English Grammar Parts of Speech – Noun | Exercises | Notes
A group of words which makes complete sense is called a sentence. Words are divided into different kinds or classes called parts of speech according to their use or according to the work they do in sentence. A noun is one of these parts.
A noun is a word used as the name of, a person, place or thing. The word thing is used to mean anything that we can think of, i.e. the word thing includes :
(i) all objects that we can see, hear, taste, touch, or smell, and
(ii) something that we can think of, but cannot perceive by the sense.
Types Of Noun
1. Common noun
Common noun is a name given in common to every person or thing of the same class or kind. e.g. Tables, glass, girl, town, etc.
2. Proper noun
Proper noun is the name of some particular person or place.
e.g. Ram, Delhi, India, Sita, etc.
• Proper nouns are always written with a capital letter at the beginning.
• Proper nouns are sometimes used as common nouns.
3. Collective noun
Collective noun is the name of a number of persons or things taken together and spoken of as one whole.
e.g., crowd, mob, fleet, jury, nation, etc.
4. Abstract noun
Abstract noun is usually the name of a quality, action, or state considered apart from the object to which it belongs.
Quality : Goodness, kindness, darkness, honesty Action : Laughter, theft, movement, judgement. State : Childhood, boyhood, youth, sleep, poverty.
Abstract Nouns are formed
(i) from adjectives :
e.g. kindness from kind honesty from honest.
(ii) from verbs :
e.g. obedience from obey growth from grow.
(iii) from common nouns : e.g. childhood from child slavery from slave.
5. Material noun
It denotes matter or substance of which a thing is made.
e.g. Wood, clay, rubber, iron, silver, gold, etc.
Number Of Nouns
A noun that denotes one person or thing is said to be in the singular number.
e.g. boy, girl, cow, bird, tree, book, etc.
A noun that denotes more than one person or thing is said to be in the plural number.
e.g. boys, girls, cows, birds, trees, books, etc.
Rules for obtaining the plural form of a singular noun.
1. The plural of nouns is generally formed by adding s to the singular.
e.g. boy — boys; girl —girls
book — books; Pen — pens
desk — desks; cow — cows
dog — dogs; son — sons
2. By adding es at the end of a singular noun if it ends in s, sh, x, ch, z.
e.g. class — classes; kiss — kisses
dish — dishes; Brush — brushes
match — matches; watch — watches
Branch — branches; tax —taxes;
box — boxes; Topaz — topazes
3. By adding s to a singular noun if it ends in y and if there is a vowel before the y.
e.g., Holiday — holidays; journey—journeys
guy — guys, boy — boys.
4. Those singular nouns that end in f or fe form their plural by changing the f into v and adding es to those that end in f and s to those that end in fe.
e.g., Half—Halves; knife—knives
wife — wives; shelf— shelves.
5. Those singular nouns which end in o and have a consonant before that o form their plural by adding es to the singular :
e.g. Mango—Mangoes; Buffalo—Buffaloes
Negro — Negroes; Echo — Echoes
Cargo — Cargoes
However there are some singular nouns of the above, that do not follow the above rule instead they get their plural by simply adding ‘s’.
e.g. Canto — Cantos; Dynamo — Dynamos
Photo — Photos; Memento — Mementos.
6. Such singular nouns which ends in o and have a vowel before that o, form their plural by adding ‘s’.
e.g. Studio — Studios; Cameo — Cameos
Radio — Radios; Folio — Folios
Cuckoo — Cuckoos
7. Some nouns form their plurals by changing the vowel sound of the singular.
e.g. Foot — feet; man —men
mouse — mice, goose — geese
There are some nouns which are a combination of two or more words. These are called compound nouns.Such noun gets their plural by adding s to the main or the principal word.
8. There are few nouns that form their plural by adding en to the singular.
e.g. ox — oxen; child — children
Behaviour Of The Nouns
To study the behaviour of nouns, they can be put in the following groups :
(i) Those nouns which are always used in the plural. Riches, socks’, premises, bowels, .shorts, pantaloons, scissors, etc.
e.g. Kindly give me a pair of scissors.
My spectacles have been broken.
(ii) Those nouns that look like plural, are used in the singular.
Mathematics, Physics, News, Economics, Politics, Classics, Summons, Mechanics, etc. e.g. Mathematics is a easy subject.
Politics is a game of compromise.
(iii) This is a family of collective nouns. These nouns are singular in form but are used as plural. A list of some such nouns are :
Gentry, police, people, clergy, folk, public,
mankind, cattle, poultry, etc.
e.g. The police are looking into the matter.
(iv) Family of those nouns which are generally used in the singular.
Poetry, scenery, offspring, issue, abuse, advice, furniture, information, luggage, rice, fuel, hair, gram, etc.
e.g. I do not like the poetry of Keats.
The old furniture was disposed of.
(v) Some nouns have the same form in singular and plural.
