IX BEOGRADSKA GIMNAZIJA „Mihailo Petrović - Alas“






Mentor: Slobodan Jovanović Učenik/Student: Jelena Radivojević, IV

Maturski rad: Nouns

Beograd, jun 2005.


Maturski rad: Nouns


Introduction.........................................................................................................................3 Origin of Nouns in English Language................................................................................4 Forming of Nouns (suffixes and prefixes) .........................................................................6 The Kinds of Nouns............................................................................................................9 The Use of Capital Letters................................................................................................10 Gender of Nouns...............................................................................................................11 Number of Nouns ............................................................................................................14 Count and Non-count Nouns ...........................................................................................19 Cases of Nouns – Genitive ..............................................................................................23 Compound Nouns ............................................................................................................27 The use of nouns...............................................................................................................30 Bibliography.....................................................................................................................32


A noun can be used in numerous ways within a sentence. 3 . Nouns are used according to some grammatical categories. There is only one language ahead of English in the number of people who use it. including slang or words derived from proper names. It is important to maintain as many nouns in the language as possible because nouns mostly refer to people. communication in English just cannot occur in a meaningful way. It is estimated that there are 300 million native speakers and 300 million who use English as a second language and a further 100 million who use it as a foreign language. tangible and necessary. number. The vocabulary itself. and are therefore real. This is due to many influences of other languages and to constant increase in number of words. with its most important part the class of nouns. like those of gender. is very complex and diverse and consists of several hundred thousand words. In English. places and things. It is becoming very clear that without an extensive vocabulary. Respectively the number of nouns increases as well. case… They can also be made of more than one word.Maturski rad: Nouns Introduction English is widespread and it is most likely that it is going to be considered a world language in the sense of being universal. Besides naming something tangible they can also stand for something abstract. This emphasizes their importance even more. but also in any other language nouns are very important. The rules and ways of using this tremendously important wordclass are discussed in this work.

thus there is a small percentage of words that were taken from them and have their origin. Other languages like Italian. including modern scientific and technical Latin: 28 % Old and Middle English. Old Norse and Dutch and these take up a big part of English language today. including Old French and early Anglo-French: 28 % Latin. English language was under influence of other languages. The percentage ratio between them is given in the table below: • • • • • French. Old Norse. too) in English comes from French and Latin. and many others played a small role in the development of English. The origin of most words (nouns. and Dutch: 24% Greek: 17% All other languages contributed less than 3% Nouns of French and Latin Origin The French influence was so great that it affected around 60 percent of the English vocabulary. This process took more than 1400 years and it is not over. Spanish. Also there are words originating from Old and Middle English. This included words which are Latinderived (mostly from Norman French but some borrowed directly from 4 . Latin actually came to influence through French since it was used in France for a long time before French became an official language. In fact that is how English developed in time from Old to Middle and finally to modern English. Words of Greek origin are also common.Maturski rad: Nouns Origin of Nouns in English Language Ever since it came into use.

Old Norse and Dutch Origin These make up an important part of English.Maturski rad: Nouns Latin). however it was from the French that English gained these words. Some of these words are: • • • • activity age ambition café • • • • catalogue hotel marriage mask • • • • money peace people table Words that come directly from Latin (from modern scientific and technical Latin): • • • • abdomen equation eternity fate • • • • Germany Greece minimum maximum • • • • military placebo republic religion Nouns of Old and Middle English. most frequently to Latin. Therefore the origins of many of these words can be traced further back. Among them are: • • • • bridge cottage island lake brother friend • • answer apple • • • • arrow cookie snack home Nouns of Greek Origin 5 .

uncertainty. a duck ---.childhood. ununtruth. unrest. (added to a noun to form diminutive) -hood false ---.a liar. to act ---. -ling dog ---. a star ---. a lie . misplace. 6 a brother ---. Suffixes: -er. Forming of Nouns (suffixes and prefixes) Nouns can be formed by adding a prefix or a suffix.an actor. I.a duckling. -or.Maturski rad: Nouns These came to English firstly through their Latin derivates and later on through scientific studies. -let. They include the following: • • • • atom dogma diploma echo • • • • galaxy gymnastics hemisphere narcotic • • • • oxygen paradox planet stigma.a dancer. (added to a noun or a verb to name the one that is the doer of the action) -ie.misfortune. -ar ---.brotherhood.a starlet. a child ---.a doggie. Some Anglo-Saxon Prefixes and Suffixes Prefixes: mis.falsehood. a to dance ---. mistake.

