Introduction to Grammar - Nouns Notes | Study Verbal for GMAT - GMAT

GMAT: Introduction to Grammar - Nouns Notes | Study Verbal for GMAT - GMAT

The document Introduction to Grammar - Nouns Notes | Study Verbal for GMAT - GMAT is a part of the GMAT Course Verbal for GMAT.
All you need of GMAT at this link: GMAT

Nouns

A noun is a word that denotes a person, place, or thing, e.g. Tom, apple, laughter, Phoenix.

Introduction to Grammar - Nouns Notes | Study Verbal for GMAT - GMAT

Example Sentence: Tom went around the world, from California to Cairo, by ship.
All underlined words are nouns.

  • Tom = Name of the person
  • world = place
  • California = Name of the place
  • Cairo = Name of the place
  • ship = thing

Other Examples of Noun: 

  • Name of a Person – Zuker, Max, Xavier, Joseph, etc
  • Name of an Animal – Kangaroo, Dolphin, Jackal, etc.
  • Name of a Place Bostan, Australia, India, etc.
  • Name of a Thing – Table, Computer, Chair, etc.
  • Name of an Idea –  Happiness, Superstitions, Excitement, etc. 

Classification of Nouns

Nouns in English are broadly classified into 8 types – 

1. Common Noun 

The name given in common to every place, thing or person belonging to the same class or kind, like a boy, girl, teacher, doctor, country, etc.

  • Nouns can be either proper or common, depending upon whether they express specific names or generic entities.
  • Common Nouns are general nouns. 
  • In the sentence "Tom went around the world, from California to Cairo, by ship.", the nouns ‘world’ and ‘ship’ are common nouns.

2. Proper Noun 

The name given to a particular person or a place, such as Rita, Ria, Russia, Rome, etc.

  • Proper Nouns name specific persons, places, or things. They are capitalized. 
  • In the example sentence "Tom went around the world, from California to Cairo, by ship.", the nouns ‘Tom’, ‘California’, and ‘Cairo’ are all proper nouns since each of these nouns is the name of a person or a place.

3. Collective Nouns 

a name used for a group of people, animals, or things. Example, cattle, family, herd, team, etc.

Try yourself:Replace the following underlined phrases with appropriate collective noun: 
Anne had to face a great deal of allegations but they were all proved false. 
View Solution

4. Concrete Nouns

These are the names used for the things that have physical existence and we can see, such as a table, chair, mobile phones, etc.

  • Nouns can be either concrete or abstract, depending upon what type of entity they denote.
  • Concrete Nouns denote items that one can identify, using any of the 5 senses – sight, touch, taste, smell, & sound. E.g. all nouns in the example sentence "Tom went around the world, from California to Cairo, by ship." are concrete nouns.

5. Abstract Nouns

They are the exact opposite of concrete nouns. These are the names given to an idea, conditions, or quality. 

  • Basically, the name is used to refer to something that cannot be seen but is there, it does not exist physically. 
  • For example, truth, patriotism, sorrow, friendship, etc.
  • Abstract Nouns denote items that cannot be detected by the 5 senses. E.g. love, truth, pain, skill.

Try yourself:Point out the noun/nouns in the following sentence, and say whether they are Common, Proper, Collective or Abstract:

I recognized your voice at once.

View Solution

6. Material Nouns 

These are the names used to refer to substances, materials or things that are made up of an alloy. Examples, silver, gold, metal, cotton, etc. 

7. Countable Nouns 

That can be counted like one pen, two ladies, one chair, etc. These nouns take articles (a, an, the) with them. 

A countable noun is a word that can be counted and has a plural form. For example:
The word ‘onion’ is a countable noun because:

  • It can be counted as one onion, two onions, three onions, etc.
  • It has a plural form (onions).
    The word ‘reason’ is a countable noun because:
  • It can be counted as one reason, two reasons, three reasons, etc.
  • It has a plural form (reasons).
    By the same reasoning as above, words such as ‘thing’, ‘job’, ‘coin’, ‘story', etc. are countable nouns.

Try yourself:Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

All students in my program hope to become a rich, famous author, but statistics indicate that none of us will.

View Solution

8. Uncountable Nouns 

The nouns that cannot be counted. For example, Water, Soil, Sugar, Salt, etc.

  • Abstract nouns and Proper nouns are always uncountable while Common and Concrete nouns can be both countable and well uncountable nouns.
  • An uncountable noun is a word that cannot be counted and that *usually does not have a plural form. For example:
    The word ‘garlic’ is an uncountable noun because:
    • It cannot be counted as one garlic, two garlics, three garlics, etc.
    • It does not have a plural form (garlics).
  • The word "Garlic" is written as Garlic ONLY.
    The word ‘knowledge’ is an uncountable noun because:
    • It cannot be counted as one knowledge, two knowledges, three knowledges, etc.
    • It does not have a plural form (knowledges).
    By the same reasoning as above, words such as ‘stuff’, ‘furniture’, ‘money’, ‘rice’, ‘anger’ etc. are uncountable nouns.
    The noun ‘money’, which is usually an uncountable noun, has a plural form ‘moneys’, which is used in a very different context and not in the context of ‘one moneys’, ‘two moneys’, etc.

How can we determine whether a noun is countable or uncountable?

A noun is a countable noun if:

  • It can be counted as 1 (noun), 2 (nouns), 3 (nouns) 
  • It has a plural form.
    A noun is an uncountable noun if
  • It cannot be counted as 1 (noun), 2 (nouns), 3 (nouns)
  • It does not have a plural form.

What adjectives can be used with countable and uncountable nouns?

  • Quantity adjectives such as ‘few’, ‘many’, etc. can only be used with countable nouns. For example, you can say ‘few songs’ because here ‘songs’ is a countable noun, but you can’t say ‘few music’ because ‘music’ is an uncountable noun. Similarly, you can say ‘many songs’; but you can’t say ‘many music’.
  • Quantity adjectives such as ‘less’, ‘amount’, etc. can only be used with uncountable nouns. For example, you can say ‘less music’ because here ‘music’ is an uncountable noun, but you can’t say ‘less songs’ because songs are countable noun, and ‘less’ cannot be used with countable nouns. Similarly the expression ‘amount of music’ is correct, while the expression ‘amount of songs’ is incorrect idiomatic usage.

Number Nouns 

Nouns have a number associated with them. Since they express entities, they can either express a single entity or a plural entity. Thus, nouns can be singular or plural.

Singular Nouns 

  • When one person or a thing is denoted then it is a Singular noun, such as pen, cow, boy, chair, etc
  • Singular means one. A noun in its native form is singular: e.g. – ship.

Plural Nouns 

  • When a noun denotes more than one person or a thing it is a plural noun, for example – pens, cows, boys, chairs, etc.
  • Typically, most nouns can be made plural by adding –s, –es or –ies after the noun. E.g.
    • ship is singular; ships is plural.
    • injury is singular; injuries is plural.
    Certain other nouns have distinct plural forms.
    E.g.
    • man is singular; men is plural.
    • child is singular; children is plural.
    • mouse is singular, mice are plural.

Noun Genders

Masculine 

nouns that refer to the male classification of a person, animal or thing example, man, lion, moon, etc

Feminine 

nouns denoting a female class of a person, animal or thing like nature, tigress, woman, etc.

Neuter 

nouns that denote a thing without life, either female or male, for example, pen, room, book, etc.

Noun Cases

Nouns classified on the basis of cases tells us the position of the noun in a sentence. There are five cases of nouns in English.

Possessive Case

when a noun denotes ownership or possession, for example – That is my dress. ‘My’ is in the possessive case.

Vocative case 

A noun is in the vocative case when it is used to call (to get attention). For example, Ms. Ria, teachers are waiting for you in the staffroom. (Ms. Ria is in a vocative case).