Sheep, deer, fish, rice, corps, heathen, cod, pan, yoke, species, series, etc.
e.g. A series of lectures was delivered on the subject. The fish can not live without water.
(vi) These are some nouns that express length, measure, money, weight, number or counting. These nouns when preceded by a numeral remain unchanged in form. Such nouns are the members of the group. Some of such nouns are :
Foot, thousand, pair, score, hundred, meters, head, million, years, dozen.
e.g. The boys caught a six foot cobra.
Six hundred miles is a long distance.
Ways Of Forming The Feminine Of Nouns
1. By placing a word before or after.
Grand father Grand mother
Great uncle Great aunt
By using an entirely different word.
Bull (ox) Cow
Monk ‘ Nun
By adding a syllable (-ess, -ine, -trix, -a, etc.)
Baron , Baroness
Consider an example :
Rahul threw a stone.
In this sentence, the noun Rahul is the subject. It is the answer to the question, who threw a stone?
The group of words threw a stone is the predicate. The predicate contains the verb threw.
Stone is the object which Rahul threw. The noun stone is therefore called the object.
When a noun (or pronoun) used as the subject of a verb, it is said to be in the nominative case.
To find the Nominative, put who? or what? before the verb.
(i) When a noun (or pronoun) is used as the object of a verb, it is said to be in the objective (or accusative) case.
To find the objective put whom? or what? before the verb and its object.
(ii) A noun which comes after a preposition is also said to be in the objective case.
e.g. The book is in the desk.
The noun desk is in the objective case, governed by the preposition in.
Note: The nominative generally comes before the verb, and the objective after the verb. Hence they are distinguished by the order of words, or by the sense.
Consider the sentence : This is Himanshu’s pen.
Himanshu’s pen = The pen belongs to Himanshu. The form of the noun Himanshu is changed to Himanshu’s to show ownership or possession. The noun Himanshu’s is therefore said to be in the possessive (or Genitive) case.
The possessive answers the question, whose?
Note : The possessive case does not always denote possession. It is used to denote authorship, origin, kind, etc.
e.g. Shakespeare’s plays = The plays written by Shakespeare
A mother ‘s love = The love felt by a mother. Rama’s temple The temple dedicated to Rama.
Formation’ of the Possessive Case
(i) When the noun is singular, the possessive case is formed by adding s to the noun.
e.g. The boy’s book.
(ii) When the noun is plural, and ends in s, the possessive case is formed by adding only an apostrophe.
e.g. Boy’s school, girl’s school, horses’ tails, etc.
(iii) When the noun is plural but does not end in s, the
possessive case is formed by adding s. e.g. men’s club; children’s books, etc.
Possessive sign case
(i) When a noun or a title consists of several words, the possessive sign is attached only to the last word. e.g. The Nawab ofRampur’s library.
(ii) When two nouns are in apposition, the possessive sign is put to the latter only.
e.g. That is Tagore the poet’s house.
(iii) Also when two nouns are closely connected, the possessive is put to the latter.
e.g. Ritesh and Mrinal’s reign.
(iv) Each of two or more connected nouns implying separate possession must take the possessive sign. e.g. Pankaj’s and Shalini’spoem.
Use of the Possessive Case
(i) The possessive’ case is now used chiefly with the names of living things. –
e.g. The Governor’s bodyguard.
So we must say :
e.g. The leg of the table (not, the table’s leg)
The cover of the book (not, the book’s cover) etc.
(ii) The possessive is used with the names of personified objects.
e.g. India’s hero Nature’s laws Fortune’s favourite, etc.
(iii) The possessive is also used with names denoting time, space, or weight.
e.g. A day’s march
a week’s holiday
in a year’s time ;
a stone’s throw.
(iv) The following phrases are also in common use.
e.g. At his fingers’ends
For mercy’s sake
To his heart’s content.
NOMINATIVE OF ADDRESS
1. Vocative case
Consider the sentence :
Come here, Rahul.
In the above sentence, Rahul is the name of the child spoken to or addressed. We call it the case of nominative of address (or the vocative case).
2. Dative case
Consider the two sentences and compare :
1. Rahul gave a ball.
2. Rahul gave Himanshu a ball.
In each of these sentences, the noun ball is the object of gave.
In the second sentence, Himanshu was the person to whom Rahul gave a ball.
The noun Himanshu is called the indirect object of the verb gave, and is said to be in the Dative case.
The noun ball, the ordinary object, is called the Direct object, and is in the objective case.
(i) Dative means of or belonging to giving.
(ii) Rama gave Hari a ball = Rama gave a ball to Hari.
I bought Rahul a ball = I bought a ball for Rahul.
Fetch the boy a book = Fetch a book for the boy.
Nouns In Apposition
When one noun follows another to describe it, the noun which follows is said to be in apposition to the noun which comes before it.
e.g. Rahul, our Captain, made hundred runs.
Here Rahul and our Captain are one and the same person. The noun Captain follows the norm Rahul simply to explain which Rahul is referred to.