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1.1. Definition
The noun as a part of speech has the general meaning of substance in the widest sense of the term. This is the main nominative class of words for they are used to name living beings (a man, a woman, a girl-friend, a bird, a dog), objects (a pen, a flower) and abstract notions, such as qualities (kindness, strength), states (fear, fight, sleep), processes (discussion, reading) viewed as substances.
The most characteristic formal feature of this class of words is the use of the article a specific word of 3 types definite (the), indefinite (a(n)) and zero or the meaningful absence of the article, which determines or specifies nouns in the most general way: Anyone who knows a language knows what sounds are in the language. Experts disagree about the origins of language. (For details see Chapter II).

1.2. Morphological structure of nouns
According to their morphological structure nouns may be classified as 1) simple, 2) derivative, 3) compound.
Simple nouns are structurally simple in the sense that they are devoid of affixes prefixes and suffixes and have only a root-stem. In other words they cannot be further
segmented: book, pen, bird, shirt, 'lamp, house, system, work, etc.
Derivative nouns derive from the root-stem of words which may belong to various parts of speech nouns, adjectives, verbs. They are formed mainly with the help of numerous suffixes: writer, warmth, linguist, systematization. kingdom, childhood and so on. A great number of derivative nouns may contain prefixes which are traceable to verbs or adjectives and thus are typically verbal or adjectival prefixes, disagreement < disagree < agree, misunderstanding < misunderstand < understand, irresponsibility < irresponsible < responsible, impatience < impatient < patient.
The suffixes used in the noun-formation may be productive, i.e. most widely and regularly recurrent, and non-productive one that are characteristic of a limited number of words.
The most productive nounal suffix is -er (with its -or variant) which may theoretically be added to any verbal stem: doer, cleaner, gardener, singer, worker, conductor, inventor, distributor, etc.
Other productive suffixes of nouns are:
-ness: blackness, dullness, uselessness;
-ist: linguist, economist, typist;
-ism: nationalism, capitalism, dualism;
-ion/-ation/-ition: collection, creation, dictation, persuasion, division/aspiration, consideration, recommenda-tion/acqisition. repetition, disposition.
The non-productive noun-forming suffixes are:
-ess: actress, heiress, waitress, lioness, tigress: -ian: mathematician, historian, librarian; -ure: picture, literature, nature, temperature;
-ant: assistant, attendant;
-ful: handful, spoonful;
-ie/-y: birdie, daddy, Jimmy;
-dom: boredom, freedom, kingdom:
-hood: childhood, brotherhood, motherhood:
-ship: friendship, relationship;
-ance/-ence: resistance, importance/decadence, dependence, difference;
-ment: agreement, announcement, statement;
-y/-ry: biology, geography, anatomy/chemistry, psychiatry;
-s: economics, linguistics, physics;
-ty/-ity: cruelty, difficulty/generosity, majority, visibility;
-th: length, strength, warmth.
Some prefixes rather typical of verbs or, more frequently of adjectives, especially negative ones, can still be found in nouns. They are as follows:
anti-: anticlimax, antimatter:
-: coauthor; copilot, coeducation;
dis-: disagreement, disjuncture, disarmament:
ex-: ex-wife, ex-minister, ex-president;
il-: illegality, illiberality, illiteracy;
in-: indecency, incompatibility, indecorousness;
im-: impracticality, impregnability, impropriety;
ir-: irresponsibility, irresolution, irritability;
mis-: misunderstanding, misfortune, miscalculation, misuse;
-: non-smoker, non-event, non-story, non-character;
un-: unpleasantness, unreality, unruliness.
Compound nouns may be of 2 types. Nouns of the first type are made up of two or more stems nounal, adjectival, verbal, adverbial, prepositional which are brought together in an arbitrary way and spelt either as one word or with a hyphen. Here are the subtypes of them:
a) nounal stem + nounal stem: manservant, bathroom, roommate;
b) nounal stem + prepositional stem + nounal stem: brother-in-law, grant-in-aid, man-of-war, commander-in-chief;
c) nounal stem + adverbial stem: looker-on, passerby, hanger-on;
d) pronounal stem + nounal stem: he-goat, she-goat, he-bear, she-bear;
e) adjectival stem + nounal stem: blackbird, smallpox, tenderloin;
f) adjectival stem + adverbial stem: close-up, grownup, low-down;
g) adjectival stem + verbal stem + adverbial stem: merry-go -round;
h) adverbial stem + nounal stem: by-stander, byproduct, overcoat, overspill;
i) adverbial stem + adjectival stem: bygone, overall, overpowering;
j) adverbial stem + verbal stem: outlook, offshoot, overlap;
k) verbal stem + pronounal stem + adverbial stem: forget-me-not,
I) verbal stem + adverbial stem: sit-in, take-off, feedback, look-out;
m) participial stem + nounal stem: swimming-pool, dining-room, reading-hall.
