Archives for English Grammar

Learn English Grammar 14

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(Courtsey: Grammar by Shri D.N. Basu)

Everybody should learn English grammar as English grammar teaches us to speak and write the English language correctly.

The Pronoun

Classification of Pronouns

Pronouns are divided into four kinds viz. 1. Personal Pronouns, 2. Demonstrative Pronouns, 3. Interrogative Pronouns and 4. Relative Pronouns.

Personal Pronouns 1. Simple – I, you, we
2. Reflexive (or Compound) – myself, yourself, ourselves
Demonstrative Pronouns 1. Definite – he, she, it; they
2. Indefinite – one, none, any, some
3. Distributive – each, either, neither
4. Reflexive – himself, herself, oneself
Interrogative Pronouns who, which, what
Relative Pronouns who, which, what, that

1. Personal Pronouns

Personal Pronouns are used for nouns to denote persons who wpeak or who are spokent to. These are “I” and “you”.

“I” is the pronoun of the first person, because it represents the speaker. “You” is the pronoun of the second person, because it represents the person addressed. Personal Pronouns hve no distinction of gender. They are thus declined –

1st person nominative case – I (singular number), we (singular number)
1st person possessive case – my, mine (singular number), our, ours (singular number)
1st person objective case – me (singular number), us (singular number)

2nd person nominative case – you (singular number), you (singular number)
2nd person possessive case – your, yours (singular number), your, yours (singular number)
2nd person objective case – you (singular number), you (singular number)

“We” is used in the following places –

1. When one speaks for several (as the foreman of a jury); as, ‘we find the prisoner guilty’; ‘we welcome you’.

2. Royal personages use “we” instead of “I”; as, ‘we (Queen Victoria) hold ouselves bound to the native subjects of India by the same obligations of duty which bind us to all our other subjects etc.’

3. Editors use “we” with reference to themselves; as, ‘we think the Government is right in passing such a law’.

4. For mankind in general: ‘we are weak and fallible’.

“You” is used both in the singular and in the plural number; as ‘you are a good boy’; ‘you are all idlers’.

“You” is sometimes used indefinitely for “one”; as, ‘you cannot have blood out of a stone’.

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Learn English Grammar 13

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Learn English Grammar

(Courtsey: Grammar by Shri D.N. Basu)

Everybody should learn English grammar as English grammar teaches us to speak and write the English language correctly.

Case of Noun (continued)

Rules for forming the Possessive Case with -‘s

1. The Possessive Case of a singular noun is generally formed by adding an apostrophe (‘) and -s to the Nominative; as, Ram – Ram’s; man – man’s.

2. The Possessive Case of a plural noun ending in -s is formed by adding only an apostrophe (‘); as, boys – boys’. But if the plural does not end in -s, both the apostrophe (‘) and -s must be used; as, men’s, children’s.

3. To get rid of too many hissing sounds, -s is sometimes omitted; as conscience’ sake; goodness’ sake; Jewess’ eye; Moses’ Law.

But the following are also used –

Bass’s ale, Burns’s poetry, St. James’s Church; Douglas’s castle, mercy’s sake.

4. When there are two or more separate nouns in the Possissive case, the suffix -‘s is added to the last word when joint possession is meant; as, Ram and John’s firm.

But when separate possession is meant, the possessive suffix sould be added to each noun; as, Ram’s and John’s firms, i.e. separate firms; the king’s and the duke’s forces, i.e. two distinct forces.

5. Compound nouns and names consisting of several words, form their Possessive by adding -‘s to the last word; as, father-in-law’s house; ‘the Government of India’s orders was received late’; Alfred the Great’s tomb.

(a) When a noun in the Possessive cas is followed by another noun in apposition to it, the possessive suffix is add to the noun mentioned last; as ‘I went to Mr. Bose the lawyer’s house’; ‘he has sold his brother Hari’s book’.

