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Common and Proper Nouns

Common Nouns
Common Nouns are the names of people, animals, things and places.
People Animals Things Places
boy dog glass beach
girls cows plates farm
man horse chair fields
lady sheep car wharf
gentleman goat bicycle park
father bee clothes jungle
aunt dragonfly watch forest
friend eagle apples town
teacher beetles water harbor
neighbors owls shoes city
doctor dolphins buttons village
fisherman whales socks orchard

There are many books on the shelf.
The lecturer is teaching the students.
We saw elephants, kangaroos, cheetahs, pythons and many other animals at the zoo.

Proper Nouns
Proper Nouns are the special names of people, animals, things and places. They always start
with capital letters.
People Animals Things Places
Wesley Brownie Sea Angel (name of a ship) High Park
Amy Jumbo Mount Kinabalu Dickson Harbor
Chiyoko Shima Lassie Nike (brand name of footwear) Times Square
Vijay Reddy Winnie Toyota (brand name of vehicles) Newton Beach
Mr. Lee Chun-Hee
Tata Nano (brand name of
Seaview Park
Mr. Thomas Green Lulu Cinderella (title of a book)
St. Anthony's Elementary
Mrs. Carey Mimi
ADIDAS (brand name of sports
Dreamland Theme Park
Mdm. Elizabeth
Kitty Alba (brand name of watches) Gold Coast Aquarium
Miss Julia Brown Whitie
Mercedes Benz (brand name of
National Zoo

Britney has a pet dog named Patch.
Mr. Wang reads the 'Shanghai Times' daily.
'Treasure Island' was written by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Tokyo is the capital of Japan.
The airplane landed at Heathrow Airport at 3 p.m.
My sister studies at Kingsfield High School.

Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Countable Nouns
Countable Nouns are nouns that can be counted.
Examples: book, cars, man, table, dog, eggs, pen, buses, ladies, chairs, cat, mango, ruler,heli
copter, cupboard, person, monkeys, sausage, etc.
Quantifiers such as 'a', 'an', 'any', 'some', 'a few', 'several', 'a lot of', 'plenty of' and 'a
small /large number of' are used with countable nouns.
Examples: a man, an orphan, any people, some houses, a few children, a lot of sheep, a
small / large number of ants, etc.

I saw a man on the beach.
Matthew is an orphan.
There aren't any people in the hall.
There are some houses along both sides of the road.
A few children are playing at the playground.
The farmer has several cows on his farm.
A lot of sheep are grazing in the field.
Charlotte grows plenty of flowers in her garden.
There are a large number of ants on the branches.

Uncountable Nouns
Uncountable Nouns are are nouns that cannot be counted.
Examples: water, oil, gas, powder, sugar, salt, milk, tea, coffee, wood, iron, steel, time,mone
y, ink, butter, paper, jam, etc.
Quantifiers like 'any', 'much', 'a little', 'some', 'a lot of', 'plenty of', 'a great / good deal of'
anda small / large amount of' are used with uncountable nouns.
Examples: any water, any coffee, much sand, some jam, a little time, plenty of paper, a lot
of money, a small amount of salt, etc.

I am thirsty because I did not drink much water.
Could you please add a little salt to the soup?
There aren't any people in the hall.
Tiffany spread some peanut butter on a piece of toast.
We need a lot of time to complete this project.
There is plenty of food on the table. Just help yourself to it.
The well-off man spent a great deal of money to build the castle.
Mrs. Bowie drinks a small amount of wine daily for good health.

Note: 'Any', 'some', 'a lot of' and 'plenty of' are used with both countable and uncountable nouns.

'Some' is used mainly in positive sentences while 'any' is used with uncountable or plural nouns
in negative sentences and questions.


I have some books to read. (positive sentence)

There is some orange juice in the jug. (positive sentence)

Nancy does not have any money on her. (negative sentence)

I did not see any boats on the river. (negative sentence)

Have the children any toys to play with? (question)

Did the maid prepare any lemonade for us? (question)

Subject-Verb Agreement
Singular subjects go with singular verbs.
Examples of singular subjects: he, she, Alan, Sophia, friend, aunt, child, dog, cat, etc.
Examples of singular verbs: goes, drinks, plays, runs, does, knows, eats, barks, mews, etc.

He cycles to school daily.
She drinks a glass of lemonade every afternoon.
Alan plays with his neighbors in the evening.
Sophia runs as fast as a deer.
My friend does aerobics once a week.
The child usually eats bread and butter for breakfast.
Her cat mews when it is hungry.

Verbs are words that express actions.
Examples: walk, run, sit, stand, eat, drink, write, read, draw, sweep, mop, wash, type, ask,a
nswer, reply, etc.

Mr. Charles walks to his office every day.
I visit the library every week.
The bird flies over the mountain.
My sister plays badminton on weekends.
We went swimming last Sunday.
Cindy wrote a letter to her pen pal this morning.

Active and Passive Voice
Active Voice
Look at this sentence:
Heidi fed her cat.
The sentence above is in the Active Voice. In such a sentence, the 'doer' of an action is
mentioned first.
More examples:
Tom decorated the living room.
Sally baked the cake.
I bought the fruits.
Someone stole Henry's car.
Sam painted the kennel.
My dad paid the bills.