distrust ininaction hemirehemisphere remake auto-automobile sub. (added to nouns to show quantity) consciousness. a relation ---. Some Prefixes and Suffixes That Originate From Other Languages.Maturski rad: Nouns (added to a noun or adjective to form abstract nouns) -ship -dom wisdom.width.compassion con. conscience ---(added to an adjective again to form abstract nouns) -th long ---. wide ---.freedom. wise ---- II.relationship.mouthful.length.confederation dis. a king ---.handful. (added to a noun or adjective also to form abstract nouns) -ness kind ----kindness. dark ---. Prefixes: com.growth.submarine Suffixes: -ian pedestrian -ance -ence -cy endurance preference -ism criticism -ice malice -ment -ry 7 punishment bakery frequency .leadership. to grow ---. hand ---. free ---.darkness.kingdom. a leader ---. (added to an adjective or a verb) -ful mouth ---.

This is achieved by adding –ing.Maturski rad: Nouns -tion demonstration -sion expansion When a suffix is added to a noun it can also form verbal nouns (also known as gerunds). tea leaves. acting. descriptive adjective and other. demonstrative and possessive adjective. Compound nouns can be one word. Smoking is bad for your health! Compound nouns are created from two or more nouns and sometimes from other parts of speech. playing. The verbal nouns are used with an article. Verbal nouns are frequently used to form compound nouns. shipbuilding. 8 . Compound nouns will be thoroughly discussed later on. two (or even three) word or they can be hyphenated (-). Examples of compound nouns: six-pack. Examples of verbal nouns: smoking.

Some common nouns are: boy. animals and things that belong to the same species. Some proper nouns are: people) London. They can be single-word nouns or they can be lengthily phrases usually accompanied by a definite article. spring. collective and abstract nouns. places or institutions. Proper nouns also include days. seasons and holidays. Malta The Royal Academy Yugoslavia The New York Times Friday.Maturski rad: Nouns The Kinds of Nouns There are five kinds of nouns: common. collective and abstract nouns. Bush (specific There are also material. seasons George W. Easter and holidays) (places) (institutions) (single-word) (phrases) (days. street Proper nouns are in reality names by which we distinguish specific people. Common The basic division of nouns Proper Common nouns are names which we give to people. horse. proper. 9 . Serbia. material.

etc. team. nations. Alexander the Great. ice.. the White House. Names of countries. February. grace) The Use of Capital Letters We use capital letters for: I. gods and religious books: trains. II. Fifth Avenue. Collective nouns are the names of any collection of beings or objects. Venus.. languages and nationalities: North Carolina. seas.) They do not form plurals. monuments. air. street. III. Monday.. Names of buildings.. ships. Germany..Maturski rad: Nouns Material nouns are the names of different kind of materials. parks.. fear. etc. Names of holidays. Mississippi River. (milk. 10 . the French nation. Serbian (north is not capitalized but exceptions are made if it is a part of a name) VI. rivers. Queen Mary. IV. the Orient Express.. mountains.: planets. wine. (thought. V. the Ritz. Central Park. Names of religions. months of the year and days of the week: Christmas. hotels. Buckingham Palace. countries. continents. (class. Asia. dust. the Eiffel Tower. flock) Abstract nouns are the names that represent nonmaterial things. Spanish. Washington. Names of cities. Proper nouns and adjectives derived from them: Norah Jones. the United States..