(b) When many explanatory words follow a name, the -‘s is generally affixed to the name, if the governing noun is understood; but if the governing noun is expressed, “of” should be used for -‘s; as ‘Iwent to Mr. Lahiri’s, the great and well-known bookseller’; ‘I went to the firm of Mr. Lahiri, the great and well-kown bookseller’.

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Learn English Grammar 12

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Learn English Grammar

(Courtsey: Grammar by Shri D.N. Basu)

Everybody should learn English grammar as English grammar teaches us to speak and write the English language correctly.

Case of Noun

Case is the form of a noun or a pronoun which showes its relation to some other word in a sentence.

1. The Nominative Case is the form of a word when it is the subject of a verb.

Examples – The Nominative Case is found by asking the question “who?” or “what?” before the verb. ‘Ram laughs’ – who laughs? – “Ram”; therefore “Ram” is in the Nominative Case. ‘The pen is lost’ – what is lost? – “the pen”; hence “pen” is in the Nominative Case. So ‘beggars have no right to be choosers’.

2. The Possessive Case is the form of a word when it is used with a noun and indicates possession.

Examples – The Possive Case can be found by asking the question “whose?”. ‘Gopal’s pencil’ – whose pencil? – “Gopal’s”; therefore “Gopal’s is in the Possessive Case. So ‘a man’s wealth may become his enemy’.

3. The Objective Case is the form of a word when it is governed by a transitive verb or a preposition.

Examples – The Objective Case is found by asking the question “whom?” or “what?” after the verb. ‘Karim beat Hari’ – whom did Karim beat? – “Hari”; hence “Hari” is in the Objective Case. ‘John buys a book’ – what does John buy? – “a book”; therefore “book” is in the Objective Case. So ‘a full purse never lacks friends’; ‘sit by Ram’.

Some Transitive verbs have two objects; as ‘give him an inch and he’ll take an ell’; ‘send me a book’; ‘make me a kite’. Objects of things, as “inch”, “book”, and “kite”, being directly affected by verbs “give”, “send” and “make”, are called Direct Objects; and objects of persons, as “him” and “me” being indirectly affected by those verbs, are called Indirect Objects (or Dative Cases).

4. The Vovative Case (or Nominative of Address) is the form of a noun when the person (or thing) is addressed.

Examples – The Vocative Case can be found by asking the question “who or what is addressed?”. ‘Come here, John’ – who is addressed? – “John”; hence “John” is in the Vocative Case. ‘Death, where is thy sting?’ – what is addressed? – “death”; so “death” is in the Vocative Case.

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Learn English Grammar 11

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Learn English Grammar

(Courtsey: Grammar by Shri D.N. Basu)

Everybody should learn English grammar as English grammar teaches us to speak and write the English language correctly.

Gender of Noun (continued)

There are three ways of distinguishing the Gender.

1. By different Words.

Masculine Feminine Masculine Feminine
bachelor maid, spinster horse, stallion mare
boar sow husband wife
boy girl king queen
brother sister lord lady
buck doe male female
bull or ox cow man woman
bollock, steer heifer milter (fish) spawner
cock hen nephew niece
colt filly papa mamma
dog bitch ram, wether ewe
drone bee sir madam
earl countess sire (a horse) dam
father mother sloven slut
friar, monk nun son daughter
gentleman lady stag hind
hart roe uncle aunt

2. By different terminations

(i) The following are made Feminine by adding -ess to the Masculine form –

author, baron, count, giant, God, heir, host, jew, lion, mayor, patron, peer, poet, priest, prince, prior, prophet, shepherd, viscount

(ii) By adding -ess irregularly –

abbot – abb-ess; duke – duch-ess; emperor – empr-ess; governor – govern-ess; lad – lass; master (teacher) – mistr-ess; master (boy) – miss; Mr. – Mrs.; murderer – murder-ess; sorcerer – sorcer-ess.

