred to as Compound Nouns viz:
indoor stadium badminton stadium football field
city centre swimming pool department store
supermarket bowling alley

Formation of Common Nouns


Common Nouns can be formed from verbs as well as adjectives.

Table 1: Nouns formed from Verbs

VERBS NOUNS
dance dancer
sing singer
post postman/postage
rob robber/robbery
announce announcer/announcement

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Table 2: Nouns formed from Adjectives

ADJECTIVES NOUNS
high height
happy happiness
poor poverty
clean cleanliness
intelligent intelligence

" EXERCISE 1.3


Identify all the common nouns in the following sentences.
1. Uncle Zain bought a new car recently.
2. Which would you prefer; a bicycle or a motorcycle?
3. Lorries, buses, cars and bicycles travel on land.
4. Rivers, seas and oceans are all waterways.
5. Horses, bulls and elephants are beasts of burden.

/ Some nouns can be used, both as nouns as well as verbs.


EXAMPLES: play, drive, post, fish, run, watch, wish
1. We play games every evening. (VERB)
2. The play was abandoned due to rain. (NOUN)
3. James drives carefully. (VERB)
4. Can I take you for a drive? (NOUN)

" EXERCISE 1.4


Indicate whether the underlined words in the following sentences are
nouns or verbs.
1. Salina broke the 100 metres record.
2. I have no money and I am broke.
3. Jeremy set a new record in swimming.
4. The judges recorded his new time.
5. Swimming is a good form of exercise.

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IN A NUTSHELL
• There are various categories of nouns classified according to their
respective functions.
• Nouns that name common people, places, animals, things or ideas
are called Common Nouns.
• Common Nouns are NOT spelt with capital letters.
• Some nouns can be used both, as nouns and as well as verbs.

PROPER NOUNS
A Proper Noun is a noun that names a particular person, animal, place,
thing or idea. Proper Nouns usually begin with capital letters.
• Proper Nouns that name a particular person
EXAMPLES: Jerrad, Roy, Nelly, Roger, Cynthia, Nicholas

• Proper Nouns that name a particular animal


EXAMPLES: Spot, Fifi, Dusty, Browny, Ginger, Brandy, Dobby

• Proper Nouns that name a particular place


EXAMPLES: New York, London, Jamaica, Afghanistan, Malaysia

• Proper Nouns that name a particular thing


EXAMPLES: Mercedes Benz, Parkson Grand, River Thames,
Proton Satria, Indian Ocean, Mount Everest, Sahara Desert
• Proper Nouns that name a particular idea
EXAMPLES: The Theory of Evolution, Parkinson’s Disease, The
Force of Gravity, Photosynthesis

/ Where a Proper Noun is made up of more than one word only the
important words begin with capital letters.
EXAMPLES: House of Lords, Attorney General, South China Sea, Straits
of Malacca, Chief of Staff, University of Malaya, Chief of Police,
Ambassador to Spain

/ The names of special groups of people; the language of a particular


people; a special tournament or a special position in society always
begin with capital letters.
• Particular groups of people
EXAMPLES: Singaporeans, Japanese, Europeans, Chinese, Indians,
Malaysians, French, Germans

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• Particular languages
EXAMPLES: German, Spanish, Mandarin, English, Malay, Tamil,
Hindi, Arabic
• Special tournaments
EXAMPLES: Thomas Cup, World Cup, Olympic Games, SEA Games,
Commonwealth Games, Miss Universe Contest
• Special designations
EXAMPLES: Lord President, Chairman, Secretary-General, High
Commissioner, Ambassador to China
• The names of days, months and other special events also begin
with capital letters
EXAMPLES: Saturday, Friday, New Year’s Day, All Souls Day,
January, Mother’s Day, Independence Day

" EXERCISE 1.5


Underline the Proper Nouns in the following paragraph.
Roslin belongs to the Malaysian Badminton Team. He participated in
the World Cup Tournament in Spain. Roslin practised every Sunday,
from May to August. The tournament was held in the city called
Paris in France. The people there are known as French and their
language is known as the French Language.

" EXERCISE 1.6


Rewrite the following sentences correctly.
1. many singaporeans speak three languages namely english, malay and
chinese or tamil.
2. when is merdeka day?
3. malaysians are full of traditions and customs.
4. hari raya, chinese new year, deepavali and christmas are religious
festivals.
5. i celebrated my birthday on sunday, 10th of november.

