The category of number
English nouns that are inflected for number (count nouns) have singular and plural forms.
Singular denotes one, plural denotes more than one. Most count nouns are variable and can occur with either singular or plural number. In Modern English the singular form of a noun is unmarked (zero). The plural form is marked by the inflexion -(e)s. The spelling and the pronunciation of the plural morpheme vary. xaricidil.com program 40 hazırlıq
I. Nouns ending in vowels and voiced consonants have the plural ending pronouced as [z]:
bee – bees [bi:z], dog – dogs [dcgz] xaricidil.com program 40 hazırlıq
II. Nouns ending in voiceless consonants have a voiceless ending: book – books [buks]
III. Nouns ending in -s, -sh, -as, -ch, -x, -z, (sibilants) have the ending [iz]:
actress – actresses [‘æktrisiz] bush – bushes [‘buƒiz] watch – watches [‘wotƒizj box – boxes [‘boksiz]
IV. Nouns ending in -o have the ending [z]: xaricidil.com program 40 hazırlıq
hero – heroes [‘hiarouz] photo- photoes [‘foutouz]
The regular plural inflexion of nouns in -o has two spellings; -os which occurs in the following cases:
a) after a vowel – bamboos, embryos, folios, kangaroos, radios, studios, zoos;
b) in proper names – Romeos, Eskimos, Filipinos;
c) in abbreviations, kilos (kilogramme), photos (photograph), pros (professional);
d) also in some borrowed words: pianos, concertos, dynamos, quartos, solos, tangos, tobaccos.
In other cases the spelling is -oes: tomatoes, echoes, Negroes, potatoes, vetoes, torpedoes, embargoes
Some nouns may form their plural in either way:
oes/os: cargo(e)s, banjo(e)s, halo(e)s.
V. The letter -y usually changes into -i:
sky skies [skaiz]
But the letter -y remains unchanged -ys:
a) after vowels:
days (except in nouns ending in -quy: soliloquy – soliloquies).
b) in proper names:
the two Germanys, the Kennedys, the Gatsbys;
c) in compounds:
The word penny has two plural forms:
pence (irregular) – in British currency to denote a coin of this value or a sum of money: Here is ten pence (in one coin or as a sum of money);
pennies (regular) – for individual coins. Here are ten pennies.
VI. Thirteen nouns ending in -f(e) form their plural changing -f(e) into -v(e): the ending in this case is pronounced [z]:
- calf – calves elf – elves
- half – halves knife – knives
- leaf – leaves
- life – lives loaf – loaves
- self – selves
- sheaf – sheaves
- shelf – shelves
- thief – thieves wife – wives
- wolf – wolves
Other nouns ending in -f(e) have the plural inflexion -s in the regular way: proof – proofs, chief – chiefs, safe – safes, cliff – cliffs, gulf – gulfs, dwarf – dwarfs, reef- reefs, grief – griefs; the ending is pronounced [s].
In a few cases both -fs and -ves forms are possible: scarf – scarfs/scarves,
dwarf – dwarfs/dwarves, hoof – hoofs/hooves.
VII. Nouns ending in -th after a short vowel have the ending -s [s]: month — months [mxn0s].
Nouns ending in -th after a long vowel or a diphthong have [9z] in the plural: baths [ba:ðz], paths [paðz], oaths [ouðz].
But: youths [ju:0s], births [ba:0s].
VIII. The plural of abbreviations is sometimes formed in spelling by doubling a letter:
p. (page) Mr (Mister)
M.P. (Member of Parliament)
M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) Co. (Company)
– Messrs [‘mesaz]
– M.P.s [’em’pi:z]
– M.D.s [’em’di:z]
– Co.s [kouz]
In a phrase like “Miss Brown” two different forms are used for the plural. We may either say “the Miss Browns” or “the Misses Brown”, the latter being generally considered more correct.
For historical reasons certain nouns form their plural differently.
