Lecture 1. Kinds of nouns
The word noun comes from Latin word ‘nomen’ which means name. Noun names a person, a place, a thing, or an idea.
Concrete and abstract nouns
A noun that names something that can be seen, smelled, heard, tasted, or touched is called a concrete noun. An abstract noun, on the other hand, names an idea, a quality, or a feeling.
Common and proper nouns
A common noun refers to any person, place, thing or idea. Do not capitalize common nouns in the middle of a sentence.
A proper noun identifies a particular person, place, thing or idea. Proper nouns are always capitalized. For example:
Common nouns Proper nouns
City Tel Aviv
People Chinese, Pakistanis
A collective noun refers to a group of persons, animals, or things.
A crowd of students flocked into the room.
Common collective nouns
Audience class committee group
Band club family team
Two or more words used as a single noun are called a compound noun. A compound noun is written either as one word, as separate words, or as hyphenated words. For example: single word: newspaper, grandfather, separate words: New Year’s Day, truck driver, hyphenated words: make-up, son –in-law
Which nouns are concrete? Which are abstract?
1. Some early inventors had little education
2. These pioneers worked alone on their dreams.
3. Modern businesses hire people with creative abilities.
4. These designers develop new products: such as safer toys.
5. Scientists work with engineers on amazing gadgets.
Which nouns are common? Which are proper?
This famous inventor was born in Germany.
The man changed production of books forever.
Before Gutenberg, pages were slowly copied by hand.
Then this designer invented a new type of printing press.
Due to his works, many manuscripts could be printed at the same time for readers throughout Europe and the world.
Label nouns either concrete or abstract an either common or proper.
Modern inventors also strive for speed and convenience.
Alexander Graham Bell ha the idea for a telephone.
His first phone was built with very crude equipment
After much frustration, Bell introduced this device.
Messages could be sent quickly on his talking machine.
The first callers shouted into a mouthpiece to their listeners.
Engineers have improved that device beyond Bell’s hopes.
Voices travel by wire, radio, or satellite now.
An American for example: can dial to relatives in Africa or Asia.
Computers can now transmit newspaper reports, legal documents, and even pictures across the globe.
Which nouns are collective?
We had an interesting collection of photographs.
Our class had visited Colonial Williamsburg in May.
No one in my family had ever been there.
A committee of students and teachers planned the trip.
There were about forty students in our group.
Which nouns are compound?
The guides at Colonial Williamsburg dress like colonists.
The Governor’s Palace is a storehouse of antiques.
A footpath led us to the stores of several shopkeepers.
A wigmaker and a candlemaker displayed their crafts.
I read a story about a teen-ager in the Virginia Colony.
Hampton Roads is one of the largest seaports in America.
Here three waterways meet the Chesapeake Bay
Some students bought postcards of James River Bridge.
My brother –in- law took us on a tour of a large shipyard in the city of Newport News.
Shipbuilding is not just for the military.
A crew of workers had built a passenger liner called the United States.
This ship was designed by W.F.Gibbs.
At the launch a band played, and a crowd of spectators watched the ceremony.
How did the onlookers bid farewell?
The captain, the first mate, a swarm of stewards attended to the passengers’ needs.
Is the vessel part of a fleet of ships?
Because of its tremendous horsepower, this steamship set a record on its first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.
Not even the navy has been able to break that record.
For almost two decades, the ship met the challenges of white-caps, violent storms, fog, and icebergs.
The liner was then sold and restored in West Germany.
Countable and uncountable.
Nouns are divided as countable and uncountable.
Countable nouns have two forms; singular plural
Uncountable nouns can have two subgroups: only singular, only plural
Many languages have category of gender. Old English had category of gender. During its development the category of gender was lost. Most of nouns represent both genders. Sometimes nouns distinguish gender lexically.
For example: cock-hen, man-servant-woman servant, peacock-peahen, Tom- cat –Pussy –cat
Sometimes by adding suffix –ess For example: waitress, lioness, princess
Plurals are regularly formed by adding ‘s’ to the singular form.
Yield –yields / alibi –alibis
Freebie –freebies/ ¿íýã¿é þì, ñîíèí/ bayou –bayous
Nouns ending in s, x, ch, sh, or z
When the singular form ends in s, x, ch, sh, or z the plural is formed by adding ‘es’ to the singular. Virus-viruses, quartz-quartzes.
Singular nouns ending in silent ‘s’ do not change their forms in the plural.
One corps – two corps, a rendezvous- many rendezvous /when the plural form is used the s ending is pronounced.
