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Lesson 2; Nouns: Number

  1. Posted by Bertha in Grammar |
  2. September 30th, 2009 |
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A noun denotes a name to a person or a thing. There are five kinds of Noun; 1) Proper Noun, 2) Common Noun, 3) Collective Noun, 4) Material Noun, 5) Abstract Noun. However, we are not going to discuss all of them here.

1)      Proper Noun – When the noun or the name is used for one particular thing or person, it is known as proper noun; like,

John is a good boy.

New York is a busy city.

John and New York, both are examples of proper noun.

2)      Common Noun – When the noun or the name is common to every thing or person of same kind, it is known as common noun; like,

Tiger is a fierce animal.

Here, the noun Tiger denotes every tiger in any part of this world.

  • When the common noun means only one person or one thing at a time, the common noun is in the Singular number; like, ‘goat’, ‘man’, ‘snake’ etc.
  • When the common noun means more than one person or one thing, it is in the Plural number. In other words, when a common noun means several things or persons of same kind at a time, it is in Plural number; like, ‘goats’, ‘men’, ‘snakes’ etc.

N.B. – Since, a proper noun relates only one particular thing or person; it can be in the Singular number only. However, a common noun relates either one or more than one person or thing; and so, can be in both Singular number and Plural number.

Singular to Plural Conversion

1) Mostly, Plural numbers are formed by adding ’s’ to the Singular number; like,

Singular          Plural

Boy                      Boys

Snake                  Snakes

Cap                       Caps

Flea                     Fleas

Hut                       Huts

2) When the nouns end in s, sh, ss, x, or ch, the Plural number is formed by adding es to the end of the Singular number; like,

Singular       Plural

Class                 Classes

Fish                   Fishes

Compass         Compasses

Box                   Boxes

Wrench           Wrenches

3) The nouns ending in ‘y’ form the Plural by adding ‘s’ (if ‘y’ has any of the  vowels going before it) to the Singular; like,

Singular Plural

Monkey               Monkeys

Day                         Days

4) Nouns ending in ‘y’ form the Plural by adding ‘es’ (if ‘y’ has any of the  consonants going before it) to the Singular; like,

Singular Plural

Army                   Armies

Butterfly             Butterflies

5) When the nouns end in fe, or f, the Plural number is normally formed by changing fe or f into ves; like,

Singular Plural

Knife                 Knives

Life                    Lives

Leaf                   Leaves

Wolf                  Wolves

Some Exceptions

  • There are some nouns that form the Plural number by changing some vowels in the middle of the word; like,

Singular Plural

Foot                  Feet

Goose               Geese

Tooth               Teeth

Louse               Lice

Mouse              Mice

Man                  Men

Mailman         Mailmen

  • There are few nouns that form their Plural number by adding en; like,

Singular          Plural

Child                   Children

Ox                        Oxen

  • There are some nouns that have same form in both the Plural and Singular; like,

Singular         Plural

Sheep             Sheep

Fish                Fish or Fishes

Swine             Swine

Dozen             Dozen or Dozens

Quail               Quail

Elk                  Elk or Elks

Cod                 Cod or Cods

Lesson 1; Parts of Speech

  1. Posted by Bertha in Grammar |
  2. September 24th, 2009 |
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There are hundreds of thousands of words in all languages. However, all the words do not perform the same job. Some of them express ‘action’ some denote a ‘thing’; some qualify a thing and so on. These words act as building blocks of a language including English. For an example: Well, he and little Tony walk to shop quickly.

In the above-mentioned sentence, you may notice that each of the words has its own job. Each of them explains how a word is used, not what a word is. These words can be categorized in different classes or types. These classes are known as “Parts of Speech”. There are eight Parts of Speech in traditional grammar and these are:

1. Noun
2. Pronoun
3. Adjective
4. Adverb
5. Preposition
6. Verb
7. Conjunction
8. Interjection

Below, we will discuss basics of each of the Parts of Speech.

1. NounNoun denotes a name to some thing or person; like,

Richard saw tigers in the zoo.

Here, Richard denotes name of a person, tigers denote name of a thing (animal); and zoo denotes name of a thing (place). Richard, tigers and zoo are nouns, in this sentence.

2. PronounPronoun is the word used instead of Noun; like,

I told Richard that tigers which he saw in the zoo would do no harm to him, as they are behind bars.

Here, I is used for the speaker; he and him denote ‘Richard’; and which and they are used for tigers. All these italics words are pronouns.

3. Adjective Adjective qualifies a noun or a pronoun; like,

A brave man killed a ferocious bear.

Here, brave expresses the quality of ‘man’, and ferocious shows the quality of the ‘bear’. So, brave and ferocious are adjectives.

4. AdverbAdverb qualifies meaning of an Adjective, Verb or Adverb; like,

An almost white cat jumped very quickly through the window.

Here, almost qualifies the adjective ‘white’; very qualifies the adverb ‘quickly’; and quickly qualifies the verb ‘jumped’. All these italics words are adverbs.

5. Preposition Preposition is a word that placed before noun or pronoun to show what a thing or a person has to do with another thing or person; like,

The cat is sitting on the table.

Here, without the word ‘on’, the sentence ‘The cat is sitting the table’, makes no sense. The cat might also sit under the table or above the table. What the cat has to do with the table is not known until a preposition is positioned between them.

6. Verb Verb expresses an action. In other word, we can say that a verb is used to say something about a person or a thing; like,

The boy fell from top of a building.

Here, the word ‘fell’ denotes the action of the boy or we can say something about the boy by the word ‘fell’. ‘Fell’ is the verb in this sentence.

7. ConjunctionConjunction is used to join one word to another; or a sentence to another; like,

Tom and his sister came to the school before I reached.

Here, the noun ‘Tom’ is joined to the noun ‘sister’ by the word ‘and’. ‘And’ is the conjunction here. Similarly, the second sentence ‘I reached’ is joined to the first sentence ‘Tom and his sister came’ by the word ‘before’. The word ‘before’ is also a conjunction.

8. InterjectionInterjection expresses feelings of the mind; like,

Oops! I missed the train.
Hurray! We have won the match.

In the first sentence, ‘Oops’ expresses the feeling of regret; and, in the second sentence, ‘Hurray’ expresses the feeling of joy. Both of them are interjections.


  1. Posted by Bertha in Grammar |
  2. September 23rd, 2009 |
  3. Comments off

Dear students, welcome to English Grammar section. At this section, we will discuss some basics of English grammar. These step-by-step guidelines will help you improve your functional grammar skill.