1. Seven nouns distinguish plural from singular by vowel change:
man – men woman – women
tooth – teeth foot – feet
goose – geese mouse – mice louse – lice
2. Two nouns have -en to mark the plural: ox – oxen, child – children.
Brother has two plural forms: brothers and brethren, the latter being used as a religious term or in elevated style to denote people of the same creed, not relations.
3. With some nouns the plural is identical with the singular form
a) sheep-sheep (obya/ɵ); swine – swine (cbmhae/m); deer – deer (oneha/m);
grouse – grouse (kypomatka/m).
This sheep looks small. All those sheep are good. I bought a grouse (three grouse for dinner).
There’re so many fish, they splinter the paddles.
There, are some animal names that have two plurals:
fish – fish/fishes, pike – pike/pikes, trout – trout/trouts, carp –carp/carps, salmon – salmon/salmons.
The zero plural is more common to denote hunting quarries (We caught only a few fish. We caught five salmon. He shot quail (mepemenok) to make money), whereas the regular plural is used to denote different individuals, species, kinds of animal, especially fish with the same name or insects or other small animals which cause disease or damage.
- The plant was covered in greenfly.
- This animal is infected with hookworm
- There are three greenflies on my hand.
- Two large hookworms were found in his stomach.
- There were two quails for sale.
b) identical singular and plural forms are also typical of nationality nouns in -ese, -ss: Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Swiss.
We met a Japanese. We met many Japanese on our holiday.
The word for people of the country is the same as the plural noun; the other way is to use substantivized adjectives in this sense:
- Englishmen – the English
- Dutchmen – the Dutch.
c) two nouns borrowed from Latin and one from French also have identical forms for singular and plural:
series – series;
species – species
corps [ko:] – corps [ko:z] .
d) names, indicating number, such as:
pair, couple, dozen, score,
stone (mepa beca: 14 ahfn. Øyhtob = 6,35 kf) and head
have the same form for both the singular and plural when they are preceded by a numeral, that is, they function as an indication of a kind of measure: two dozen of handkerchiefs, five dozen of eggs. The child
weighs two stone. One thousand head of cattle.
But when they have no number as predeterminer they take the usual plural form: dozens of times, to go in pairs.
4. A number of foreign (particularly Latin and Greek) nouns have retained their original plural endings.
174. Plural in compound nouns
1. As a rule in compounds it is the second component that takes the plural form:
housewives, tooth-brushes, boy-scouts, maid-servants.
2. Compounds in -ful have the plural ending at the end of the word:
handfuls, spoonfuls, mouthfuls, (though spoonsful and mouthsful are also possible).
3. Compounds in which the first component is man or woman have plurals in both first and last components: men-servants, women-doctors, gentlemen-farmers.
4. Compounds ending in -man change it into -men in spelling. In pronunciation, however, there is no difference between the singular and plural forms, both having [a]:
policeman [an] – policemen [an].
Such nouns as German, Roman, Norman are not compounds, and therefore they have regular plurals: Germans, Romans, Normans.
5. In compounds originating from a prepositional noun phrase where the preposition is a linking element only the first noun takes the plural form:
editors-in-chief, mothers-in-law, commanders-in-chief, coats-of-mail, men-of-war (boehhɵe kopa6nm).
6. In compounds with a conjunction as a linking element the plural is taken by the second noun:
7. In compound nouns formed by a noun plus a preposition, or an adverb, or an adjective only the first element takes the plural:
passers-by, lookers-on, courts-martial, attorneys-general.
8. When the compound is a substantivized phrase which does not contain a noun, the last element takes the plural ending –s:
forget-me-nots, breakdowns, stand-bys, grown-ups, close-ups, pick-ups (cnyuauhɵe shakomctba),
Invariable nouns cannot change their number, some of them are always singular in meaning (linguistics, news), some denote plurality (cattle, police).
Singular invariable nouns.
1. Here belong all non-count nouns:
a) material nouns – tea, sugar, gold, silver, oil, butter, sail. (As has been mentioned they may become
count nouns with a specific meaning: cheeses – kinds of cheese, beers – portions of beer, as two glasses
or cans of beer, two coffees, icecreams.)
b) absrract nouns – music, anger, foolishness.
