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Basic Rules Of Noun In English Grammar

Learning English with The AN and freSy

In the last article, we discussed the details of the crucial grammar topic- Noun. It is already known that Noun is one of the most important parts of the vocabulary. A noun is a word talking about a person, a thing or an abstract idea. A noun can also answer the question of “who or what”.

The definition and kinds of nouns have already been discussed. In this article, we will have a deeper understanding of the different concepts of Numbers, Gender and Cases, related to Nouns.

NUMBER

The number of nouns is of two kinds:

  • Singular: The nouns that describe a single person or object
  • Plural: The nouns that refer to more than one person or object

There are several ways to make plural nouns:

1. By adding suffix -s:
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Joy Joys Canto Cantos
Run Runs Momento Momentos
Chair Chairs Dynamo Dynamos
Radio Radios Piano Pianos
2. By adding the suffix -es:
SINGULAR PLURAL SINGULAR PLURAL
Glass Glasses Buffalo Buffaloes
Bench Benches Potato Potatoes
Bush Bushes Hero Heroes
Church Churches Ego Egos
Watch Watches Mango Mangoes
3. By changing the last letter y into -ies:
SINGULAR PLURAL SINGULAR PLURAL
Baby Babies Candy Candies
Lady Ladies Family Families
Story Stories Puppy Puppies
City Cities Country Countries
4. Changing the spelling:
SINGULAR PLURAL SINGULAR PLURAL
Person People Foot Feet
Ox Oxen Goose Geese
Man Men Woman Women
Child Children Louse Lice
Tooth Teeth Son in law Sons in law
Passer by Passers-by Mouse Mice
Commander in chief Commanders in chief Die Dice
Court-martial Courts-martial Person People
5. The plural form is taken from different origins:
SINGULAR PLURAL SINGULAR PLURAL
Radius Radii Aquarium Aquaria
Datum Data Madam Mesdames
Formula Formulae Axis Axes
Analysis Analyses Phenomenon Phenomena
Bacterium Bacteria Thesis Theses
Dictum Dicta Index Indices
Criterion Criteria Monsieur Messieurs
6. Nouns with different meanings in different numbers:
SINGULAR PLURAL SINGULAR PLURAL
Advice (counsel) Bits of Advice (information) Good (quality) Goods (things)
Respect (regard) Respects (compliments) Force (strength) Forces (army)
Ash (waste) Ashes (body remains) Physic (medicine) Physics (science)

GENDER

In English grammar we can find four kinds of Gender:

Masculine gender: A noun referring to a male person or animal is called be of the masculine gender.

Feminine gender: A noun referring to a female or an animal is called be of the feminine gender.

Common gender: A noun that can refer to both male and female genders is called be of common gender.

=> For example: person, parent, enemy, servant, neighbour

Neutral gender: A noun that refers to something that is neither male nor female is called be gender-neutral.

=> For example: paper, fruit, pencil, paper

Now let’s understand from some examples:

1. Masculine to Feminine by other words:
Masculine Feminine Masculine Feminine
Bull Cow Earl Countess
Lad Lass King Queen
Bachelor Spinster Husband Wife
Dog Bitch Stag Deer
Drake Duck Wizard Witch
2. Masculine to Feminine by adding a syllable without dropping a vowel:
Masculine Feminine Masculine Feminine
Author Authoress Shepherd Shepherdess
Poet Poetess Hero Heroine
Steward Stewardess Host Hostess
3. Masculine to Feminine by adding a syllable and dropping a vowel:
Masculine Feminine Masculine Feminine
Actor Actress Duke Duchess
Tiger Tigress Master Mistress
Waiter Waitress Emperor Emperess
4. Masculine to Feminine by placing a word before or after:
Masculine Feminine Masculine Feminine
Grandfather Grandmother Salesman Saleswoman
Landlord Landlady Headmaster Headmistress
Policeman Policewoman Manservant Maidservant
Important Note:

A few nouns that are considered to be graceful, lovely, and soft, such as the moon, the earth, nature, spring, nations, and ships, are considered as feminine nouns.

Some words, such as the sun, time, death, winter, wind, summer, thunder, ocean, war, and wine, are classified as masculine because they denote strength, firmness, and activity.

Cases

There are different kinds of cases of nouns to define the actions or role the nouns play in a sentence:

Nominative Case: if a noun is the subject of a verb it is said to be in the Nominative case.

For example: Rahul is the tallest in his class.

Objective Case: When a noun is the verb or preposition’s direct object, it is said to be in the objective case.

For example: Write your paper!

Possessive Case: When a noun indicates ownership or possession, it is in the possessive case.

For example: This is my house.

Vocative Case: When a noun is used to call, it is in the vocative case (to get attention).

For Example: Neha, please come here!

Dative Case: When a noun is in the indirect object of a verb it is in the Dative case.

For Example: Rohan brought me chocolates.

Thus, the three very important properties of nouns are now clear to you. In the different govt. exams the questions related to numbers, genders and cases are asked as Spotting errors, Sentence Improvement and Fillers. To understand the usage of nouns, you can refer to the next part of the topic.

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