A. WHAT ARE THE PARTS OF SPEECH?
Although English has hundreds of thousands of words, everyone can be placed into at least one of eight groups, or classifications. The system of classifying words based on their function is known as the parts of speech.
The eight parts of speech are
Learning about the eight parts of speech will help you understand the grammar explanations of some of the mistakes you make and figure out how to correct them.
Because some words can be used in several different ways, you have to look at what a word is doing in a specific sentence before you can classify it (name its part of speech).
For example, look at these sentences.
He ran fast so he wouldn’t be late. (describes how he ran…adverb)
They will fast to raise money for UNICEF. (tells about an action…verb)
Their fast lasted for three days. (names a thing…noun)
The word “fast” is spelled the same, but it functions differently in each sentence.
II THE BASICS OF PARTS OF SPEECH
Words that name people, places and things are called nouns. The following table lists a variety of nouns.
EXAMPLES OF NOUNS
PLACES: province, New Brunswick lake
THINGS: table, car
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OBJECTS: fork, television, car
SUBSTANCES: iron air gold
ACTIONS: (a) race (the) dance (the) hits
MEASURES: kilogram centimeter day
QUALITIES: happiness honesty beauty
Nouns can be found anywhere in a sentence, and most sentences contain several nouns. One way to find nouns is to look for the little words a, an, the. The naming word that comes after them is probably a noun. Sometimes nouns appear without these little words, but you can usually insert them without changing the meaning of the sentence.
Paul and his children visited the continent of Africa and saw some lions.
Paul is a noun that names a person. Can you find 10?
Children name people nouns in this
continent names a thing picture?
Africa names a place
lions names a thing.
Examine the following sentences carefully until you feel satisfied that you can identify the nouns in most sentences.
Paul and his sister went to the zoo to see the elephants.
Her lawyer bought an old house in Moncton last year.
Finish your work before the big game starts on TV.
The Smiths lived on a farm until a week ago when the family moved to town.
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, and Fredericton is the capital of this province.
Sometimes people eat more food than their bodies need.
French is the first language of some citizens of Ontario.
TYPES OF NOUNS
Collective noun is a word used to define a group of objects, where objects can be people, animals, emotions, inanimate things, concepts, or other thing. For example, in the phrase “a pride of lions”, pride is collective noun.
Most collective nouns encountered in everyday speech, such as “group”, are mundane and are not specific to one kind of constituent object. For example, the terms “group of people”, “group of dog”, and “group of ideas” are all correct uses. Others, especially words belonging to the large subset of collective nouns known as terms of venery (words for groups of animals), are specific to one kind of constituent object. For example, “pride” as a term of venery refers to lions.
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A proper noun or a proper name is a noun representing a unique entity (such as London, Jupiter, John Hunter, or Toyota), as distinguished from a common noun, which represents a class of entities (or non-unique instance of that class).
For example, city, planet, person or corporation.
In English, proper nouns are not normally precedes by an article or other limiting modifier (such as any or some), and are used to denote a particular person, place, or object without regard to any descriptive meaning the word or phrase may have (for example, a town called “Newtown” may be, but does not necessarily have to be, a new town).
Which nouns are considered proper names depend on the language. For example, names of days and months are considered proper names in English, but not in Spanish, French, Swedish or Finnish, where they are not capitalized.
Concrete nouns refer to physicals entities that can, in principle at least, be observed by at least one of the senses (for instance, chair, apple, Janet or atom).
On the other hand, refer to abstract objects; that is, ideas or concepts (such as justice or hatred).
While this distinction is sometimes exclusive, some nouns have multiple senses, including both concrete and abstract ones; consider, for example, the noun art, which usually refers to a concept (e.g., Art is an importance element of human culture) but which can refer to specific artwork in certain contexts(e.g., I put my daughter’s art up on the fridge).
Some abstract nouns developed by figurative extension from literal roots. These include drawback, faction, holdout, and uptake. Similarly, some nouns have both abstract and concrete senses, with the latter having developed by figurative extension from the former. These include view, filter, structure, and key.
5-Countable and Uncountable nouns
a- Countable nouns can be singular or plural: book(s), hotel(s), boat(s), day(s), job, mile(s), piece(s), problem(s), and dream(s).
Uncountable nouns are neither singular nor plural: water, sugar, salt, money, music, electricity, happiness, excitement
... the nounal vocabulary as a whole into countable nouns and uncountable nouns. The constant categorial feature "quantitative structure" ( ... of materials, or separate concrete manifestations of the qualities denoted by abstract nouns, or concrete objects exhibiting the respective ... in the plural. The two subclasses of uncountable nouns are usually referred to, respectively, as singularia tantum (only ...