. apple. pencil.. Title that stands with a name and the titles of important Dr.. War and Peace.) officials: Gender of Nouns In English nouns can be of masculine. the United Nations. The Old Man and the Sea.. Family title instead of a name: Mother.. I. XI. Names of companies and organizations: Coca-Cola. Nouns that are of neuter gender are almost all things: shoe. X. Motorola. the Middle Ages.. house. Senator Taylor.. the Bible.. Christianity. Nouns that are of common gender are those that serve as both female and male: beings: beings: 11 . Historical events and eras: World War II. XII..Maturski rad: Nouns Buddhism.. feminine. II.. mother. step-brother. VII. VIII... Nouns that are feminine are those that represent female Jane. articles (for more important words). wife..... neuter or common gender. boy.. Allah. IV. IX. Nouns that are masculine are those that represent male William. Father (Father was very upset. Family title as a part of a name: Aunt Grace.. Titles of books. movies. Uncle Joe. father. III. sister. Jones. God. the Prime Minister..

she-goat.Maturski rad: Nouns friend. I...daughter husband ---. Some nouns form the feminine gender irregularly: master ---.mistress.actress. IV.hen duke ---. If the noun that is of masculine gender ends with -er or -or.... child.madam king ---. There are many nouns that have different words for male and feminine: man ---.lioness. emperor ---. By adding -ess to the masculine: prince ---.... he-goat ---.cow horse ---.sister uncle ---.queen (bride) groom ---bride bull ---.princess. tom-cat ---.woman father ---.mother brother ---.girlfriend.waitress. waiter ---.wife sir ---. actor ---. heroine. baby..she-cat.mare cock ---. III.aunt son ---. II. hero ---- 12 ..empress.. cousin. then before adding the -ess the consonants e or o are omitted.duchess. Sometimes the difference between the masculine and the feminine is made by putting a word that represents the gender: boyfriend ---. Making of The Gender Nouns of feminine gender are made out of the masculine in several ways. NOTE: lion ---.

ocean. however today this is avoided because it is considered sexist.. Among these are moon.Maturski rad: Nouns NOTE: *Animals are usually considered to be of neuter gender with the exception of farm animals and pets V. If the employee is not satisfied he or she (they) can take legal actions. Inanimate things are all of the neuter gender with the exception of nouns like ship. charity. like love. fireman to fire-fighter. soul.. Also when personified the nouns that imply strength and power are masculine and those that imply beauty and gentleness are feminine. supervisor. time. 13 . sun. city. nature. VI. For the same reasons we switched from using terms like chairman to chairperson. Instead of the masculine (he) today we use they or he or she... wind. spokesman to spokesperson. plane and others which are feminine especially when talked about by its users. My car is great! She runs like the wind! In poetic style some nouns of neuter gender become of feminine or masculine.... NOTE: *When sex is unknown it was common to express the noun in the masculine gender. Some nouns do not have a common feminine equivalent: author. car. My ship hit a rock! She is sinking! VII.. poet.

ages • language --.dogs brother --. -ss.shops Nouns that end with –ce. her beautiful face. -s.faces horse --. -ge. -sh.churches boxes bus --.peas dog --.crashes glass --. The ‘s’ is read as /s/ or /z/ depending on what letter stands before it: cat --.brothers shop --. -x form plural with ‘es’ and which is also read as /-iz/: church --.busses buzz --.edges --. The moon hid Number of Nouns The Formation of Plural • Most nouns in the English language form plural forms by adding ‘s’.girls • pea --.glasses box--- 14 .cats girl --.languages breeze --. -ze also add an ‘s’ but because of the ‘e’ they are read /-iz/: face --.breezes age Nouns that end with –ch.Maturski rad: Nouns We can’t stop time. -se. He always passes.horses edge --. -dge.buzzes crash --.

the plural is formed just by adding ‘s’: boy --.baths truths • When these nouns have a short vowel or a consonant or ‘r’.tomatoes motto --negro --- echo --.Maturski rad: Nouns • Nouns that end with -th /θ/.paths truth --- bath --.babies armies • body --. (ths) is read like -th /θ/ cloth --. is preceded by a vowel.delays donkey --- Nouns ending with –o form plurals by adding ‘es’: hero --. with a consonant before it. when plural (ths) are read like /ðz/: path --.echoes mottoes potato --. plural is formed by changing –y into –i and adding ‘es’: baby --.heroes tomato --.bodies army --- If a noun ending with –y.potatoes negroes 15 .myths month --- When a noun ends with –y.cloths months • myth --.boys donkies • delay --.

