Topicȱ1X Nounsȱandȱȱ

By the end of this topic, you should be able to: 1. Differentiate between nouns and pronouns; 2. Identify nouns and pronouns used in prose; 3. Explain the grammar rules related to nouns and pronouns; 4. Categorise different types of nouns and pronouns; 5. Use a dictionary to look for grammatical information about nouns and pronouns; and 6. Use different types of nouns and pronouns in appropriate contexts.ȱ

This topic introduces the two major word classes of English grammar: nouns and pronouns. These two word classes belong to the noun group. You can use a noun group to refer to someone or something by naming them. You do this by using a name, called a noun. You may decide not to name the person or thing and use a pronoun. This module will take you through a series of language awareness activities and some language proficiency exercises on nouns and pronouns. The language awareness activities will sensitise you to the characteristics and the grammar rules related to the forms and functions of nouns and pronouns, while the language proficiency exercises provide practice on the use of these two word classes in meaningful contexts.





Do you know what a noun is? Can you underline all the nouns in the following sentences? Can you explain the criteria you have used to identify the nouns? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Hassan is a good doctor. Kuala Lumpur is a city in Malaysia. She wrote a letter to her pen-friend. The teacher likes my singing and dancing. The policeman caught the thief. Wisdom is better than strength. I lost my personal computer at the market. The food at the restaurant is delicious. The crowd dispersed immediately.

10. The team had played very well in the competition. A noun is a „naming word‰. It tells us what someone or something is called. For example, it can be used to refer to a person (e.g. Hassan, boy, pen-friend, thief), a job title (doctor, policeman), a place (e.g. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, city, market, restaurant), an object (e.g. letter, personal computer, food), an activity/event (e.g. singing, dancing, competition), a quality (e.g. wisdom, strength), a group (crowd, team) or whatever name we can think of. Some nouns consist of more than one word as in pen-friend, policeman and personal computer. These nouns are called compound nouns. Refer to Collins Cobuild English Grammar, p. 27 for more details.

Identify all the nouns in the text below by underlining them.

Japan. 17 March 2006 1.g. Proton Perdana. Monday. You always spell this type of noun with a capital letter (e. girl. There are two types of common nouns: countable nouns and uncountable nouns. etc). Figure 1.TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS W 3 Carriers to share routes Kuala Lumpur: Both Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia will be allowed to fly major domestic routes. You use a common noun as the general name of a person.g. event or thing (e. . etc. MAS will provide the premium service while the budget airline will provide the low-cost domestic trunk services. place.1: Types of Nouns (a) Proper and Common Nouns You use a proper noun as the specific name of a person. Elizabeth. car. Adapted from: The Star. The Government also decided that both companies would be given the flexibility to decide on the frequency of flights. Deepavali.).1 shows the relationship among the four types of nouns.1. festival. capacity distribution. Figure 1. the Government has decided.1 Types of Nouns All nouns are either proper nouns or common nouns. country. day. types of aircraft and airfare under the supervision of the Transport Ministry. place. event or thing.

Johor Bahru. (b) Countable and Uncountable Nouns Some common nouns refer to people or things that we can count. he taught English at the English College. Kuala Kangsar.3 The following text contains proper and common nouns. Soon ZaÊba became well-known for his literary works. ZaÊba was taught at home by his own father. PaulÊs Institution in Seremban for 6 years. Negeri Sembilan. Some common nouns refer to things that are not usually counted. In 1910.4 X TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS ACTIVITY 1. Example: Drinking milk every day is healthy. we can use certain common nouns as countable as well as uncountable. Example: I have two pens. When he was 13 years old. he started his formal education in a Malay school and developed a strong interest in reading. depending on the context. After graduation. They are uncountable nouns. They are countable nouns. he started his career as a writer and contributed articles to newspapers and educational journals. . was born on 16 September 1895 in Kampung Batu Kikir near Kuala Pilah. Later. he furthered his studies at St. he was transferred to the Malay College. whose real name was Zainal Abidin bin Ahmad. Can you identify them? ZaÊba. Examples: I bought a chicken to cook my favourite curry. However. (Countable) Would you like some chicken for dinner? (Uncountable). At a very young age. There.