/ When words like ‘Father’ and ‘Mother’ are used as names, they begin
with capital letters. When words like ‘Aunt’ and ‘Uncle’ appear
before particular names they also begin with capital letters.

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Look at the following examples:


1. Aunty/Aunt Lily is coming over on Sunday.
2. I received a surprise gift from Uncle Robert.

Study the following paragraph carefully.


Pam decided to call her dog Dusty. Her parents thought it was a nice
name. “What can I feed Dusty, Mother?” asked Pam. “You can give
her some meat.” said her Mother. “Papa, do you like Dusty?”
inquired Pam. “Of course I do,” replied her Father.

IN A NUTSHELL
• A Proper Noun is a noun that names a particular person, animal,
place, thing or idea.
• Proper Nouns include the names of persons, towns, cities, states,
countries, mountains, rivers, lakes, seas, hills and villages as well as
the names of special groups of people; their languages, particular
tournaments or events.
• All Proper Nouns begin with capital letters.
• Where a Proper Noun is made up of more than one word, only the
important words begin with capital letters.

POSSESSIVE NOUNS
Possessive Nouns are nouns that indicate ownership or possession. They
tell us who or what owns something. Study the following sentences
carefully.
1. Susan left her neighbour’s books on her friend’s table.
• In sentence 1, whose book did Susan leave on her friend’s
table? Her neighbour’s.
• How many neighbours and friends were there? One
neighbour and one friend.
• What did we add to the singular nouns to show possession?
We added an apostrophe and an ‘s’(-’s) to the singular nouns
to show possession viz neighbour’s; friend’s.

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2. Allan went to his uncle’s house.


3. Can you kindly give these to Josephine’s neighbour?
• Are sentences 2 and 3 the same as sentence 1? Yes.
• The above singular nouns do not end in an (-s). So we merely
added an apostrophe and an –s.

So what can we gather from the above?


Most singular nouns can be made into Possessive Nouns by the addition of
an apostrophe and an -s (-’s) at the tail end.
• What happens to singular nouns that end in (-s). How do we
convert them into Possessive Nouns?

Look at the following examples:


1. This looks like Louis’s book.
2. What is Thomas’s car doing here?
3. James’s father is very ill.

How did we convert the above Singular Nouns (which already end in –s)
into Possessive Nouns?
We added an apostrophe and an –s (-’s) after the final (-s) at the tail end of
the singular noun.

How do we convert plural nouns into possessive nouns?

Study this group of sentences carefully.


1. I went to the managers’ meeting yesterday.
2. These jerseys will be given away at the players’ party
3. Those babies’ clothes are not ready yet.
• What did we do here?We merely added an apostrophe (’ )
after the Plural Nouns to indicate their possessive forms.

/ To form the possessive forms of Plural Nouns that already end in an


(-s) we add an apostrophe ( ’ ) at the tail ends of the Plural Nouns.
However, not all Plural Nouns end in (-s). In order to form the
possessive form of nouns that do not end in an –s, we add an
apostrophe and an ‘s’) after the Plural Nouns.

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Now study the following sentences carefully.


1. This is a bachelors’ party.
2. Where is the gents’ toilet?
3. I am going for a party at the spinsters’ club.
• In sentences 1 to 3, the nouns ‘bachelors’, ‘gents’ and
‘spinsters’ are already plural in number. So we merely added
an apostrophe and an ‘s’ after the words.

/ If the Possessive Noun already ends in an ‘s’, we merely add an


apostrophe after the final ‘s’ to indicate possession (e.g. Charles’
birthday)

A WORD OF WARNING!
Do not confuse these Possessive Nouns with the plural forms of nouns.
Study the following sentences carefully.
1. The Jameses are here to see you. (PLURAL NOUN)
2. Do these belong to the Thomases? (PLURAL NOUN)
3. This is Mr. Lewis’ suitcase. (POSSESSIVE SINGULAR NOUN)

" EXERCISE 1.7


Complete the following by adding either an apostrophe ( ’ ) or an
apostrophe and an (’-s) to show their possessive forms.
the baby bell _______________________
James bicycle _______________________
the dog food _______________________
the men shoes _______________________
a man best friend _______________________

" EXERCISE 1.8


Insert the apostrophe in the correct place and indicate whether it is a
singular or a plural Possessive Noun. The first one has been done for you.

a gentlemans agreement A gentleman’s agreement


(SINGULAR POSSESSIVE NOUN)
soldiers guns _______________________
thieves hideout _______________________
generals daughter _______________________
nurses hostel _______________________
my schools address _______________________

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IN A NUTSHELL
• Possessive Nouns are nouns that indicate ownership or possession.
• There are various forms of Possessive Nouns.
• We normally indicate the possessive forms by adding an apostrophe
(’) to the nouns or an apostrophe and an (-s) to the original nouns.

