The Noun. General Information. Classification of Nouns. Noun Formation




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UNIT I.

The Noun. General Information. Classification of Nouns. Noun Formation.
I.1. Grammar Point
THE NOUN
The noun denotes thingness in a general sense. Thus nouns name things (book, table), living beings (man, tiger), places (valley, London, England), materials (iron, oil), processes (life, laughter), states (sleep, consciousness), abstract notions (socialism, joy) and qualities (kindness, courage).
Semantic characteristics
Semantically all nouns fall into proper nounsand common nouns.
Proper nouns are geographical names (New York, the Thames, Asia, the Alps), names of individual (unique) persons (John, Byron, Brown), names of the months and the days of the week (January, Sunday), names of planets (the Moon, the Sun, the Earth), names of ships, hotels, clubs (Shepherd's Hotel), of buildings, streets, parks, bridges (Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Regent Street, Charing Cross Road, Piccadilly Circus, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Waterloo Bridge), of institutions, organizations, magazines and newspapers (the United Nations, the New Times, the Guardian). They are written with capitals.

^ Common nouns can be classified into nouns denoting objects that can be counted and those that cannot. So there are countand non-countand collectivecommon nouns. The former are inflected for number, whereas the latter are not. Further distinction is into concretenouns, abstract nouns and nouns of material.

Semantic classification of English nouns is shown in the following scheme:



Concrete nouns semantically fall into three subclasses.

1. Nouns denoting living beings - persons and animals:

boy, girl, dog, cat.

2. Nouns denoting inanimate objects:

table, chair.

3.Collective nounsdenoting a group of persons:

family, crowd.
There are some nouns which may be classified both as count and non-count. They often have considerable difference in meaning in the two classes.

^ Count nouns

Non-count nouns

He used to read an evening paper.

They wrapped up the present in brown paper.

She was a beauty.

Beauty is to be admired.

They hoped to have pleasant experiences.

He has a great deal of experience.

I saw him in a group of youths.

He was speaking with the enthusiasm of youth.



A noun of material used as a count noun undergoes a semantic change so as to denote: kind of, type of: He found her drinking Chinese tea, which she didn't like — but what could one do, other teas were common. The same can be seen in the title A. Conan Doyle devised for a story "Upon the Distinction Between the Ashes of the Various Tobaccos".
Morphological composition
According to their morphological composition nouns can be divided into simple, derived, and compound.

Simple nouns consist of only one root-morpheme: dog, chair, room, roof, leaf.

Derived nouns (derivatives) are composed of one root-morpheme and one or more derivational morphemes (prefixes or suffixes).

The main noun-forming suffixes are those forming abstract nouns and those forming concrete, personal nouns.


^ Abstract nouns

-age: leakage, vicarage

-al: betrayal, portrayal, refusal

-ancy/-ency: vacancy, tendency

-dom: freedom kingdom

-hood: brotherhood, childhood

-ing: meaning, cleaning

-ion/-sion/-tion/-ation: operation, tension, examination

-ism: darvinisrn, patriotism

ment: agreement, unemployment

-ness: darkness, weakness

-ship: friendship, membership

-ty: cruelty, sanity, banality

-th: growth, strength

-y: difficulty, honesty

Concrete nouns

-(i)an: physician, Parisian, republican

-ant/-ent: assistant, student

-arian: vegetarian

-ее: refugee, employee, payee

-er: teacher, worker, singer

-ician: musician, politician

-ist: socialist, artist

-or: visitor, actor

-let: booklet, leaflet

-ess: actress, tigress, waitress

-ine: heroine

-ix: proprietrix

-ette: usherette

The suffixes -ess,-ine -ette,-ix are feminine.




Sometimes nouns formed by abstract noun suffixes may come to denote concrete things or persons as in translation (a process amid its result), beauty (may denote an abstract notion and a beautiful woman).
^ Noun suffixes

A. Verb + suffix

Many nouns are formed in this way.
Verb Suffix Noun

improve (= get better) -ment improvement

manage (e.g. a shop or business) -ment management

elect (= choose somebody by voting) -ion election

discuss (= talk about something seriously) -ion discussion

inform (= tell someone something) -ation information

organise -ation organisation

jog (= running to keep fit or for pleasure) -ing jogging

spell (e.g. S-P-E-L-L) -ing spelling
Note: Sometimes there is a spelling change. The most common is the omission of the final 'e' before the suffix -ion or -ation: translate/translation; organise/organisation

B. Adjective + suffix

Nouns are also formed by adding a suffix to an adjective. Two suffixes often added to adjectives to form nouns are-ness and-ity.

