Lesson 45: NOUNS & NOUN PHRASES

A noun is a word for something in the world. It can describe a person (teacher), a thing (desk), a place (school), a time (year), a feeling (fear), an action (reply) or an event (lesson).


Form

English nouns have very few forms. There are only two numbers: singular (one) and plural (two or more). It does not matter how we use a noun in a sentence; the form is usually the same. The form is sometimes different only with the genitive (Lesson 49).

[S]:SINGULAR, [P]:PLURAL

ORDINARY [S] girl [P] girls
GENITIVE [S] girl's [P] girls'

NOTICE:The pronunciation of girls, girl's and girls' is exactly the same.


Types of noun

PROPER NOUNS (Lesson 48) are names.
EXAMPLES: John, Paris

MASS NOUNS (Lesson 47) have only one form.
EXAMPLES: time, water

UNIT NOUNS have plural (Lesson 46) and sometimes genitive forms (Lesson 49).
EXAMPLES: hour, cup


Noun phrases

A noun phrase can be:
  • a noun or pronoun (Lesson 50) alone,
    for example: girl - her
  • a group of words with a noun in it,
    for example: the table - some of the tables
    the big one - both the big tables

In every noun phrase, one noun (or pronoun) is the most important word. The other words 'belong' to it and give more information about it. You can learn about these other words in lessons 51-60.


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