Entries Tagged as 'Nouns'

People = plural

Just a reminder:

The word people is a plural noun.  It’s an irregular plural.  Remember to use correct subject verb agreement if people is your subject.

Examples:

  • Why are some people easier to work with than others?
  • People at the party were looking for the food and drinks.

The singular of people is person.  With the verb “to be”, subject/verb agreement looks like this:

  • People are…
  • People were…
  • A person is…
  • A person was…

Less and Fewer – Quantity Activity

Another activity is available from the AllEnglish collection for you to use in practice or in your classrooms.

Less or Fewer

Here’s a hint:  less is used with non-count nouns; fewer is used with count nouns.  They both mean a lower quantity.

This is free to use.  Just remember to credit AllEnglish as the reference.

There is, are, was, or were – Subject Verb Agreement

In this quick 1-minute video, you can learn whether to use there is or are in the present tense and there was or were in the past tense.  I hope this helps!

5 Activities to Learn New Nouns

There are several ways to learn new vocabulary, but today I’ll discuss 5 ways to learn more nouns.

  1. Group nouns into categories:  list nouns at the beach, nouns at the department store, or nouns in the car. Compete with your friends or classmates to list as many nouns in each category.  Challenge yourselves by making spelling count for higher points.
  2. If you know some basic nouns, start challenging yourself to learn new words that surround the basic word.  You know the word computer, so you probably also know keyboard, monitor, mouse, and mouse pad.  What about control panel, pixel, resolution, scroll button, tab, memory, hard drive, port, keystroke, or character?  Really look closely at things and see if you can name everything about them.
  3. Play a guessing game where you try to describe a noun without using the name of the noun itself.  For example, if you’re thinking of the word “table”, describe it’s characteristics.  It has legs, a top, and matching chairs.  If you’re trying to describe  a coat, you can say it has long sleeves, buttons or a zipper, pockets, and a lining.
  4. You can get a lot of exposure to nouns by examining your food, going grocery shopping, or preparing  a meal.  Read labels on your food to learn about vitamins, calories, ingredients, and preparation ideas.  When you need someone to pass you the ladle, the spatula, or a serving spoon, you need to know the name of it to get the right one!
  5. Find a hobby.  You don’t actually have to do the hobby to learn nouns from it.  Pretend like you’re going to become a fly fisher, scrapbooker or a chocolatier.  Do research.  Find out what supplies you will need.  You might come across some words that apply to a world that extends beyond the scope of the hobby.

 

Plurals – The Good, The Bad, and the Puzzling

You might have noticed that I’ve been writing a series on Puzzling Plurals.  Here are links to all of those posts in one convenient place for you, organized by topic:

 

Pesky Apostrophes: Irregular Plural Nouns

Irregular plural nouns break the rules when it comes to using apostrophes.

For regular plural nouns, the apostrophe goes after the -s.  An example would be:

I don’t like that dining room set because the chairs’ legs are iron.

But irregular plurals will rarely have an -s to indicate more than one, such as in the word people, children, men, and women.  In this case, since there is no –s on the word, add the apostrophe as you would on a singular verb, but keep in mind that they are still plural.

The People’s Court (the court belongs to all the people)

The Children’s Room (the room belongs to more than one child)

The Men’s Section (the section has clothes for men)

The Women’s Department (the department has items for women)

Sometimes you will see Ladies’ Department.  That is correct, too.  The word lady is not irregular.

Much or Many?

I thought some of you might have the same question about much and many as one of my students.  Here’s the question my student asked:

Mrs. Allen,

I don’t get when I use Many and Much

Ex:
Correct: I have so much work.
Incorrect: I have so many work.

I know the first one sounds better but still don’t get why.

Here’s what I told her:

Your question has to do with count and non-count nouns.  If you can count the noun (like “pen”), you can say one pen, two pens, three pens.  A noun like “work” is non-count.  You can’t say “one work, two works”.  You CAN say “one job, two jobs” or “one assignment, two assignments”, but if you’re talking about work, the word “work” is non-count.

So…

Many goes with Count Nouns
Much
goes with Non-Count nouns

Ex:  There are so many assignments I have to complete.  It’s too much work.

I hope this helps!