Passive Voice
The verb in the Passive Voice is formed by combining the verb to be and a past participle.
(Examples of the verb 'to be': am, is, are, was, were, have been, has been, had been, etc.)
Verb 'to be' + Past Participle
is + written = is written
are + made = are made
was + done = was done
were + opened = were opened
has been + read = has been read
have been + sold = have been sold
The gate is locked every evening.
Many cars are sold every month.
My homework was done this morning.
The windows were opened just now.
My bad tooth has been extracted.
The kid's toys have been broken.

We use the passive voice when:
(i) the 'doer' of the action is not known.
Active: Someone has stolen my bicycle.
Passive: My bicycle has been stolen.

Active: Someone delivers the newspaper every morning.
Passive: The newspaper is delivered every morning.

Active: Someone broke our windows last night.
Passive: Our windows were broken last night.

(ii) we want to stress that the action is more important than the 'doer'. The 'doer' of the action is
Active: He has written the essay.
Passive: The essay has been written.

Active: They will hold a meeting tomorrow.
Passive: A meeting will be held tomorrow.

Active: The students will sing the national anthem.
Passive: The national anthem will be sung.

The 'doer' of the action is included when it is necessary to complete the sense of the sentence.


Active: A snake bit her last week.

Passive: She was bitten by a snake last week.

Active: Rudyard Kipling wrote 'The Jungle Book'.

Passive: 'The Jungle Book' was written by Rudyard Kipling.

Active: Michael King hosted the show last evening.

Passive: The show was hosted by Michael King last evening.

Relative Pronouns
'Who', 'whom', 'whose', 'which' and 'that' are Relative Pronouns.
In a sentence, a relative pronoun is used to refer to the noun mentioned before it. It is usually
used to add more information about the noun.
e.g. The man who won the game is my uncle.
In the above sentence, the relative pronoun 'who' is used to refer to the noun (man) before it.
After 'who', more information about the man is added, i.e., the man won the game.
A relative pronoun is also used to join two sentences together.
The girl lost her bicycle.
She is my sister.
We can join the two sentences above together with the relative pronoun 'who'.
The girl who lost her bicycle is my sister.
'Who', 'whose' and 'whom' are used to refer to people, while 'which' and 'that' are used to refer
to animals and things.

Relative Pronoun 'Who'
In a sentence, the relative pronoun 'who' is used as the subject. It is usually placed before a verb.
This the lady who drives a red car to work.
(In the above sentence, the relative pronoun 'who' is placed before the verb 'drives'.)

The doctor who treated me is a kind man.
I know the old man who lives in this house.
The waitress who served me is your aunt.
The man who broke into a house was sent to prison.

Determiners That and Those

Determiner 'that' refers to a person or thing further away.
That is a leopard.
That is an orchard.
That is a boat.
That girl is happy.
That picture is beautiful.
That woman is ugly.

Determiner 'those' is the plural of 'that'. It refers to persons or things further away.
Those are cats.
Those are parcels.
Those are swallows.
Those buses are old.
Those pigeons are tame.
Those sandwiches are delicious.
Singular and Plural Nouns
A singular noun refers to one person or thing.
Some examples of singular nouns
are ant, pen, potato, bicycle, teacher, student, banana, lamp,mosquito and bag.

A plural noun refers to more than one person or thing.
Some examples of plural nouns
are ants, pens, potatoes, bicycles, teachers, students,bananas, lamps, mosquitoes and bags.
Many nouns form their plurals by adding 's' or 'es'.
apple - apples
ball - balls
car - cars
donkey - donkeys
jar - jars
snake - snakes
orange - oranges
goat - goats
stick - sticks
animal - animals

bus - buses
watch - watches
box - boxes
dish - dishes
match - matches
bush - bushes
mango - mangoes
buffalo - buffaloes
class - classes
glass - glasses

Main Verbs has and have
'Has' and 'have' show what one owns.

We use 'has' with a singular pronoun or noun.
She has
It has
John has
Amy has
Mr. Ronnie has
The man has
The girl has
The monkey has
My mother has

He has a new bicycle.
She has a doll.
Mrs. Brown has a toaster.
The boy has a toy robot.
My father has a laptop.
The cat has a long tail.

We use 'have' with a plural pronoun or noun.
They have
We have
The boys have
The girls have
The workers have
John and Mary have
My cars have
All the students have
The lions have
* You have
* I have
* Note: The pronouns you and I are singular, but they are used with have. These are
exceptional cases.
They have a van.
We have two horses.
You have a football.
The girls have many dolls.
The monkeys have short hair.
The peacocks have beautiful tail feathers.

Determiners This and These

Determiner 'this' refers to a person or thing nearby.
This is a car.
This is a house.
This is a bus.
This fish is big.
This owl is small.
This man is tall.

Determiner 'these' is the plural of 'this'. It refers to persons or things nearby.
These are cats.
These are motorcycles.
These are desks.
These tables are round.
These dogs are fierce.
These kittens are cute.