COLLECTIVE NOUNS
A Collective Noun is a noun that is used to refer to a collection of a group
of people, animals or things as a whole.
EXAMPLES:

A group of singers is called a choir.


A group of fish is called a school or a shoal of fish.
A group of soldiers is called a regiment, battalion, army, etc.

Here are more examples of Collective Nouns:


1. brood bird’s or other animal’s young produced at one go;
children of a family.
2. bouquet bunch of flowers, herbs, leaves for flavouring.
3. bunch cluster of things tied or fastened together.

"EXERCISE 1.9
Underline the Collective Nouns in the following sentences.
1. The pupils of St. John’s Kindergarten are well behaved.
2. The general instructed his troop of soldiers to carry out their duties
fairly.
3. What is the difference between an orchestra and choir?
4. ‘Crew’ refers to those men who work on a ship.
5. We live in Block A of the condominium.

IN A NUTSHELL
• Collective Nouns are nouns used to denote groups of people, places
things or animals.

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ABSTRACT NOUNS
An Abstract Noun is usually a noun that names a quality, an action or the
state of being of a person, animal, thing or an idea. Abstract Nouns cannot
be seen or touched but can be felt.

Kinds of Abstract Nouns


• Abstract Nouns of Quality
EXAMPLES: wickedness, goodness, generosity, darkness, boldness,
whiteness, softness, bravery
• Abstract Nouns of Action
EXAMPLES: movement, laughter, judgement, hatred, robbery, theft,
discovery, anger
• Abstract Nouns of the State of Being
EXAMPLES: childhood, adulthood, pilgrimage, slavery, sickness,
happiness, youth, bondage
• The names of the Arts and Sciences are also considered as Abstract
Nouns.
EXAMPLES: drama, music, Physics, Mathematics, English,
Chemistry, cricket, hockey

Formation of Abstract Nouns


Abstract Nouns can be formed from Common Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives.

Table 3: Formation of Abstract Nouns from


Common Nouns

COMMON NOUNS ABSTRACT NOUNS


child childhood
slave slavery
man manhood
king kingdom
friend friendship

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Table 4: Formation of Abstract Nouns from Verbs

VERBS ABSTRACT NOUNS


obey obedience
judge judgement
flatter flattery
protect protection
die death

Table 5: Formation of Abstract Nouns from Adjectives

ADJECTIVES ABSTRACT NOUNS


kind kindness
long length
pure purity
ignorant ignorance
free freedom

Usage of Abstract Nouns


Study the following sentences carefully.
1. Childhood is the earliest stage in our lives.
2. People still practice slavery in some parts of the earth.
3. We discovered the theft when we got home.

" EXERCISE 1.10


Form Abstract Nouns from the following common nouns.
child infant owner coward pilgrim

" EXERCISE 1.11


Form Abstract Nouns from the following verbs.
know hate move discover free

" EXERCISE 1.12


Form Abstract Nouns from the following adjectives.
young sweet high cruel wise

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" EXERCISE 1.13


Identify all the Abstract Nouns in the following sentences.
1. Not many people can hold their hunger and thirst for long.
2. Theatre and drama are part of the fine arts.
3. Good news brings happiness and cheer while bad news brings
sorrow and disappointment.
4. The drought scorched many padi fields and destroyed many peoples
livelihood
5. What do you prefer — health or wealth?

IN A NUTSHELL
• An Abstract Noun usually defines a quality, an action or the state of
being of a person, animal, place, thing or an idea.
• Abstract Nouns can be formed from Common Nouns, Verbs and
Adjectives.
• The names of the Arts and Sciences are also Abstract Nouns.

COMPOUND NOUNS
A Compound Noun is a common noun that is made up of more than one
word. Some Compound Nouns consist of two individual nouns that are
joined together, with or without an hyphen.
EXAMPLES: indoor stadium, badminton court, football field, city centre,
swimming pool, department store, supermarket, bowling alley,
megamall, White House, air-conditioner, microwave oven, male
nurse, duty officer, night shift, headmaster, football, telephone
operator
1. My niece works as a telephone operator.
2. Our headmaster, Mr Ram, is a strict man.
3. Marcus is a male nurse in a hospital in London.

