June 26, 2008

Apostrophe

When we desire to show the possession of any Pronoun we use possessive pronouns like her, hers, their, theirs, our, ours, his, mine etc. But when, we desire to show any Noun’s possession or belongingness we use the APOSTROPHE. There are some fixed rules regarding the uses of apostrophe. Let’s discuss them one by one.

· These books belong to Tom.

· These are Tom’s Books.

· The radio was invented by Marconi.

· The radio was a Marconi’s invention.

N.B: After a singular Noun we use …’s and after a plural Noun ending with an S we use only an apostrophe …s.

· These are the boy’s books. (Singular)

· These are the boys’ books. (Plural)

· Five minutes’ walk.

· Two weeks’ leave.

N.B: If the plural noun does not end in …s and follow different rules of plural, then we use an S and later add an apostrophe in between the word and the S. In case of Plural Nouns ending with an S we shun using two SS as it is too difficult to pronounce and only add …’ (Apostrophe) to make a good sound to pronounce.

· Men’s wear.

· Women’s wear.

· Children’s park.

N.B: If there are two Nouns we generally place the apostrophe after the second Noun.

· Clusner and Winnie’s wedding ceremony.

(Though here, the wedding of Clusner and Winnie is more appropriate and sounds good as well)

· Mr. and Mrs. Dahl’s house.

N.B: When the first Noun is a thing, we generally use the …of construction instead of the …’s.

· The chair’s legs. (Incorrect)

· The legs of the chair. (Correct)

· Rose’s flowers. (Incorrect)

· The flowers of rose. (Correct)

N.B: We are free to use either the ‘of’ construction or an ‘Apostrophe S’, in case the Noun happens to be a group of people including countries.

· The Cabinet’s orders or The orders of the Cabinet.

· India’s history or The history of India.

· China’s work forces or The work forces of China.

N.B: …’S is also used when we refer to a Time Noun.

· A day’s leave.

· Tomorrow’s twenty-twenty match.

· A month’s salary.

· A week’s leave.

N.B: …’S is used with fixed expression.

· For Heaven’s sake.

· A stone’s throw distance.

N.B: The second Noun is often omitted in such expressions.

· The grocer’s (Shop)

· The vendor’s (stall)

· The gynecologist’s (Clinic)

· Mr. Tripathy’s (House)

N.B: Both Of and ….’s can go together in expressions like the following.

· He is a friend of my father’s. (One of my father’s friends.)

A mine type word can be placed.

  • A friend of mine is coming next week.
  • It was good idea of yours.

N.B: Own IS OFTEN USED with the above construction (Of+My-type word+Noun with …’s)

  • He has a flat of his own.
  • They have no houses of their own.

Remember the OWN can only be used in this type of construction only after a possessive words or what we call My-type word.



Type 1

Type 2

Possessive Pronouns

My

Mine

Her

Hers

Their

Theirs

Our

Ours

Your

Yours


These words are called Possessive Pronouns or Possessive Adjectives according to their uses, as they are used in place of Nouns or show possession of the Nouns and come before the nouns like Adjectives.

The type 2 is used when @ A verb comes after the noun. @ If of is used before them. @ if a noun is concealed.

  • This book is mine. (Verb in between)
  • This is my book.
  • Shyam is a friend of hers. (Of is used after the noun)
  • Shyam is her friend.
  • My horse and yours are both tired. (One noun Horse is concealed)
  • My horse and your horse are both tired.

June 23, 2008

GENDER

In our day to day talking and writing we generally use different terms to denote the exact sex of the nouns. That words or terms that signify the sex of the nouns is called GENDER in Grammar. Gender happens to be Four in kinds such as:

1) Masculine: that signifies Male sex.

2) Feminine: that signifies Female sex.

3) Common: that signifies both sexes.

4) Neuter: That signifies no sex and generally of inanimate beings.

Nouns can be classified according to Genders.

Masculine and Feminine Gender

Proper Nouns, Common Nouns.

Common Gender:

Common Nouns.

Neuter Gender

All

In order to transform masculine Nouns into Feminine Nouns, generally we use Three kinds of methods.

1) By a change of word: Like nephew, niece.

2) By adding a word: Like He-goat, she-goat, land-lord or land-lady.

3) By adding ~Ess to the Masculine: prince, princess.

Presently, with vigorous feminine movements and their obvious participation in the day to day affair the language has also evolved accordingly. Now many feminine and masculine terms have become outdated and in their place many unisexual words have evolved to denote both sexes. Terms like doctresses, teacheress, chairman and many others have lost their currency. Principal, Headmaster, Doctor, Teacher and Chairperson now denote both sexes. The use of he/she type has also lost currency. President, Prime minister, Governor, Author have become unisexual terms and we have shunned using terms like Governess in the meanwhile. Anyway Gender is a grammatical Concept still in use to parse sex from a plethora of terms. Let’s see some traditional lists.