Nouns of the second type called unstable compound ( ) consist of the two separate nouns and function in speech as a complex equivalent of one word: stone wall, life span, college courses, surface differences, etc. The first element of the unstable compound describes the second one and therefore is pro-sodically brought out by stress. Not infrequently unstable compounds are equivalent to and used on a par with the corresponding attributive word-combinations: language change linguistic change, grammar rules rules of grammar, grammatical rules, speech sounds sounds of speech, language origin origin of language.
Sometimes the first element of unstable compounds may be complex itself: phrase-structure rules, second-language learning and so on.
1.3. Classes of nouns
As far as their lexical meaning is concerned nouns -are traditionally divided into a number of lexical categories or classes each of which is formed by the op-positional pair: 1) proper vs common nouns ( ), 2) concrete vs abstract nouns ( }, 3) countable vs uncountable nouns ( }, 4) animate vs inanimate nouns ( }, 5) human (person) vs non-human (non-person) nouns ( ).
1.3.1. Proper vs common nouns
The division of nouns into proper and common is based on the type of nomination.
Proper nouns are special names given to human beings or things to single out and individualize them by means of capitalization. In accordance with the object of nomination proper nouns may be personal names (Mary, John, Dickens), geographical names (Moscow, the Thames, the Alps), the names of the months and of the days of the week (January, Sunday), names of hotels, ships, etc. (the Ritz, the Titanic).
Common nouns are the names which may refer to any person or thing (man, woman, doctor, bird, dog), a group of similar individuals or things (family, government, machinery, foliage), materials (cotton, iron, rubber), abstract notions (kindness, strenght, friendship, love).
Proper nouns may turn into common nouns. For example, such words as champagne (a sort of white wine), ulster, mackintosh (special types of a coat), Wellington (boots) trace back to and correlate with the existing proper names denoting either the places of origin (Champagne, Ulster) or the inventor (Wellington, Mackintosh).
At the same time most of surnames like Mason, Smith, Bush originated from common nouns as well as some place names like the City (an area in central London which is the British centre for money matters) or the Globe (the theatre in London where Shakespeare's plays were first performed).
1.3.2. Concrete vs abstract nouns
Within the category of common nouns lies the second nounal opposition, namely between concrete and abstract nouns.
Concrete nouns are further subdivided into a) class nouns which denote individuals persons or things as belonging to a class: a man, a woman, a bird, a dog, a pen, a flower, b) collective nouns, i.e. names of a group of living beings or things considered as a unit: family, crowd, police, poultry, cattle, foliage, machinery; c) names of materials indicating a mass of air, water, iron, gold, sugar, etc.
Abstract nouns are conventionally grouped though less explicitly and rigorously into a) the names of qualities (kindness, strength, courage, sadness), b) states (fear, fight, sleep), c) processes (conversation, discussion, reading), d) fields of knowledge or activities (linguistics, mathematics, economics, physics, gymnastics), e) phenomena (weather, rain, thunder, storm, lightning, earthquake, radiation), f) periods of time (minute, hour, week, day, night, summer), g) generalized notions (direction, tendency, accommodation, time, space).
Abstract nouns may convert into concrete nouns if they refer to concrete objects. Compare: beauty () a beauty (), youth () a youth (), glass () a glass (), crime () a crime ().
1.3.3. Countable vs uncountable nouns
The third nounal opposition differentiates between the names of individuals (living beings and objects) which can be counted and those that cannot. Countables as compared with uncountables are able to be used with the indefinite article in the singular and have a plural form.
Common concrete class nouns are always countable: a man men, bird birds, a pen pens. Proper nouns are usually uncountable with the exception of very few cases like two Marys. There were two Marys in our group. Concrete nouns denoting materials such as air, snow, gold, sugar are always uncountable though in cases like wine, water, sand plural forms are also recurrent: a wide choice of French wines, across the burning sands of the desert, fishing in Icelandic waters. Collective nouns constitute a special group of words which may be either countable or uncountable. Countables are as follows: family, crowd, committee, team, government, club, school, union, choir, orchestra, staff, jury, firm, the B.B.C., the Bank of England, etc. When used as subject of a sentence they can be associated with both singular and plural verb: Our family has/have lived in this house for over a century. The government wants/want to reduce taxes. Uncountable collective nouns fall into 2 groups. The first one comprises nouns which denote a number of things collected together and regarded as a single object: foliage, furniture, luggage, baggage, machinery, money, scenery. They take a singular verb: New machinery is being installed in the factory. Where is the money? It is on the table. The second group consists of nouns expressing multitude: police, gentry, cattle, poultry. In a sentence they are used with a
plural verb: The police have caught the criminal. The cattle are in the shed.
Sometimes a word may be both countable and uncountable with a difference in meaning. The collective noun people is the case in point. It is countable in the sense of a race or a nation and uncountable in the meaning of persons, human beings. Compare: Were there many people at the meeting? The Chinese is a hard-working people. More examples of the kind: I bought a paper, (a newspaper) I bought some paper, (material for writing); We had many interesting experiences during our day. (things that happened to us) You need experience for this job. (knowledge or skill which comes from practice).
