Easy Pace Learning

Grammar


Basics


Lessons and exercises


Exercises


Learning Noun's English grammar lesson

What will I learn from the lesson learning Noun's?

During this lesson you will learn what nouns are and the many different types and how to use them in sentences. 

What are nouns?

Nouns are called naming words. Everything that you can see or can talk about is used by a word which names it, which are called a 'noun'. 

Example: -

When I arrived at their house, the big dog, which was called Rover, was barking loudly because it was lonely.

house = name for a place dog = name for an animal rover is the name for the dog

Nouns form the biggest word class of all. They may be either concrete or abstract

Concrete nouns pick out people or objects and are very easy to recognise

house, dog, Rover.

Abstract nouns refer to unobservable notions, and may be harder to recognise.

success, childhood, route, remark, hour, idea

Singular, Plural and Collective Nouns

When I arrived at their house, the big dog, which was called Rover, was barking loudly because it was lonely.

dog - dogs

tooth - teeth

The contrast between singular and plural is called number. It's the basis for two important parts of English grammar:

    the noun's morphology

dogs is an inflection of the word dog. Some nouns have irregular plural inflections:

child - children

man - men

    the agreement between verbs and their subjects.

The dog is barking. The dogs are barking.

Collective nouns are names for groups.

team          family          committee          herd

Are these sentences correct? 

The rugby team is doing well – it's top of the league.

The audience was very large.

The committee is meeting tonight.

Yes they are correct. When the writer wants to stress the individual members of the group, it is possible to treat the collective noun as a plural. The noun is treated as a plural and the verb form is plural.

Are these sentences correct? 

The rugby team are doing well - they've been training hard.

The audience were reminded not to smoke.

The committee have been arguing about the budget.

Yes they are correct. When the writer wants to stress the individual members of the group, it is possible to treat the collective noun as a plural. The noun is treated as a plural and the verb form is plural.

This is a concrete noun. This is an abstract noun.


Common and Proper Nouns

When I arrived at their house, the big dog, which was called Rover, was barking loudly because it was lonely.

Dog is a common noun.
Rover is a proper noun.


Proper nouns are names that are always written with an initial capital letter.

Unlike common nouns, they:

are generally singular;


do not normally combine with a determiner:


Correct    The dog is barking.           Not: Dog is barking.

Correct     Rover is barking.              Not: The Rover is barking.

Exceptions?

We do say on Wednesdays and the Smiths.

These proper nouns are being used as common nouns, so they can have a determiner or be plural, but they are still written with a capital letter.

Countable and Mass Nouns

Countable nouns name individual people or things:


girl          people          items            eggs

Mass nouns name some kind of concrete or abstract 'stuff':
food

fun         stuff            information          furniture           advice

This contrast is important in grammar for two reasons:


only countable nouns can be either singular or plural.

a girl          two people          several items              some eggs

it affects the choice of determiners:


Singular countable nouns must combine with a determiner.

Correct    I learned a wonderful thing.        Wrong  I learned wonderful thing.

The determiners a/an, every, and each are only used with singular countable nouns. 

Correct    a thing          every dog          each person

Wrong     a stuff         a things

Singular mass nouns, and plural countable nouns, may occur without any determiner.

    I learned wonderful stuff.             I learned wonderful things.

The determiner some is mainly used with mass nouns and plural countable nouns.

Correct    some stuff          some nouns.

Wrong     some noun.

But many common nouns can be used either as countable or as mass nouns.

All correct two ice-creams    some ice-cream    a time    some time    a thought     some thought

 

The distinction alters the meaning.

He had some ice cream on his face.mass

He had an ice cream.countable

More proper nouns

Proper nouns include these categories:

given and family names

Tom Smith

Titles, terms of address

Mrs Brown; Sir Bob; Lady Jones; Uncle Jim

towns, cities, villages; roads

Orchard Close, Brailes, near Banbury

continents, countries, counties, states

Asia, France; Yorkshire; Arizona

institutions, teams, clubs

British Society; Greenpeace; Spurs;

days of the week; months

Wednesday, October

ships, boats

SS Great Britain; Golden Hind; Polly

religions, events, festivals

Buddhism, Olympic Games, New Year

Few or little?

In standard English this is the rule:

Use few or fewer with plural countable nouns.
Use little or less with mass nouns.
But: much and more go with either kind of noun.

few/fewer                          little/less                              more

Few people                         Little food                              More food

Fewer people                      Less food                               More dogs

Fewer bottles                      Less stuff                               More bottles

Fewer plays                         Less drama                             More stuff

Fewer countable nouns         Less grammar                         More nouns

                                                                                     More grammar



Easypacelearning.com is owned by Technology World Ltd. "Technology World Ltd" will appear on your credit/debit card statement.