22 Jan 2016

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Basics Of English Grammar- Noun


A noun is a group of word that is usually forms the name of a person, place, thing, quality, or ideas. Nouns can be singular or plural.

Noun can be grouped into many forms like, Proper noun (includes names), countable noun & Uncountable noun.

General Rules to make plural of a Noun:

  1. Latin words (…..us changes to ….i)

  • Syllabus – Syllabi,

  • Fungus – Fungi,

  • Focus – Foci,

  • Radius – Radii

  • Locus – loci

  1. …..on changes to ….a

  • Criterion – Criteria,

  • Phenomenon – Phenomena

  1. …..um changes to ….a

  • Datum – Data

  • Bacterium – Bacteria

  • Stratum – Strata

  1. …..is changes to ….es

  • Axis – Axes

  • Oasis – Oases

  • Hypothesis – Hypotheses


In compound noun “s” is added to an important noun

  • Maid Servant: Maid Servants

  • Chief Minister: Chief Ministers

  • Sister-in-law: Sisters-in-law

  • Major general: Major Generals


Digits & letters are made plural by adding  ’s  to them.

Like, P’s, 9’s

For example:

  • There are two P’s in puppet.


Abbreviation are made plural by adding small s to them

Like MLAs, BAs, CMs

For example:

  • National security meet in the national capital was attended by all the CMs.

  • Only BAs are eligible to apply for this post.


Some nouns have different meanings in singular and plural.

For example:

  • Pain & Pains (Effort)

  • Physic (Medicine) & Physics (Subject)

  • Iron & Irons (Handcuff)

  • Good & Goods (Commodity)

  • Order & Orders (Official Instruction)


Use of Possessive Case

  1. If there are two nouns & both are non-living we use of instead of apostrophe.

For example:

  • The fan of the room, The leg of the table

  1. If there are two nouns & both are living or one is living we use ‘s

For example:

  • Ram’s Brother, Garima’s Beautiful Garden, Rakhi’s Diary

  1. Apostrophe is not used with possessive pronoun like his, hers, yours ours etc.

For example:

  • Yours truly

  • Yours faithfully

  1. If the last letter is s than we only use Apostrophe

For example:

  • Boys’ Hostel

  • Dickens’ Novel

  • Girls’ School

  1. a) We use ‘s with noun words that shows time, weight, distance, amount, or personified noun.

For example:

  • An hour’s distance

  • A rupee’s worth

  • A kilometer’s journey

  • Nature’s Laws

  1. b) Some non-living noun also take ‘s to show respect.

For example:

  • A court’s order

  • At duty’s call

  1. c) With phrases

For example:

  • at wit’s end

  • at a stone’s throw

  1. If the last letter of a word make hissing sound (….ce, ….s)& the word sake is after it. We use only apostrophe

For example:

  • Justice’ Sake

  • Conscience’ Sake

  • Goodness’ Sake

  1. Double Apostrophe is not used if it represents the same person.

For example: 

  • My Friend’s brother’s wife has expired. (Wrong)

  • The wife of my friend’s brother has expired.

  1. When else is coming with word like somebody, nobody apostrophe s is used with else.

For example:

  • I cannot rely on somebody else’s word.

  • I obey your orders and nobody else’s.

Certain nouns are always used in singular in form & function.

Some Words:

  • Progress

  • Music

  • Bread

  • Homework

  • Scenery

  • Furniture

  • Information

  • Luggage

  • Baggage

  • land

  • Vacation

  • Luck

  • Dirt

  • Dust

  • Electricity

  • Damage etc

Usage of Nouns which are always used in singular in form & function

  • The scenery of Kashmir is breathtaking.

  • This furniture is no longer usable.

  • We require five pieces of furniture for our new office.

  • They left their luggage at the airport.

Certain Nouns are always plural in form & function.

Some Words:

  • Alms

  • Tongs

  • Slippers

  • Goggles

  • Scissors

  • Spears

  • Binoculars

  • Vegetables

  • Eatables

  • Outskirts etc

Usage of Nouns which are always used in plural in form & function

Alms given to the beggar are sometime misused.

Eatables are not allowed in the metro station.

Scissors are required for cutting the paper.

A pair of scissors is required at the office.


  • Poem is Countable noun (So it can singular and plural) while Poetry is uncountable noun (so it is always used as singular).

  • Cost/Marketing is used by dealer & price/Shopping is used by customer.

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