Abstract nouns are most multifarious and irregular that makes them particularly difficult to classify as coun-tables or uncountables. This applies to any group they fall into. Those which indicate qualities (kindness, sadness, courage) are usually uncountable though some of them -may be both countable and uncountable. Compare: to succeed by strength of will the strengths and weaknesses of the argument. As the example shows the uncountable noun may become countable if it is supposed to express an instance or instances of a certain quality. The same double nature can be observed in a number of abstract names referred to states, processes, generalized notions and periods of time: to have a fear of something to fight without fear, to have a (telephone) conversation to be in conversation with somebody, to move in the direction of London to have a sense of direction, to be on holiday in summer a hot summer.
At the same time certain abstract nouns denoting states, processes and generalized notions, such as behaviour, chaos (states), progress, traffic, travel, business, work (states or processes), accommodation, advice, information, news, permission (generalized notions) are uncountable.
Yet quite a bit of nouns used to name periods of time are always countable: a minute, an hour, a week, a year, a century and so on.
Abstract names for phenomena may be either countable (storm, earthquake) or uncountable (weather, lightning) or both: The crops need rain. A heavy rain began to fall.
Abstract nouns denoting fields of knowledge or activities like linguistics, gymnastics are usually uncountable and take a singular verb: Linguistics is the study of language in general and of particular languages, their structure, grammar and history.
1.3.4. Animate vs inanimate
The fourth nounal opposition distinguishes between living beings people and animals, on the one hand, and things, on the other, and thus is relevant within the classes of proper, common, concrete countables.
1.3.5. Human (person) vs non-human (non-person)
This pair is the result of the division of animate nouns into those which are intended to name human beings or people and those that represent names of animals at large.
1.3.6. Gender
The opposition of human (person) and non-human (non-person) nouns is related to the further lexical division of human (person) nouns into those denoting male persons and those which name female persons. Both oppositions together constitute the lexical category of Gender which is realized by means of the three categorial forms: the neuter (i.e. non-human or non-person) gender, the masculine (i.e. masculine person) gender, the feminine (i.e. feminine person) gender.
Each opposition has its strong and weak members. The strong member of the first opposition is the class of human nouns with its semantic mark person: son, daughter, man, woman, bride, bridegroom, lord, lady, master, mistress, doctor, teacher, pupil, etc. The weak member is the class of non-human nouns which includes both animate nouns, i.e. collective nouns, names of animals and inanimate nouns, i.e. names of things, facts, abstract notions: crowd, government, organization, bear, wolf, hen, cock, cow, bull, book, love, fear, reading, and so on.
The strong member of the second opposition is traditionally considered to be the feminine gender while its weak member is the masculine gender. This may be accounted for by the fact that in English there exist a few pairs of person nouns like actor actress, author authoress, host hostess, master mistress, mayor mayoress, peer peeress, steward stewardess, waiter waitress in which the gender opposition is indicated grammatically: the feminine counterpart is marked by the suffix -ess, thus being its strong member. This type of
gender which is assigned to nouns as a constant may be called intrinsic. It may also be applied to such pairs as man woman, lady lord, bride bridegroom, girl boy, mother father, brother sister, son daughter
and so on.
Yet on the whole, the category of Gender is semantic or lexical and expressed by the obligatory correlation of nouns with the personal pronouns of the third person: she the feminine gender, he the masculine gender, it the neuter gender. Using another terminology this type of gender may be called referential for human beings are normally referred to as she or he, while animals and things as it. The only exceptions are the person nouns child and baby which are sometimes referred to as it.
The referential gender is typical of a great number of English person nouns which may be applied to both male and female persons: friend, neighbour, stranger, cousin, parent, teacher, student, doctor, writer, servant, taxpayer, clerk, etc. So their gender is specified either contextually or by means of compounds such as boy-friend, girlfriend, lady friend, lady doctor, lady writer, man-servant, maidservant, girl-student, woman-clerk.
Alongside of the gender distinctions described above there are some specific cases in English which need a particular consideration. First, sometimes in spoken language or literature there may be observed a tendency to associate the names of animals with the feminine or masculine gender. Nouns denoting them are characterized by the intrinsic feminine or masculine gender. On the one hand, there are some pairs of nouns like cow bull, dog bitch, mare stallion, hen cock. On the other hand,
the gender may be defined either with the help of the grammatical suffix -ess or by means of compounds: lion lioness, tiger tigress, he-wolf, she-wolf, he-bear, she-bear, male-elephant, female-elephant, cock-sparrow, hen-sparrow, tom-cat, jenny-ass.
In fiction any animal may act as a person. In this respect smaller and weaker animals like hare, cat, parrot are normally associated with the feminine gender while bigger and stronger ones such as elephant, horse with the masculine gender. Conversely, birds and sometimes insects irrespective their small size are usually viewed as male: canary, nightingale, swallow, fly.
Second, sometimes in spoken language and fiction inanimate things and abstract notions are personified, i.e. viewed as human beings, and thus nouns denoting them are referred to as either feminine or masculine. Thus, the names of vessels and vehicles or mechanisms are traditionally alluded to as belonging to the feminine gender: ship, boat, steamer, car, coach, carriage, engine, etc. For example: The Titanic is a British passenger ship, thought of as impossible to sink, which on her first trip in 1912 hit an iceberg and sank, causing over 1500 deaths.
