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Chapter 4

Nouns, pronouns, and the simple

noun phrase
Getting an Overview of
Chapter 4
Look carefully at page 55. Wow.
Now, remember, this is a reference book. You
need to have read through to have a general
You are not trying to memorize the whole book.
So, start by
Reading page 55 carefully. Get a sense of how the
chapter is organized and where the authors are
taking us. Note any terminology that you do not
When you’ve done that reading, we’re ready to look at
the essential information that you need to be sure
you understand this chapter.
Section Summaries
• STOP! Don’t get impatient. You’ll
save time2.and Pageenergy
77 Types of by being a
1. Page 64 Types of Nouns
3. Pages 84-85 Number and case in nouns
Page 92 Gender and the formation of nouns
• Go to each5. ofPagethe section summaries.
101 Types of Pronouns

Read each carefully.

read through these start
And then continue with the
here again. ClickPowerPoint
to get a list of the
pages for the summaries.
Check out
“visible data”
• Flip through the chapter to see where
Table 4.1 (p. 65)
they put tables and/or figures.
Table 4.2 (p. 66)
Table 4.3 (p. 66)
I expect
that anything they put
Table into
4.4 (p. 67) a table or
Table 4.5 (p. 76)
figure is important information
Table 4.6 (p. 91) that
they’ve given special
Figure treatment.
Table 4.7 (p. 93)
4.1 (p. 67) So, looking
ahead gives me some information
Figure 4.2 (p. 72)
Figure 4.3 (p. 82)
where to put my time
Figure 4.4and thought. After
(p. 84)
Figure 4.5 (p. 84)
you’ve looked, click to4.6see
Figure (p. 91)my list.
Figure 4.7 (p. 93)
Types of Nouns
• Nouns as a word class…various sub-groups
– Based on meaning: concrete vs. abstract
– Based on grammar: count vs. noncount
• As an ESL/EFL teacher, the most
important information here is about count
& noncount because forming noun phrases
with them can be tricky.
– So, let’s look at the top of page 57 and at
section 4.2.2.
Count & Noncount
• Count Nouns • Noncount Nouns
– Singular – Not singular & not
• book, child plural
– Plural – “this kinda stuff”
• books, children • Rice
• Music
• Knowledge
• Homework
• News
Culture & Counting
• “Countability is partly a matter of how we view
the world, rather than how the world really is.”
(p. 57)
• Words can be countable in other languages and
not in English.
– In Japanese, the word for “homework” is countable:
Children turn in their homeworks.
• Words can be countable in other version of
English and not in U.S. English.
– In Indian English, the word chalk is countable. Teachers
can have 2 chalks.
Lists of Noncount Nouns
• Many words can be either count or noncount depending on
their meaning:
– I like coffee. (noncount)
– I bought a coffee at Starbucks. (singular count noun)
• However, most words have typical uses…used more as
noncount than count or used more as count than noncount
• Tea: typically used as noncount: “I like tea.”
– In Bank of English’s 450,000,000 words
– Tea is used 26,332 times!
– A tea = 922 times
– Teas = 1115 times
Merrily we go along….
• You need to read carefully everything
But can
when we find about
turn the pagescount
and getand
to section B on
noncount nouns Determiners
We’re at a hugely important topic for
can just flip through
Teachers the pages
and Our Students.
on other noun categories
So….. to know
what’s thereTurnbuttonot
65give detailed
attention right now.
• Determiners determine noun meaning. For
example, think about how the meaning of a noun
like book changes with different determiners:
– His book
– Her book
– That book
• The basic noun phrase often involves the
combination: determiner + noun So, make a note
To remember
• What to read here? The importance of
– Every single word of section 4.5 These sections
– Every single word of section 4.6 When you
– Every single word of section 4.7. Settle down
– And anything that you do not understand youToshould
read ask
me about. This is important for you and your
• Why so many determiners?
• What’s going on?
• What are determiners really about?
• What is it that we are doing when we make
selections from among this really large
system of words?
• Come on….come on….it’s on the tip of your
tongue. There are a lot of different
determiners because we….. That is,
we have
be taught
& learned
As ways
to control
to make
& Noun meaning
Definite vs. Indefinite
Generic vs. Specific
• These terms are used to talk about the meanings
of the various combinations of determiners and
• The terms are used especially to separate out the
meanings involved with the articles
– Indefinite and specific: I bought an apple in the
– Generic: An apple is a type of fruit.
– Definite and specific: The apple on the table is for my
– Generic: The apple is an important agricultural product.
– Indefinite and specific: I bought some bread at the
– Generic: Bread is a staple food in many countries.
Reference categories
• Another way that linguists talk about meaning is to focus on meaning in
context….and the ways that whole pieces of communication are tied
• As we communicate in speech and in writing…
– sometimes we Two Other
say things thatAssociated
point ahead toTerms
what’s coming next.
– sometimes we say things that point back to what happened or was said before.
– sometimes we talk about things that are happening right there as part of the
and grammar ties
we kinda just a at
point passage together:
the person using
or object to indicate what
we’re talking about.
pronouns and other grammar to tie sentences together
• These different ways of making connections are talked about in terms of
“reference.” Look at the A, B, C, etc., headings on pages 70-71
• It’s worthhow conventional
taking some time to organization & culturaland
learn this information expectations
these terms
because theytie
show up all over the place in linguistics
a passage together: the storyline and various other
related fields (socio, psycho, SLA, etc.)
• Looking back….
– Pronouns are used for anaphoric reference.
They connect back to previous nouns.
• (like in these 2 sentences: they connects back to
– The is often used for anaphoric reference, too.
• Look at the examples on page 70. You can see how
