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Monday, 2017-09-25, 2:04 AM
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Types of nouns 1


2.2 Common and Proper Nouns

Nouns which name specific people or places are known as PROPER NOUNS.  
  

John  
Mary  
London  
France

Many names consist of more than one word:  
  

John Wesley  
Queen Mary  
South Africa  
Atlantic Ocean  
Buckingham Palace

Proper nouns may also refer to times or to dates in the calendar:  
  

 January, February, Monday, Tuesday, Christmas, Thanksgiving

All other nouns are COMMON NOUNS.   

Since proper nouns usually refer to something or someone unique, they do not normally take plurals. However, they may do so, especially when number is being specifically referred to:  
  

there are three Davids in my class  
we met two Christmases ago

For the same reason, names of people and places are not normally preceded by determiners the or a/an, though they can be in certain circumstances:  
  

it's nothing like the America I remember  
my brother is an Einstein at maths

 

2.3 Count and Non-count Nouns

Common nouns are either count or non-count. COUNT nouns can be "counted", as follows:   
  

one pen, two pens, three pens, four pens... 

 NON-COUNT nouns, on the other hand, cannot be counted in this way:   
  

 one software, *two softwares, *three softwares, *four softwares... 

 From the point of view of grammar, this means that count nouns have singular as well as plural forms, whereas non-count nouns have only a singular form.   

 It also means that non-count nouns do not take a/an before them:   

 

Count

Non-count

a pen 

*a software

 

  

 In general, non-count nouns are considered to refer to indivisible wholes. For this reason, they are sometimes called MASS nouns.   

Some common nouns may be either count or non-count, depending on the kind of reference they have. For example, in I made a cake, cake is a count noun, and the a before it indicates singular number. However, in I like cake, the reference is less specific. It refers to "cake in general", and so cake is non-count in this sentence.

2.4 Pronouns

Pronouns are a major subclass of nouns. We call them a subclass of nouns because they can sometimes replace a noun in a sentence:   

 

Noun

Pronoun

John got a new job

~He got a new job

Children should watch less television

~They should watch less television 

 

   

In these examples the pronouns have the same reference as the nouns which they replace. In each case, they refer to people, and so we call them PERSONAL PRONOUNS. However, we also include in this group the pronoun it, although this pronoun does not usually refer to a person. There are three personal pronouns, and each has a singular and a plural form:   

 

Person

Singular

Plural

1st

I

we

2nd

you

you

3rd

he/she/it

they

 

   

These pronouns also have another set of forms, which we show here:   

 

Person

Singular

Plural

1st

me

us

2nd

you

you

3rd

him/her/it

them

 

   

The first set of forms (I, you, he...) exemplifies the SUBJECTIVE CASE, and the second set (me, you, him...) exemplifies the OBJECTIVE CASE. The distinction between the two cases relates to how they can be used in sentences. For instance, in our first example above, we say that he can replace John   

 

John got a new job

~He got a new job

 

   

But he cannot replace John in I gave John a new job. Here, we have to use the objective form him: I gave him a new job.    


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