Moon and earth are referred to as feminine, while sun as masculine: It is pleasant to watch the sun in his chariot of gold, and the moon in her chariot of pearl. (O. Wilde)
The names of countries are conventionally viewed as feminine. For example: France is famous for her grapes, she can also grow peaches, pears and plums.
When abstract notions are personified the masculine gender is often ascribed to nouns with the general idea of strength (anger, death, fear war, hail) whereas the femi-
nine gender is normally related to the nouns expressing the idea of gentleness, charm (peace, kindness, beauty, spring, autumn, dawn).
To conclude: gender in English is a specific lexical (though with some elements of grammatical expression) category of nouns which can be expressed either intrinsically or referentially.
1.3.7. Classes of nouns and grammatical categories of nouns
Lexical stratification of nouns is inseparably connected with their grammatical or morphological characteristics. This means that certain lexical classes of nouns appear to express particular grammatical properties such as number (), case () and even impose restrictions on their functioning. Thus number may only be expressed by countable nouns: a boy boys, a bird birds, a book books. Case indicating relations of a noun to other words in a sentence is basically realized by the opposition of animate nouns which may be proper, common, inanimate or inanimate nouns: John s coat, my sisters house, the dog's tail, the idea of the book, the question under discussion.
Case and number are considered to be the grammatical categories of nouns since they are the most general properties of words of this class which have acquired grammatical expression.
1.4. The category of Number
This category is constituted by the opposition of the plural form of the noun and its singular form. The plural categorial form is the strong or marked member of the . opposition for it bears the formal mark of the category the suffix -(e)s. It correlates with the categorial form of the singular regarded as weak because of the absence of the number suffix. This way of the plural number formation is conventionally called productive since it is typical of the majority of English nouns.
1.4.1. The productive way of the number formation
In accordance with the general rale the plural suffix -(e)s is pronounced [z] after vowels and voiced consonants: cars, factories, pens, tables, [s] after voiceless consonants: books, cats, roofs, healths, tips, [iz] after sibilants: glasses, boxes, sizes, bridges, matches, bushes.
At the same time there is a number of exceptions to the rule in which the final voiceless consonant of the root-stem is changed into its voiced correlate [z] when the suffix -e(s) is added. This refers mainly to some nouns ending in a) -/ and b) -th.
a) calf calves half halves knife knives leaf leaves life lives loaf loaves sheaf sheaves
b) bath baths lath laths oath oaths path paths
shelf shelves thief thieves wife wives wolf wolves.
However, in a small number of cases nouns with final -/or -th may have double plural forms : hoof hoofs, hooves, scarf scarfs, scarves, wharf wharfs, wharves. In some words the double pronunciation is not revealed by spelling: cloth cloths , truth truths , youth youths.
The group of exceptions includes also the noun house houses.
Derivative nouns form their plural in the same way: dictation dictations, handful handfuls, weakness weaknesses.
The plural of the compound nouns may be formed differently. Compounds spelt as one word form their plural by adding -s to their final components: a bathroom bathrooms, a roommate roommates, a manservant menservants (plural in both first and last elements), an overcoat overcoats, a bygone bygones, an overall overalls, a blackbird blackbirds, an outlook outlooks, an overlap overlaps.
As a rule a compound hyphenated noun consisting of one or more nounal stems takes the form of the plural number by adding -s to the first nounal component: a commander-in-chief commanders-in-chief, a mother-in-law mothers-in-law, a passer-by passers-by, a hanger-on hangers-on.
If there is no nounal stem in a compound the plural is formed by adding -s to its last component: a close-up
close-ups, a grown-up grown-ups, forget-me-not forget-me-nots, merry-go-round merry-go-rounds, a sit-in sit-ins, a take-off take-offs.
The same way of the plural number formation is typical of most unstable compounds: language change linguage changes, grammar rule grammar rules, speech sound speech sounds, language origin language origins.
However, in the cases like gentleman farmer, woman doctor, etc. the plural form is taken by both the first and last elements: gentlemen farmers, women doctors.
Very rarely unstable compounds may be plural in their first element: notary public notaries public, attorney general attorneys general (attorney generals is also possible).
1.4.2. The non-productive ways of the number formation
On a par with the productive suffix -e(s) there exist some non-productive means of expressing the number opposition. They comprise a) vowel interchange: man men, woman women, goose geese, foot feet, mouse mice in simple nouns and in compounds ending in -man without any change in pronunciation: postman postmen, rifleman riflemen, note that words like Norman, German are simple and form their plural in the productive way; b) the archaic suffix -en, in some words together with vowel change: ox oxen, child children, c) homonymy of singular and plural forms: sheep, deer, fish, trout, cod, salmon, pike, swine, means, aircraft,
series, species, etc. d) special nounal suffixes inherent to Latin, Greek and French borrowings which in turn may be classified as follows:
1) singular nouns ending in -us in the plural have -i radius radii, cactus cacti, nucleus nuclei, terminus termini;
2) some singular nouns ending in -us in the plural have -era/ora : genus genera, corpus corpora,
3) singular nouns ending in -a in plural have -ae amoeba amoebae, antenna antennae, formula formulae,
4) singular nouns ending in -on or -um take in the plural the ending -a : phenomenon phenomena, curriculum curricula, datum data, medium media, stratum strata,
5) singular nouns ending in -is in the plural have -es axis axes, basis bases, crisis crises, hypothesis hypotheses, oasis oases;
6) singular nouns ending -ex or -ix in the plural acquire -ices : index indices, appendix appendices, matrix matrices;
7) singular nouns ending in -eau in the plural take -eaux : plateau plateaux, bureau bureaux.