^ Adjective Suffix Noun

weak(strong) -ness weakness

happy -ness happiness

dark (e.g. at night, when you can't see) -ness darkness

stupid{(¹intelligent, clever) -ity stupidity

punctual (= always arrives at the right time)-ity punctuality

similar (= almost the same; different) -ity similarity


C. Pronunciation

The addition of these suffixes may change the pronunciation.

Nouns ending -ion or -ity have the main stress on the syllable before, so the pronunciation may be different from the verb or adjective:

^ Verb Noun Adjective Noun

educate education similar similarity

translate translation stupid stupidity

discuss discussion punctual punctuality


D. -er/-or and -ist

These are common noun suffixes added to existing nouns or verbs, and they describe people and their jobs.

-er -er -or -ist

dancer driver actor artist

singer manager director economist

murderer footballer translator psychologist

farmer employer operator journalist

Note: Notice the common spelling changes:

translate/translator, operate/operator, economy/economist, psychology/psychologist


  1. ^ 1. EXERCISES FOR PRACTICE




  1. Classify the following nouns.


New York, chair, kindness, crowd, police, iron, strength, snow, friendship, height, cake, company, gentleman, action, mistake, cruelty, personnel, August, group, theory, equipment, sugar, philosophy, videotape, information, attitude, London, situation, advice, Fifth Avenue, customer.


  1. In each of the following groups of nouns pick out the one that is different in class from the others. Justify your choice.


1. quietness, country, lake, sun;

2. crew, team, man, crowd;

3. English, Germany, river, Bavaria;

4. laughter, gaiety, joy, happiness, humorist;

5. people, police, women, cattle;

6. boy, dog, girl, family;

7. information, advice, work, difficulty;

8. tea, milk, bread, sandwich;

9. table, pen, coal, sofa;

10. Mexico, Europe, France, city;

11. freedom, sorrow, luck, money;

12. newspaper, adventure, computer, desk;

13. sailor, ship, crew, boat;

14. question, answer, riddle, idea;

15. jury, government, audience, water.


  1. State whether the nouns in bold type are proper or common. If the noun is common say what group it belongs to.


1. In our arrogance we all think we are unique, invincible, immune to mortality and above the law of nature. (Bradford) 2. Robyn accepted a glass of white wine. (Lodge) 3. One family only had lived within the walls of Menabilly. They had been born there, they had loved, they had quarrelled, they had suffered, they had died. (Maurier) 4, After a while he offered her a cigarette. (Drabble) 5. But it was the middle of March now. Spring was approaching, even if you couldn't feel it in the air. So, thank God, was the Easter vaca­tion. (Lodge) 6. There were few people about that day, and they did nothing except sit rather glumly in their armchairs, drink occasionally, and exchange congratulations on not being seasick. (Waugh) 7. They won't eat anything except baked beans, but she goes on cooking these cabbages, and throwing them away. (Drabble) 8. There was a smell in the air of tar and rope and rusted chain, a smell of tidal water. (Maurier) 9. She brushed her hair furiously and left it hanging loose on her shoulders. (Brookner) 10. She told me of her courtship and marriage; she told me, as though fondly turning the pages of an old nursery-book, of her childhood. (Waugh) 11. She had been to London once before only, and now she was going to Paris. (Drabble)


  1. Complete the tables and mark the stress on each word. The last two in each column are not on the opposite page, but do you know or can you guess the noun formed from them?




Verb

Noun




Adjective

Noun

educate

improve

jog

govern

spell

hesitate

arrange







stupid

dark

weak

similar punctual

sad

popular







  1. Combine the suffixes on the right with the verbs or adjectives on the left, and then complete the text below. (Remember you may need to make a small spelling change.)




improve

televise

elect




-ment

-ity

-ion

-ation

-ness

educate

weak

manage



















govern

stupid

























In his first broadcast on (1)___________since hewonthe (2)__________ lastmonth, the Prime Minister promised tomake health and (3)_________two of histop priorities. And in a strong attack on the previous (4)___________, he said thatthe present (5)___________of the British

economywas caused entirely by their
(6)__________ and bad (7)____________.He said he would act immediately and hehoped the British people would be able tosee clear signs of an(8)____________ inthe economy by the end of the year.


6.Writedown the name of the person who does these things.

Example: farm - farmer


  1. act

  2. sing

  3. economics

  4. employ

  5. murder

  6. translate

  7. football

  8. psychology

  9. manage


^ 7. Look at the two examples and then complete the rest of the definitions.
Example: An actor is a person who acts in films, plays and on ТV.