" EXERCISE 1.14


Identify all the Compound Nouns in the following sentences/questions.
1. Who is the anchorman in your team?
2. Do you do your homework in your storeroom?
3. Is a male nurse the same as a female nurse?

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4. I keep my garden tools in the garden shed.


5. All vehicles come with a tool kit and a spare tyre.

" EXERCISE 1.15


Fill in the blanks with suitable Compound Nouns from the list below.
swimming costume wet market dining table pet dog
mountain bike study table guard dog handphone
department store swimming pool
1. Which would you prefer for a birthday present: a __________ or a
__________.
2. While we have our meals at the __________, we do our school work at
a __________.
3. The guard told me that I had to change into my __________ before I
could use the __________.
4. While an Alsatian is more of a __________, a poodle is more of a
__________.
5. We can buy clothes and shoes at a __________, and vegetables and
meat at a __________.

IN A NUTSHELL
• Compound Nouns are nouns that are made up of more than one word.

NOUNS (GENDER)
The word ‘gender’ means ‘sex’. It comes from the Latin word ‘genus’ which
means kind, sort, or class. In other words ‘gender’ explains what kind, sort
or class a particular item belongs to. There are basically four classes
(genders) into which all items can be classified namely:
Masculine Gender Feminine Gender
Common Gender Neuter Gender
All living beings (including animals) belong to one of the two sexes. They
are either male or female in sex. The male of an animal (including man) is
referred to as the Masculine Gender and the female of an animal is referred
to as the Feminine Gender.

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EXAMPLES:

MASCULINE GENDER FEMININE GENDER


boy girl
cockerel hen
lion lioness
ram ewe
manager manageress

Common Gender
There are some occasions when we wish to use a noun that does not
specify a particular sex. In such cases we use the Common Gender that
can be used for either sex.
Nouns in the Common Gender
EXAMPLES: parent, servant, child, orphan, thief, cousin, friend, animal,
relation, neighbour

Neuter Gender
How do we refer a noun that has no sex? Such a noun is referred to as the
Neuter Gender. The word ‘neuter’ means neither masculine nor feminine.
Nouns in Neuter Gender are normally without life.
EXAMPLES: book, table, house, water, pen, chair, kitchen, river, car,
bed, knife, air

Formation of Masculine and Feminine Gender


We can form Masculine and Feminine Nouns in various ways viz:
Table 6: By adding the syllables (-ss) or (-ess)
to the suffix of the Masculine Form

MASCULINE GENDER FEMININE GENDER


author authoress
host hostess
priest priestess
shepherd shepherdess
steward stewardess
lion lioness

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Table 7: By removing the last vowel in the Masculine Gender


and adding an (‘ness/ess’) to the Feminine Gender

MASCULINE GENDER FEMININE GENDER


actor actress
conductor conductress
emperor empress
tiger tigress
master mistress

Table 8: By using entirely different words for the


Masculine and Feminine Forms

MASCULINE GENDER FEMININE GENDER


boy girl
bull cow
dog bitch
horse mare
man woman

Table 9: By adding a new word (normally a noun)


to the prefix or suffix of the existing Masculine
or Feminine Form

MASCULINE GENDER FEMININE GENDER


grandfather grandmother
grandson granddaughter
landlord landlady
milkman milkwoman
peacock peahen

" EXERCISE 1.16


Indicate the gender of the following nouns. The first one has been done for
you.
NOUNS GENDER

1. headmaster MASCULINE
2. doctor _____________
3. policeman _____________
4. chair _____________
5. Mrs. Chan _____________

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" EXERCISE 1.17


Arrange the following nouns by placing them in the right slots in the table
below:
EXAMPLES: head prefect, grandson, stewardess, ruler, swine, book,
chauffeur, slippers, pharmacist, sister, duck, door, uncle, bull,
gander, nurse, people, flowers, bitch, beach, mister
MASCULINE FEMININE COMMON NEUTER
_________ _________ _________ _________
_________ _________ _________ _________
_________ _________ _________ _________
_________ _________ _________ _________
_________ _________ _________ _________

IN A NUTSHELL
• The term ‘gender’ means ‘sex’.
• Nouns can be classified under four different Genders namely Masculine,
Feminine, Common and Neuter Gender.
• The Masculine Gender refers to the male form of a noun while
Feminine Gender refers to the female form of a noun.
• Nouns that we do not wish to classify as male or female or whose sex
we are not sure of are referred to as the Common Gender.
• Nouns that do not have life are referred to as the Neuter Gender.