A limited number of nouns may have both productive and non-productive plural forms: formula formulas formulae, brother brothers brethren, penny pennies pence, genius geniuses genii, index indexes indices, staff staffs staves. Sometimes plurals of the kind differ in meaning: brothers male relatives with the same parents,
brethren male members of a religious group; pennies coins, pence amount of money; geniuses men of genius, genii spirits; indexes alphabetical lists at the back o'f books, indices (and indexes) the system of numbers by which prices, costs and so on can be compared to a former level, usually fixed at 100, staffs military staffs or staffs of an institution, staves sticks.
1.4.3. To conclude: as it has already been shown, the category of Number is manifested in countables, i.e. basically common concrete class nouns as well as in some proper and abstract nouns which form their plurals by either productive or non-productive means. Yet in quite a number of cases the category of Number turns out to be unexpressed. This group of nouns consists of a) uncoun-tables (See 1.2.3.) and b) nouns used only in plural: clothes, trousers, scissors, spectacles, eyeglasses.
1.5. The category of Case
The category of Case shows the relations of living beings, things or notions denoted by nouns to other living beings, things and notions. In English this category is characterized by the opposition of the categorial forms of the Common Case ( ) and the Possessive or Genitive Case ( ). The strong member of the opposition is the Possessive Case with the formal mark '(s) while its weak or unmarked member is the Common Case. Compare: the man's wife the wife of the man I know well; a week's holiday days of the week.
Since the category of Case relates nouns to other parts of a sentence it appears to be syntactically bound. In other words the realization of the category in the forms of the Common and Possessive Case is indissolubly connected with the syntactic functions of the noun.
1.5.1. Common Case: the syntactic functions of nouns
The Common Case has a very wide and general meaning and manifests itself in a number of various syntactic functions of nouns which are defined by the word order and prepositions.
The first and most typical syntactic function performed by nouns in the Common Case is the subject the primary part of the sentence which precedes the predicate: Man changes in a changing world. The world is changing.
The second syntactic function of the noun in the Common Case is part of the compound nominal predicate or predicative when it follows a link-verb: / am a teacher. It was bad weather yesterday. They have breakfast at eight 'clock.
The third syntactic function of nouns in the Common Case is the object the secondary part of the sentence which follows the predicate. The object may be either direct ( ), i.e. used immediately after transitive verbs ( } or indirect ( ) when placed between a transitive verb and its direct object. For example: I gave my friend the book. Did you send Susan a birthday card? In these sentences book and birthday card are the direct objects while friend and Susan the indirect objects. With verbs
like give, hand, direct, send and so on direct and indirect objects may change their places in the sentence: I gave the book to my friend. Did you send a birthday card to Susan? As the examples show the indirect objects friend and Susan are used with the preposition and therefore called prepositional indirect objects.
Not infrequently nouns turn out to be syntactically associated either with the infinitive or present participle as parts of the pattern called Complex Object. For example: I saw my friend cross/crossing the street. I heard the key turn/turning in the keyhole.
Besides, when used with a preposition, nouns in the Common case may fulfil the function of adverbial modifier, i.e. a word or group of words that gives additional information about the time, place or circumstances in which the action is going on: Mary had a holiday in summer. She went to the seaside by train. She lived in a little cottage by the sea. She stayed at the cottage for two weeks.
The noun in the Common Case can be used as attribute when a) it is used with the preposition of. a cup of coffee, a member of the club, head of the department. sounds of speech: b) it precedes and describes another noun and forms with it the unstable compound: a coffee pot, a club bar, a head boy, department stores, speech sounds.
1.5.2. Possessive case
The Possessive case expresses possession in the broadest sense of the word: a man's coat, a man's hand, a man's life, a dog's bowl, a dog's tail, etc.
Grammatically the Possessive case is indicated either by a) adding to nouns 's (apostrophy and 's) or by b) adding -' (apostrophy only). The apostrophy followed by 's is added to 1) nouns in the singular: a man's coat, the actress's voice, a dog's bowl, 2) nouns in the plural which form their plural number by the non-productive means, i.e. without the suffix (e)s: women's dresses, children's toys, 3) nouns in the plural which in singular have the final -5: actresses' voices, The apostrophy without -s is added to nouns in the plural: teachers' advice, the students ' books, dogs' bowls.
Some proper names ending in -s admit of both - 's and -': Burns's poems Burns'poems, Dickens's novels Dickens' novels.