Dative Case 

when a noun is in the indirect object of a verb it is in the Dative case, like, Rohan brought me chocolates, (‘Me’ is in the dative case)

Nominative Case

if a noun is the subject of a verb it is said to be in the Nominative case. Example – Radha is an intelligent girl.

Objective Case 

when the noun is the direct object of the verb or the preposition, they are in the objective case. Example – Please give the fruits.


Some Solved Questions

About a third of the questions that appear in the GMAT verbal section is sentence correction questions. So, Let's have a look at some solved questions.

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. 


Q.1. Favouring handmade suits and buying Italian leather shoes, the young man’s ability to spend on fashion items was unparalleled among his friends. 

Possible Answers: 

a) Favoring handmade suits and buying Italian leather shoes

b) Favored handmade suits and buying Italian leather shoes

c) Favoring handmade suits, buying Italian leather shoes

d) Favoring handmade suits and Italian leather shoes

e) Favoring handmade suits and bought Italian leather shoes

Answer: Favoring handmade suits and Italian leather shoes

Explanation: The use of both "favouring" and "buying" in the opening phrase is awkward and ruins the parallelism between the suits and the shoes. Tying the two items to the same verb streamlines the phrase and makes the sentence more grammatically correct. " Favoring handmade suits and Italian leather shoes" is the only answer choice that makes the appropriate correction to the sentence.


Q.2.  Both of Tim's triplets were developing quite nicely. No error

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.   

Possible Answers: 

a) No error 

b) Both

c) triplets

d) were

e) Tim's 

Answer: Both

Explanation: In this question, the nouns "both" and "triplets" disagree. Triplets would suggest three things, while "both" only applies to differentiating between two options. Therefore "both" should be replaced, perhaps with a word like "all."


Q.3. Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

After months of organizing the gala, several of the party planners are beginning to wish they worked as a waiter or bartender instead.

Possible Answers:

a) several of the party planners is beginning to wish they worked as waiters or bartenders instead.

b) several of the party planners are beginning to wish they worked as waiter or bartender instead.

c) several of the party planners are beginning to wish they worked as a waiter or bartender instead.

d) several of the party planners are beginning to wish they worked as waiters or bartenders instead.

e) several of the party planners is beginning to wish they worked as a waiter or as a bartender instead.

Answer: several of the party planners are beginning to wish they worked as waiters or bartenders instead. 

Explanation: Because there are several party planners longing for different jobs, the jobs themselves must be plural; three or four people can’t work as a single waiter or bartender. And because “party planners” is plural, the correct verb conjugation is “are.”


Q.4. Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Trying to convince me to go with them, my friends described the concert as once-in-a-lifetime experiences. 

Possible Answers:

a) my friends described the concert as once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

b) my friends described the concert as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

c) my friends described the concert as a once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

d) my friends described the concert as experienced once-in-a-lifetime.

e) my friends described the concert as an experience once-in-a-lifetime.

Answer: my friends described the concert as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Explanation: Because a "concert" is a singular noun, it can only be one experience and not many. “Trying to convince me to go with them, my friends described the concert as a once-in-a-lifetime experience” is the least awkward option. 


Q.5. Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Dani drove her car into the parking garage, turned off the engine, and made sure to lock her cars doors securely as she left.    

Possible Answers:

a) to lock her car doors securely

b) to lock her cars doors securely

c) to locking her cars doors securely

d) to lock her cars doors securely

e) to locked her cars' doors securely

Answer: to lock her car doors securely

Explanation: There is a disagreement between the nouns "cars" and "doors" in the sentence; we are told earlier in the sentence via its use of "her car" that Dani only drove one car into the parking garage. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "to lock her car doors."

The document Introduction to Grammar - Nouns Notes | Study Verbal for GMAT - GMAT is a part of the GMAT Course Verbal for GMAT.
All you need of GMAT at this link: GMAT
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