pianos studio --- Eskimo --.wolves (other nouns ending in –f are regular and ‘s’ is just added: chiefs.knifes leaf --.logos studios • Nouns originally taken from Greek or Latin kept their original form: appendix --.Maturski rad: Nouns • Nouns ending in vowel + -o form plurals by adding ‘s’: photo --.appendices --. roofs.calves knife --.wives calf --.elves life --.Eskimos logo --.formulae speech) datum --.lives half --.halves loaf --.leaves selves shelf --.photos kilo --. cliffs.data nucleus (NOTE: forms like formulas are often used in Irregular Plurals • Noun plurals –ves: elf --.shelves thief --...nuclei formula --.kilos piano --. dwarfs.thieves wolf --.) • Other irregular plurals: 16 .loafs self --wife --.

children goose --.oxen --.men woman mouse --..A A five pound note A three foot wall --.lice man --.teeth louse --.. breeches.Three hundred people One pound note --.. deer. NOTE: Nouns like fish have plurals (fishes) when we refer to different kinds of fish There are all kinds of fishes in our seas but All fish taste the same to me. glasses (spectacles). • Nouns for quantity and measures if used in front of nouns as adjectives or if they are used alongside a number.women foot --.. sheep. trousers. scales.Three dozen eggs hundred people --. fish. means. headquarters.feet tooth --. series. A dozen eggs --.mice child --.There are cheeses of all kinds --. Material nouns do not form plurals (except when we refer to different kinds of material --.geese Nouns That Have The Same Form of Singular and Plural • species. crossroads.Maturski rad: Nouns ox --.He is five foot seven Nouns That Only Have a Plural Form • NOTE: Scissors. barracks.similar to the fish example in the prior NOTE) 17 .

Maturski rad: Nouns The plurals of compound nouns will be discussed in the ‘Compound nouns’ section. 18 .

a boy.Maturski rad: Nouns Count and Non-count Nouns Countable All nouns can be divided in two groups: Uncountable The countable nouns are those that form plurals. These are mixed uses. many children. wool. We use articles a/an.. These nouns are the names of materials.. Some examples of countable nouns are: a car. They include separate objects. ideas and other things that can be counted.. much 19 . We use modifiers like much and others Some uncountable nouns are: money. Could I have two coffees music. The uncountable nouns are those that only have the singular form. Nouns that stand for materials are uncountable but we can use them as countable when we talk about something made out of the material or depending on the sense in which we use it Can I borrow some coffee? please? Life is very short. A cat has nine lives. liquids. Many nouns have both countable and uncountable uses. They are also known as ‘mass’ nouns. numbers or other modifiers like many. people. abstract and all other things which we do not see as separate objects..

.Maturski rad: Nouns Using Articles and Adjectives With Countable and Uncountable A countable noun. The guests were snobbish and talked only of money and power. Do you have enough money? enough t-shirts. You should bring I need some clean 20 . Do you mind if I put some music on? napkins. They are used with the definite only when we refer to something specific.an) or the definite article (the). Sugar is turning out to be very expensive.. any. Once a guest. when singular always goes with the indefinite (a. She is the guest of honor. Could you please pass me the sugar? The quantity adjectives that go with both countable and uncountable nouns are some. plenty of. When plural it will be used with a definite article if it refers to something specific or without an article when stating something general. Uncountable nouns are never used with the indefinite article. Guests are welcome at anytime. enough. now she’s like a part of the family.

bit of. item of. Partitive Constructions Both countable and uncountable nouns can enter constructions to state a part of a whole.): A piece of bread An item of clothing • Three pieces of bread Several items of clothing How much money did you Some specific partitives of plural countable nouns: 21 .Maturski rad: Nouns Many is used only with countable nouns. Partitive constructions can refer to quantity or quality. Their informal substitutes are a lot of (for countable nouns) and lots of (for uncountable nouns) He wrote many books. while much is its equivalent that is used only with uncountable nouns. • Quantity partition: Of uncountable nouns (piece of. The partition is expressed by a countable noun of partitive meaning (such as piece) followed by an of. take? Other modifiers used with countable nouns are few and quite a few.. I. quite a little. quite a bit of. Few politicians are honest nowadays.phrase. I put quite a little sugar in your tea.. By this we can give a number to uncountable nouns. a little bit of. Some other that are used with uncountable nouns are little. In case of quantity as in the case of quality we have singular and plural.