NOUNS (NUMBER)
All Nouns fall under two categories viz Countable and Uncountable Nouns.

Countable Nouns
Study the following table.

One boy Many boys


One Lady Fifty ladies
A chair Ten chairs
One dog Hundreds of dogs
A stray cat Twenty stray cats

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• What do you notice about the groups of nouns above?


All the nouns can be counted.
• What do we call such nouns?
Such nouns are referred to as Countable Nouns.
• How do we define Countable Nouns?
Countable Nouns are those nouns that can be counted.

Uncountable Nouns
Now study the following group of nouns carefully.
Coffee A kilo of coffee/a cup of coffee
Sugar Some sugar/a little sugar
Rice/Wheat A bag of rice/a bushel of wheat
Salt A teaspoon/a tablespoon of salt
Oil A bottle of oil/a litre of oil
• What can you say about the above group of nouns?
These nouns cannot be counted on their own in the same way as
Countable Nouns. However, we can count them by adding numeral
phrases of quantity or amount to them.
• How do we define such nouns.
Such Nouns are referred to as Uncountable Nouns.

" EXERCISE 1.18


Identify the Countable Nouns and Uncountable Nouns in the following
sentences and indicate their respective categories.
1. We say much money but many dollars, right?
2. Many people flocked to see the accident where much blood was lost.
3. My uncle gave me a surprise present for my sixteenth birthday.
4. Can you please clean the weeds in the lawn?
5. Sita cooked some mutton stew and a little bit of cabbage yesterday.

" EXERCISE 1.19


Identify the numerals/phrases of quantity or amount in the following
sentences.
1. Can you please give me a glass of water?
2. A few of the crooks were arrested by the police.
3. The beggar asked me for some rice.

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4. A large crowd of people saw the police taking the thieves away.
5. Peter asked Marcus for fifty dollars but Marcus gave him a hundred
dollars.

IN A NUTSHELL
• Countable Nouns are Nouns that can be counted on their own.
• Uncountable Nouns are Nouns that cannot be counted unless we use
phrases containing numerals, quantities or amounts with them.

Singular Nouns and Plural Nouns


This lesson is an extension of the lesson on Countable and Uncountable
Nouns.

Definition of Singular and Plural Nouns


A Singular Noun is a noun that names one person, animal, place, thing or
idea. A Plural Noun is a noun that names more than one person, animal,
place, thing or idea.
Table 10: Formation of Singular and Plural Nouns

SINGULAR NOUNS PLURAL NOUNS


boy boys
dog dogs
noun nouns
apple apples
house houses

• What did we do to the words in Singular Nouns to change them into


Plural Nouns?
We merely add an ‘s’ to the suffixes of each Singular Noun. This is
just one of the ways of changing Singular Nouns into Plural Nouns as
we shall see.

Table 11

SINGULAR NOUNS PLURAL NOUNS


match matches
buzz buzzes
wish wishes
Jones Joneses
ox oxen

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Intensive English Grammar

• How did we convert the above Singular Nouns into Plural Nouns?
We also added an ‘-es’ to their suffixes except for ‘ox’ where we
added an ‘-en’ to its tail end.
Table 12

SINGULAR NOUNS PLURAL NOUNS


sheep sheep
deer deer
cattle cattle
furniture furniture
fish fish/fishes

• What do you notice in the above group of Nouns?


All the nouns, except ‘fish’ have the same form both in the singular as
well as plural forms when we talk about the same type of fish. However,
when we refer to many different types of fish, we may use the noun
‘fishes’ in its plural form.

IN A NUTSHELL
• A Singular Noun names one person, animal, place, thing or an idea.
• A Plural Noun names more than one person, animal, place, thing or an
idea.
• Most Singular Nouns can be made into Plural Nouns by adding an
(‘s’) to their suffixes or their tail ends. This is especially so with
Singular Nouns that have a vowel before the final ‘y’ viz boy, toy,
tray, etc.
• However, the above rule cannot be used for all Singular Nouns
because the Plural Nouns take many different – some regular and
some irregular.

Study the following groups of Nouns.


Table 13

SINGULAR NOUNS PLURAL NOUNS


woman women
child children
mouse mice
goose geese

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Intensive English Grammar

• What do you notice here?


The Plural Nouns take on a completely different form and are spelt
differently too.
Table 14
SINGULAR NOUNS PLURAL NOUNS
scarf scarves
wolf wolves
loaf loaves

• What did we do here?


We dropped the final ‘f’ and added an (-ves) to their suffixes.
Table 15

SINGULAR NOUNS PLURAL NOUNS


knife knives
life lives
wife wives

• What did we do here?


We dropped the ‘fe’ and added an (-ves) to their suffixes.

Table 16: A few unusual forms of Plural Nouns

SINGULAR NOUNS PLURAL NOUNS


curriculum curricula
criterion criteria
syllabus syllabi/syllabuses

• The above list consists of some unusual forms of Plural Nouns where
the two forms are totally different from each other. They are not very
commonly used though.

Look at the following groups of words and answer the questions below.
GROUP A GROUP B
toy – toys nursery – nurseries
boy – boys baby – babies
day – days party – parties
• We merely added the alphabet ‘-s’ to the nouns which have a vowel
before the final alphabet ‘y’ in the tail ends. We removed the final
alphabet ‘y’ and added the letters ‘-ies’ to the tail ends of the nouns

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Intensive English Grammar

that have a consonant before the final ‘y’ in order to convert them into
plural nouns.
• Which group of words has a vowel before the letter ‘y’? (GROUP A)
• What did we do to the singular nouns to change them into plural
nouns?
We added the alphabet (-s) to these singular nouns to change them
into plural nouns.
• Which group of words has a consonant before the letter ‘y’? (GROUP B)
• How did we form the plural form of these singular nouns?
We dropped the final ‘y’ and added an (-ies) form to their suffixes or
tail ends.

The following table summarises the various ways of forming Plural Nouns
from Singular Nouns

SINGULAR NOUN FORM OF CONVERSION PLURAL NOUNS


ENDING TO PLURAL NOUNS FORMED
1. James (-s) Jameses
add ‘-es’
Felix (-s) Felixes
2. boss (-ss) bosses
add ‘-es’
loss (-ss) losses
3. church (-ch) churches
add ‘-es’
watch (-ch) watches
4. ox (-x) add ‘-en’ oxen
5. waltz (-z) waltzes
add ‘-es’
buzz (-z) buzzes
6. daisy (-y) change ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add daisies
baby (-y) ‘es’ babies
7. scarf (-f) change ‘f’ to ‘v’ and add scarves
wolf (-f) ‘es’ wolves
8. knife (-fe) change ‘f’ to ‘v’ and add knives
life (-fe) ‘s’ lives

" EXERCISE 1.20


Write the plural forms of the following nouns.
nursery _____________ fish _____________
goose _____________ crockery _____________
mouse _____________ ox _____________

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Intensive English Grammar

" EXERCISE 1.21


Fill in the blanks using the correct forms of the Nouns given in brackets.
1. Today, __________ has __________ of __________. (plastic,
hundreds, uses)
2. Many __________ and __________ use many __________ of
__________. (factories, laboratories, kinds, plastic)
3. __________ usually make plastic by combining carbon with other
__________. (chemists, elements)
4. These __________ there are many __________ that make use of
plastic __________. (days, industries, items)
5. Petrodollars refers to the __________ we obtain from __________.
Petrol is used by __________ people in many __________ of the
__________. Police __________ are common in many __________ of
the world. (money, petrol, many, parts, world, patrols, countries)

IN A NUTSHELL
• Singular Nouns which have a vowel before the final ‘y’ are converted
into Plural Nouns by merely adding (‘s’) to their suffixes.
• Singular Nouns which have a consonant before the final ‘y’ are
converted into Plural Nouns by removing the final ‘y’ and adding the
letters (‘ies’) to their suffixes.
• Some nouns retain the same form and spelling, both as singular as
well as plural forms.
• Some nouns take on a completely different form and are spelt
differently when they are converted from the singular to the plural form.
• Some nouns take on different prefixes or suffixes in the plural forms.

SUBJECT NOUNS
A Subject Noun is a noun that forms the subject of a sentence. The Subject
Noun normally comes before the finite verb in a sentence.

Uses of a Subject Noun


Study the following sentences.
1. The train stopped. (Answers the question ‘what’)
• In sentence 1, the noun is ‘train’. It comes before the finite
verb ‘stopped’.

