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Definition part of speech that denotes beings, things, states, actions, phenomena, abstract notions, qualities, relationships; ex. boy, table, flower, sleep, departure, rain, beauty, courage, darkness, friendship,

Stem building morphemes: -er: worker; -ship: friendship;-ment:movement; -dom: freedom; -ness: darkness

Grammatical categories: number and case.

Syntactic functions: subject, predicative, object: My father is a teacher.  I see a man. He spoke about his invention.

Classification of nouns

On the morphemic level:

a) simple or root nouns : man, fish, chair, room, house

b) derived nouns: work-er, friend-ship, move-ment, dis-agree-ment

c) compound nouns: hand-bag, snow-ball, pen-holder,

On the derivational level:

a)          simple nouns : man, fish, car, cat

b)          derived nouns, obtained from different kinds of derivation:  - affixation: work-er, ill-ness,

conversion: (the) work / (to) work; the rich / rich(adj.)

shortening and abbreviation:

exam/ examination; lab/laboratory;

sound interchange: to feed –food; to import-import;

c)          compound nouns: composition of various stems: lamp-shade; pen-holder

Substantivization of adjectives:

a)          wholly substantivized: native(adj)/ a native(noun), a native’s house; Italian,Italians…

b)          partially substantivized

Substantivization of Participle II: the accused;

Substantivization of other parts of speech: by conversion, any part of speech may become a noun: a try, a go, a somebody

Classification of noun according to meaning:

animate-inanimate: boy, girl, -tree, book

concrete-abstract:  table, pencil –idea, friendship

common-proper: city, country- Bucharest, Italy

Classification of noun according to number

countable (denotes countable objects): a book-two books

uncountable (denoting materials, qualities, phenomena): sand, milk

collective nouns; the singular form connotes either  a singular or a plural concept: family-families

My family is here.(family= a single unit)

My family are here. (all the members)

Many families are here. (several fam.)

Number: Singular, Plural

Plural formation: -(e)s added to Singular form

Pronunciation :

a) /s/  after voiceless consonants: lamps /lamps/

b) /z/  after voiced consonants: boys /boiz/

c) /iz/ after sibilants: classes /klasiz

-es ending after sibilants and –o when the letter is preceded by a consonant: potatoes, heroes, cargoes

Not to be applied to the foreign nouns:

a)          foreign nouns completely adopted into English: cantos, concertos

b)          shortened forms of longer words: photos/ photographs

Spelling peculiarities:

a) –y ies: country- countries

b) -y ys : boy- boys

c) -f -ves: half halves

d) -f -fs: cliff-cliffs

e) -th -ths: bath-baths

Irregular Plural Forms: woman – women

man - men

child – children

tooth – teeth

goose – geese

foot – feet

mouse – mice

louse – lice

die - dice

ox - oxen

Foreign Plural kept in English:

Latin radius –radii; stratum – strata

Greek: analysis – analyses; phenomenon - phenomena

French:  bureau – bureaux

Italian:  bambino – bambini

Hebrew:  seraph – seraphim

Most of them have already an English plural form equivalent.

Plural Formation of Compound Nouns:

a) the main element gets the Plural form

fellow-workers; editors-in-chief; mothers-in-law; passers-by;

b) compounds with -man, -woman, change these into Plural:

Englishmen; Frenchwomen;

c) when man-, woman- are the first, then all of them get the plural : menservants; womenservants

c)          the compound does not contain a noun, the plural ending is added to the last element: forget-me-nots, merry-goes-rounds,

Plural of Letters, Abbreviations and Words which are not Nouns

a)        without apostrophe: Write two ls.

b)        give with apostrophe: Write two t’s.

c)        their pronunciation: Write two els.

d)        add –s with apostrophe or not : M.P.s / M.P.’s

e)        –s is added to the end of the word or to the last word of the group, the spelling with apostrophe and without it varies: His life was full of ups and downs. I am tired of your ifs and buts.

Singular and Plural Nouns - Agreement Problems

town names as Brussels, Lyons, Naples get a Sg. verb

Naples is a seaport.

geographical names that usually get a plural form verb:

The Hebrides are situated near the West costs of Scotland.


a)      used with uncountable meaning as nouns of material, no determinatives : a goose-two geese; I have goose for dinner.

b)      man used in the Sing., no article = human race: Man is mortal.

c)      used in the Plural with a non countable content to express an intensified concept: to stroll through fields and woods

d)      plurals of some countables :

colour = culoare; colours = culori; steag/drapel

e)      have the same plural form identical with that of the sg.: sheep; deer; swine; The sheep is here/ the sheep are there. fruit

Units of measure: foot, pound etc. have the plural form identical with that of the Sg. and it is used when the nouns are followed by numerals expressing their subdivisions: three foot/feet eleven high; two pound(s) tenHundred, thousand, million, dozen, score get the plural form when used without any numerals; hundreds of people; tens of books, but five thousand books

Pluralia tantum nouns: scissors, spectacles, tongs, pincers, trousers; A pair of trousers is on the chair. Two pairs of trousers are here.