the refers back….and thus helps to tie the passage
together. That’s an example of grammatical
• This type of
reference looks
ahead….you say
something that
anticipates something
• Check their examples
on page 71 to see how
the catapults the
meaning ahead…and
suggests that there’s
more to come.
• The situations can be local and immediate:
– In a classroom, we talk about the door, the chairs, the
board, etc.
– Larger settings: the sun, the moon, the president, the
city council members
• Nice example:
– Take a look at #8 on page 71 when mis-communication
takes place. That’s really nice to see because it does
happen to us all the time when we assume that the
context is shared when it isn’t. ESL/EFL teachers and
students have similar experiences all the time!
Number & Case & Gender
• Number, case, & gender are old and
traditional grammar terminology.
• And these 3 terms are still very commonly
used today to help us think about the
characteristics of English.
• However, because they were developed in
analysis of languages like Latin and Greek
the terms are not always a completely
useful fit with English. So, we’ll proceed
= count = singular or plural nouns &
Regular count nouns: book, books
Irregular count nouns: child, children
There’s contrast in pronouns:
useful information I, we
about noun spelling for irregular
plurals on pages 78-79. You do not need to
memorize all that information although you probably know
a lot of the words already. As an ESL/EFL/ESOL teacher,
you do need to know that
the categories exist and where to get the details to use
for vocabulary development for your students!
• Case involves
– changes in form to indicate changes in grammatical function.
For example, a language can have one version of a word for the
subject of a sentence and another version of a word for the
direct object. These are often called “subjective” or
“nominative” and “objective” or “accusative” case.
– Other You’ll sometimes
types have
are moreread
“dative” for linguistic
case forms than
indirect studies
objects and “genitive”
for use the term
possessive “case” for
Subjective: thehe,
she, “grammatical
I, we meaning”
of forms.
– Well, Just
now, what realize
case that
Objective: her, dothe linguist
haveusin does
we me,
him, NOTLook at
these think
that Englishher,
Genitive: nouns
my, case
our forms
• The teacher gave when
But that the homework to the students.
used in sentences
• The
noun students
phrases thanked themeanings
teacher for the homework.
Nouns havetake on the
possessive or genitive associated
case forms.with
– English nounssubject
do not change
or objectform when they move from one
Pat’s grammar students have questions
grammatical function to another. Subject about case.
forms are the same
as object forms.
– However, we do have noun forms for the possessive….the
“genitive” case:
• The teacher’s suggestions helped her students with their
Genitive &
• You’ll have to teach students how to form
and use the possessive.
• They have to learn grammar and also
spelling and pronunciation.
Also, you’ll want to go to the BIG
Longman Grammar of Spoken & Written English
• So, read through
To get morethe examples
information to use and the
headings to get lessons,
In materials, a general senseplans.
and curricular of the
resources here. You’ll be coming back to
these pages a lot in your teaching career.
Of-phrase vs. Genitive
• Pages 82-85 are really really
• You and your students will
struggle with this material. When
to use ‘s? When to use of?
• Lots of what is in grammar
textbooks is not accurate. You
need to do some studying to be
sure that you are teaching your Make a note
students the real thing. To study
• The Longman grammars….the This content!
student grammar and the Big
grammar…are based on research
into how English is used. You can
trust this information.
Grammatical Gender
• Section D of Chapter 4 begins with this
statement: “Gender is not an important
grammatical category in English.” (p. 85)
Those differences are
• English pronouns have
In the gender
meaning of thebased
words forms: she vs.
he Not in anything to
Do with grammatical
• There are no GRAMMATICAL gender classes for
• WHAT?!! What about the difference between
man and woman or boy and girl? Isn’t that
Grammatical Gender &
• You need to recognize when students from
languages like French, Spanish, &
Portuguese are having trouble with English
because they are applying grammatical
gender from their L1 to English.
• You might see students from Chinese
backgrounds struggling to keep the
pronoun forms under control….using he
when to mean she. It’s really more of a
vocabulary development problem than a
grammar problem. (Although keeping
grammar and vocabulary separated is
often not wise or necessary.)
Gender Bias
• You might need this information in your
own academic writing since APA style
requires that we avoid biased language in
our academic writing.
• You might also need to teach students how
to use appropriate language in their
academic writing and to understand the
cultural values that lie behind these
grammatical decisions.
Noun Formation
• Pages 88-91 are just the kind of material that we
need to remember we can find in a reference
• We can use this information for vocabulary
• Be sure to notice the register differences that
they have found. So that learning these words
can be put into correct contexts.
• Also pay a lot of attention to their frequency
data. While there are many affixes on the lists
on pages 89 and 90, Figure 4.6 suggests that we
should focus our teaching on a much smaller list.
Pronoun Types
• What do you need to know?
• You need to know the names for the types
and some examples.
• You need to know about the use of these
forms in different registers. So look at
the figures carefully and read the
explanations that go with the figures
Now What?
• Read the chapter.
• Listen to and read the other parts of my lecture
on WebCT.
• Do the quizzes.
• Make notes about any of the information that
might be important for your paper.
• Email me with your questions. Remember that I
want to hear about what you do NOT
understand…your questions about the parts of the
chapter that confuse you.