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Lecture 1.

Kinds of nouns
The word noun comes from Latin word ‘nomen’ which means
name. Noun names a person, a place, a thing, or an idea.

Concrete and abstract nouns

A noun that names something that can be seen, smelled, heard,
tasted, or touched is called a concrete noun. An abstract noun, on
the other hand, names an idea, a quality, or a feeling.
Common and proper nouns
A common noun refers to any person, place, thing or idea. Do not
capitalize common nouns in the middle of a sentence.
A proper noun identifies a particular person, place, thing or idea.
Proper nouns are always capitalized. For example:
Common nouns Proper nouns
City Tel Aviv
People Chinese, Pakistanis
Collective nouns
A collective noun refers to a group of persons, animals, or things.
A crowd of students flocked into the room.

Common collective nouns

Audience class committee group
Band club family team

Compound nouns
Two or more words used as a single noun are called a compound
noun. A compound noun is written either as one word, as separate
words, or as hyphenated words. For example: single word:
newspaper, grandfather, separate words: New Year’s Day, truck
driver, hyphenated words: make-up, son –in-law

Which nouns are concrete? Which are abstract?
1. Some early inventors had little education
2. These pioneers worked alone on their dreams.
3. Modern businesses hire people with creative abilities.
4. These designers develop new products: such as safer toys.
5. Scientists work with engineers on amazing gadgets.
Which nouns are common? Which are proper?
This famous inventor was born in Germany.
The man changed production of books forever.
Before Gutenberg, pages were slowly copied by hand.
Then this designer invented a new type of printing press.
Due to his works, many manuscripts could be printed at the same
time for readers throughout Europe and the world.

Label nouns either concrete or abstract and either common or

Modern inventors also strive for speed and convenience.
Alexander Graham Bell had the idea for a telephone.
His first phone was built with very crude equipment
After much frustration, Bell

introduced this device.

Messages could be sent quickly on his talking machine.
The first callers shouted into a mouthpiece to their listeners.
Engineers have improved that device beyond Bell’s hopes.
Voices travel by wire, radio, or satellite now.
An American for example: can dial to relatives in Africa or Asia.
Computers can now transmit newspaper reports, legal documents,
and even pictures across the globe.
Which nouns are collective?
We had an interesting collection of photographs.
Our class had visited Colonial Williamsburg in May.
No one in my family had ever been there.
A committee of students and teachers planned the trip.
There were about forty students in our group.
Which nouns are compound?
The guides at Colonial Williamsburg dress like colonists.
The Governor’s Palace is a storehouse of antiques.
A footpath led us to the stores of several shopkeepers.
A wigmaker and a candlemaker displayed their crafts.
I read a story about a teen-ager in the Virginia Colony.
Hampton Roads is one of the largest seaports in America.
Here three waterways meet the Chesapeake Bay
Some students bought postcards of James River Bridge.
My brother –in- law took us on a tour of a large shipyard in the city
of Newport News.
Shipbuilding is not just for the military.
A crew of workers had built a passenger liner called the United
This ship was designed by W.F.Gibbs.
At the launch a band played, and a crowd of spectators watched the
How did the onlookers bid farewell?
The captain, the first mate, a swarm of stewards attended to the
passengers’ needs.
Is the vessel part of a fleet of ships?

Because of its tremendous horsepower, this steamship set a record

on its first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.

Not even the navy has been able to break that record.
For almost two decades, the ship met the challenges of white-caps,
violent storms, fog, and icebergs.
The liner was then sold and restored in West Germany.
Nouns are divided as countable and uncountable.
Countable nouns have two forms; singular plural
Uncountable nouns can have two subgroups: only singular, only

Many languages have category of gender. Old English had

category of gender. During its development the category of gender
was lost. Most of nouns represent both genders. Sometimes nouns
distinguish gender lexically.
For example: cock-hen
Man-servant-woman servant
Tom- cat –Pussy –cat
Sometimes by adding suffix –ess For example: waitress, lioness,

Forming plurals
Plurals are regularly formed by adding s to the singular form.
Yield –yields alibi –alibis
Freebie –freebies bayou –bayous
Nouns ending in s, x, ch, sh, or z
When the singular form ends in s, x, ch, sh, or z the plural is
formed by adding es to the singular. Virus-viruses,
But quiz-quizzes.
Singular nouns ending in silent s do not change their forms in the
plural. One corps –two corps, a rendevous- many rendevous /when
the plural form is used the s ending is pronounced.

/-s is pronounced as /z/ after vowels, voiced consonants: dogs, days

-after unvoiced consonants as /s/: hats, roofs
- after /s/,/z/, /∫/, /3/, /t∫/, /d3/, as /iz/: classes, roses, dishes,
garages, benches, bridges/
When a singular noun ends in ‘y’ preceded by a consonant ‘y’ is
changed to ‘i’ and adding ‘es’ to the singular form
Proxy-proxies liability- liabilities
To ‘y’ preceded by a vowel simply add ‘s’
But soliloquy-soliloquies
Nouns ending in ‘o’
‘O’ preceded by a vowel take ‘s’ in the plural form
Tattoo-tattoos boo –boos
Nouns ending in ‘o’ preceded by a consonant form plurals in
different ways.
a. to some nouns simply add ‘s’: placebo-placebos weirdo-
weirdos, typo-typos
b. some add ‘es’: echo-echoes, embargo –embargoes, fiasco-
c. some have 2 forms/the preferred form is given first/
cargo-cargoes cargos, zero zeros, zeroes, motto- mottoes,
mottos, proviso-provisos, provisos, tuxedo-tuxedos,
tuxedoes, ghetto-ghettos, ghettoes
d. musical terms form their plurals by adding ‘s’: alto-altos,

Nouns ending in f, fe or ff
a. most form their plurals by adding ‘s’: beliefs, safes, tariffs,
b. some change to ‘ve’ half-halves, life-lives
c. some have 2 forms /the preferred form is given first/: scarf
scarves, scarfs, dwarf, dwarfs, dwarves
Nouns with irregular plurals
Some nouns are formed by a change of letters within: woman-
women, foot-feet
A few plurals end in ‘en’, ’ren’ children, oxen,
Some nouns have the same form sheep-sheep, deer-deer, swine-
swine, fish-fish
/fishes for different types of fish.
Ichthyology is that branch of zoology which treats of the internal
and external structure of fishes
Means, aircraft
A good means-these means
One aircraft-many aircraft
/house /s/ -houses/z/, bath/ baths

Foreign words.
Latin . basis bases
Datum data crisis-crises
Erratum- errata analysis-analyses
Memorandum-*memoranda phenomenon-phenomena
Bacillus-bacilli miasma miasmata
Nucleus –nuclei
Series series
Species species