- ‘s’ is pronounced as /z/ after vowels, voiced consonants: dogs, days
-after unvoiced consonants as /s/: hats, roofs
- after /s/,/z/, /∫/, /3/, /t∫/, /d3/, as /iz/: classes, roses, dishes, garages, benches, bridges/
When a singular noun ends in ‘y’ preceded by a consonant ‘y’ is changed to ‘i’ and adding ‘es’ to the singular form
Proxy-proxies liability- liabilities
To ‘y’ preceded by a vowel simply add ‘s’
Nouns ending in ‘o’
‘O’ preceded by a vowel take ‘s’ in the plural form
Tattoo-tattoos boo –boos
Nouns ending in ‘o’ preceded by a consonant form plural in different ways.
a. to some nouns simply add ‘s’: placebo-placebos weirdo-weirdos, typo-typos
b. some add ‘es’: echo-echoes, embargo –embargoes, fiasco-fiascoes
c. some have 2 forms/the preferred form is given first/
cargo-cargoes cargos, zero zeros, zeroes, motto- mottoes, mottos, proviso-provisos, provisos, tuxedo-tuxedos, tuxedoes, ghetto-ghettos, ghettoes
d. musical terms form their plurals by adding ‘s’: alto-altos, cello-cellos
Nouns ending in f, fe or ff
a. most form their plurals by adding ‘s’: beliefs, safes, tariffs, proofs
b. some change to ‘ve’ half-halves, life-lives
c. some have 2 forms /the preferred form is given first/: scarf scarves, scarfs, dwarf, dwarfs, dwarves
Nouns with irregular plurals
Some nouns are formed by a change of letters within: woman-women, foot-feet
A few plurals end in ‘en’, ’ren’ children, oxen,
Some nouns have the same form sheep-sheep, deer-deer, swine-swine, fish-fish
/fishes for different types of fish/
Ichthyology is that branch of zoology which treats of the internal and external structure of fishes.
A good means-these means
One aircraft-many aircraft
Some have different pronunciation
house /s/ -houses/z/, bath/ baths
Latin . basis bases
Datum data crisis-crises
Erratum- errata analysis-analyses
Bacillus-bacilli miasma miasmata
Most surnames are pluralized by the addition of ‘s’.
Mr. and Mrs. Brinson the Brinsons
When a surname ends in s, x, ch, sh, or z add es to form the plural.
Mr. and Mrs. Maddox the Maddoxes
Omit the ‘es’ ending if it makes awkward to pronounce.
The Hodges /not; Hodgeses/
Never change the original spelling of a surname when forming the plural. Simply add s or es
Mr. and Mrs. Wolf the Wolfs.
Mr. and Mrs. Goodman the Goodmans
When a surname is followed by Jr, Sr, or a number like 2d or II, the plural can be formed two ways:
Ordinary usage: the Roy Van Allen Jrs, the Ellsworth Hadley 3ds
Formal usage: the Roy Van Allens Jr, the Ellsworth Hadleys 3d
To form the plurals of first names and other names add s or es but do not change the original spelling.
Marie Maries, February Februarys,
The plural of Mr. is Messrs; the plural of Ms. is Mses. or Mss; the plural of Mrs. or Mme. is Mmes. /for Mesdames/; the plural of Miss is Misses/no period follows/. However, the use of plural titles normally occurs only in formal situations. In ordinary usage, simply retain the singular form and repeat it with each name.
Formal usage Ordinary usage
Messrs Russo and Clyde
Mr. Russo and Mr. Clyde
When personal titles apply two or more people with the same surname, the plural may be formed in two ways. /a/ pluralize only the title/formal usage/; /b/ pluralize only surname /ordinary usage/
Formal usage Ordinary usage
The Messrs Steele the Mr. Steeles
Abbreviations, Letters, Numbers, Words, and Symbols
Form the plurals of most abbreviations by adding ‘s’ to the singular
Apt. apts, bldg bldgs, Dr Drs
The abbreviations of many customary units of weight and measure, however, are the same in both the singular and plural.
Oz/ounce or ounces/, deg/degree or degrees/, bbl/barrel or barrels/
Note: for a number of these abbreviations, two plural forms have been widely used: for example: lb or lbs /meaning pounds/ yd or yds /meaning yards/ qt or qts /meaning quarts/. However, the trend is toward using lb, yd, and qt to signify the plural.
The abbreviations of metric units of weight and measure are the same in both the singular and plural.
Cg/centigram or centigrams/
The plurals of a few single letter abbreviations consist of the same letter doubled
p64, pp 64-72, c copy cc copies, pp 9 f /page 9 and the following page/
pp 9 ff /page 9 and the following pages/ l 23/line 23/, ll 23-24
Plurals of certain symbols consist of the same symbol doubled
§ section, §§ sections
Capital letters and abbreviations ending with capital letters are pluralized by adding ‘s’ alone.
Three VIPs, PhDs, IQs
It is possible to use an apostrophe before s. /Mostly where confusion might occur/.
Three A’s, too many I’s
Numbers expressed in words are pluralized by the addition of s or es.
Ones, twos, sixes, twenties, twenty fives
Numbers expressed in figures are pluralized by the addition of s alone.
In the 1990s, sort the W2s
Words taken from other parts of speech and act as nouns are pluralized by the addition of s or es
Ifs and buts, dos and don’ts, yeses and nos, ups and downs
If the pluralized form is likely to be misread use an apostrophe.
Or’s and nor’s
If the singular form already contains an apostrophe simply add s
Know it all
So and so
Do it yourselfers
No –see –um
Hand me down
Bill of lading
Attorney at law
Deputy chief of staff