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Capítulo 9:

 Nouns, pronouns and articles. Nombres, pronombres y artículos en inglés

1. Nouns

Nouns are naming words.  A noun can refer to a person, place, animal, thing, event, substance or quality.

For example:      Woman/Uncle (person)

                              Park/Paris (place)

                              Cat/Bird (animal)

                              Book/Sky (thing)

                              Wedding/Party (event)

                              Water/Rock (substance)

                              Strength/Trust (quality)

We classify these nouns into concrete, abstract, proper and common:

  • concrete, as in real, touchable objects = Scissors/Potato/House
  • abstract, referring to ideas = Cost/Belief/Tradition
  • refer to events or actions = Meeting/Robbery/Shopping
  • refer to jobs = Waitress/Painter/Musician
  • proper names of things = Monday/England/Rachel* (*Proper nouns always have a CAPITAL letter.)
  • common nouns are all those that don’t fall under another category.

1.1 The plural form

To make a noun plural, look at what it ends with and follow these simple rules:

  • For most nouns, you simply add ‘s’ to form the plural = Dog/Dogs, House/Houses, etc.
  • For nouns already ending in ‘s’, add ‘es’ = Cross/Crosses, Boss/Bosses, etc.
  • For most nouns that end in ‘y’, remove the ‘y’ and add ‘ies’ = Party/Parties, Country/Countries.
  • For nouns that end in a vowel + ‘y’, keep the ‘y’ and add ‘s’ = Key/Keys, Toy/Toys.
  • For nouns that end in ‘f’ or ‘fe’, remove the ‘f’ and add ‘ves’ = Knife/Knives, Hoof/Hooves.
  • There are some nouns that are irregular, so you have to learn their plurals independently. These include: Tooth/Teeth, Mouse/Mice, Foot/Feet, Sheep/Sheep, Woman/Women,Man/Men, Person/People, Child/Children, etc.

1.2 Countable and uncountable nouns.

We divide nouns into things we can count individually, and things we cannot count.

For example: One apple, two apples. We know there are two as we can hold one in each hand and count them.  But liquids like water are things we cannot count.  We can’t hold water in our hands and make it into two individual things, so we call it an uncountable noun.

Grammar

* Usually Some is used in affirmative sentences and Any is used in negative ones and questions.

 

Activity 1

Correct the flowing sentences.

  1. I have quite a collection of dresss in my wardrobe.
  2. I would like a wine please.
  3. I need to buy carrot today.
  4. I’ve got much shoes.
  5. I need to brush my tooths.
  6. I will be there in three daies.
  7. Have you got many milk?
  8. Did you see news?
  9. I went to so many partys on the weekend.
  10. The cats are animals

2. Pronouns

Pronouns are used to replace or refer to a noun in order to not to have to repeat the noun over and over.

For example:

                I have a pet bird. My pet bird likes carrots. I like my pet bird.

               I have a pet bird, he likes to eat carrots. I like him.

In this sentence ‘he’ and ‘him’ are the pronouns, referring back to the bird.

Here are some other examples, the pronouns are in bold:

               Sally went to a funeral last weekend. It was so sad.

               Are there any more plates? There’s one over there on the table you could use.

               I’ll meet you at the café, it’s just next to the department store.

               We really enjoyed the party last weekend, it was such fun!

               Will you have another biscuit? I made them myself.

Pronouns are divided into different functions:

 

2.1 Personal pronouns

 

Personal pronouns are used to represent specific people or things. This depends on:

               -number: singular I) or plural (we)

               -person: 1st person I), 2nd person you) or 3rd person (he)

               -gender: male (he), female (she) or neuter (it)

               -case: subject (we) or object (us)

When I talk about myself, I use ‘I’, not Sophia, when I talk to my friends I don’t use their names, but ‘you’ or about somebody else, ‘he’ ‘she’ etc.

Here is a chart of the personal pronouns:

Grammar

 

2.2 Possessive Pronouns

We use possessive pronouns to show who something belongs to. Usually we use possessive pronouns in relation to people, but we can also use them for animals and things.

We use possessive pronouns depending on:

               -number: singular (mine) or plural (ours)

               -person: 1st person ( mine), 2nd person (yours) or 3rd person (his/hers)

               -gender: male (his), female (hers)

Possessive pronouns can be the subject or object, and can refer to a singular thing or many things in plural.  For example:

                              What beautiful pictures! Which one is yours? ( yours = picture)

                             Do you like the pictures? All of them are mine. ( mine = pictures)

See the chart below for a complete list of all the possessive pronouns:

Grammar

Grammar

*Note that this and these sound different: in this the vowel sound is shorter whereas in these is longer.

Here are some examples:

               I like this teapot over here, much better than that one on the shelf.

               Can I have some of these black plums, and also some of those peaches?

               This is a good year for growing strawberries, much better than that bad winter we had a few years ago.

 

2.4 Interrogative Pronouns

The interrogative pronouns are what we use to ask questions. 

The pronoun represents the thing we want to know.  There are four main interrogative pronouns: who, whom, what, which. We sometimes include whose as well as a demonstrative pronoun as it is an interrogative possessive pronoun and so it fits in both categories.  

Here is a complete list of the interrogative pronouns:

Grammar

Language Note               

Note that we sometimes use the suffix "-ever" to make compounds from some of these pronouns (mainly whoever, whatever, whichever). When we add "-ever", we use it for emphasis, often to show confusion or surprise.

Activity 1

Identify what types of pronouns are in the following sentences.

  1. I adore your bag!
  2. Whose plate is this?
  3. What are you doing?
  4. I like that hat!
  5. He loves pasta.

Activity 2

Add in the appropriate pronouns to these sentences.   

  1. _____ is that girl over there? (what, whom, who, which)
  2. I want to buy ______one, but first can you show me _____ one on the shelf up there? (that/this, your/mine, this/this, this/that)
  3. What’s ____ problem? He should be nicer to ____ She’s such a sweet girl. (her/you, his/her, your/you)
  4. ____’m  going to see the latest Scarlett Johansson movie, I love ____! Would ___ like to come? (You/her/he, I/him/I, I/her/you)
  5. I like ____ one here. _____ do you think? (this/What, that/who, this/whom)

 

3. Articles

A/an and the are articles.  A/an is the indefinite article.  We use it to mean things in general. A we use it before consonants, and an we use it before vowels. The is the definite article.  We use it when we want to be specific about something.

For example, if you think of the sky during the day, there is one sun and a lot of clouds.  So we would say: “Look at the sun!” and “I can see a rain cloud”.

There are a few rules when using A/An and The:

Grammar

Activity 1

Write the correct article in the space, or leave it blank if there should be no article.

  1. Did you see ____ sunrise today?
  2. I’m____ monk, what do you do?
  3. Did you have any ____ dinner yet?
  4. ____Japan is on the news!
  5. I’m going to cross_____ Himalayas.
  6. I need____ new pair of glasses
  7. Last night I saw____ great film.
  8. Do you like____ oysters?
  9. _____ Elephant had an excellent memory.
  10. Have you ever seen_____ Atlantic ocean?

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