2. Proper nouns: xaricidil.com program 40 hazırlıq
The Thames, Henry.
3. Some nouns ending in -s: xaricidil.com program 40 hazırlıq
a) news – Here is the 10 o’clock news;
means – by this means (stmmm cpegctbamm)
gallows – They fixed up a gallows (bmcenmyy).
b) some diseases – measles (kopa), mumps (cbmhka), rickets (paxmt), shingles (kpachyxa); However sometimes the usage varies: Mumps is/are a medical problem.
c) some games – billiards, bowls (fonaØ), dominoes, draughts (mamkm);
But when used attributively no plural is used: a billiard table.
d) some proper nouns – Algiers, Athens, Brussels, Flanders, Marseilles, Naples, Wales, the United Nations, the United States.
4. Nouns ending in –ics: xaricidil.com program 40 hazırlıq
classics, linguistics, mathematics, phonetics, athletics, ceramics, ethics, gymnastics, politics, tactics.
Nouns of this group are occasionally understood as plurals: Their tactics requires/reguire concentration of troops.
Politics has/have always interested me.
Plural invariable nouns
Plural invariable nouns comprise two types – marked and unmarked plurals.
I. In the first type the form of the noun itself shows plurality. These nouns are rather numerous. Semantically they fall into several groups:
a) names of tools or articles of dress consisting of two equal parts which are joined: bellows, binoculars, breeches, braces, flannels, glasses, pants, pincers, pliers, pyjamas, scales, scissors, shorts, spectacles, suspenders, tights, tongs, trousers, tweeters;
These nouns can be made singular and countable by means of a pair of: a pair of trousers, a pair of scissors. Accordingly they are used with the verb-predicate in the singular (this pair of trousers is …)
b) miscellaneous nouns: annals, antics, archives, arms, ashes, the Commons (the House of Commons), contents, customs, customs-duty, customs-house, earnings, goods, goods train, greens, holidays, summer- holidays, manners, minutes (of the meeting), outskirts, quarters, headquarters, stairs, suds, surroundings, thanks, troops, wages, whereabouts, the Middle Ages; xaricidil.com program 40 hazırlıq
c) some proper nouns: the East Indies, the West Indies, the Hebrides, the Highlands, the Midlands, the Netherlands.
II. In the second type of the plural invariable nouns the meaning of plurality is not marked in any form (hence the term “unmarked plural invariables”). They are usually treated as collective nouns (co6mpatenahɵe).
English collective nouns denote only living beings (family, police, clergy, cattle, poultry, etc.) and have two categorical meanings: the first – p l u r a l i t y a s i n d i v i s i b l e w h o l e and the second
– d i s c r e t e p l u r a l i t y , that is plurality denoting separate beings. In the latter case these nouns are called nouns of multitude. Thus, one and the same noun may be a c o l l e c t i v e n o u n p r o p e r and a no u n o f mu lt it u d e.
The difference in two categorical meanings is indicated by the number of the verb-predicate (singular in the first case and plural in the second), as well as by possessive and personal pronouns. The meaning of the predicate is also important: predicates denoting physiological processes or states, emotional or psychic reactions, states always imply separate beings involved into it. Compare the following examples:
- Collective nouns proper
- The family was large
- The cattle is in the mountains
- The crew on the ship was excellent.
- The crowd was enormous.
- The committee was unanimous.
- Nouns of multitude
- The family were fond of their house.
- The cattle are grasing there.
- The crew have taken their posts.
- The crowd were watching the scene spell-bound.
- The committee were divided in their opinion.
Discrete plurality is also expressed by substantivized adjectives denoting people:
the helpless, the needy, the poor, the sick, the weary, the rich.
Ways of showing partition.
Many non-count nouns combine with a set of nouns showing some part of material or abstract notion.
Here are some typical partitives for material and abstract nouns:
The category of case
Case is a grammatical category which shows relation of the noun with other words in a sentence. It is expressed by the form of the noun.