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Intensive English Grammar

2. The baby cried. (Answers the question ‘who’)


• In sentence 2, the noun is ‘baby’. It comes before the finite
verb ‘cried’.
3. Many houses were destroyed. (Answers the question ‘what’)
• In sentence 3, the noun is ‘houses’. It comes before the finite
verb ‘were destroyed’.
Note: All the above nouns are known as Subject Nouns.
• Subject Nouns normally come before the finite verb.
• Subject Nouns usually answer the questions of ‘who’ or ‘what’.
• Subject Nouns normally follow the noun-verb (N-V) sentence
pattern.

" EXERCISE 1.22


Underline all the Subject Nouns in the following sentences and indicate
whether they answer the questions ‘who?’ or ‘what?’.
1. The thief disappeared.
2. Many bridges were damaged.
3. A policeman waited there.
4. All the people are rushing.
5. The choir sang well.

" EXERCISE 1.23


Fill in the blanks with suitable Subject Nouns and indicate whether they
answer the questions ‘who?’ or ‘what?’
1. __________ grow on trees.
2. The __________ played in the yard.
3. Every __________ is responsible for his action.
4. Many __________ are killed for Christmas.
5. __________ fly in the sky.

IN A NUTSHELL
• There are two main Noun forms namely Subject Nouns and Object
Nouns.
• A Subject Noun is a Noun that normally comes before the finite verb.
• Subject Nouns normally answer the question ‘who?’ or ‘what?’

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Intensive English Grammar

OBJECT NOUNS
An Object Noun is a noun that forms the object of a sentence. The Object
Noun normally comes after the fine verb in a sentence.

Categories of Object Nouns


There are two categories of Object Nouns namely Direct Object Nouns and
Indirect Object Nouns.

Uses of Object Nouns

GROUP A GROUP B
1. Hamish passed the test. 1. Nathan gave Feroz a gift.
2. The cow ate the hay. 2. Everyone gave David a bear hug.
3. Children ask many 3. The judge gave his opinion
questions. to the lawyer.
• Is there any difference between the sentences in Group A and
Group B?
Yes. All the sentences in group A have only one object. The
object answers the question ‘what?’. This type of object is
known as the Direct Object Noun.
All the sentences in Group B have two objects. One object
answers the question ‘what?’ and the other object answers the
question ‘whom?’.
• For example, in sentence 1, the noun ‘gift’ answers the question
‘what?’ and the noun ‘Feroz’ answers the question ‘whom?’.
We call the noun ‘gift’ the Direct Object Noun and the noun
‘Feroz’ the Indirect Object Noun.
• Similarly in sentence 2, the noun ‘hug’ is the Direct Object
Noun and the noun ‘David’ is the Indirect Object Noun.
• Likewise in sentence 3, the noun ‘opinion’ is the Direct Object
Noun and the noun ‘lawyer’ is the Indirect Object Noun.

" EXERCISE 1.24


Identify all the Object Nouns in the following sentences and indicate
whether they are Direct Object Nouns or Indirect Object Nouns.
1. Aloysius threw the ball to me.
2. Dad gave the waiter a small tip.

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Intensive English Grammar

3. The fierce dog barked at the postman who delivered the letters.
4. We gave Emma a party for her birthday.
5. The policemen arrested the crooks who stole our car.

" EXERCISE 1.25


Fill in the blanks with suitable Object Nouns and indicate whether they
are Direct Object Nouns or Indirect Object Nouns.
1. Sara borrowed __________ from __________.
2. The rich man gave __________ __________.
3. The stranger bought __________ __________.
4. The cow gives __________ milk and __________.
5. The police provide __________ __________.

IN A NUTSHELL
• There are two types of Objects Nouns namely Direct Object Nouns
and Indirect Object Nouns.
• Direct Object Nouns normally answer the question ‘what’?
and Indirect Object Nouns answer the question ‘whom’?
• The sentences in this group follow the Noun-Verb-Noun or Noun-
Verb-Noun-Noun patterns.

NOUNS AND APPOSITIVES


An Appositive is a word or a group of words that tells us more about or
modifies a noun in a sentence. Appositives help to make our writing more
interesting. Appositives may come before or after the nouns they modify.

