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Nouns

Nouns are the words you use to name things, which can be concrete (subject to your five senses) or
abstract (ideas, stuff). In a sentence, a noun or noun phrase is used at least as the Subject and can be
the Objects.

There are several ways to categorise nouns.

Firstly, based on the usage, there are Proper Nouns and Common Nouns. Proper Nouns are
principally names of things, people, places, animals, brands, time, etc. So obviously, with names, you
use the capital letter. Examples: Boston (a city), Honda (the car manufacturer), Winston Churchill (a
person’s name), Mc Donald’s (the fast food chain), Saturday (a day’s name).

Common Nouns, on the other hand, are the nouns not used as Proper Nouns, and thus they do not
need the capital letter (except as the first word of a sentence). Example: car, city, day, week, month,
person, people.

Then, in regards to our five senses, we can categorise nouns as concrete and abstract. Concrete
Nouns are those you can see (e.g. balloon, chair, table, person, etc.), smell (e.g. oxygen, carbon
dioxide, fart), hear (e.g. sound, alarm), taste (e.g. sugar, food, drink), or touch (e.g. keyboard,
computer, etc.).

Abstract nouns are those you can only think and talk about, but not actually sensible through your
five senses. They include ideas and feelings. Example: anger, sadness, cleanliness, dirtiness, etc.

Lastly, there are Countable Nouns—that you can count (e.g. bicycles, candies, colours, thoughts,
rights), and Uncountable Nouns—that are obviously you cannot count numerically (e.g. water, rice,
information, accommodation, money).

When plural countable nouns becomes a subject of a sentence, they are regarded as a 3rd person
plural subject. On the contrary, uncountable nouns are regarded as a 3rd person singular subject.
Thus you need to match the verb forms accordingly.

Verbs

Verb denotes actions or states. In a sentence, a verb or verb phrase acts as the predicate that
describe what the subject does or its state.

Transitive verbs: Verbs that are followed by or need a direct object. E.g.

a. I hear my favourite song playing in the radio.


b. She explains her ideas very clearly to her classmates.
c. You can keep this brooch if you like.
d. The computer would always fail to send the data over the network whenever the lighting
struck.

Intransitive verbs: Verbs that are not followed by or do not need a direct object. Notice that a
preposition may follow these verbs.

a. I think of my parents every day.


b. He went to the post office yesterday to send you the package.
c. We arrived at the airport at 7 AM this morning.
d. She smiles at the children playing the mini drum.

Based on the tense, a verb can have several forms:

1. Infinitive; the base form that you will find in the dictionary.
2. 3rd person singular present; V-s/es that follows 3rd person singular subjects.

e.g. She eats an apple for breakfast.

3. Present participle (V-ing). The form that is used to express an ongoing action.
4. Past (V2). The form to express past action.
5. Past Participle (V3). The form to express completed action or passive voice.

The term regular and irregular Verbs are in regards with the Past and Past Participle forms
mentioned above.

Regular verbs have consistent forms in their V2s and V3. In other words, there is no difference
between its V2 and V3 forms. They are formed by adding a postfix –ed. For example: follow-
followed-followed, depart-departed-departed, anger-angered-angered, heat-heated-heated.

As opposed to regular verbs, irregular verbs are not constrained into standardized forms (i.e. –ed
postfix). Their V2 and V3 forms can be different, though some can be identical. For example: run-
ran-run, eat-ate-eaten, learn-learnt/learned-learnt/learned, go-went-gone.

Adjective

Adjective describes nouns (or noun phrases) by adding attributes of quality or quantity. They can
directly modify a noun or complement a linking verb or “to be”.

e.g. (Adjectives are in bold; modified nouns are underlined; linking verbs are in italic)

In the museum I saw a lot of antique chairs and cupboards.

Many people used to think that the earth was flat.

The woman wearing a green gown across the mezzanine is the new director of the company.

We should be happy that no one is injured despite the devastating earthquake.

I felt more nauseated as the ship sailed on. (Adjectival Phrase)

Adverbs

Adverbs describes Verbs, Adjectives, and other Adverbs by adding attributes of manner or scale.

e.g. (Adverbs are in bold; described words are underlined)

When the bell rang she decided that it was just too much after all.

Did you know that cheetahs can run very quickly?

She looks forward happily to returning to the valley next month.

Mom told me to work hard every day if so I can save for my trip next year.
Martha simply nods when asked if she feels better after taking the medicine.