English nouns have two cases: the common case and the genitive case. However, not all English nouns possess the category of case; there are certain nouns, mainly nouns denoting inanimate objects, which cannot be used in the genitive case.
The common case is unmarked, it has no inflexion (zero inflexion) and its meaning is very general.
The genitive case is marked by the apostrophe s (‘s).
In writing there are two forms of the genitive: for most nouns it is ‘s (mother’s) and for nouns ending in -s and regular plural nouns only the apostrophe (mothers’). In speech there are four ways of pronunciation of the genitive case.
1. [z] after vowels and voiced consonants: Negro’s, dog’s;
2. [s] after voiceless consonants: student’s;
3. [Iz] after sibilants: prince’s, judge’s;
4. zero endings: girls’, boys’.
The zero form is used: xaricidil.com program 40 hazırlıq
a ) with regular plural nouns – students’, drivers’, doctors’;
b) with Greek nouns in -s of more than one syllable: Socrates’ [‘sokrati:z] wife,
Xerxes’ [‘za ksi: z] army, Euripides’ |jua’ripidi:z] plays.
In many other names ending in the voiced sibilant [z] the normal spelling of the genitive case is with the apostrophe only (though sometimes ‘s occurs too): Burns’ (Burns’s) poems, Dickens’ (Dickens’s) novels.
Names ending in sibilants other than [z] have the regular [iz] in the genitive: Marx’s [siz] ideas,
Tess’s [siz] misfortunes. xaricidil.com program 40 hazırlıq
Irregular plural nouns forming their plural by vowel change also have the regular [z] in the genitive: Children’s games,
Compound nouns have ’s joined to the final component: the editor-in-chief’s office,
my mother-in-law’s garden, a passer-by’s comment.
A specific feature of the English genitive case is the so-called group genitive when ‘s can be joined:
1) to a group of two coordinated nouns if such a group refers to a single idea (when two persons possess or
are related to something they have in common):
Mum and Dad’s room. John and Mary’s car. xaricidil.com program 40 hazırlıq
2) to a more extensive phrase which may even contain a clause: the Duke of Norfolk’s sister,
the secretary of state’s private room, the man I saw yesterday’s son.
3) to a noun (pronoun) + a pronoun group: someone else’s benefit.
4) to a group ending in a numeral: in an hour or two’s time.
§ 182. The main meaning of the genitive case is that of possession, hence the traditional term ‘the possessive case’. This general sense undergoes a number of modifications under the influence of the lexical meaning of both the noun in the genitive case and the noun it modifies.
The main modifications of this meaning are:
1. The idea of belonging: John’s coat, Mary’s car.
2. Different kinds of relations, such as:
a) relation of the whole to its parts: John’s leg, the cat’s tail;
b) personal or social relations: John’s wife, John’s friend.
Besides the genitive case retains some of its old meanings:
Chekhov’s observation = Chekhov observed;
the doctor’s arrival =- the doctor arrived;
Byron’s poem, Shakespeare’s tragedy;
Caesar’s murder = Caesar was murdered;
Jule’s arrest = Jule was arrested;
an hour’s trip, a mile’s distance. xaricidil.com program 40 hazırlıq
In some cases the form ’s completely loses the meaning of possession and comes to denote a quality, as in man’s blood, woman’s work (serving in works canteen or a transport cafe, is generally regarded as woman’s work), his sly idiot’s smile – mgmotckae ynɵ6ka, you’ve got angel’s eyes -ahfenackme fnaskm, this is a women’s college – wehckmu konnegw.
Syntactical functions of the noun
A noun may be used in the function of almost any part of the sentence, although its most typical functions are those of the subject and the object. It may function as
The ship got under way.
He was certainly the best hated man in the ship.
I gave him a pound. Twelve dollars are enough for the man.
4. Objective predicative:
I found him an excellent listener.
A dog is a man’s best friend.
6. Adverbial modifier (usually as part of a prepositional phrase):
High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince.