Extensive Review of Nouns and Pronouns

One of the basic elements that makes up the structure of sentences is a noun. There are different types of nouns but they all have the same general function. Today we are going to discuss different types of nouns as well as pronouns. We’ll also talk about what they do and how to use them properly.

Nouns are words that name a person, place, or thing. For example, dad, son, jet fighter, influenza, chalk, Halsted St., and puppy are all nouns.

Personsister, son
Placeschool, Halsted St.
Thingchalk, puppy, influenza

This may seem broad, but nouns can be broken down even further into different categories depending on what the noun is doing in the sentence.

Common/General Noun
canyon
woman
rabbit

Common nouns, like most of the words mentioned earlier, are words that refer to general things. These things do not have a specific name like John, or Eiffel Tower – those would be proper nouns, we’ll discuss those later. Here’s an example of common nouns used in a sentence:

Dinner was ready at 6pm.

The common noun used in this example is Dinner – dinner in this case is a thing. Let’s look at one more.

The eggs were scrambled in the hot pan.

This sentence has two common nouns, eggs and pan because they are both things/objects in the sentence. Seems simple enough, right?

Proper Noun
Grand Canyon
Margaret
Bugs Bunny

Proper nouns are people, places or things that have specific names or titles. For example, Dad is a common noun, but your dad’s name might be Drew. Drew is a proper noun. A Chevy is the name for a brand of car, so it’s also a proper noun. In addition, proper nouns are always capitalized. Let’s see proper nouns in a sentence.

Aunt Jackie is my favorite aunt on my mom’s side.

Aunt Jackie is someone’s formal name, therefore it is a proper noun. Mom, in this sentence is not someone’s formal name, therefore it is just a common noun. Let’s look at one more example.

James proposed to Jessie near the Eiffel Tower in France.

This example is full of proper nouns. James and Jesse are the given names of people while the Eiffel Tower is the proper name of an object and France is the official name of a country, a place.

Collective nouns are nouns that refer to a collective group or multiple number of something.

A class of students
A flock of birds
A team of players
A crowd of fans

Nouns can also come in plural and singular forms – just as it sounds, some nouns describe a single object, person or idea that stands alone or multiple objects, people and ideas. Let’s look at an example and see if we can identify the singular nouns in the sentence:

The dog fell asleep on the porch with its toy nearby.

Here we see a few singular nouns: there is only one dog, one porch and one toy mentioned, therefore, we know these are the singular nouns in this sentence. Identifying plural nouns can be just as simple. Most nouns can be made plural by adding an “s” or “es” at the end of the word. Here, we’ll look at an example using our previous example and see if we can spot the plural nouns.

The dogs fell asleep on the porch with their toys nearby.

In this sentence we made a few changes. We see now an “s” was added to “dog” and “toy”. By adding an “s”, these once singular nouns are now plural. Now the sentence is describing multiple dogs and toys on one porch. Here’s one more example:

The businesses had a huge increase in savings this year.

In this sentence we can see that “businesses” is the plural noun because it is describing more than one business. We made the word plural by adding an “es” on the end. Remember, when making a singular noun plural, if the noun ends in ch, sh, x, z, s or sometimes o we add “es” to the end of it. There are other rules to properly make singular nouns plural. For example, nouns that end in “y” must have the y taken out and replaced with “ies”.

Singular Noun – YPlural Noun
berryberries
armyarmies

There are always some exceptions to these rules, but the way you make a singular noun plural depends on what letter the word ends with. As you learn more words, these rules and exceptions will become easier to remember.

Singular Noun Plural Noun
benchbenches
dishdishes
taxtaxes
heroheroes

Possessive nouns are nouns that describe ownership of something. We show ownership by adding “‘s” to the end of a noun or an apostrophe “” to the end of a word that ends with an “s”. One way to determine which noun is the possessive noun is to identify the object and ask, “to whom or what does this belong to?” No worries if this rule seems confusing, here are a few examples to practice:

Liz scratched Mom’s car while driving.

In this sentence we see 3 nouns but only one of them is possessive. “Mom’s” would be the possessive noun because the aforementioned car belongs to her, not Liz. Nouns that don’t refer to humans or animals can also be possessive. Here’s another, can you spot the possessive noun in this sentence?

The buses’ doors were jammed, and the students couldn’t board.

In this example, the possessive noun is “buses’”, because the doors mentioned belong to the bus. Did you notice the placement of the apostrophe? Here, not only does buses end with an s, but “buses’” is also plural. Remember, nouns that end with an “s”, like “bus” or “boss”, are made plural by adding an “es” at the end. When trying to make nouns that end with s possessive you must first determine if the noun is singular or plural to know where to put the apostrophe.

NounSingular PossessivePlural Possessive
classclass’sclasses’
walruswalrus’swalruses’

To make a singular noun possessive, we simply add “’s” to the end of it – even if the noun already ends in s because we want to show that there is only one of this thing/person possessing something. When dealing with plural nouns that end in “es”, we make the noun possessive by adding the apostrophe at the end of the word.

Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns. To keep from sounding repetitive, pronouns can describe a person, place, or thing without naming it multiple times in the same sentence or paragraph. Pronouns also come in many forms. Today we’ll only talk about personal pronouns and a few others as well as nominative, objective and possessive cases.

Personal Pronouns
heshetheyyou
himherthemI
usmeItwe

Like other nouns, pronouns can also be singular, plural, and possessive and represent a person or thing. Here is an example of a sentence with no pronouns.

Jasmine loves movies. Jasmine goes to the theatre often and has Jasmine’s own members’ pass.

These sentences sound strange. Most people don’t repeat someone’s name over and over like that. That’s why pronouns help eliminate the redundancy. Take another look at these sentences with pronouns used instead.

Jasmine loves movies. She goes to the theatre often and has her own members’ pass.

This example looks and sounds a lot better. Here, we replaced Jasmine, with the pronouns she and her.

Possessive Pronouns

As mentioned earlier, pronouns can also be possessive. We see that in the previous example Jasmine owns a members’ pass. So instead of saying Jasmine’s pass, we used the possessive pronoun “her” to describe her possession of the members’ pass. Other possessive pronouns include:

Singular: his, her, mine

Plural possessive pronouns include: theirs, ours and yours

When talking about pronouns it’s also important to mention nominative and objective case.

Nominative pronounsObjective Pronouns
Ime
youyou
hehim
sheher

Nominative case refers to a noun that is performing an action or verb. In contrast, objective case is a noun that is having an action/verb taken upon it. Here’s an example:

Mariah drank water.

Here Mariah is in the nominative case because she is performing an action on the water – the verb drink.

Let’s look at an objective pronoun example:

Mariah caught the ball.

Here, the ball is the objective pronoun because it was the object that had an action performed on it – which was it being caught.

Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite Pronouns
oneothernonesome
anybodyeverybodyno onenobody

Indefinite pronouns represent a person or thing that we don’t have a specific number of. For example:

Anybody can learn another language

In this case, the indefinite pronoun is anybody because it refers to an immeasurable amount of people.

Interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative Pronouns
whatwhich
whomwho
whose

These pronouns are used to ask a question.

What is her name?
Whose keys are those?

Intensive pronouns

Intensive pronouns are pronouns that emphasize the pronouns that immediately precede it.

She herself made sure to set the alarm

In this case, herself is meant to emphasize she, making herself the intensive pronoun.

I myself made time to work out before bed

Here, myself refers to the pronoun I, making myself the intensive pronoun.

Reciprocal Pronouns

Reciprocal pronouns are words that express an action is happening to two or more people or things at the same time. Reciprocal pronouns include each other and one another

The students switched tests with one another
We exchanged vows with each other

Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns are pronouns that point to specific things. Examples of demonstrative pronouns are: This, that, these, and those

Nouns and pronouns are essential pieces needed to complete sentences. Before we end, let’s do a few practice examples to make sure we got the hang of all we went over today.

What kind of noun is “Tuesday”?

  1. Common noun
  2. Possessive noun
  3. Proper noun
  4. None of the above

C. Proper noun, because it’s the name of a specific day.
Which of the following singular nouns was made plural incorrectly?

  1. singer => singers
  2. dish => dishes
  3. church => churches
  4. tax => taxs

D. because nouns that end in x take an es to make them plural.

Thanks for watching, and happy studying!

 

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: January 14, 2021