Irrespective of the given types of spelling both 's and ' are pronounced in the same way as the mark of the plural number, i.e. a) [z] after vowels and voiced consonants: teacher's, dog's, b) Is] after voiceless consonants: student's, c) [iz] after sibilants: actress's, actresses', fox's, foxes', Burns', Dickens's.
However, the Possessive case form of plural nouns tends to be pronounced [iz] to differentiate it from that of singular nouns. Compare: the politician's wife [z] the politicians' wives [iz].
As it follows from the examples illustrating the use of the Possessive case in English, the grammatical form in question is chiefly expressed by animate nouns human or more rarely by non-human both common and proper nouns. Besides, a few groups of inanimate nouns which are able to take the form of the Possessive case may be singled out. They are: a) inanimate abstract nouns denoting a certain period of time such as moment, minute,
hour, day, night, morning, evening, week, year, month
(names of months including), season (names of seasons including), century and so on; b) personified nouns used in spoken language or in fiction, mainly in poetry: 1) sun, moon, earth, river, water, ocean, world, wind, 2) ship, boat, vessel, etc.; 3) country, city, town (names of towns and countries including); 4) abstract nouns like duty, music, death. For example: a week's holiday, year's absence, a winter's day, night's rest, wind's rustle, river's brink, ship's crew, town's busy streets, duty's call, music's voice.
The possessive 's can be used with no following noun: Whose is that? Mary's.
The 's possessive is also used without a following noun in several other cases. Shops are usually referred to in this way: a baker's, a butcher's, the barber's, the hairdress's, i.e. baker's, a butcher's, etc. shop.
People's places of living can be referred to in this way when the host-guest relationship is meant: at my brother's (i.e. at my brother's place).
1. Write down the plurals of the following nouns and check their pronunciation in a dictionary where necessary:
Ray, street, bacillus, bell, corpus, lily of the valley, diagnosis, warf, antenna, tomato, field-mouse, radius, ad-ress, nerve, criterion, opinion, series, nebula, bacterium, doing, growth, Roman, Frenchman, appendix, bridge, compass, story, storey, formula, looker-on, bureau, bro-
ther-in-law, ox, fish, symposium, thesis, passer-by, datum, sheep, fountain pen, breakdown, woman-hater, trousseau, assistant director.
2. Define the morphological structure of the italicized nouns in the texts given below:
a) All language-teaching methods are necessarily based on some sort of analysis, for the very process of making a method involves the breaking down of the language into the elements which are to be taught. Language-teaching analysis depends ultimately on the recognition of these elements. The more we know about what a particular language contains, the more we can analyse the teaching of it.
b) The education systems exert a conservative influence on the national standards, the mass media promote understanding of differences and influence adoptions from other national varieties, particularly Americanisms. On the other hand, maintenance of English as a second language is in doubt in the long term. Some countries are likely to abandon English as an official language in favour of local languages when political circumstances permit the substitutions. Some are beginning to turn away from the mother tongue standards to recognize their own varieties as acceptable models.
c) Mother Goose rhymes have an appeal that lasts from one generation to another. How may we account for their longevity? What is there in these simple rhymes that appeal so strongly to each generation of children and even to adults fortunate enough to have retained some of the refreshing naivety of their early years?
3. Make up unstable compounds out of the following word-combinations:
A frame for a picture, a bag made of leather, a salesman of cars, a street in a city, a graduate of a university, a player of records, a programme on television, a teacher of history, a society showing films, a bag for shopping, a basket for waste paper, a book for reference, a stool for feet, a brush for teeth, a can for petrol, a sharpener for pencils, a stop for buses, a ring for keys, a shirt made of cotton.
4. Use the possessive case of the noun instead of the following word-combinations:
a) An outfitter for men, clothers for children, a hairdresser for women, a club for wives;
b) the news of yesterday, the programme of the Institute, the name of the street, the appearance of the garden, the publication of the book, the arrival of the plane, the work of an hour, a stay of a week, a thought lasting a moment, a journey lasting a day, the papers published today, the rays of the sun, the wool of the sheep, the events of the day.
5. Analyse the italicized nouns in terms of classes and categories in the following extracts:
a) Many of the early theories on the origin of language resulted from man's interest in his own origins and his own nature. Because man and language are so closely related, it was believed that if one knew how,
when and where language arose, perhaps one would know how, when and where man arose.
b) About the time Columbus was exploring the coast of the "New World", William Caxton was producing the first books ever printed in the English language. Of course, English had been spoken and written for many centuries before this in England. But in the time of Columbus and Caxton hardly anyone outside England used the English language.
c) In Tolstoy's masterpieces all is probable and typical of human life. These are the sort of things that might happen to anyone. Things like them have probably happened to thousands. These are such people as we might meet any day. We can say without reservation, This is what life is like.
6. Translate the following sentences into English:
1. . 2. ? 3. , . 4. , . 5. . 6. . 7. , . 8. , . 9. . 10. . 11. , . 12. . ?

2.1. Definition
The article is a specific class of words that determine or specify nouns in the most general way. Therefore, the article is the main formal feature characteristic of the noun. Note that in the British tradition, alongside with pronouns and numerals used attributively, articles are regarded as determiners. (See also 4.1. and 5./.)
