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English Grammar


There are two main types of nouns: proper nouns and common nouns. Proper nouns name a specific person, place, thing or idea. Proper nouns are always capitalized. Common nouns name a whole group or general type of person, place, thing or idea. Common nouns are not capitalized.

  Proper Nouns Common Nouns
People John Brown, Billie Darlene, Chen Xin president, police officer, teacher, student, architect, cook, mother, father, child
Places New York, Beijing, Calcutta, London, Empire State Building, Grand Canyon, Hilton Hotel city, building, valley, hotel
Things New York Magazine, Rise and Decline Of Nations, Nestle, Johnson Baby Oil magazine, book, chocolate, oil

Read the paragraph below. Pay attention to the words in bold that are proper and common nouns.

Tatyana Maskowitz pulled her car to the curb in front of a large building. About seven miles to the north lay the village of Monroe, upstate New York. She walked up a staircase to the front door of the building. This was a concrete building with four floors and contemporary American architecture. It was a beauty.


People Tatyana Maskowitz, American architecture
Places villages, New York
Things car, buildings, miles, staircase, door, floor, architecture
Ideas beauty


Plural and Singular Nouns:

Nouns that name more than one person, place, thing or idea are called plural nouns. Nouns that name only one person, place, thing or idea are called singular nouns. In the following paragraph pay attention to the words in italic that are proper in plural and singular forms.

Our lives are enriched by extra ordinary experiences and extra ordinary people around us. Once, when I was traveling in California, I was invited to a party where I met a heart surgeon. He was well-known for his work on women's heart problems. I, as a woman, didn't have any heart problem but happened to build a relationship with this very interesting man. After dating with him for a year, we got married. and took a vacation in Mexico for our honeymoon. I took two pair of slacks and a few shirts with me to our honeymoon but took no dresses at all. We went to a party without me wearing a proper dress because of our tight travel schedule so we didn't have time to buy a dress for the party. But I had grabbed one of his jackets that matched my slacks except that. I looked so shabby in it. Despite my shabby looks, my newly-wed husband said to me he loved me no matter what I wear. That's why I am still married to this wonderful man.

Most nouns are made plural by adding 's'.

live: lives (line 1)

experience: experiences (line 1)

heart: hearts (line 2)

curb: curbs

surgeon: surgeons (line 2)

problem: problems (line 3)

year: years (line 5)

vacation: vacations (line 6)

slack: slacks (line 6)

shirt: shirts (line 6)

Jacket: jackets (line 7)

  1. For nouns ending with 'y', replace y with i and then add s.

party: parties (line 2)

woman: women (line 3)

man: men (line 4)

3. Nouns ending in s, ch, sh or x are made plural by adding es.

dress: dresses (line 6)

more examples:

match: matches dish: dishes

box: boxes

2. Nouns ending in y are made plural in two ways. If the final y follows a vowel (a, e, i, or, or u), the noun is made plural by adding an s. If the y follows a consonant (any letter but a, e, i, or or u), the plural is formed by changing the y to i and adding es.

y, following a vowel

ways: ways

corduroy: corduroys

y, following a consonant

thirty: thirties

penny: pennies

3. Many nouns ending in f or ef are made plural by changing the f to v and adding s.

Change No Change
knife: knives cuff: cuffs
leaf: leaves roof: roofs

4. A few nouns do not change forms when they are made plural.

clothing: clothing

fish: fish

Some nouns take special forms when they are made plural.

foot: feet

criterion: criteria

syllable: syllabus




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