You are on page 1of 6

Principal Uses of Nouns

SUBJECT OF A VERBwhat is being talked about in the sentence Ex. The house was wrecked. Here comes the teacher. PREDICATE NOUNusually placed after the verb and answers the question what or who; it is the same person or thing as the subject Ex. The prince became a beggar. The supervisor is Janice. DIRECT OBJECT OF A VERBthe receiver of the action indicated by the verb and answers the question what or whom; represents a person/thing different from the subject (unlike the predicate noun) Ex. The girl lost the bag. The robber killed the policeman. INDIRECT OBJECT OF A VERBtells to whom or to what, or for whom or for what something was done Ex. The girl wrote her father a letter. Kate bought Dianne a new purse. Note: With an indirect object though, to or for is never mentioned in the sentence; if it were expressed, the noun would be the object of the preposition and not an indirect object. OBJECT OF A PREPOSITIONanswers the question what or whom after the preposition. Ex. The murderer found shelter in the forest. The bus came from Pampanga. APPOSITIONanother name for the same person/thing represented by the subject Ex. My friend, the accountant, has just arrived. We next went to Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines. OBJECTIVE COMPLEMENTadded to the direct object to complete the meaning expressed by the verb; without it the sentence would then become vague and incomplete Ex. We made Lea the manager. We elected Rosa the muse. NOMINATIVE ABSOLUTE-this kind of construction is made up of a noun followed by a participle; when a noun used absolutely with a participle is placed at the beginning of a sentence, it must be carefully distinguished from a noun used as subject of the verb. For example, in the sentence, The guests being hungry, dinner was served, guests is in the nominative absolute construction with the participle being and dinner is the subject of the verb was served. On the other hand, in The guests, being hungry, took their places at the table, guests is not in the nominative absolute construction; it is the subject of the verb took. DIRECT ADDRESS Ex. Kiandra, it is time to eat. The room, Jelaine, has to be cleaned. Kiandra and Jelaine are the names or words by which the persons are addressed. These are not the subjects of the verbs. Any word having one of these nine uses in a sentence is a noun or noun-equivalent in that sentence, although it may be another part of speech in another sentence. Ex. Is is a verb. He mispronounced charismatic. Nouns used as other parts of speechsome words which are ordinarily nouns may be used: As adverbs As adjectives

Eight uses of a Noun 1. Subject of the Sentence The subject is the person, place, thing, or idea that the sentence is about.

The book was heavy.

2. Predicate Noun A predicate noun comes after the verb to be or a linking verb that replaces or means the same thing as the subject of the sentence.

My brother is the clown.

3. Appositive An appositive is a word or phrase that comes after another word. It explains, identifies, or gives information about that word. The appositive is set off from the sentence by one or two commas.

Our teacher, Mr. Ford, taught us English.

4. Direct Object of a verb The direct object is the person, place, thing, or idea, that receives the action of the verb.

Jack slammed the door.

5. Indirect Object of a verb The indirect object receives the action of the verb indirectly.

Our teacher gave us a gift.

6. Object of the Preposition A preposition is a word that shows location, movement, or direction. Common ones are in, on, with, under for, and by. A preposition is always followed by a noun or pronoun that is called the object of the preposition. Together, they form a prepositional phrase.

over the house under the highway

7. Object Complement An object complement is a word that completes themeaning of a direct object. It is used when the direct object would not make complete sense by itself.

I named my cat Garfield.

8. To show Possession A possessive noun tells who or what owns something.

Hawaiis volcanoes are still active.

Pronouns There are several categories of pronouns, but they all replace nouns in a sentence. The following lists include the most commonly used pronouns. Personal I Me He She It Him Her You We They Them Possessive His Hers Its Yours Ours Theirs Whatever Relative Who Whose That Which Whoever Whichever Reflexive Myself Yourself Himself Herself Ourselves Themselves