There are 3 types of articles: 1) the indefinite article a(n); 2) the definite article the; 3) the zero article or the meaningful absence of the article.
2.2. Functions of article
The indefinite article a(n) has 2 forms: a and an. A is
used before a consonant sound: a car, a book, a pain, a
youth. It has 2 pronunciations: 1) weak [a] and 2) strong [ei]. In normal everyday speech the weak form of the indefinite article is used while its strong form is intended to emphasize the noun it determines.
An is used before a vowel sound: an object, an idea, an hour.
The indefinite article is to refer a person or a thing denoted by the noun to a certain class of similar persons or objects. It shows that the noun is taken in a relatively general sense. Otherwise stated, the indefinite article performs a classifying function. For example: This is a man.
(Not a woman) / have just seen a young woman waiting for you. (Not an old woman) She is a doctor. (Not a teacher) London is a big city. (Not a village) There is an apple for you. (Not an orange) / have a car. (Not a bicycle)
The indefinite article is always used to point to a single person, thing, or notion and thus determines only countable nouns in the singular.
The definite article the has 2 pronunciations: 1) weak , before vowels and 2) strong . Its strong form is normally used before vowels and for emphatic purposes.
The definite article is to identify and individualize a person or a thing denoted by a noun. It demonstrates that the noun is taken in its concrete, individual sense. Thus the definite article performs an individualizing function. For example: This is the man I spoke to yesterday. I saw the young woman you had told me about. London is one of the biggest cities in the world. The apple is for you.
The definite article may determine nouns of any class both in the singular and plural.
The zero article or the meaningful absence of the article is to signify that the noun is taken in an abstract sense, expressing the most generalized idea of the person, thing, or notion denoted. Thus the zero article performs a generalizing function and basically may refer to nouns of any class.
2.3. Article and pronoun
Although both articles and pronouns, mainly demonstrative and indefinite ones, determine nouns, they do
so in a different way. First, the article determination of nouns is obligatory for the article is indispensable to signal the lexical meaning of a noun in terms of the main lexical oppositions: proper/common, abstract/concrete, countable/uncountable, animate/inanimate, human/non-human. (See 1.3.) Second, whereas the function of the article is to specify nouns in the most general way, the demonstrative pronouns this/these, that/those and the indefinite pronouns some, any are used to define persons, things or notions denoted by nouns in relation to other persons, things or notions, their function being to present a noun in a more detailed way, with a higher degree of certainty. Compare: A man called in while you were out. (Not a woman) Some man/some men called in while you were out. (A man/men strange to me.) Have an apple. (Not an orange) Have any apple you like. (Every apple, no matter which one) Will you give me the pen ? (Which is mentioned and understood by both speakers) Will you give me this pen? (The one I am pointing to).
Note that the use of the demonstrative pronouns is arbitrary though in most cases the definite article is more idiomatic. The use of the indefinite pronouns is arbitrary in the case they are to define countables both in the singular and plural. (See the above examples.) Their use may be obligatory if they are referred to uncountable nouns and countables in the plural. For example: There is some butter in the fridge. There isn't any jam in the cupboard. Have you got any money? (uncountables) There are some books on the shelf. There aren 't any nails in the box.
2.4. Indefinite article: usage
The indefinite article whose function is that of classification is used to determine only countable nouns in the singular. They include: 1) proper and common nouns, 2) concrete and abstract nouns, 3) animate and inanimate nouns, 4) human and non-human nouns. Common nouns can be either concrete or abstract. Proper nouns are basically concrete.
The individual discussion of animate/inanimate and human/nonhuman nouns in terms of article determination is irrelevant for all of them are common and concrete.
2.4.1. Indefinite article before common concrete nouns
Common concrete nouns include: 1) class nouns, 2) collective nouns, 3) nouns denoting materials. Note that common collective nouns like poultry, police, machinery, etc. and common concrete nouns denoting materials such as air, water, iron and so on are not used with the indefinite article for they are uncountable. (See 2.5. and 2.6.) Indefinite article before common concrete class nouns
The indefinite article is used in the following cases.
a) Before a common concrete class noun denoting a person or a thing which is not already mentioned or known about, either with or without a descriptive attri-
bute, usually after the verbs be and have. He is a writer. He is a famous writer. Have you got a car? I have got a new car. I have a pain in my leg. There is a book on the
b) In the meaning any, every before a noun denoting the called person or thing: A gentleman would never act like this. A parcel is bigger than a packet.
c) Before nouns denoting periods of time: three times a day, twice a week, once a month, etc.
d) In the meaning one before nouns of quantity and substantivized numerals: a dozen eggs, a thousand pounds, a hundred times.
e) Before the first noun of a pair that seems a single whole: a cup and saucer, a bucket and spade.
f) Before uncountable nouns that in the context turn into countables meaning a container or unit of: I'd like a coffee, please, (a cup/a mug of coffee). Indefinite article before common abstract nouns.
The indefinite article is used in the following cases.
a) In the meaning a certain amount of or a certain action of before names of qualities or states, either with or without a descriptive attribute: Have a look at this. He went for a swim. Have a good ride. You need a wash. It is a kindness to tell him the bad news straight away. I have a weakness for chocolate.
