Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Shakespeare's club

Home
Beliefs and Opinions
About Me
New Age
Student's Corner
Teachers
Grammar
Literature
Computer Literacy
Science & English
Related Links
Curricular framework
What's new for Parents
Contact Me

Nouns

It's not easy to describe a noun. In simple terms, nouns are "things" (and verbs are "actions"). Like food. Food (noun) is something you eat (verb). Or happiness. Happiness (noun) is something you want (verb). Or human being. A human being (noun) is something you are (verb).

What are Nouns?

The simple definition is: a person, place or thing. Here are some examples:

  • person: man, woman, teacher, John, Mary
  • place: home, office, town, countryside, America
  • thing: table, car, banana, money, music, love, dog, monkey

The problem with this definition is that it does not explain why "love" is a noun but can also be a verb.

Another (more complicated) way of recognizing a noun is by its:

  1. Ending
  2. Position
  3. Function

1. Noun Ending

There are certain word endings that show that a word is a noun, for example:

  • -ity > nationality
  • -ment > appointment
  • -ness > happiness
  • -ation > relation
  • -hood > childhood

But this is not is not true for the word endings of all nouns. For example, the noun "spoonful" ends in -ful, but the adjective "careful" also ends in -ful.

2. Position in Sentence

We can often recognise a noun by its position in the sentence.

Nouns often come after a determiner (a determiner is a word like a, an, the, this, my, such):

  • a relief
  • an afternoon
  • the doctor
  • this word
  • my house
  • such stupidity

Nouns often come after one or more adjectives:

  • a great relief
  • a peaceful afternoon
  • the tall, Indian doctor
  • this difficult word
  • my brown and white house
  • such crass stupidity

3. Function in a Sentence

Nouns have certain functions (jobs) in a sentence, for example:

  • subject of verb: Doctors work hard.
  • object of verb: He likes coffee.
  • subject and object of verb: Teachers teach students.

But the subject or object of a sentence is not always a noun. It could be a pronoun or a phrase. In the sentence "My doctor works hard", the noun is "doctor" but the subject is "My doctor".

What are Verbs?

The verb is king in English. The shortest sentence contains a verb. You can make a one-word sentence with a verb, for example: "Stop!" You cannot make a one-word sentence with any other type of word.

Verbs are sometimes described as "action words". This is partly true. Many verbs give the idea of action, of "doing" something. For example, words like run, fight, do and work all convey action.

But some verbs do not give the idea of action; they give the idea of existence, of state, of "being". For example, verbs like be, exist, seem and belong all convey state.

A verb always has a subject. (In the sentence "John speaks English", John is the subject and speaks is the verb.) In simple terms, therefore, we can say that verbs are words that tell us what a subject does or is; they describe:

  • action (Ram plays football.)
  • state (Anthony seems kind.)

There is something very special about verbs in English. Most other words (adjectives, adverbs, prepositions etc) do not change in form (although nouns can have singular and plural forms). But almost all verbs change in form. For example, the verb to work has five forms:

  • to work, work, works, worked, working

Of course, this is still very few forms compared to some languages which may have thirty or more forms for a single verb.

Regular Verbs

English Pronouns

Pronouns are small words that take the place of a noun. We can use a pronoun instead of a noun. Pronouns are words like: he, you, ours, themselves, some, each... If we didn't have pronouns, we would have to repeat a lot of nouns. We would have to say things like:

  • Do you like the President? I don't like the President. The President is too pompous.

With pronouns, we can say:

  • Do you like the President? I don't like him. He is too pompous.

Personal Pronouns

This summary of personal pronouns includes possessive adjectives for convenience and comparison.

number person gender* pronouns possessive
adjectives
subject object possessive reflexive
singular 1st m/f I me mine myself my
2nd m/f you you yours yourself your
3rd m he him his himself his
f she her hers herself her
n it it its itself its
plural 1st m/f we us ours ourselves our
2nd m/f you you yours yourselves your
3rd m/f/n they them theirs themselves their

* m=male f=female n=neuter

Examples:

pronoun subject She likes homework.
object The teacher gave me some homework.
possessive This homework is yours.
reflexive John did the homework himself.
possessive adjective The teacher corrected our homework.

English Prepositions List

There are more than 100 prepositions in English. Yet this is a very small number when you think of the thousands of other words (nouns, verbs etc). Prepositions are important words. We use individual prepositions more frequently than other individual words. In fact, the prepositions of, to and in are among the ten most frequent words in English. Here is a list of 70 of the more common one-word prepositions. Many of these prepositions have more than one meaning. Please refer to a dictionary for precise meaning and usage.

  • aboard
  • about
  • above
  • across
  • after
  • against
  • along
  • amid
  • among
  • anti
  • around
  • as
  • at
  • before
  • behind
  • below
  • beneath
  • beside
  • besides
  • between
  • beyond
  • but
  • by
  • concerning
  • considering
  • despite
  • down
  • during
  • except
  • excepting
  • excluding
  • following
  • for
  • from
  • in
  • inside
  • into
  • like
  • minus
  • near
  • of
  • off
  • on
  • onto
  • opposite
  • outside
  • over
  • past
  • per
  • plus
  • regarding
  • round
  • save
  • since
  • than
  • through
  • to
  • toward
  • towards
  • under
  • underneath
  • unlike
  • until
  • up
  • upon
  • versus
  • via
  • with
  • within
  • without

Interjections

Hi! That's an interjection. :-)

"Interjection" is a big name for a little word. Interjections are short exclamations like Oh!, Um or Ah! They have no real grammatical value but we use them quite often, usually more in speaking than in writing. When interjections are inserted into a sentence, they have no grammatical connection to the sentence. An interjection is sometimes followed by an exclamation mark (!) when written.

Here are some interjections with examples:

interjection meaning example
ah expressing pleasure "Ah, that feels good."
expressing realization "Ah, now I understand."
expressing resignation "Ah well, it can't be heped."
expressing surprise "Ah! I've won!"
alas expressing grief or pity "Alas, she's dead now."
dear expressing pity "Oh dear! Does it hurt?"
expressing surprise "Dear me! That's a surprise!"
eh asking for repetition "It's hot today." "Eh?" "I said it's hot today."
expressing enquiry "What do you think of that, eh?"
expressing surprise "Eh! Really?"
inviting agreement "Let's go, eh?"
er expressing hesitation "Lima is the capital of...er...Peru."
hello, hullo expressing greeting "Hello John. How are you today?"
expressing surprise "Hello! My car's gone!"
hey calling attention "Hey! look at that!"
expressing surprise, joy etc "Hey! What a good idea!"
hi expressing greeting "Hi! What's new?"
hmm expressing hesitation, doubt or disagreement "Hmm. I'm not so sure."
oh, o expressing surprise "Oh! You're here!"
expressing pain "Oh! I've got a toothache."
expressing pleading "Oh, please say 'yes'!"
ouch expressing pain "Ouch! That hurts!"
uh expressing hesitation "Uh...I don't know the answer to that."
uh-huh expressing agreement "Shall we go?" "Uh-huh."
um, umm expressing hesitation "85 divided by 5 is...um...17."
well expressing surprise "Well I never!"
introducing a remark "Well, what did he say?"

María López Ponce Elementary School of Puerto Rico