Use of English Topic: Noun as a word class

Use of English Topic: Noun as a word class


By Mark Nkworji

I have provided a background or an insight into the topic, ” Lexis and Structure”.
For students preparing for the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) or the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations, good knowledge of lexis and structure is a sine qua non for passing the English paper.
It is therefore instructive to note that 99% of knowledge of lexis will come from the study of word class (parts of speech).
We have learnt about the least part of speech, the Determiners or Articles.
Today, we shall be learning about ” Noun” as a word class.
NOUN: A noun is a name given to a person, animal, place or a thing. It could also be an idea, a feeling or an emotion.
We are going to study noun in its various departments.
The knowledge of noun is very crucial because it is one of the essential parts of speech. Without nouns sentences can not exist in English language.
Singular and Plural: Noun is one of the parts of speech that pass through this process.
An English noun is singular if it is one and plural if they are more than one.
Plural nouns have the following suffixes added to them: “s”, “es”, or “ies”. Such nouns are called regular nouns. There are other nouns that also become plural without the addition of s, es, and ies. Such nouns are called irregular knowns. They become plural by inflection ( change in spelling ) .
Examples of regular nouns are: boy= boys, chair= chairs, box= boxes, crisis=crises, lorry= lorries, toy=toys trophy=trophies.
Take note: In situations where a noun ends with the letter “y”, there is always the difficulty in deciding whether to simply add an “s” or to remove the “y” and add “ies”. The rule is simple. If the letter before the “y” is a consonant, you simply add an “s” . E.G. lorry, the letter before the “y” is “r” which is a consonant so you have to remove the “y” and add, ” ies” so, lorry becomes lorries for plural. But if the letter before the “y” is a vowel, ie: a, e, o, u or h, you simply add an “s” after the “y” . E. G. Toy=toys and not “toies”.
Irregular nouns are the nouns that do not become plural with the addition of s, es and ies.
They become plural by inflection ( change in spelling) E.G. man =men
alumnus= alumni, criterion=criteria etc.
Another category of irregular nouns are those that remain unchanging in spelling. The singular and plural remain the same. E.g: Sheep=sheep, staff= staff etc.
Practice on your own some regular and irregular nouns.
In our next lecture, we shall be dealing with other departments of noun like: Common and Proper nouns, Concrete and Abstract nouns, Countable and Uncountable nouns etc.

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Till next week

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