• Quality partition (kind. sort and also variety. blend. type) Countable nouns (kind and sort): A new kind of software A sort of drink • Uncountable nouns (kind and sort): A tasty kind of bread A strong sort of liqueur Some tasty kinds of bread Strong sorts of liqueur Several kinds of cookies Two sorts of drinks 22 .Maturski rad: Nouns A flock of pigeons A series of concerts • Of singular countable nouns: A peace of a cookie Two flocks of pigeons Two series of concerts A page of a book II.

The genitive of compound nouns will be discussed in the ‘Compound nouns’ section. the unmarked COMMON and the marked GENITIVE. The usage of the ’s genitive. When used with foreign names that end with –s. 23 . They are then read according to the rules of reading plurals.Maturski rad: Nouns Cases of Nouns – Genitive English nouns have only two cases. when used as possessive only an apostrophe is added The students’ workbook The Jones’ yacht. Almost all nouns in singular and the one’s that when plural do not end with –s. form genitive by adding ‘s. The genitive is also known as possessive. The formation of genitive I. Euripides’ tragedies Nouns that when plural end with –s. we only add The boy’s mother /boiz/ My the apostrophe Socrates’ philosophy III. The cat’s paw /kæts/ boss’s dog /bosiz/ II.

moon. plane. dollar’s worth NOTE: An hour’s exercise A These can also be used: Six-mile walk. church. Europe’s strict rules. and nouns like: sun. earth The moon’s surface is not smooth. house. months. With nouns that state the names of countries and cities: Serbia’s national team III.. NOTE: If the genitive is used as an attribute with a noun that is commonly used. II.. boat. IV. John’s sister Mr.Maturski rad: Nouns The ’s genitive is formed with nouns that denote living beings and are then used as attributes. park. Brown’s car This genitive can be used with other nouns such as: I. With nouns that state time. With nouns like: ship. (house) I got the medicine at the chemist’s. train: The ship’s crew consisted of a few young sailors. A two-hour debate. hospital: I’ll be at my sister’s. like: shop. (shop) 24 . days. distance and measure: A mile’s distance. We have a month’s supply of coal. With seasons.

Other kinds of genitive include: I. work) NOTE: The master’s chair. Genitive of measure: Descriptive genitive: It’s a mile’s walk from here. girl’s locket. or it can mean that somebody made my brother’s portrait) III. Subjective genitive: an action) II. IV.origin. it can mean that it is a picture my brother owns – possessive. (It can mean that my brother painted the picture .Maturski rad: Nouns The kinds of genitive Most commonly genitive is supposed to represent possession (possessive genitive). A child’s play A doctor’s degree 25 . The woman’s baby. The My brother’s marriage. III. (The noun in genitive shows the doer of Objective genitive: Genitive of origin: Caesar’s murder (The noun in genitive is an object) Bacon’s essays (This genitive shows the origin of a The following genitive can have 3 meanings: My brother’s picture was hung in the living room.

The Cyprus problem.. case: The of genitive Nouns that do not denote living beings form genitive with the preposition of. The parts of speech drawers of the desk. Robert and Kelly’s father --------.. When genitive is used with nouns that name animals both ’s and of can be used.The father of Robert and Kelly With collective nouns: With objective genitive: The opinion of the public The murder of Caesar .The tail of the horse With proper nouns both ’s and of can be used.Maturski rad: Nouns NOTE: Sometimes the noun does not change but it is still in genitive Our student days. The color of the sky The NOTE: Instead of using two genitives we use one with the addition of the preposition of: Instead of: We say: My sister’s husband’s house The house of my sister’s husband 26 . The horse’s tail --------.

