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Nouns

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WHAT ARE NOUNS? Nouns are naming words. They name people, places and objects. They can also name ideas, emotions, qualities and activities. Here are some examples of nouns: Peter, Elizabeth, driver, sister, friend. Bristol, Severn, Brazil, pen, dog, money. Love, beauty, industry, nature, greed, pain.

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Types of noun All nouns can be divided into common and proper nouns. Common nouns can then be divided into countable and uncountable nouns. Both countable and uncountable nouns can then be further divided into concrete and abstract nouns. We’ll look at each type in turn.

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Common nouns All nouns which are not proper nouns are common nouns. A few examples: cup, art, paper, work, frog, bicycle, atom, family, mind. Common nouns are either countable or uncountable .

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Countable nouns Use these tests for countable nouns: Countable (or just “count”) nouns can be made plural: a tree… two trees; a man… men; a pony… ponies. In the singular, they may have the determiner a or an : a sausage; an asterisk. We ask: How many words/pages/chairs? We say: A few minutes/friends/chips?

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Uncountable nouns Use these tests for uncountable nouns: Uncountable (or non-count) nouns cannot be made plural. We cannot say: two funs, three advices or five furnitures . We never use a or an with them. We ask: How much money/time/milk? (Not How many? ) We say: A little help/effort. (Not A few. )

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Dual category nouns Some nouns may be countable or uncountable, depending on how we use them. We buy a box of chocolates (countable) or a bar of chocolate (uncountable). We ask: H ow much time? but How many times? (where times = occasions ). We sit in front of a television (set) to watch television (broadcasting).

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Prepared by: Florelyn J. Estrosos

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