(iii) by adding -ess after omitting the last vowel –

ambassador – ambassadr-ess; actor – actr-ess; beneractor – beneractr-ess; conductor – conductr-ess; director – directr-ess; hunter – huntr-ess; instructer – instructr-ess; negro – negr-ess; porter – portr-ess; protector – protectr-ess; songster – songstr-ess; tempter – temptr-ess; tiger – tigr-ess; traitor – tratr-ess.

(iv) By other endings –

administrator – administratrix; executor – executrix; prosecutor – prosecutrix; proprietor – proprietrix or proprietr-ess; hero – heroine; infant – infanta; sultan – sultana; fox – vixen.

3. By affixing or Prefixing a wrod.

(i) By affixing a word indicating male or female –

beggar-man – beggar woman; foster-father – foster-mother; god-father – god-mother; grand-father – grand-mother; land-lord – land-lady; milk-man – milk-maid; pea-cock – pea-hen; step-father – step-mother; step-son – step-daughter, washer-man – washer-woman.

(ii) By prefixing a word indicating male or female –

bull-calf – cow-calf; he-wolf – she-wolf; he-bear – she-bear; he-goat – she-goat; male-servant – female-servant.

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Learn English Grammar 10

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Learn English Grammar

(Courtsey: Grammar by Shri D.N. Basu)

Everybody should learn English grammar as English grammar teaches us to speak and write the English language correctly.

Number of Noun (continued)

Some nouns have two plurals with separate meanings –

Singular Plural-1 Meaning Plural-2 Meaning
beef beefs kinds of beef-meat beeves oxen
brother brothers sons of the same parents brethren persons of the same community
cloth cloths kinds or pieces of cloth clothes garments
die dies stamps for coining dice small cubes for gaming
fish fish taken collectively fishes taken separately
genius geniuses men of great ability genii spirits
index indexes tables of contents of books indices signs in Algebra
pea oeas separate seeds pease the species, i.e. when quantity is meant
sail sail ships; as, ‘a fleet of ten sail’ sails canvases; as, ‘that ship has five sails’
shot shot the number of balls shots the number of times fired
staff staffs departments in army staves walking sticks

Plural with Numerals – Nouns expressing measure, number and weight, when preceded by numerals, are used in the plural without -s; as, ‘a ten-rupee note’; ‘a four-year child’; ‘a three-foot rule’; ‘an eight-day clock’; ‘a four-wheel carriage’.

Some nouns have the singular form in both numbers; as, ‘three pice’; ‘these sheep’; ‘several deer’.

The names of certain sciences ending in “-ics” are plural in form but singular in use; as, Acoustics, Mathematics, Hydrostatics, Mechanics, Ethics, Conics, etc.; ‘Optics is the science of visions’.

Some nouns have no singular –

aborigines, annals, bellows, billiards, bowes, dregs, embers, entrails, environs, intestines, measles, odds, pantaloons, pincers, proceeds, scales, scissors, shears, snuffers, thanks, tongs, trousers, wages.

“Corps”, “series”, “species”, “means”, “amends” are used in both numbers.

Mountain chains and groups or islands are used in the plural; as, ‘the Himalayas are higher than the Apls or the Andes’; ‘the Philippines are to the south of China.’

Some Collective Nouns have no separate plural form; as, aristocracy, artillery, cattle, foot, furniture, horse, issue, mankind, nobility, offspring, peasantry, people, perfumery, poultry, scenery, tenantry.

Gender of Noun

Gender is that form of the noun which shows whether what is spoken of is male, female or neither.

The Masculine Gender is applied to the names of male animals; as, man, dog.

The Feminine Gender is applied to the names of female animals; as woman, bitch.

The Neuter Gender is applied to the names of lifeless objects; as, watch, pen. Inferior animals are classed under the Neuter Gender.

Note – Collective Nouns are of Neuter Gender, though they denote collections of male and female sexes; as, ‘the club held its third meeting yesterday’.

Material and Abstract Nouns are also of Neuter Gender as they denote neither male nor female.

