May 27, 2008


Simply speaking the word that signifies the name of a place a person or a quality is called a NOUN. For examples: Ram is good boy who lives in New Delhi. Now let me examine the above sentence. Who is a good boy? Ans. Ram. How is the boy? Ans. Good. Where does he live? Ans. New Delhi. All the answers are called noun as they suggest the name of a person, name of a quality and a name of a city or place.
Generally NOUNS are divided into five kinds, such as:
  1. Common Noun.
  2. Proper Noun.
  3. Collective Noun.
  4. Material Noun.
  5. Abstract Noun.
Let me examine the five nouns individually.
It signifies each parts of a specie or class. For example by ocean, we mean every ocean. Similarly, river means all rivers. Cat, tiger, deer all are Common or Class noun.
It signifies the name of a person, place or a thing. In the earlier example sentence, I have used the name of Ram, New Delhi which are but, examples of Proper Noun. The Ganges is the second longest river of India. The name Ganges is a Noun as it is a name of a river. One thing one must take notice that irrespective of the place of such noun whether in front or inside of a sentence, the first letter of a proper noun is Capitalized.
That noun which signifies a collection of people or persons or things. Library (Collection of Books) Fleet (Collection of ships) Class (Group of Student). All these are Collective Noun. 
That name of a material or a thing that signifies each parts of the same stock is called a Material Noun. In other word speaking, if we tear a piece of paper into fifty parts, each part will be called a piece of paper. Hence, paper is a Material noun. Iron, gold, chalk are examples of Material Noun.
This suggests the name of a quality, a state or condition or a name of work. He is clever and is known for his cleverness. Cleverness is an Abstract noun. Sugarcane is known for its sweetness. Sweetness is an Abstract Noun. Childhood is a stage of a man. Childhood is a state of life hence a case of Abstract Noun.
All these nouns are again classified taking their counts into view as Countable Nouns and Uncountable Nouns.
Let’s examine some nouns:
A              B
Cat        Rice
Pen       Gold
Cup      Grass
Query    Water
All the above words are Nouns. Now examine the nouns under column A can be made plural easily whereas the nouns under the column B cannot be made plural that easily.
Uncountable Noun:
Before Uncountable noun, we cannot use the articles A/An. However, we can use the/some/any/much/this etc.
Some rice, much information, a bundle of grass, a piece of advice, a glass of water, a piece of news.
Some nouns seem to be plural as they ends with an –S but in reality they are singular.
  • Bad news travels fast.
  • Mathematics is a good subject.
  • Measles is a disease of infants.
  • Athletics is a sport in Olympic game.
Physics, Economics, gymnastics, Innings (Cricket) looks like plural but are singular nouns.
Some nouns end with an s ending and always plural.
Thanks, regards, arms, clothes, lodgings, contents, minutes (The written records of meetings.) earnings, headquarters, goods, surroundings, ruins, riches.
Names of objects which have two parts are always plural.
And we use a pair of to make them singular. In addition, pairs of is used to make them plural.
Scissors, glasses, spectacles, binoculars, pliers.
Trousers, pyjamas, shorts, stockings.
Cattle, people and police are always plural.
When we talk of a sum of money, a period of time, a distance etc, we often use a plural noun with a singular verb.
Two hundred rupees is not a big sum.
Five years is really a pretty long time.
We say:
A ten rupee note, a five-year-old boy, a six-week holiday, a five-foot scale, a four-hour journey, a three-kilometer walk.


Look at the FOLLOWING sentence. “I am going,” he said.

“So, do I,” replied the other friend.

“Why?” he questioned.

The first sentence ‘I am going’ is a simple sentence. Let’s ask some questions. Who is going? The answer we get from the sentence is ‘I’

What is he doing? Answer=Going. Going is the present participle of the main verb Go. ‘Am’ is the auxiliary verb. Auxiliary verbs like Do, Does, Has, Have, Had, Did, Will, Shall, Can, Could etc. only add to the main verb rather help the main verb to establish a relationship between the main verb and the Subject or the doer. Hence, they are also called as ‘Helping verbs.’ Remember some auxiliary verbs like Have, Do, Can, etc also function as main verbs in different constructions. For example, I have a motorcycle. Here the auxiliary verb is silent. I do have a motorcycle. Here have is not the auxiliary verb rather the main verb.

Therefore, to make a sentence at least we require a subject or in Speaking English a Subject or Object or Both or a Question word. However, human beings adore beauty and they want to beautify all their creations and want others’ creations as object of beauty. This beautification requires many things like Color or Texture. And in sentences we use different kinds of words to beautify our sentences. Let’s examine some.

Let’s observe some sentences.

  1. The weather/climate/shirt/colour is fine.
  2. The weather/climate/shirt/colour seems/appears/looks fine.
  3. We hate/love/ the climate/shirt/colour.
  4. The weather is fine/parky/cloudy/sunny.
  5. The weather sometimes/often/regularly changes.
  6. Ram is under/near/beside/behind the tree.

Now observe the sentences and the italicized parts.

In the first sentence, let’s ask a question. What is fine? In answers, we get the Weather, Climate, Shirt and Colour. These are but names of something. Hence, they are called NOUNS. Simply speaking the naming part of a sentence is called Noun. The name can be of a Person, of a Town, of a Quality etc.

In the second sentence, the italicized parts are called VERBS because all these suggest some activities.