Some examples are: a window-cleaner Some compound nouns can be written in more than one of these ways (a golf course or a golf-course). an address book). Some compound nouns are made out of more than two nouns (a milk chocolate bar). When a particular combination is regularly used to make a new noun it is called a compound noun. Noun+noun With the noun+noun combination. but there are several exceptions. 27 . it is usually in singular form (a bottle bank. some compound nouns are written as one word. When nouns are those that are either used only as plurals. a language teacher. When a noun has a plural meaning. ing+noun. noun+’s+noun (possessive genitive) or noun+preposition+ noun. some as two separate words and some are written with a hyphen (-). or have different meaning when singular/plural or countable/uncountable: a glasses case communications network To make a compound noun plural we usually make the second noun plural: a savings account a a tablecloth. noun+ing.Maturski rad: Nouns Compound Nouns When we want to specify something we combine a noun in these forms: noun+noun.

Some examples are: a turning-point a living room. Noun+ing Some examples are: life-saving film-making. pray NOTE: We say: girl But can say: winner two-third(s) five-time(s) ten-minute speech a five year old Commanders-in-chief.Maturski rad: Nouns Coal mine --. drinking water. --. Birds of Ing+noun The –ing form (sometimes called gerund) usually states what function the noun has.office-workers Tea leaf --. sunbathing. Noun+’s+noun and noun+preposition+ noun 28 .tea leaves.coal mines. Office-worker But if the two nouns are joined by of or in we make plural form by making the first noun plural Brothers-in-law.

The item (second noun) is produced by the first (commonly students’ lounge animals): Cow’s milk cheese III. This is in cases when: I.Maturski rad: Nouns Sometimes a noun+noun combination is not the most suitable. But hen’s eggs goat’s when we talk about parts of things we use the noun+noun combination: A man’s hand woman’s lips but: a window frame a pen top a giraffe’s neck a 29 . When we talk about parts of body of people or animal. The first noun is the user of the item (second noun): Child’s bedroom women’s clinic II. That is when we use noun+’s+noun or noun+preposition+ noun.

adjective He’s a boy of great talent . As an object: He broke three glasses last night. Along with a preposition as noun complement.Maturski rad: Nouns The use of nouns In a sentence a noun can be used in several ways. II. Everyone heard his speech on the news. They appointed him director. He is a doctor. Remembering my student days VI. (object complement or verb complement: complement) 30 . IV. As an attribute: We were all wearing summer dresses. III. As a subject: Hitchhikers live dangerously. She gave Maria your note. V. As a predicative: She is a wonderful child. It can be used: I. As object complement: They made him captain.

Maturski rad: Nouns She’s good at housekeeping. complement) (verb 31 . (adjective complement) She broke the mirror to pieces.

Kolarčev narodni univerzitet • Brihta.K. S.html • http://www. J.Maturski rad: Nouns Bibliography Books: • Mihailović. Michael. AW Longman • Eckersley. Kruševac. (1969) Engleska gramatika za svakoga. Oxford University Press • Hewings. Oxford. Martin.E.com/borrow.html • http://en. 1995. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. (1995) Practical English Usage.org/wiki/Lists_of_English_words_of_internatio nal_origin • http://www. Cambridge University Press Dictionaries: • Hornby.com/ipka/A0907017. Quirk. R. B. Teatar ZA • Greenbaum. Edinburgh Gate.htm 32 . Školska knjiga • Ćirić. Oxford University Press Web pages: • http://www. (1999) Advanced Grammar in Use. Grgić. Zagreb.factmonster. Longman Group • Swan. (1990) A Students Grammar of The English Language.liunet.S.wikipedia. (1986) Brighter Grammar 1. Edinburgh Gate.southampton. Oxford. M. Macaulay. D. C. Goran. Beograd. Swan. (1958) Gramatika engleskog jezika.edu/academic/pau/course/webe sl. A. (1998) Gramatika engleskog jezika. Ljiljana.krysstal.

php • http://userpages.ht m 33 .com/spelling/cap-names.commnet.htm http://www.english-zone.Maturski rad: Nouns • • • http://webster.html http://www.allianceeducation.burgoyne.com/eng/f_noun.edu/grammar/compounds.com/bdespain/grammar/r_k_toc1.

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