The Common Gender is applied to words that signify both, male and female; as –

child – son or daughter; deer – tart or roe; foal – colt or filly; fowl – cocks or hen; horse – stallion or mare; parent – father or mother; pig – young boar or sow; sheep – ram or ewe; sovereign – king or queen; spouse – husband or wife.

Other words of this class are – baby, bird, citizen, cousin, dove, enemy, friend, infant, monarch, mouse, orphan, person, pupil, relation, servant etc.

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Learn English Grammar 9

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Learn English Grammar

(Courtsey: Grammar by Shri D.N. Basu)

Everybody should learn English grammar as English grammar teaches us to speak and write the English language correctly.

Rules for forming Plural (continued)

5. The following nouns form their plurals irregularly –

child-children; dormouse-dormice; foot-feet; goose-geese; louse-lice; man-men; mouse-mice; Mr.-messrs; Mrs. (madam)-mesdames; ox-oxen; tooth-teeth.

6. In compound nouns the sign of plural is generally put on the principal word; as book-cases, passers-by, sons-in-law, lookers-on, cousins-german.

Some compound nouns have both the words inflected; as, men-servants, women-servants, knights-templars, lords-justices, lords-bishops, lords-lieutenants, customs-duties. (“Man-servants” and “woman-servants” are also found.)

7. Compound nouns ending in “-man” change “-man” into “-men” in the plural; as seaman-seamen; woman-women. Other words are –

Alderman, Chairman, Clergyman, Coachman, Dutchman, Englishman, Footman, Frenchman, Statesman, Washerman, Workman, Yeoman

But the following nouns take only -s in the plural –

Brahman; German; Leman; Mussalman; Norman; Ottoman; Talisman; Turkoman

8. Plural of Compound Proper names –

Mr. Brown (1) Mr. Browns, (2) Messrs. Brown, (3) Messrs Browns
Miss Brown (1) Miss Browns, (2) Misses Brown, (3) Misses Browns

9. The plural of letters, and arithmetical figures is formed by adding an apostrophe (‘) and -s; as 5’s; 7’s; a’s; o’s; M.A.’s; cut your t’s and ot your i’s.

10. A few foreign words retain their original plurals –

axis-axes; basis-bases; crisis-crises; criterion-criteria; datum-data; erratum-errata; oasis-oases; thesis-theses; bandit-banditti; beau-beaux; fungus-fungi; medium-media; radius-radii; stimulus-stimuli; analysis-analyses; appendix-appendices; formula-formulae; hypothesis-hypotheses; memorandum-memoranda.

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Learn English Grammar 8

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Learn English Grammar

(Courtsey: Grammar by Shri D.N. Basu)

Everybody should learn English grammar as English grammar teaches us to speak and write the English language correctly.

The Noun (contd.)

Inflection of Nouns

Nouns are inflected for number, gender and case.

Number of Noun

Number is that form of the noun (or pronoun) which shows whether we mean one or more than one.

Note: Number is expressed by a difference in the form or the termination of a noun.

Nouns have two numbers – Singular Number and Plural Number.

The Singular Number denotes only one person or thing; as a man, a book.

The Plural Number denotes more than one person or thing; as men, books.

Rules for forming Plural

1. The Plural is generally formed by adding -s to the Singular; as pen-pens; boy-boys; eye-eyes.

2. Nouns ending in -o after a consonant -ch (soft), -i, -sh, -s, -ss, -x, or -z form the plural by adding -es to Singularal; as hero-heroes; church-churches; alkali-alkalies; bush-bushes; gas-gases; loss-losses; fox-foxes; topaz-topazes.

(a) But the following nouns ending in “-o” take only -s in the plural – canto, duodecimo, grotto, halo, junto, memento, octavo, piano, proviso, solo, trio.

“Calico”, “mosquito”, and “portico” take both -s and -es in the plural.

(b) Proper Nouns ending in “-o” form their plural by adding -s; as Cato-Catos; Cicero-Ciceros.