In the fourth, sentence the italicized parts are called ADJECTIVES. Adjectives are but ornaments of nouns as they describe the nouns about their colours, looks, size etc.

In the fifth, sentence the italicized parts called ADVERBS. As their name suggests they add to the verb. In other word speaking, they are the ornaments of verbs. They describe and add to the verbs like their manner.

In the last sentence, the small words describe the position of nouns with regard to the verbs. They are called PREPOSITIONS. Their exact position varies but usually they go after the verbs and precede the nouns. However, very often we come across sentences with a preposition ending.

So nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions are parts of speech. We use these in our writing and speaking. The generous and careful use of these words makes a sentence a meaningful sentence. We cannot use them at will as there are so many fixed grammatical rules regarding the use of such parts. Let’s examine the following sentence. ‘I to the store went a bag with my hand in.’ This structure has everything we require to frame a sentence but it lacks the main thing that is the meaning. And unless a sentence has meaning it is but a mismanagement personified. Now let’s arrange the same words and we get the following sentence. “I went to the store with a bag in my hand.”

The sentence has everything the first sentence had but in addition, it has a meaning that the first sentence lacked. And how to use various parts of speech there are grammatical rules and we need to learn those rules by and by.

"Follow me for Interjection and Conjunction.”

May 26, 2008


Plural: A supplementary to the Previous Post


Nouns ending in s, sh, x and ch (Where ch is not pronounced as K ) add –es for forming plural Nouns.

Stomach: stomachs

Conch: conches


Monarch: Monarchs.  Here ch is pronounced  as K and the nouns add –s for plural as usual.

Nouns ending with y and preceded by a consonant letter takes –ies to form plural.

Pony:  Ponies. 

Poppy: Poppies.

However, day becomes days, valley becomes valleys and toy becomes toys.  Here the preceding letter is a vowel.  



Nouns ending with the vowel ‘O’ and a consonant precedes then we add –ies to form plural. 

Potato:             Potatoes.

Echo:                Echoes.

Hero:                heroes.

Buffalo:             Buffaloes.

Mosquito:        Mosquitoes/ mosquitos.


Exception: Photo becomes photo.  Piano becomes pianos and radio becomes radio.

Noun ending with –f or-fe:  In this case we usually add –ves leaving the F part.

Half                              Halves

Calf                              Calves

Thief                             Thieves



Roof                             Roofs

Chief                            Chiefs

Gulf                              Gulfs

Proof                            Proofs

Scarf                            Scarfs/Scarves.

Hoof                            Hoofs/ Hooves.



By changing the inside vowel plural is made:


Radius                          Radii

Basis                            bases

Analysis                        Analyses

Crisis                            Crises

Oasis                            Oases

The same no change:

Deer                             Deer

Sheep                           Sheep


Some compound words:

Father-in-law                            Fathers-in-law

Commander-in-chief                 Commanders-in-chief



Man-servant                  Men-servants.

Woman-doctor             women-doctors.

Both part plural.


The Rules regarding Plural making of Nouns:

Plural is one of the Easy endings of English words.

Usually we add an S or Ies to a noun to make it plural.

Singular Nouns Plural Nouns

Book Books

Dog Dogs

Apple Apples

Berry Berries

Copy Copies

Take notice any noun that ends with y becomes ies in plural.

Remember I have used the word usually in the beginning. Yes, there are so many unusual cases when the simple rule of adding an S or Ies is not followed and some different rules are followed. Let’s discuss some of them.

There are so many irregular nouns and similarly while forming their plurals we follow irregular forms. First by changing their vowel or adding –en or by following a foreign rule.

Singular Plural

Man Men

Woman women

Child Children

Ox Oxen

Foot Feet

Tooth Teeth

Goose Geese

Mouse Mice (mousse)

Criterion Criterion

Phenomenon Phenomena

A few Nouns ending with –F form plural with –ves.

Wife Wives

Loaf Loaves

Wolf Wolves

Leaf Leaves

Scarf Scarves

Hoof Scarves

But proof Becomes Proofs.

Some nouns have two forms.

Formula Formulas/formulae

Focus Focuses/foci

Data Datum/Datas

Some nouns are used only in singular:

News, Music, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics Etc. Including other scientific subjects.

Some other nouns are used only in plural:

Spectacles, Scissors, trousers, jeans, thanks, Congratulations police, cattle etc.

Should we like to make them in singular we use the construction like a pair of trousers, or Jeans, A policeman, One cattle, A pair of spectacles.

May 17, 2008

Person and Number

There are three persons in English grammar. They are called First Person, Second Person and Third Person. But there are only two Numbers such as Singular and Plural Number.
First Person
Auxiliary Verbs
Am, is are, do, have All Modals
Was, did, had, All Modals
Shall, Will, All modals
Second Person
Are, have, All Modals
Were, Had, All Modals
All Modals
Third Person
He, she, It, All Proper Nouns
Is, has, does, all Modals
Was, were, had, did, All Modals
Will, shall,
All Modals
‘Am’ is the only auxiliary verb solely used with the Subject I in the present tense.
When any Third person singular number happens to be the subject or the doer the auxiliary or main verb takes -s after it. He goes to school everyday. She eats anything while hungry. When the verb ends with a vowel generally -es adds to it.
Like do: does. Go: goes. Eat: eats.