We use countable nouns for separate, individual things such as books and hotels, things we can count. We use uncountable nouns for things that do not naturally divide into separate units, such as water and sugar, things we cannot count.
b- Many countable nouns are concrete: table(s), car(s), shoe(s).
But some are abstract: situation(s), idea(s).
Many uncountable nouns are abstract noun: beauty, love, psychology. But some are concrete: butter, plastic.
Many nouns can be either countable or uncountable nouns.
c- An uncountable noun takes a singular verb, and we use this/that and it.
This milk is off. I‟ll pour it down the sink.
d- It is not always obvious from the meaning whether a noun is countable or uncountable. For example, information, news and furniture are uncountable.
I’ve got some information for you. NOT an information
There was no news of the missing hiker. NOT there were no news
They had very little furniture. NOT very few furniture
Nouns that can be either countable or uncountable
a- Some concrete nouns are countable when they refer to something separate and individual, but uncountable when they refer to type of material or substance.
They had a nice carpet in the living-room.
The protestors threw stones at the police.
We bought ten square meters of carpet.
The statue is made of stone.
b- Animals, vegetables and fruit are uncountable when we cut or divide them.
buy a (whole) chicken put some chicken in the sandwiches
peel some potatoes eat some potato
pick three tomatoes a pizza with tomato
c- These nouns can be countable or uncountable with different meanings.
a glass/some glasses of water some glass for the window
a daily paper some writing paper
d- The countable noun often refers to a specific example, and the uncountable noun often refers to an action or idea in general.
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a drawing/ painting good at drawing/painting
I heard a noise. Constant traffic noise.
e- Nouns which describe feelings are usually uncountable, e.g. fear, hope. But some can be countable, especially for feelings about something specific.
a fear of dogs hopes of the future
doubts about the wisdom of the decision an intense dislike of quiz shows
f- When ordering food or drink or talking about portions, we can use countable nouns.
I‟ll have a lager. (= a glass of lager)
Three coffees, please. (=three cups of coffee)
Some nouns can be countable with meaning „Kind(s) of ….‟
These lagers are all the same. (= kinds of lager)
There are lots of different grasses. (= kinds of grass)
When we want to give more specific information about someone or something we sometimes use a noun in front of another noun. For example, we can use a noun + noun combination to say what something is made of, where something is, when something happens, or what someone does:
rice pudding a glass house hill fog the kitchen cupboard
a night flight all morning call a language teacher a window-cleaner
When a particular combination is regularly used to make a new noun, it is called is Compound Nouns which consist of more than two nouns:
a milk chocolate bar an air-traffic controller a dinner-party conversation
Some compound nouns are usually written as one word (e.g. a tablecloth), some as separate words (e.g. waste paper), and other with a hyphen (e.g. a word-processor).
more than one of these ways (e.g. a golf course or a golf-course).
A good dictionary will tell you how a particular compound noun is usually written.
Even if the first noun has a plural meaning, it usually has a singular form:
an address book (= a book for addresses; not an addresses book)
a car park (= a place for parking cars; not a car pak)
However, there are a number of exceptions. These include:
– Nouns that are only used in the plural or have a different meaning in singular/plural or countable/ uncountable:
a clothes shop (compare a shoe shop) a darts match a glasses case(=for spectacles)
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a customs officer the arm trade a communications network a saving account
– Cases such as:
the building materials industry the publications department
_Ing forms of verbs can be used as nouns. As a result, they can function as subjects and objects of verbs and prepositions. Look at the following –ing forms functioning as the subject of the sentence:
Example: Dancing is a great exercise.
Overeating can be dangerous to your health.
Look at these examples where the –ing forms fuction as the object of the verb:
Example: My friends and I love dancing on Saturday nights.
We finished studying late last night.
Common nouns can be subdivided into count nouns. Semantically, common nouns can be classified as abstract nouns and concrete nouns.
A common noun is a word that names people, places, things, or ideas. They are not the names of a single person, place or thing.
A common nous begins with a lowercase letter unless it is at the beginning of a sentence.
People: man, girl, boy, mother, father, child, person, teacher, student.
Animals: cat, dog, fish, ant, snake.
Things: book, table, chair, phone.
Place: school, city, building, shop.
Ideas: love, hate, idea, pride.