Uncountables are with Sg. verbs : advice = sfat; furniture = mobilier; income = venit/venituri

A number of nouns with non-countable content are found in the plural form. Such examples are:

a)            nouns which take the plural verb : alms, ashes, mortal remains, alms ; Alms are distributed

b)            nouns that take the singular form: news, billiards, measles, mumps; News is very interesting.

c)            nouns which take the verb both in the singular and in the plural: wages, Middle Ages, contents

d)            names of sciences: Mathematics, Acoustics

Collectives :

a)          nouns having two numbers: family, crew. The family is here. The family are here. The families are here.

b)          nouns expressing a plural concept: 1) denoting animals: poultry; cattle 2) denoting persons: police, cavalry


a)            Masculine gender: father, son, boy

b)            Feminine  gender: mother, daughter, girl

c)            Neuter gender: chair, house

Masculine and Feminine forms of nouns denoting living beings:

by adding –ess to the Masculine form: poet – poetess; exception are widow/widower; bride/bridegroom

feminine nouns are different from masculine ones: man –woman; son – daughter

combination with other words: he wolf- she wolf; landlord – landlady; billy-goat – nanny-goat


Possessive case: ‘s added to the singular form of the noun

the boy’s car; Kate’s book

added to the plural forms of the nouns:

the boys’ car(s)

but ‘s after irregular plural nouns : children’s toys

group possessive case: Tom’s and Mary’s books(each has books); Tom and Mary’s room (they share the same room)

of possessive  : the book of Peter; the toys of the children

‘s /’ Genitive is used with names of human beings, but there are some exceptions, such as:

a)          nouns indicating space and time, value and weight: three miles ’ walk; two days ’ holiday; two dollars’ book; five pounds ’ box

b)          names of seasons, months, days: a winter’s day

c)          nouns such as: country, city, town, wind, sun, moon

d)          proper nouns, designation of tradesmen;

institutions of various kinds –colleges, schools, hospitals, cinemas, churches: St. Paul’s (Cathedral);

- business or places of business: tailor’s, butcher’s

- home, the domestic circle or the house, guests are received in: You can have a drink at my mother’s.


1. Turn the italicized nouns into the plural and make all the other necessary changes in the sentences:

1. The birds were eaten by a fox.

2. Have you observed the classifying criterion?

3. That knife should be handed in immediately..

4. Last night a hostel was robbed by a thief.

5. The child in that family has bad manners.

6. The farmer has a hen, a goose, and a sheep.

7. My brother r-in-law is an acountant.

8. My cat never catches a mouse.

9. The businessman is considering the new taxes.

10. She has lost the key to her office.

11. The housewife and the middle-aged woman are the principal buyers of this product.

12.The inspector will speak to the witness who has seen the accident.

2. Choose the right word from the brackets:

I. The scissors (was, were) here a few minutes ago. 2. His luggage (was, were) lost yesterday. 3. A (little, few) knowledge (is, are) a dangerous thing. 4. (much, many) people on the ship (was, were) getting seasick from the waves. 5. There (is, are) several means of accomplishing our aim. 6. Billiards (is, are) his favourite game. 7. The news printed in that paper (is, are) never objectively described . 8. We don't need to buy so (much, many) furniture, there (is, are) (much, many) chairs here. 9. How (much, many) information do you have about our new employee? 10. You didn't give me (much, many) ideas about the job, and very (little, few) advice.

3. Fill in the blanks with one of the following words: bar, bit, item, piece, slice;

1. There are two interesting of news in today's paper. 2. Don't forget to buy a of soap on your way home. 3. She cut several of bread to make some sandwiches. 4. They have bought a new of furniture for their sitting-room. 5. Each passenger is allowed to take three of luggage. 6. With a of luck we can get rid of them. 7. You can have that of cold veal left over from yesterday's dinner. 8. This is a of good advice, why won't you take it?

4. Use either the analytical or the synthetical genitive with the nouns in brackets:

I. He painted only one (wall, office ). 2. The (students, pa­rents) were invited to the graduation. 3. Do you know the (earth, distance) from the moon? 4. We are not deceived by (that woman, words). 5. The Grand Canyon is one of the (world, natural wonders). 6. Your future depends on your (company, future). 7. When he reached the (bottom, the stairs) he heard a strange noise. 8. I'll always re­member (the manager, words). 9. Have you seen (today, newspaper)? 10. John is trying to fix the (leg, the table).

5. Fill in the blanks with nouns derived from the words in brackets:

I. He is a fantastic (football) , but also a good tennis (play)

2. He couldn't give a satisfactory (explain) for his (behave)

3. Cats are said to have a great deal of (curious) . 4. The (begin) of the novel was interesting, but the (end) was rather . 5. There is a great (differ) between the two educational systems.

6. The neighbour gave the police a detailed (describe) of the accident.

7. (visit) are requested to sign their names in the book. 8. The (advertise) was published in the evening paper.


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