1. Use the pronoun "who" as a subject. When choosing between "who" and "whom," ask yourself if there is a verb to which the pronoun attaches that requires a subject. If it does, use "who" rather than "whom." "Whom" is an object and can not be a subject. "Who," on the other hand, can be a subject, but not an object. Incorrect: Johnson is the plaintiff whom initiated the class action. Correct: Johnson is the plaintiff who initiated the class action. In the preceding example, the verb "initiated" requires a subject; thus, the use of "who" is mandated. "Johnson" can not be the subject of "initiated" because it is the subject of the verb "is." "Plaintiff" also can not be the subject of "initiated" because it is the object of the verb "is." 2. Use the pronoun "whom" as the object of a preposition. Commonly used prepositions include the words "at," "by," "for," "in," "of," "to," and "with." Incorrect: To who should this letter be addressed? Correct: To whom should this letter be addressed? Incorrect: With who did you attend the concert last night? Correct: With whom did you attend the concert last night? Incorrect: For who did you write this speech?

Correct: For whom did you write this speech? 3. Do not use the pronouns "they" or "their" when referring to a collective noun or an indefinite pronoun. Collective nouns include the terms "all," "everyone," and "everybody." They are collective because they refer to groups of people. Indefinite pronouns such as "each" and "someone," like collective nouns, do not indicate a specific gender. Do not substitute the pronoun "they" for a collective noun or an indefinite pronoun. Instead, try to avoid the need for the pronoun if possible. One way to avoid the pronoun problem is to substitute the word "the" or "a." Use "he or she" or "his or her" as an alternative only if absolutely necessary; this option almost always can be avoided by rewriting the sentence. (See the section of this guide on gender-neutral language for more advice.) Incorrect: Everyone will be required to submit their memorandum at 9:00 a.m. Better: Everyone will be required to submit his or her memorandum at 9:00 a.m. Best: Everyone will be required to submit the memorandum at 9:00 a.m. Incorrect: Each person should provide me with a copy of their schedule. Better: Each person should provide me with a copy of his or her schedule. Best: Each person should provide me with a copy of a personal schedule. Incorrect: A lawyer is the guardian of civil liberties. They protect the rights of those in the citizenry who are unable to protect their own rights. Awkward: A lawyer is the guardian of civil liberties. He or she protects the rights of those in the citizenry who are unable to protect their own rights. Best: Lawyers are the guardian of civil liberties. They protect the rights of those in the citizenry who are unable to protect their own rights. Cross Reference: Gender Neutral Language 4. When a first-person pronoun replaces a subject, use "I." When it replaces an object, use "me." Incorrect: It is me. Correct: It is I. Explanation: "I" is the subject of the verb "is." Use "I" as a subject and "me" as an object.

Incorrect: The judge threw the gavel at I after the twelfth consecutive objection. Correct: The judge threw the gavel at me after the twelfth consecutive objection. Explanation: When you are uncertain about using "I" or "me," you may want to ask yourself which word you would choose if writing in the third person. For example, it is easy to conclude that "the judge threw the gavel at her" is correct, while "at she" would be incorrect. Since the pronouns "me," "him," and "her" all are used as objects, you know to use "me" in the first person whenever "him" or "her" would be appropriate in the third person. 5. When a third-person pronoun replaces a subject, use "he" or "she." When it replaces an object, use "him" or "her." Incorrect: The person I saw stealing the watch was her. Correct: The person I saw stealing the watch was she. Explanation: "She" is the subject linked to the verb "was." Without the term "she," there is no subject for that verb, since "I" is the subject of "saw" and "person" is the subject of "stealing." One way to prove that "she" is the correct choice is to change the order of words in the sentence without using any different words: "She was the person I saw stealing the watch." Since "she" is correct in that format, it is also correct in the example above. Incorrect: The lunch was prepared for James, Jennifer, Jocelyn, and he. Correct: The lunch was prepared for James, Jennifer, Jocelyn, and him. Explanation: "Him" is the object of the preposition "for." The only predicate in the sentence, "was prepared," already has a subject, "the lunch." There are no verbs floating in this sentence without subjects. Therefore, we know that "him" is correct. 6. Do not use reflexive pronouns to replace personal pronouns. Reflexive pronouns are used to refer to a previously stated subject, as in the sentence, "The criminal punished herself." Unless you are referring back to the same subject, do not use reflexive pronouns, which are listed in the introduction to this section on pronouns. Incorrect: The Torts outline was prepared by Ginny Hart and myself. Correct: The Torts outline was prepared by Ginny Hart and me.