---- Uncountable You can wrap the parcel in brown paper.5 Sort the following nouns into 3 categories: Ć Ć Ć countable uncountable countable and uncountable For each countable or uncountable noun. . Malaysia exports furniture made of rubber wood. ---- furniture Beach Pantai Seri is a beautiful beach. uncountable or countable and uncountable. paper furniture beach device talent Examples: Noun paper electricity meeting beauty luggage work potato outcome chief billiards instrument diabetes advice noise factory problem housewife task poverty experience child Countable I am writing a paper for the conference. Can you get this type of grammatical information from your dictionary? Find out how your dictionary indicates the information? ACTIVITY 1.TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS W 5 ACTIVITY 1. make a sentence to show its use.4 A good dictionary will indicate whether you can use a noun as countable.

-ch. preceded by a consonant Change ăf or ăfe into v and add ăes to the singular Lady Party Thief Leaf 6. singular and plural.2 Number: Singular and Plural A countable nouns has two forms. Change ăy into ăi and add ăes for the singular ending in ăy.6 Here are some rules for you to follow to form plurals for countable nouns. Some examples are provided for each rule. Rule Add ăs to the singular Add ăes to the singular that ends in ăs. Examples: Noun Countable Uncountable Singular girl homework Plural girls - ACTIVITY 1. .1. Can you provide some examples of your own? You can use a good dictionary to check your answers. No. The singular form denotes „one‰ and the plural form denotes „more than one‰ An uncountable noun only has the singular form. -sh. -x. 4. 1. Add ăs to the singular that ends in -o Add ăs or ăes to the singular that ends in o ă photos ă radios ă zeros/zeroes ă buffalos/ buffaloes ă ladies ă parties ă thieves ă leaves 5. 2.6 X TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS 1. or o Cow Rose Class Brush Match Box Cargo Photo Radio Zero Buffalo Example ă cows ă roses ă ă ă ă ă classes brushes matches boxes cargoes Your Example 3.

darts. Add ăs to the singular that ends in ăf or ăfe Change the inside vowel of the singular Add ăen to the singular Nouns from foreign languages have two plural forms Belief Roof Tooth Foot Child Ox ă beliefs ă roofs ă teeth ă feet ă children ă oxen Formula ă formulae/ formulas Syllabus ă syllabi/ syllabuses So far you have seen that you can form a plural by making some changes to the singular form of a noun. glasses. Measles is a harmless disease. etc. Aerobics has become a popular exercise. 8. etc.scissors. trunks. expenses. cards. The news brings cheers to the public. Tools . goods. 2. athletics. etc. tongs. clippers. billiards. politics. this is not the case all the time. statistics. surroundings.belongings. 10. shears. However. aerobics. . shorts. etc. Some nouns have a plural form but they are uncountable nouns which are singular in meaning. All his belongings are in the bag. Draughts is easier to play than chess. You can only use them as plural nouns. pyjamas. 2. I have a pair of scissors. 4. etc. 1. Ć Some nouns have a plural form but no singular form. checkers. Ć Some nouns have a plural form but you can use them in the singular or plural. rickets. savings. Others ă news. pants. 3.trousers. mumps. binoculars. diabetes. 3. rabies. 1. pincers. etc. Examples: Diseases ă measles. shingles.TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS W 7 7. etc. physics. Others . handcuffs. Examples: Clothing . Subjects of study/activity ă classics. Games ă draughts. Ć My trousers are dirty. 9. spectacles.

Ć Some nouns do not have a plural form and you always use them in the singular. information. You can find different species of flowers in the park. quarters. traffic. Chinese. 1. 2. They are also known as plural nouns. The cattle are grazing in the field. means. All means have been used to locate him. clothing. etc 1. advice. military. The police have completed their investigation. mackerel. love. scenery. The meat has turned bad. 3. gentry. sand. Examples: Furniture. Examples: Cattle. homework. They are uncountable nouns. aircraft. (Note: „People‰ is singular when it means „nation‰. luggage. machinery. knowledge. Examples: Sheep. 2. grouse. etc 1. people. Some nouns do not have a plural form but you always use them in the plural. police. 3. This species of orchid is very rare. etc. species. barracks. headquarters.8 X TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS Examples: Crossroads. bellows. rice. oil. gallows. 3. milk. equipment. There are three crossroads along Jalan Indah. Japanese. Some people are never satisfied. poultry. Swiss. meat. salmon. etc. Internet is an effective means of communication. This crossroads does not have traffic lights. deer. Little knowledge is dangerous. Ć This information is reliable. trout.) Ć Some nouns do not have a plural form but you can use them in the singular or plural. series. 2. vermin. . barracks.

the family members. The moon is so beautiful tonight. audience. Japanese are hardworking people.TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS W 9 1. 1. 2. Nevertheless.g. When a collective noun is singular in form. 2. i. . the BBC. family ă families). but some collective nouns do not have plural forms. Examples: 1. There are three sheep in the field.1. the Senate. This sheep has grown fatter. My family is small. depending on the meaning you wish to convey. etc. etc). etc.7 Check how your dictionary indicates the types of nouns mentioned above. team. bunch. atmosphere. They can be common nouns (e. Examples: Moon.) or proper nouns (e. A collective noun can have both singular and plural forms (e. sun. the UN. 2.3 Collective Nouns Collective nouns refer to groups of people. „Family‰ is used in the singular because it is considered a single unit.g. 1. These nouns are referred to as singular nouns. The sun was shining brightly. ACTIVITY 1. family. „Family‰ is used in the plural because it is thought of as a number of individuals. army. or things. animals. committee.e. He is a Japanese. My family are cleaning the house.g. you can still use them in the singular or plural. you can use it in the singular or plural. air. Ć There are some nouns for which only a singular form is used because they refer to certain things in the world that are unique.

(Plural) ACTIVITY 1.8 Can you identify the words which can be used as collective nouns? Find out how your dictionary indicates this type of noun. 2. Provide a rationale for your choice. .10 X TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS Examples: 1.2 PRONOUNS ACTIVITY 1. (Singular) The public are divided in their opinion. The public is supportive of the new action plan. 1.9 Read the two texts below and decide which text is better.

one day. ACTIVITY 1. Low was admitted into the hospital. A doctor told him that his injured leg had to be amputated. For each type. The word is a personal pronoun.TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS W 11 Text A When Mr. Mr. provide as many examples as possible in the form of sentences. Low was afraid Mr. A doctor told Mr. one day. Low might lose his left leg. Low that his injured leg had to be amputated. So. Mr. he was afraid of losing his limbs in the machines. . However. Low was afraid of losing his limbs in the machines. Low got a job in the factory. he was always very careful when he worked. Low‰ in the text to avoid unnecessary repetition of the proper noun. Mr.10 Can you provide other examples of personal pronouns? How many other types of pronouns do you know? Make a list of them. Text B When Mr. Low got a job in the factory. Find out how much grammatical information you can get from your dictionary. His fear was confirmed when he was admitted into the hospital. Mr. Compare what you have got with the notes provided. However. he slipped and his left leg got caught in a machine. Low worked. Low was always very careful when Mr. Mr. It is a type of pronoun. Low slipped and his left leg got caught in a machine. His fear was confirmed when Mr. You will see that Text B is more cohesive because the word „he‰ has been used to replace „Mr. So. Low was afraid he might lose his left leg.

They have decided to go. You). There are two sets of personal pronouns: subject pronouns and object pronouns.8. the people you are talking to (e. John likes you very much. 1. Would you come along? He told me the news. or the people or things you are talking about (e. For more detailed information. he. pp.28-42. We were with her last night. x . I gave them a warning.g. x You use personal pronouns to refer to yourself (e. refer to Collins Cobuild English Grammar. My bother has read it. It is a very long novel. they).12 X TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS ACTIVITY 1.g. She was a pretty woman. Personal Pronouns Subject Pronouns Singular Plural 1st Person 2nd Person 3rd Person he she it I you they him her it we Object Pronouns Singular Plural me you them us Examples: I donÊt know what to do.11 Read through the notes below and compare them with your answers to Activity 1. I).g.

She stared at herself in the mirror. 3. Ć Reflexive pronouns refer back to the subject in a sentence. 2. It is his. 3. Examples: The book is AhmadÊs. 4. Possessive Pronouns Singular 1st Person 2nd Person 3rd Person Examples: 1. Reflexive Pronouns Singular myself yourself himself herself itself He killed himself. 2. Example: . They are ours. 5. You need to ask yourselves questions. He is an old friend of ours. his hers This book is mine. You should buy yourself a new watch.TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS W 13 2. 3. Mine yours theirs Plural ours Ć You use possessive pronouns to show possession. We introduced ourselves to the VIP. Is that coffee yours or his ? It was her fault. These cats are our pets. not theirs. 4. Plural ourselves yourselves themselves 1st Person 2nd Person 3rd Person Examples: 1.

Demonstrative Pronouns Singular this that Ć Plural these those „This/These‰ refers to something that is close to you. What are those? 5. I bought you these. You can leave out the reflexive pronoun without changing the meaning of the sentence. 4. They/It looked pretty on her. Examples: 1. 4. 2. . / She made the card. Compare: 1. or that you do not consider to be close to you. 2. They/he will tell you. „That/Those‰ refers to something that is not close to you. Indefinite Pronouns anybody anyone anything Ć everybody everyone everything nobody no one nothing somebody someone something You use indefinite pronouns to refer to people or things but you do not know exactly who or what they are. She made the card herself. or their identity is not important. This is a list of reference books That was difficult for me. She could wear anything she liked. Examples: 1. 2. or that you consider to be close to you. Ask anyone. The town itself is very crowded. / The town is very crowded. 3.14 X TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS She hurt herself. (subject) Ć You can use a reflexive pronoun for emphasis.

TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS W 15 3. Both „each other‰ and „one another‰ can refer to two or more people or things. Indefinite pronouns are singular. Everybody is enjoying themselves/himself at the party. John and Sam shouted at one another. 6. 5. Sam shouted at John. Ć 7. At the same time. Examples: 1. The clause introduced by a relative pronoun is the relative clause. They/he can leave anytime. relative pronouns refer to somebody or something you have mentioned earlier. (clause) (clause) I talked to the salesman. or share the same relationship. Reciprocal Pronouns each other Ć one another You use reciprocal pronouns to indicate that people do the same thing. you can either use a singular or plural pronoun. 2. 3. He came yesterday. (John shouted at Sam. You will learn more about relative clauses in Topic 8. We helped each other a lot. they join clauses together. but if you want to use a pronoun to refer back to an indefinite pronoun. Relative Pronouns Who Whom Whose that Ć which Like other pronouns. 4. I talked to the salesman who came yesterday.) The two lights moved towards one another. Ali and Asiah love each other. The use of plural pronouns are more common in formal English. 4. feel the same way. Relative Clause . Ć Everyone is ready.

Ć You use „that‰ to refer to people or things. („Whom‰ is not possible) The old lady to whom you gave the money was my neighbour. Examples: 1. Interrogative Pronouns who Ć whom whose which what You use interrogative pronouns to ask direct or indirect questions. The road which leads to my college is muddy. He is the man that came just now. 3. Children whose parents are educated tend to be more intelligent.16 X TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS Ć You use „who‰ and „whom‰ to refer to people. The hunters found footprints which belonged to the elephant. . 3. „who‰ is not possible. The shop from which I bought the book is in the next block. Ć You use „which‰ to refer to things.) Ć You use „whose‰ to show who or what something belongs to. 3. Examples: 1. 2. 2. 8. I like the idea that you have suggested. Examples 1. (After preposition. The clothes that were on display were imported from Italy. The police recovered the car whose owner went missing last week. Examples 1. Boys who keep long hair will be punished. 2. That is the man who/whom I met yesterday. 2. 3. He is the one from whose house the stolen goods were found.

