Tuesday, March 22, 2011

English Nouns

English Noun

            A noun is a word that names a person, a place, a thing or an idea.
            PERSONS        Athlete, Grandfather, Faiz Ahmad Faiz
            PLACES           Parlor, seashore, Karachi
            THINGS           Chair, milk, atom
            IDEAS              loneliness, harmony, capitalism

            Dates and days of the week are also classified as nouns.
            1492                 Sunday             July 4, 1976
KINDS OF NOUNS
            Nouns are divisible into different kinds:
Common and Proper Nouns
           
            A common noun refers to one of a class of people, places, things, or ideas. It does not begin with a capital letter unless it begins a sentence. A proper noun gives the name or title of a particular person, place, thing or idea. It always begins with a capital letter.

            COMMON NOUN:      The sailors spotted an island.
            PROPER NOUN:                      The largest continent is Asia.
Compound Nouns
            A compound noun consists of two or more words used together to form a single noun. There are four kinds of compound nouns. One kind is formed by joining two or more words: wallpaper. A second kind consists of words joined by hyphens: dinner-dance. A third kind consists of words that are often used together even though they are not joined: bulletin board. The fourth kind is a name that consists of more than one word: Old Faithful.
Collective Nouns
            A collective noun refers to a group of people , places, things or ideas.
            The multitude of people gathered in front of the stadium.
            The museum has an excellent collection of Egyptian mummies.
Concrete and Abstract Nouns
            Concrete nouns refer to material things, to people, or to places. Some concrete nouns name things that you can perceive with your senses: bell, odour, breeze. Other concrete nouns name things that can be measured or perceived with the aid of technical devices. Although you may not be able to see helium, the noun helium is concrete because it names something that has a definite material existence. The nouns in boldface type in the following sentences are concrete.
            On his face was a large smile.
            The explosion of the tank could be heard two miles away.
            I could smell the fumes of gasoline in the air.
            People need oxygen in order to live.
[Even though you cannot see, hear, smell, or taste oxygen, it is a substance that can be measured.]
            Abstract nouns name ideas, qualities, emotions, or attitudes. The nouns in boldface type in the following sentences are abstract.
            J.S. Mills named liberty and the pursuit of happiness as two people’s rights.
            Noreen’s face showed great concentration as she awaited the start of the race.
            In a meritocracy, people assume leadership because of ability and talent.
Count Nouns and Non-count Nouns
            Most English nouns are count nouns. They refer to object which are thought of as separate and distinct entities and they have both singular and plural forms.
            I have bought a new book.
            Books are a source of knowledge.
            Crocodiles live in water.
            We saw a crocodile in the zoo.
            Non-count nouns do not have a singular or a plural form. In a sentence, a non-count noun is treated like a singular noun and uses the verb form for singular nouns.
            A and an cannot be used with non-count nouns. However, non-count nouns that represent a collection or a mass may be preceded by a phrase that indicates quantity, or quantifier, such as a lot of, a little, some much, any.
Example:          I like some butter on my toast.
                        (Not: I like a butter on my toast)
Now study the following sentences:
            Cows eat grass.
            Put some butter on the potatoes.
            Fill our pens with ink.
            Honesty pays in the long run.
            In the sentences given above, grass, butter, ink and honesty are uncountable Nouns. We cannot count them or we do not count them. We do not even use a, an, one, two, three etc. before them.
            We can group the following into Uncountable Nouns:
                                i.      Abstract Nouns:   honesty, courage, youth, freedom etc.
                              ii.      Material Nouns:  gold, silver, wood, paper etc.
                            iii.      Things that are not considered in numbers but in mass or quantity: grass, wheat, rice, sugar etc.
                             iv.      Liquids: ink, milk, water, oil etc.
                               v.      Gases: Oxygen, Hydrogen, Steam, Smoke etc.
                             vi.      Natural Phenomena: heat, cold, sun-light etc.
                           vii.      Branches of learning: Economics, Politics, Mathematics
1.         The Noun:    Gender
            The Gender of any Noun tells us whether the person or object talked about belongs to the male sex, female sex  or to neither of the two sexes. Only living beings have sex whereas both living (beings) and non-living (objects) have Genders. Therefore, Gender and Sex are totally different things. Pen and boat have a Gender but they have no sex.
            There are four Genders:
1.       Nouns denoting the male sex are of Masculine Gender: Father, Cock, Colt, Wizard etc.
2.       Nouns denoting the female sex are of Feminine Gender: Mohsina, hen, filly, witch etc.
3.       Nouns used for both male and females are of Common Gender: Baby, infant, child, friend, patient etc.
4.       Nouns denoting things without life are of Neuter Gender: Pen, book, slate, chair, pencil etc.
Remember that Uncountable Nouns, Lower animals and young ones are considered as Neuter Gender.
When lifeless objects are personified, they are considered as males or females.
1.       Things indicating strength, greatness, courage, awe etc. are regarded as Masculine Gender: Anger, death, ocean, sun, thunder, revenge etc.
The sun sheds his beams on the rich and the poor alike.
2.       Things noted for beauty, gentleness, grace, weakness etc. are regarded as Feminine Gender: Moon, peace, mercy, spring, truth etc.
The moon hid her face behind a cloud.
Peace has her victories no less renowned than war.
A ship, a boat, a railway train, a country and a nation are also treated as Feminine Gender.
2.         The Noun:    Number
There are only two numbers in English:
            The Singular Number and The Plural Number
            Nouns denoting one person or thing are in the Singular Number: Book day, bench, potato, wife etc.
            Nouns denoting more than one person or thing are in the Plural Number: Books, days, benches, potatoes, wives etc.
            The following are the rules for forming the Plurals of Nouns:
Rule 1:       By adding ‘s’ to the Singular:

Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
Action
Actions
Eagle
Eagles
Author
Authors
Pan
Pans
Book
Books
Tail
Tails

Rule 2:       By adding ‘s’ to the Nouns ending in ‘y’ and preceded by a Vowel (a,e,io,u):

Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
Day
Days
Boy
Boys
Essay
Essays
Monkey
Monkeys
Storey
Storeys
Toy
Toys

Rule 3:       By adding ;’s’ to Nouns ending in ‘o’ preceded by a Vowel:

Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
Radio
Radios
Bamboo
Bamboos
Ratio
Ratios
Cuckoo
Cuckoos

Rule 4:       By adding ‘s’ to Nouns ending in ‘f’ or ‘fe’; as\

Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
Belief
Believs
Proof
Proofs
Chief
Chiefs
Safe
Safes

Rule 5:       By adding ‘es’ to the Nouns ending in ‘sh’, ‘s’, or ‘x’; as
Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
Bench
Benches
Ass
Asses
Bush
Bushes
Box
Boxes

Rule 6:       By adding ‘es’ to the Nouns ending in ‘o’ preceded by a consonant; as

Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
Echo
Echoes
Potato
Potatoes
Hero
Heroes
Motto
Mottoes

Exception to the above Rule
Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
Dynamo
Dynamos
Piano
Pianos
Photo
Photos
Mosquito
Mosquitos

Rule 7:       By changing ‘y’ into ‘i' and then adding ‘es’ to Nouns ending in ‘y’ and preceded by a consonant; as

Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
Army
Armies
Diary
Diaries
Country
Countries
Reply
Replies
Duty
Duties
Story
Stories

Rule 8        By changing ‘f’ and ‘fe’ into ‘v’ and then adding ‘es’ to Nouns ending in ‘f’ or ‘fe’; as

Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
Calf
Calves
Sheaf
Sheaves
Thief
Thieves
Wife
Wives
Knife
Knives
Himself
Themselves

Rule 9:       By changing the inside Vowel or Vowels of the Nouns; as

Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
(a)  Man
Men
Woman
Women
       Gentleman
Gentlemen
Watchman
Watchmen
(b) Foot
Feet
Tooth
Teeth
      Goose
Geese


(c)  Louse
Lice
Mouse
Mice
(d)  Axis
Axes
Crisis
Crises
      Basis
Bases
Oasis
Oases

Rule 10:      By adding apostrophe’s to Abbreviations and Numbers; as

Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
B.A.
B.A.’s
B.T.
B.T.’s
A
A’s
T
T’s
3
3’s
5
5’s

Rule 11:      By adding ‘s’ to the chief word in the Compound Nouns; as

Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
Passer-by
Passers-by
On-looker
On-lookers
Race-horse
Race-horses
Looker-on
Lookers-on
Maid-servant
Maid-servants
Step-mother
Step-mothers
Son-in-law
Sons-in-law
Father-in-law
Fathers-in-law
Commander-in-Chief
Commanders-in-chief
Governor-general
Governor-generals

The following Compound Nouns take Double Plurals:

Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
Man-servant
Men-servants
Woman-servant
Women-servants
Lord-justice
Lords-justices
Knight-templer
Knights-templers
Rule 12:      The following Nouns are used as the Singular:

Mathematics
News
Summons
Physics
Innings
Scenery
Bedding
Information
Hair
Abuse
Advice
Furntire
Offspring (issue)

Mechanics

Examples:

                  This news was published in the Tribune.
                  Here is a summons for you.
                  Mathematics is my favourite subject.
                  Her hair is very long
                  You gave him much abuse.
                  My advice carries no weight with him.
                  The furniture in this office is broken.
                  His offspring has died
                  The innings lasts till all the players are not out
                  This information has been sent to all the offices.
                  The scenery of Nainital is very charming.
                  My bedding has been stolen.
Note: If required, the sense of some of the above Nouns may be expressed in Plural in the following ways:
  1. Pieces of advice, pieces of information, pieces of poetry, articles of furniture, articles of clothing, rolls of bedding.
  2. Her hairs are partly black and partly grey.
I pulled out four of her hairs.

Rule 13:      The following Nouns are always used as Plural: (They take plural verb)
(a)    Collective Nouns which are Singular in form; as
      Cattle, Poultry, Folk, People, Gentry, Vermin etc.
      The cattle are grazing.
      These poultry are mine.
      The village folk are credulous
      The gentry were invited to the function.
      The people of India are enterprising.
      Vermin carry disease.
(b)    Names of instruments of two parts forming kinds of pair; as
      Tongs, scissors, bellows, pincers, spectacles etc.
      These tongs are made of iron.
      These scissors are made of fine steel.
      Your spectacles are costly. 
(c)    Names of certain articles of dress; as
      Trousers, drawers, breeches, shoes etc.,
      Your trousers are torn out.
      These shoes are old now.
(d)   Certain other Nouns; as
Alms
Annals
Thanks
Goods
Quarters
Proceeds (of a sale)
Pains
Odds
Tidings
Environs
Assets
Mumps
Riches
Eaves
Measles
Billiards
Vegetables etc.




            My thanks are due to your brother for my appointment.
            Those quarters are newly built.
            The odds were against the English.
            The mason will finish the eaves today.
            Alms were given to the poor.
            Riches have wings.
            He takes pains in doing his work.
Note:    We also say a pair of scissors, a pair of spectacles, a pair of shoes etc.

Rule 14.      The following Nouns are used in both numbers, the Singular and the Plural:
            This proved a means to an end.
            The means which he adopted were unfair.
            Her means are small, but she lives well.
(‘Means’ when it has the meaning of ‘wealth’ is always plural.)
            Politics is an interesting subject.
            Your politics are known to me.
            Great pains were (or pain was) taken by them to solve the problem.
            The wages of sin is death.
            The wages of labourers have increased.
            The public is (are) the best judge (judges) in this matter.
            You will have to make amend (or amends) for his lose.
Rule 15.      The following Nouns have the same form for both the Singular and Plural:
(a)  He keeps a deer.
            There are many deer in the forest.
            He is a black sheep in the class.
            The sheep are grazing.
            A swine lives on dirty things.
            He owns many swine. (pig)
            I gave the beggar one pice.
            The price of this piece of blotting paper is two pice.
            The fisherman caught a little fish.
            Fish abound in this tank.
            One cannon was fired.
            Two cannon were fired.
(b)    I bought three dozen oranges and two score bananas.
            He sold the cow for two hundred rupees.
            The cost of this radio-set is one thousand rupees.
            He has twenty head of cattle.
            I do not like this kind of books.
            I keep three brace of pigeons.
(c)  Ten hundred kgs make one metric ton.
            He weights ten stone.
Note:    We always say hundreds of students, thousands of people, many kinds of fishes etc. But if one, two, three, four etc. precede them their form is singular.
Study the following sentences carefully.
            I bought this three-foot-rule for one rupees.
            He lost his two-year-old child.
            I have two five-rupee-notes in my pocket.
            I shall return within a fort-night.
Rule 16.      The following Nouns have different meanings in Singular and Plural:

Singular
Meaning
Plural
Meaning
Advice
Counsel
Advices
Information (or instructions)
Air
Atmosphere
Airs
Pride
Compass
Range or extent
Compasses
An instrument
Force
Strength
Forces
Army
Good
Benefit
Goods
Movable things (property)
Iron
A metal
Irons
Fetters (chains)
Physic
Medicine
Physics
Natural science
Return
Coming back
Returns
Income or (statistics)
Sand
A substance
Sands
A sandy tract of land, sea shore
Water
A liquid
Waters
Springs or a large quantity of water
Content
Satisfaction
Contents
Things contained
Respect
Regard
Respects
Compliments
Rule 17.      The following Nouns have two Plurals which have different meanings:

Singular

Plural
Meaning
Brother
{
1. brothers
2. brethren
Sons of the same father.
Members of the same society.
Cloth
{
1.    cloths
2.    clothes
Pieces of kinds of cloth.
Garments
Die
{
1.    dies
2.    dice
Stamps of coining.
Small cubes used in games.
Genius
{
1.   geniuses
2.    genii
Men of talents.
Fabulous spirits.
Index
{
1.    indexes
2.    indices
Tables of contents in books
Signs used in Algebra
Penny
{
1.    pennies
2.    pence
Separate coins
A sum of money considered collectively.
Staff
{
1.    staves
2.    staffs
Walking sticks or the lines used in music.
Bodies of clerks or officers.
Rule 18:            The following Nouns have two meanings in the Singular and one in the Plural:
Singular

Meaning
Plural
Meaning
Abuse
{
1.   reproach
2.   wrong use
Abuses
Wrong uses
Foot
{
1.   a part of the body
2.   infantry
Feet
Parts of the body
Horse
{
1.   animal
2.   cavalry
Horses
Many horses
Issue
{
1.   subject
2.   offspring
Issues
Subject
Light
{
1.   light
2.   a lamp
Lights
Lamps
People
{
1.   persons
2.   nations
Peoples
Nations
Note:    The form of people remains singular but its meaning is plural (many persons).
Rule 19:      The following Nouns have one meaning in the Singular and two in the Plural:
Singular
Meaning
Plural

Meaning
Arm
A part of the body
Arms
{
1.   Parts of the body
2.   Weapons
Colour
Hue
Colours
{
1.   hues
2.   flags of a regiment
Custom
Habit
Customs
{
1.   habits
2.   duties levied on imports
Effect
Result
Effects
{
1.   results
2.   property
Manner
Method
Manners
{
1.   methods
2.   correct behaviour
Pain
Suffering
Pains
{
1.   sufferings
2.   troubles
Part
Portion
Parts
{
1.   portions
2.   talents, abilities
Provision
Condition
Provisions
{
1.   conditions
2.   food
Quarter
A fourth part
Quarters
{
1.   fourth part
2.   lodgings
Spectacle
A sight
Spectacles
{
1.   sights
2.   eye glasses
3.         The Noun:    Case
            The Case of a Noun or a Pronoun shows its relation with some other sentence; as
            Shila’s sister, boys’ slates, etc.
            There are three Cases in English:
1.       The Nominative (or subjective)
2.       The Objective (or Accusative)
3.        The Possessive
1.       The Subject of a Verb is in the Nominative Case; the Object to a verb or Preposition is in the Objective Case and the possessor or owner of a thing s in the Possessive Case:

Birds fly
(Subject to the Verb fly)
The policeman caught a thief
(Object to a Verb
Boys are in the room
(Object to the Preposition in)
Rahim’s Horse is lame
(Possessor of a horse)
2.       The Noun defining another Noun is said to be in apposition with the Noun it defines;
Rafiq, the barber;
Dara, the dacoit
            Persons addressed are in the Vocative Case:
            Manzoor, do not make mischief.
            It is also called the Nominative of address.
3.       The Possessive Case is formed:
(a)    By using ‘of’ with Objects without life:
The door of the house; the pages of the book; the leg of a table etc.
(b)    By adding an apostrophe and s (’s) to Singular and Plural Nouns (not ending in s) having life; as
(i)                 Uma’s mother; My uncle’s friend; Man’s suit; Children’s toys etc.
(ii)               My mother-in-law’s house, Sheroo, the cobbler’s shop; Sadar-i-Riyasat of Kashmir’s palace etc.
(c)    By adding an apostrophe(’) only to Plural Nouns ending in s: as
(Cows’ tails; girls’ ribbons; boys’ pens etc.
4.   An apostrophe is also used with Nouns denoting:
(a)  Time, space or weight; as
            Two months’ leave; two days’ notice; a stone’s throw; a pound’s weight etc.
(b)  Personified Objects; as
            Death’s call, the Country’s honour, Mercy’s sake.

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