Uses of Appositives
Study the following examples:
1. Mr Soloman is our Headmaster. He is a very strict man.
Mr Soloman, our Headmaster, is a very strict man.
(Mr Solomon = NOUN; our Headmaster = APPOSITIVe)
• Sentence 1 consists of two separate sentences. We can say the
same thing in a single sentence, can’t we?
• How did we get this new sentence?
We have combined the two sentences into one single sentence
by using an Appositive. The phrase ‘our Headmaster’ tells us
more about the noun ‘Mr Soloman’. Therefore, we refer to the

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Intensive English Grammar

phrase ‘our Headmaster’ as the appositive of the noun ‘Mr


Soloman’. This Appositive comes after the noun it modifies.
2. Sylvia is the new manageress. She is a very friendly boss.
Sylvia, the new manageress, is a very friendly boss.
(Sylvia = NOUN; the new manageress = APPOSITIVE)
• In sentence 2, the phrase ‘the new manageress’ tells us more
about the noun ‘Sylvia’. Therefore, we call this phrase the
appositive of the noun ‘Sylvia’. This Appositive comes after
the noun it modifies.
3. Karl Benz invented the Mercedes Benz. He was a German engineer.
The German engineer, Karl Benz, invented the Mercedes Benz.
(The German engineer = APPOSITIVE; Karl Benz = NOUN)
• In sentence 3, the phrase ‘the German engineer’ tells us more
about the noun ‘Karl Benz’. Therefore, we call this phrase the
appositive of the noun ‘Karl Benz’. This Appositive comes
before the noun it modifies.

Agreement of Appositive, Person and Number


/ For an Appositive to be effective, it must be of the same person and
number as the noun it modifies viz.
• In sentence 1, the noun ‘Mr Soloman’ is of the third person,
singular in number and masculine in person.
• Thus the appositive ‘our headmaster’ is also singular in number
and masculine in gender. This is further highlighted by use of the
abbreviation ‘Mr’ and the noun ‘man’ in the same sentence.
• In sentence 2, the noun ‘Sylvia’ is of the third person, singular in
number and feminine in person. Thus, the appositive ‘our new
manageress’ is also singular in number and feminine in person.
• In sentence 3, the noun ‘Karl Benz’ is of the third person, singular
in number and masculine in person. Thus, the appositive, the
German engineer is also singular in number and masculine in
person.

Position of the Appositive


Appositives can come at the beginning of a sentence (before the nouns
they modify) in between the sentence or at the end of the sentence (after
the nouns they modify) such as:

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Intensive English Grammar

1. My birthday bash was a buffet party. It was great fun.


My birthday bash, a buffet party, was great fun.
(My birthday bash = NOUN; a buffet party = APPOSITIVE)
2. His new car is a BMW. It is very expensive.
His new car, a BMW, is very expensive.
(His new car = APPOSITIVE; a BMW = NOUN)
3. Our new condominium is a large and luxurious utility. It looks
very posh.
Our new condominium, a large and luxurious utility, looks very
posh.
(Our new condominium = NOUN; a large and luxurious utility =
APPOSITIVE)

• In sentence 1, the Appositive comes after the Noun phrase it


modifies.
• In sentences 2 and 3, the Appositives come at the beginning of
the sentence; before the Noun/Noun phrases they modify.
• I believe you have mastered the main rules on Appositives. Let
us now try to do some exercises.

" EXERCISE 1.26


Combine each pair of sentences into a single sentence with an Appositive.
Insert commas in the correct positions.
1. Shaun is my American pen pal. He is a doctor.
2. Sally’s mother is a nurse. She works in a private hospital.
3. My dog is a Doberman. It is called Prince.
4. ‘Big Mac’ is a form of fast food. It is from America.
5. Swimming is a healthy sport. It is a good pastime as well.

" EXERCISE 1.27


Underline all the Appositives in the following sentences and denote the
Nouns they modify.
EXAMPLE: Our new neighbour, David, is very cooperative.
(APPOSITIVE) (NOUN) (MODIFIES THE NOUN ‘David’)

1. The Raja Brooke, a large and exotic butterfly, is very common in


Malaysia.
2. Dinosaurs, the large prehistoric animals, were feared by man.
3. Katherine, my sister-in-law, is a very docile person.

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Intensive English Grammar

4. The Concorde, an Anglo-French invention, is a unique aeroplane.


5. Gardening, a good form of exercise, can be profitable too.

IN A NUTSHELL
• An appositive is a word or a group of words that tells us more about or
modifies a Noun/Noun phrase in a sentence.
• An appositive is usually separated from the rest of the sentence by two
commas; one before it and one after it.
• An appositive may come either in the beginning, in between a sentence
or at the end of a sentence.
• Appositives help to make our sentences more interesting.
• In order to be effective, Appositives must be of the same number,
person and gender as the Nouns they modify and they must be placed
as close as possible to the nouns they modify.

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