Quantifying Pronouns all another any both Ć each either enough few fewer less little many more most much neither several some One* Quantifying pronouns are quantifiers. Each of them is worth RM200. 5. He wondered what Sally would do now...‰. 2. „none of them. 6.. 7. Give him some money. 4. 9. 8. 2. 3.‰. There are twenty prizes. „several of my friends. All must come for the meeting. What is that? Who was at the door just now? For whom do you buy the food? Who/Whom did you talk to? Whose is this? Which do you like? I asked him who he was talking to. 5. 4..TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS W 17 Examples: 1.. (Pronoun) Many students were offered scholarships (Determiner) You will learn about determiners in Topic 5. You can also use quantifiers as determiners. Ć Ć Most quantifying pronouns are followed by „of‰ as in „some of the fund. Many were offered scholarships. I have two interesting novels. „One‰ can be a personal pronoun as in „One should wok hard to succeed‰. 6. 3. which indicate number or amount.. Examples: 1.. You can borrow both.‰. Would you like to have some steak? .. etc.00. I saw one girl whispering to another. if you have any.

nouns can be singular or plural in form. may be used in the singular or plural. possessive. reciprocal. interrogative and quantifying pronouns. when they are plural in form. A collective noun which is singular in form may be used in the singular or plural. indefinite. when singular in form. reflexive. Some nouns. they may be used in the singular or plural.18 X TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS x x x x x x x x This module provides grammatical information about nouns and pronouns. Pronouns are words that can replace expressions functioning as nouns. Proper noun Common noun Countable noun Uncountable noun Plural noun Singular noun Collective noun Pronoun . relative. Nouns may be classified as proper or common nouns. Likewise. The nine types of pronouns covered in this module are personal. A common noun can be countable. In terms of number. demonstrative. uncountable or both.

I enjoying learning statistics. 12. Example: The group of players lifted their coach in jubilation. How much time did you spend on the work? This is not my first time here. I need some writing paper to write the report. „My Fair Lady‰ is a good play. No. 11. (b) Replace the underlined words with suitable collective nouns. The refugees are well taken care of.TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS W 19 SELF-TEST 1 (a) Identify the types of nouns underlined in the following sentences. (team) 1. A lot of people gathered at the accident scene but none helped the victim. You should say nothing but the truth. Teaching is a noble profession. Common/ Proper Countable/ Uncountable Singular/ Plural 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10. 1 Sentence The Prime Minister will announce the 9th Malaysia Plan. Two more new quarters are being built for teachers. Leave the box empty if it is not relevant. We will send the equipment later. . MAS has reduced the number of aircraft to cut cost.

20 X TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS 2. Tan took his wife and children for holiday at the Cameron Highlands. The general reminded his group of soldiers to be alert at all times. 8. The audience gave the group of performers a standing ovation. 9. The principal thanked his group of teachers for the hardwork and dedication. They presented Puan Aini a collection of flowers during the TeachersÊ Day. 7. 13. 5. The man ___________ you spoke to is my teacher. 2. 10. It was not my fault. __________ are not the answers. The dog helped the shepherd to guide his group of sheep. Type of Pronoun . 4. 3. Mr. 5. The group of sailors were busy preparing their gears before they set sail. SELF-TEST 2 Complete each sentence with an appropriate pronoun. Cars ____________ have air-conditioner are more comfortable. 4. Everyone who meets my brother likes _____________. I see that you have cut __________ again. Label the type of pronoun you have used. 12. What a careless boy! __________ has taken my pen. 7. Do you know who? I wondered to __________ we must report the matter. IÊm sure it isnÊt ___________. 8. ________ is that man standing at the door? We promise to get in touch with _____________. __________ is it? You _____________ saw what happened. So you have a new baby! Is _________ a boy or a girl? That is not HassanÊs car. 14 Sentence ThereÊs some money on the table. 6. 3.m. 6. No. You should try harder. 1. 11. They have cancelled the meeting __________is scheduled at 9 a.

Collins cobuild studentÊs grammar. All the apples are bad. Conrad. Longman student grammar of spoken and written English. D. (2002). We really treasure our friendship. J. this or __________? The prices of cars have dropped but I still canÊt afford _______. Longman English grammar.) (1993). London: HarperCollins. (ed. England: Longman Sinclair. . Alexander. L. You can eat __________ of them. ________ should constantly ask oneself questions during reading. HarperCollins. (1990). London: Sinclair. New York: Longman Biber.. & Leech. A studentÊs grammar of the English language. (ed. Collins cobuild English grammar. R.) (1991). England: Pearson Education Limited. _________ can attend the talk as long as they are above 21. S. J. Kenneth has been a family friend of _________ for many years. (1988).G.TOPIC 1 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS W 21 15 16 17 18 19 20. S. Quirk. G. Which shirt do you prefer. & Greenbaum.