A murderer is a person who murders someone

1A journalist is a person who ...................................................................................

2A ballet dancer is a person who...............................................................................

3A film director is a person who ...............................................................................

4A bank manager is a person who..............................................................................

5An employer is a person who...................................................................................

6A pop singer is a person who....................................................................................

7A translator is a person who......................................................................................

8A lorry driver is a person who ..................................................................................

9 A photographer is a person who...............................................................................

10An artist is a person who .........................................................................................
^ 8. Complete the sentences with the correct form of the word on the right.
Example: Who made the arrangements for the meeting? ARRANGE
1We had a very heated...............................in class today. DISCUSS

2I think...............................is very important. PUNCTUAL

3The...................................of the festival was excellent. ORGANISE

4Who won the.............................................? elect

5He's never been very good at........................... SPELL

6Their...............................is all that matters to me. happy

7The......................................between them is incredible. similar

8Has there been much...................................lately? improve

9Have they got all the......................................they need? INFORM

10 This animal only appears during the hours of................ DARK
^ 9. Complete the crossword. What is the opposite of the word in the tinted box?


1 the opposite of 'clever'

2 running for pleasure and to keep fit

3 to 'get better'

4 to talk about something in a serious way

5 to choose someone by voting for them

6 someone who arrives at the right time is this

7 someone who paints pictures



















1






















2











































3


































4


































5



















6

















































7



















The opposite of the word in the box is.............................................
10. Complete these tables and underline the main stress as in the example.


Verb Noun

educateeducation

manage..................................

translate...................................

hesitate.................................

AdjectiveNoun

popular....................................

weak....................................

stupid...................................


^ 11. What do we call these people?
Example: a person who dances dancer

1a person who murders someone

2a person who acts

3a person who works in economics

4a person who farms

5a person who translates

6a person who employs other people

7a person who works in psychology

8a person who sings

9a person who operates something

10a person who plays football

11 a person who directs films

12a person who writes articles in a newspaper
12. What is the abstract noun related to each of the following adjectives? All the nouns are formed in ways described on the opposite page although not all are listed opposite.

Example: affectionate affection

1affectionate 5amused 9 attentive 13equal

2excited 6graceful 10 happy 14hopeful

3kind 7original 11 popular 15resentful

4secure 8stupid 12 weak 16wise

^ 13.Which abstract noun on the opposite page is a synonym of each of the following? Example: animosity:hostility or aggressiveness

1 animosity 5 substitution 9 vision

2 astonishment 6 fame 10 liberty

3 inquisitiveness 7 decrease 11 fury

4 fraternity 8 area 12 wealth
14. Complete the following table.

abstract noun

adjective

verb

adverb

contentment

argument

emptiness

intensity

satisfaction

sentiment

strength

content(ed)

to content

contentedly


^ 15. Which of the words in the list below is being described in the following quotations?

love permanence hope jealousy happiness beauty

1'................................. is no more than feeling alone among smiling enemies.'

2'................................. is like coke; something you get as the by-product of makingsomething else.'

3'................................. is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know tobe desperate.'

4'................................. is a universal migraine.'

5'The British love.................................more than they love................................
^ 16. Write your own quotations to describe the following abstract nouns.

1freedom 2 friendship 3 life 4 curiosity

5 imagination

17. Make abstract nouns from the words in the box below. Put them in the correct column.
absurd,achieve, adult, combine, complex, deep, excite, free, friend, friendly, generous, imagine, member, mother, owner, prosperous, recognize, tender, ugly, wide, wise.


-ment

-ion

-ness

-ship

-ity

-dom

-hood

-th













absurdity











^ 18. Complete the sentences by forming an abstract noun from the word in brackets at the end of the sentence.
Example: His face was so red with anger that I thought he would have a heartattack there and then, (angry)

  1. The cat purred with..............................as it drank the cream.(satisfy)

  2. Rose has a rather difficult..............................with her father. (relate)

  3. His writing shows a great deal of...............................(sensitive)

  4. Sal hasn't ever known true..............................with Bill. (happy)

  5. Dick hasn't much of a sense of...............................(humorous)

  6. Patrick is looking forward to his...............................(retire)

  7. Penny always showed great..............................to me. (kind)

  8. I wonder if women will ever achieve full...............................(equal)

  9. I don't think I've ever experienced...............................(bored)

  10. This work is spoiled by the student's...............................(care)


19. Put these abstract nouns into the correct column: pleasant or unpleasant.
discouragementimprovementhostilityragebrotherhood companionshipfaithbitternessluckcalmfear

pleasant

unpleasant




discouragement

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