A) By a change of word:

Masculine

Feminine

Bachelor

Maid/Spinster

Boar

Sow

Boy

Girl

Brother

Sister

Buck

Doe

Bull (Ox)

Cow

Bullock (Steer)

Heifer

Cock

Hen

Colt

Filly

Dog

Bitch

Drone

Bee

Drake

Duck

Earl

Countess

Father

Mother

Friar (Monk)

Nun

Gander

Goose

Gentleman

Lady

Hart

Roe

Horse (Stallion)

Mare

Husband

Wife

King

Queen

Lord

Lady

Man

Woman

Milter (Fish)

Spawner

Nephew

Niece

Papa

Mama

Ram (Wether)

Ewe

Sir

Madam (Dame)

Sire

Dam

Sloven

Slut

Son

Daughter

Stag

Hind

Swain

Nymph

Uncle

Aunt

Wizard

Witch

B) By adding a word:

Masculine

Feminine

Boy friend

Girl friend (Friend is unisexual)

Boy servant

servant girl (servant is unisexual)

Grand father

Grand Mother

She goat

He goat

Male nurse

Female nurse (Nurse is a feminine term)

Man servant

Maid servant

Milkman

Milk woman

Salesman

Saleswoman (Salesgirl is also used)

Washer man

Washerwoman

N: B: Generally, the result of such word changing happens to be compound terms and we hyphenate the two terms. The hyphen can be left but where a question of pronunciation arises, we use hyphen.

C) By adding ~ess to the Masculine Noun.

Masculine

Feminine

Author

Authoress

Baron

Baroness

Count

Countess

Giant

Giantess

Headmaster

Headmistress

Heir

Heiress

Host

Hostess

Jew

Jewess

Lion

Lioness

Patron

Patroness

Peer

Peeress

Poet

Poetess

Priest

Priestess

Prince

Princess

Prophet

Prophetess

Shepherd

Shepherdess

Viscount

Viscountess

Terms like Authoress, Poetess, hostess, heiress and priestess have lost their currency.

C-1) If there happens to be a vowel letter in the last part of the masculine Noun, generally the vowel is left out and ~ess is added to the remaining part.

Masculine

Feminine

Actor

Actress

Benefactor

Benefactress

Conductor

Conductress

Director

Directress

Enchanter

Enchantress

Hunter

Huntress

Instructor

Instructress

Negro

Negress

Porter

Portress

Songster

Songtress

Tempter

Temptress

Traitor

Traitress

Votary

Votaress

Look at the list one can find many of the terms outdated and even they cannot be found in the dictionary.

C-2) By changing in a disorderly fashion and adding ~ess:

Masculine

Feminine

Abbot

Abbess

Duke

Duchess

Emperor

Empress

Governor

Governess

Lad

lass

Master (Teacher)

Mistress

Master (Boy)

Miss

Mr.

Mrs.

Murderer

Murderess

Sorcerer

Sorceress

D) Without any rules:

Masculine

Feminine

Parvenu

Parvenue

Groom

Bride

Fiancé

Fiancée

Widower

Widow

E) Foreign Feminine:

Masculine

Feminine

Administrator

Administratrix

Beau

Belle

Czar

Czarina

Executor

Executrix

Hero

Heroine

Prosecutor

Prosecutrix

Raja

Rani

Signor

Signora

Sultan

Sultana

Testator

Testatrix


Two words Songstress and seamstress are called double feminines as both words have got the ~er and ~ess together.

Some Common Gender Nouns:

Baby:

male or female

Monarch:

King or queen

Bird:

Cock or hen

Mouse:

Male or female

Calf:

Bullock or Heifer

Orphan:

Male or female

Cat:

male or female

Parent:

Father or mother

Child:

Son or daughter

Peafowl:

Peacock or peahen

Cousin:

Male or female

Person:

man or woman

Deer:

Stag or hind

Pig:

Boar or sow

Elephant:

male or female

Pupil:

Boy or girl

Enemy:

Male or female

Rat:

male or female

Flirt:

man or woman

Servant:

man or woman

Foal:

Cock or hen

Sheep:

Ram or ewe

Friend:

male or female

Student:

male or female

ü Nouns related to Trades or Professions or Ranks generally regarded as Common Nouns. Governor, Prime minister, President, Secretary, Clerk, Typist, Stenographer, Teacher etc.

ü Those Nouns that signify Mightiness, Magnanimity generally regarded as Masculine Gender. Sun, May, summer, Winter, Ocean, Sea, Thunder, Wind, Death, War, Majesty.

ü Those Nouns that signify beauty, softness, suaveness generally regarded as Feminine gender. Name of country, Name of City, Earth, Spring, Hope, Virtue, Truth, Justice, Mercy, Charity, peace, Pride, Fame etc.

ü There are some nouns that have no Masculine nouns: Dowager, dowdy, hussy, matron, minx, prostitute, prude, slattern, shrew, termagant, and virago. However, presently a word Gigolo is being used for male prostitute though the word has not gained wide acceptance.

ü There are some nouns that have no feminine gender. Cad, clown, Joker, dude, fop, ruffian, villain, goonda.

ü In writing generally poetries, personification is used to give life to an inanimate being and in that case a common gender happens to be feminine or masculine.

ü Sometime when no gender related word is given the possessive pronouns like her, his or pronoun like he or she leads to the identification of the gender.

‘As the Sun goes into the west, entire New York rises to life with its crawling and neon lights. She seems to be bathed in milky ray as not a single part of her remains dark. She rises to life with rock and rap around reverberating her nook and corner.’

Look at the small paragraph that is a fictional version about the night life of New York. In the sentence New York City is described as feminine gender.

N.B: The above list is only a traditional one and many words have lost their identity with the passage of time. It is for a reference purpose the blogger has included those words.