Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Language Description

 

                                                                                     

 

A) Nouns

Generally, learners need to be able to

 

Definition: it describes a person, place or thing.

 

We use nouns to express a range of additional meanings such as concepts, qualities, organizations, communities, sensations and events.

 

What do they look like?

1. Endings

A small proportion of nouns have identifiable ‘noun endings’.

E.g.: tradition, ability, instrument, excellence, significance

 

2. Proper nouns and capital letters

Words which begin with capital letters and are not at the beginning of sentences are often the names of people, places, or institutions. These are also called ‘proper’ nouns

 

Where do nouns come in sentence?

Nouns can:

 

They often end in a phrase which begins with an article such as a(n) or a quantifier such as either, any, of many. They also often follow adjectives.

 

Count and non- count nouns

Non- count nouns: describe liquids, materials, substances and abstract qualities.

(accommodation, hair, information, money, news, spaghetti, travel, weather)

 

some uncountable nouns have a countable equivalent which is a different word.

Work (U): job (c) travel (U): journey(c)

 

Nouns can be countable as well as uncountable

We got lost in a wood (C)      wood burns more easily than coal (U)

 

Sometimes countable and uncountable forms represent two closely connected uses of one word.

I told her a few truths about herself   we’ll never learn the truth

 

 

Some nouns that were originally plural are coming to be uncountable

The data are = the data is        the media are= the media is

 

We can use a lot of generally uncountable nouns as countable nouns. For example, to describe:

a new French cheese

a beer         two sugars

 

Countable nouns are also called mass nouns, and uncountable nouns are also called unit nouns.

 

Some nouns have the same singular and plural forms (nouns that end in s often fall into this category)

 

A sheep= two sheep                            a crossroads= two crossroads

A series = two series

 

Nouns which have been absorbed into English from other languages sometimes keep their original plural form

Plateau= plateaux                    cherub = cherubim      Mafioso= Mafiosi

 

The standard plural form of some words is changing from a ‘foreign’ form to an anglicized one.

Foci= focuses              syllabi= syllabuses

 

The original plural form of some words is coming to be used as singular.

A criteria         a phenomena

 

Collective nouns

Words represent groups of ppl.

Eg the team, the Conservative Party

 

Ppl choose either singular or plural according to whether they are thinking in terms of a unified ‘body’ or of the various ppl who make it up.

 

The army provides an excellent career.

The army are investigating the incident.

 

The names or initials of many organizations also function as collective nouns.

 

 

 

                                                                              

 

 

Adjectives

 

Describing words that provide information about the qualities of sth described in a noun, a noun phrase or clause

 

Adjectives have one of the following endings or ‘suffixes’

- able   impeccable                  -ent      intelligent                    -ory      obligatory

-al        paternal                       -ful      truthful                                    -ous     courageous

-ate      immaculate                  -ist       Communist                  -some   winsome

-an       Anglican                      -ive      impressive                   -wise    streetwise

-ant      fragrant                       -less     useless                         -y         misty

 

multiword adjectives

many adjectives are made up of two parts (usually connected by a hyphen). These two- part adjectives are multiword adjectives.

 

The second part of multiword adjectives is often a past participle form.

 

Adverb and past participle:     well-liked, well- intentioned, beautifully- written.

 

Noun and past participle:        feathered- brained, self- centred, people-oriented

 

We also derive adjectives from multiword verbs (eg wear someone out) usually in this case, the first part is usually a past participle form (worn- out, tied- up)

 

Where do adjectives come in sentences?

There are two usual sentence positions for single adjectives

 

We also use adjective after nouns. In this case the adjective is linked to the noun (or pronoun) it qualifies by a complement verb

 

Eg: he is cold.

 

A few adjectives (alive, asleep, awake) are used only after nouns.

 

Order: size, shape, colour, origin, material, use noun

 

Adjectives followed by prepositions, infinitives and that

When we use adjectives predicatively we can sometimes follow them with a preposition, infinitive or that cause

 

Gradable and ungradeable adjectives

Gradable adjectives describe qualities that we can measure or grade in some way. We can say sth is quite wet, very wet or terribly wet.

We can use intensifiers and downtoners (fairly, rather) with gradable adjectives.

 

Ungradeable adjectives

Some adjectives express:

 

with these extreme and absolute (‘ungradable’) adjectives we use only intensifiers wichi stress the extreme or absolute nature of these adjectives, and we don’t downtoners.

 

He is utterly terrified not he’s very terrified

She’s completely dead not she’s fairly dead.

 

Adverbs

Adverbs are words that modify a verb, an adjective or another adverb. (not very accurate)

 

Categories

Examples

manner

Carefully, slowly

frequency

Always, often

Time and place

Now, here

Relative time

Already, recently, soon

Degree

Extremely, rather, very

quantity

A lot, a little

Focusing

Even, also, only, particularly

Attitude markers

Apparently, fortunately

 

 

Articles

 

The articles are:

 

articles are part of noun phrases and come at the beginning of them, either immediately before a noun or an adjective, or before a combination of adverb, adjective and noun.

 

We can leave out articles before plural nouns and uncomfortable nouns

 

We can only leave an article out before a singular noun if we replace it with another determiner.

 

 

 

Quantifiers

 

Like articles, quantifiers belong to the wider class of determiner. Words or phrases that come at the beginning of a noun phrase and signal whether the info is new of familiar, or (in the case of quantifiers) which tell us sth about quantity.

 

We use quantifiers at the beginning of noun phrases.

Before nouns:  some thoughts

Before adjective and noun:     many enterprising ppl

Before adverb and adj and noun:       any very good ideas

 

Prepositions

 

                                                                           

MAIN PAGE

SKIMMING AND SCANNING

LISTENING FOR MAIN IDEAS

HELP PAGE