(c) When “-ch” has a hard sound lik “k” and “-o” is preceded by a vowel, the plural is formed by adding only -s; as, monarch-monarchs; folio-folios; studio-studios.

3. Nouns ending in -y after a consonant or “qu”, change -y into -ies in the plural; as body-bodies; lady-ladies; colloquy-colloquies.

(a) But when “-y” is preceded by a vowel, only -s is added to the Singular; as day-days; boy-boys; key-keys.

(b) Proper names do not usually change “-y”; as Henry-Henrys; Mary-Marys.

4. Nouns ending in -f or -fe changes -f or -fe into -ves in plural; as, leaf-leaves; life-lives.

(a) But the following nouns take only -s in the plural –
brief, chief, dwarf, fife, grief, gulf, handkerchief, hoof, mischief, proof, reef, foof, safe, serf, strife.

(b) Nouns ending in “ff” become plural by affixing -s only; as, cliff-cliffs; muff-muffs. “Staff” has both forms “staffs” and “staves” in the plural; but its compounds form their plural by adding -s only; as, flagstaff-flagstaffs; distaff-distaffs.

(Will be continued in next post)

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Learn English Grammar 7

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Learn English Grammar

(Courtsey: Grammar by Shri D.N. Basu)

Everybody should learn English grammar as English grammar teaches us to speak and write the English language correctly.

The Noun (contd.)

Proper Nouns become Common when they denote a class or one of the individuals of a class. They are then proceded by an Article, or “some”, “any” etc.; as ‘he is a Brahmin’; ‘the Agrawalas live here’; ‘some village Bhatagaon’.

A Common Noun becomes Proper when it points out a particualr person or thing. It is then preceded by an Adjective, generally the definite article; as the Strand; ‘God save the King’; ‘Our Father which art in heaven’.

Material Nouns become Common when they signify kinds, portions, or things made of them; as ‘a new grass has been discovered’; ‘he is throwing stones at the dog’; ‘she reads the papers (newspapers) regularly’.

Note: ‘Earth’ is a Material Noun when it denotes soil or a quantity of dust; as ‘earth was brought in boats to form a site’. It is Proper Noun when it means the planet we inhabit; as ‘the Earth is nearly round’.

Abstract Nouns become Common when they denote kinds, special instances, or acts; as ‘the colours of the rainbow are seven in number’; ‘the mechanical forces’.

Abstract Nouns becom Proper when they are personified; as ‘fair Science frowned not upon him’.

Note: When “proidence” means foresight, it is an Abstract Noun; but when it means God, it is a Proper Noun.

Substitutes for Nouns

1. Adjectives; as ‘wide will wear, but tight will tease’.
2. Pronouns; as ‘will you post this card for me?’
3. Verbs; as ‘toerr is human’; ‘he is fond of riding’.
4. Adverbs; as ‘since then’, ‘an eternal now ever lasts’.
5. Prepositions; as ‘the ins and outs of it are etc.’
6. Noun clause; as ‘that the sun is bright is known to all’.

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Learn English Grammar 6

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Learn English Grammar

(Courtsey: Grammar by Shri D.N. Basu)

Everybody should learn English grammar as English grammar teaches us to speak and write the English language correctly.

The Noun

Five classes of Nouns

1. A Proper Noun is the name of a particular person, thing etc.; viz. –
(a) Person – Nanak, Chaitanya, Valmiki
(b) Places – Tajmahal, Delhi, buildings
(c) Branches of knowledge – Arithmetic, Botany
(d) Days, Months, Festivals – Wednesday, August, Diwali, Christmas, Id
(e) Diseases – Catarrh, Diarrhoea, Dyspepsia
(f) Languages – Hindi, Sanskrit, Engsish, Urdu
(g) Oceans, Seas, Lakes, Rivers, Mountains etc. – the Arctic, the Baltic, the Baikal, the Ganges, the Himalayas

2. A Common Noun is the name which can be given to each individual in the same class of things.
Examples – Man, horse; “Man” is the name which can be applied to every one of the class of men; so “man” is a Common Noun; “horse” is a Common Noun because it can be applied to any and every horse.

3. A Collective Noun is the name of a number or collection of persons or things of the same class considered as a whole and spoken of as one object.
Examples – Flock, army, party; “flock” is a collection of sheep, “army” is a collection of soldiers and “party” is of men; they cannot be used for one sheep, one soldier or one man. Hence they are Collective Nouns. So ‘the crowd was large’; ‘the army has started’; ‘the jury finds the prisoner guilty’.

4. A Material Noun denotes a substance or material considered as a single collection.
Examples – ‘Gold is precious’; here “gold” is the name for the entire collection of gold existing everywhere; hence “gold” is a Material Noun. So also silver, mud, tea, water, sugar, paper, cloud, salt, bread, soap, rice, dew, mist, butter, cotton, sand.

5. An Abstract Noun is the name of a quality, action or state of an object considered apart from the object itself; as goodness, health.
Examples – Every object has some qualities; thus ‘a man is honest and wise’; ‘a ball is round and hard’. If we separate or draw off thise qualities, viz. “honesty”, “wisdom”, “roundness” and “hardness”, and think of them apart from the objects themselves, the names of these qualities are Abstract Nouns.

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Learn English Grammar 5

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Learn English Grammar

(Courtsey: Grammar by Shri D.N. Basu)

Everybody should learn English grammar as English grammar teaches us to speak and write the English language correctly.

Etymology

Etymology treats of the Classification, Inflection, and Derivation of words.

Classification deals with the arrangement of words into different classes called the Parts of Speech.

Inflaction deals with the changes that words undergo to express various relations and meanings.

Note – All Parts of Speech except the Preposition, the Conunction and Interjection are inflected.

Derivation treats of the sources of words, and their formations.

Classification

The different classes into which words are arranged are called Parts of Speech.

Words are devided into eight classes –

1. A Noun is a word used as the name of anything.

Examples: ‘The pen is in the box’; here pen and box are Nouns because they are names of things.

2. A Pronoun is a word used instead of a noun (or its equivalent).

Examples: ‘Ram is a good boy; he minds his lessons’; here “he” and “his” are Pronouns because they stand for “Ram” and “Ram’s” in order to avoid their repetition. ‘To rise early is good, for it conduces to health’; here “it” is a Pronoun because it is used instead of the Infinitive Phrase “to rise early” which is a noun equivalent.

3. An Adjective is a word joined to a noun to describe it or limit its extent.

Examples: ‘Hari is a pious man’; here “pious” is an Adjective because it describes what kind of man “Hari” is. ‘Send me six pins’; here “six” is an Adjective because it limits the meaning of the noun “pins”.

4. A Verb is a word that states something about a person or thing.

Example: ‘The boy swims’; here “swims” is a Verb because it states what the boy is doing.

5. An Adverb is a word that modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb.

Examples: ‘She reads well’; ‘He is very good boy’; ‘Mohan runs too swiftly.’ Here “well”, “very” and “too” are Adverbs for they modify the meaning of verb “reads”, of adjective “good” and of the adverb “swiftly” – they show how she reads, how good the boy is and how swiftly Mohan runs.

6. A Preposition i a word placed before a Noun or a Pronoun to show its relation to som other thing.

Examples: ‘Idleness is the parent of want’; ‘the pen is on the table.’ Here “of” and “on” are prepositions because they show the relation between “parent” and “want” and between “the pen” and “the table”.

7. A Conjunction is a word that joins sentences or words together.

Examples: ‘Three and three mak six’; here “and” joins together the words “three” and “three”, therefore it is a Conjunction. ‘Be slow to promise, but quick to perform.’, here “but” is a Conjunction because it is used to join together the sentences “be slow to promise” and “(be) quick to perform”.

8. An Interjection is a word or sound used to express some sudden emotion of the mind; as oh!

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