In this section, we shall cover the following topics on Noun

  • Introduction of Nouns
  • Troublesome Nouns
  • Singular or Plural Nouns

INTRODUCTION OF NOUNS

Noun is defined as the name of a person or animal or thing. It appears in sentences as subject, direct object, indirect object and as object of a preposition.

A) NOUN AS SUBJECT

  1. Carpenters drive nails with air powered guns.
  2. Blackhawk was a famous American Indian.

Identify the subject by placing the question word ‘who’ before the verb.

First sentence – Who drive nails? Answer: Carpenters.

Second sentence – Who was a famous American Indian? Answer: Blackhawk

 

B) NOUN AS DIRECT OBJECT

  1. Mr. Liu washed the car.
  2. The authorities commended Roberta.

Identify a direct object by asking ‘what or whom’.

First sentence – Mr. Liu washed what? Answer: Car. The car is the direct object of the verb washed.

Second sentence – The authorities commended whom? Answer: Roberta. Roberta is the direct object of the verb commended.

 

C) NOUN AS INDIRECT OBJECT

  1.  I sent Stephanie the camera.
  2. He bought the dog a kennel.

Identify an indirect object by asking to what, for what, or to whom, for whom.

First sentence – I sent the camera to whom? Answer: Stephanie. Stephanie is the indirect object.
Second sentence – He bought a kennel for what? Answer: Dog. The dog is the indirect object.

 

D) NOUN AS OBJECT OF A PREPOSITION

  1. He pulled the little red wagon to the store.
  2.  From her perspective, the meeting was a success.

First sentence – The preposition is to, and the object of that preposition is the noun store.

Second sentence – The preposition is from, and the object of that preposition is the noun perspective.


TROUBLESOME NOUNS

1) COUNTABLE NOUNS

  • Banana is a staple food in many countries.

Banana is a countable noun.

A countable noun can be singular (banana) or plural (bananas). We can use number with countable nouns. So we can say, ‘one banana’ or ‘two bananas’ etc.

Example:

  • Kaif was singing a song
  • There’s a nice beach near here.
  • Do you have a ten-rupee note?

 

Note:

A. Countable nouns must have determiner

Example:

  • I want a banana. (not I want banana)
  • There’s been an accident. (not There’s been accident)

 

 

B. Avoid articles/determiner with plural countable nouns.

Example:

  • I like bananas. (=bananas in general)
  • Accidents can be prevented.

 

 

C. Use some, any, more, most, few, several, other, many with plural countable nouns.

Example:

  • Did you buy any apples?
  • I have a few things to do.

 

2) UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

  • Brown rice is good for health.
  • Rice is an uncountable noun

We do not say, a sand, a music, a water. Absurd isn’t it? But we can use indefinite quantifiers with uncountable nouns.

Example:

  • We listened to some music.
  • Did you buy any apple juice?

 

UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS REFERS MATERIAL OR ABSTRACT

Material Nouns:

The noun which is made of different matters solid, liquid and gaseous.

View a building and the material used to build it.

  • Solid: Sand, cement, wood, gravel etc
  •  Liquid: Oil, water, paint etc
  •  Gas: Smoke, formaldehyde etc

 

Abstract Nouns:

Abstract Noun names a quality, action, or state.

  • Quality: Goodness, Honesty, wisdom, and bravery.
  • Action: Laughter, theft, movement, heroism.
  • State: Childhood, Slavery, Poverty.

Note: Avoid using ‘s’ with material noun and abstract noun.

Example:

  • Saudi Arabian oil is depleting. (not oils)
  • Honesty is the best policy. (not honesties)

Nouns can be counted and as one can easily count persons or animals or vegetables. When we speak of a quantity which cannot be expressed in numbers we have the uncountable nouns as Air, water, sand, sugar etc.

 

Conclusion: Nouns are subject/object, countable/ uncountable and singular/plural. So, we should have complete knowledge of types of nouns to make it agree with verb as singular/plural.


SINGULAR OR PLURAL NOUNS

1) NOUNS WITH PLURAL FORM

Nouns always plural are belongings, clothes, congratulations, earnings, goods, odds (= probability), outskirts, particulars (= details), premises (= building), remains, riches, surroundings, thanks, troops (= soldiers), tropics.

All these nouns agree with plural verb.

Example:

  • The goods were found to be defective. NOT a good
  • My belongings have been destroyed in a fire. NOT my belonging.

 

2) PLURAL FORM BUT SINGULAR VERB

Nouns like this are news; some words for subjects of study: mathematics, statistics, physics, politics, economics; some sports: athletics, gymnastics, bowls; some games: billiards, darts, dominoes, draughts; and some illnesses: measles, mumps, shingles.

Example:

  • The news isn’t very good, I’m afraid.
  • Gymnastics looks difficult, and it is.

 

3) NOUNS WITH THE SAME SINGULAR AND PLURAL FORM

Works, headquarters and barracks can sometimes be plural when they refer to one building or one group of buildings.

Example:

  • A chemical works causes a lot of pollution.
  • Chemical works cause a lot of pollution.

 

4) PAIR NOUNS USE PLURAL VERBS

Pair Nouns are something made of two identical parts. Some nouns are always plural and always take a plural verb.

      • Trousers, pants, slacks, shorts, briefs, jeans
      • Glasses, sunglasses
      • Scissors, pliers, tweezers

Example:

  • My jeans are old.
  • This year shorts are in fashion.
  • Where are my scissors?

Note

  • We cannot use a or numbers, NOT a trouser and NOT two trousers
  • We can use pair/pairs to make it singular or plural

Example

  • This pair of trousers needs cleaning.
  • Three pairs of trousers need cleaning.

 

5)GROUP NOUNS USE EITHER SINGULAR OR PLURAL VERBS

Group nouns (sometimes called ‘collective nouns’) refer to a group of people like family, team, crowd. After a singular group noun, the verb can often be either singular or plural.

Example:

  • The crowd was/were in a cheerful mood.

There is little difference in meaning. The choice depends on whether we see the

crowd as a whole or as a number of individuals.

Some group nouns are:

army                     association                     audience

board                    choir                               college

company              committee                      community

class                      crew                                club

council                  crowd                             enemy

family                   firm                                 gang

group                    government                   jury

majority               management                 military

minority               navy                               orchestra union

party                     population                     press

public                   school                             society

staff                      team                               university

 

With a singular verb we use it, its and which/that. With a plural verb we use they, their and who/that.

Example:

  • The government wants to improve its image.
  • The government want to improve their image.
  • The crowd which has gathered here is in a cheerful mood.
  • The crowd who have gathered here are in a cheerful mood.

The names of institutions, companies and teams are also group nouns,

e.g. Parliament, the United Nations, The Post Office, the BBC, Selfridge’s, Rank

Xerox, Manchester United, England (= the England team).

Example:

  • Safeway sells/sell organic vegetables.
  • Brazil is/are expected to win.

NOTE:

The United States usually takes a singular verb.

  • The United States has reacted angrily.

These nouns have a plural meaning and take a plural verb: police, people, livestock (= farm animals), cattle (= cows), poultry (= hens).

Example:

  • The police are questioning a man.
  • Some cattle have got out into the road.