Note that words like kindness, weakness and so on may as well render their most generalized meanings the qualities of being kind or weak respectively and therefore they may be determined by the zero article. For example: He has always shown kindness to animals. The
President was accused of weakness when dealing with the crisis. (See 2.6.)
Note that some abstract nouns denoting a certain amount of quality or state may be determined by the indefinite article in the case they are given a descriptive attribute: / have a great fear of fire. She fell into a deep sleep. He has a good knowledge of history. Our team put up a good fight.
b) Before nouns denoting processes: He drove off with a crashing of gears and a screeching of tyres. A lot of people have gathered to listen to a poetry reading. He has just had a conversation with his friends. It is necessary to hold a discussion about our future plans.
c) Before nouns denoting phenomena usually with a descriptive attribute an adjective or ordinal numeral: A heavy rain began to fall. Suddenly we heard a shot, then a second (shot), and a third (shot).
Note that most of abstract nouns denoting phenomena, such as weather, rain, thunder, storm, etc. are uncountable. (See 2.6.)
d) Before nouns denoting periods of time as part of an adverbial phrase: We shall start in a minute. We met an hour ago. Wait a second. This subject was raised a century ago.
e) Before some nouns denoting generalized notions: / have an idea. He has always had a tendency to missing classes.
Note that most of nouns of the group such as time in the meaning passing of days, months, and years, considered as a whole, space in the meaning something measurable in length, width, or depth, direction, acco-modation, etc., as well as nouns denoting fields of
knowledge (linguistics, mathematics, history) are uncountable and therefore cannot be determined by the indefinite article. Indefinite article before proper concrete nouns. The indefinite article may be used before names of
people in the meaning some, showing that someone is unknown to the speaker: A Mrs Brown wishes to speak to you.
In most cases the indefinite article determines a proper noun provided it has acquired a common meaning. Thus it can be used in the following cases:
a) Before a name of a painter to denote his picture: This is a Rembrandt. He never saw a Modigliani.
b) In the meaning one like or having the qualities of before names of famous people or literary characters: They say that the young actress is a new Sophie Lor en. Her husband is so jealous. He is a real Othello.
c) Before a proper inanimate noun to specify its kind: This is a good Champagne, (a good sort of Champagne)
d) In the meaning a particular one before names of times and places: / can't remember a Christmas when it snowed so much. In 1989 there was a late Easter. Indefinite article in collocations and set expressions.
The indefinite article may be used before a descriptive attribute either preceding or following the noun of any class. For example: He was a tall, good-looking man. This happened on a cold, rainy September day. The novel is a funny, intelligent social comedy. It is a novel of immense intelligence, disturbing and diverting.
Any countable noun must be used with the indefinite article after the words half, rather, such, quite, most in the meaning 'very', what and formally or literally many: I have rather a headache. He is quite a young man. This is a most interesting film. What a nice day it is today. I've never met such a beautiful girl. Many a small business has failed. (=Many small businesses have failed.)
The indefinite article is used before few and little to denote not many or much: I'd like to say a few words on the subject. If I have a little time today I'll come to see you.
The indefinite article may be used before a substantivized ordinal number: At first he offered me a book, then a second (book), and a third (book).
Besides, the indefinite article is entered into numerous preposition + noun set phrases which function as adverbial modifier and verb + noun set phrases functioning as one verb.
a) Preposition + noun set phrases: as a result, at a glance, at a stroke, at a loss, in a hurry, in a low/loud voice, in a whisper, in a minute/second, in an hour, in a sense in a word, on a par with, to an extent.
b) Verb + noun set phrases: break a fall, cast/throw a glance, catch a train, catch a cold, do a favour, get in a fury, give a start, have a good time, have a meal, have a swim, have a ride, have a look, have a mind, make a will, make a living, take a fancy.
2.5. Definite article: usage
The definite article whose function is that of identification or individualization of living beings, things, or notions, may refer to any noun of any class both in the singular and plural. The individual description of countable/uncountable, animate/inanimate and human/ non-human nouns with reference to the definite article is unnecessary because they are either common or proper, and either concrete or abstract.
2.5.7. Definite article before common nouns
The definite article is used in the following cases:
a) Before concrete nouns either in the singular or plural that mention a particular person or thing, because it is already known, or talked about: / have a daughter and a son, the daughter is ten, the son is three years younger. This is a book; the book is on the table. Please take the letters to the post office. (It is understood that you know which letters and which post office. Compare: You can pay your phone bills at a post office. (=any post office))
b) Before concrete nouns denoting objects unique in a given situation or at large: The sun is shining. The sky is blue.
c) In the generic sense before concrete nouns in the singular: My favourite flower is the lilac. The ostrich is the largest living bird. The computer has totally changed office work.
d) In the meaning one's before concrete nouns: How is the leg today? (your leg) The car broke down again today, (my car)
e) Before concrete nouns denoting materials in a certain amount or a particular context: The water is cold today. Where is the salt? Pass me the pepper, please.
f) Before nouns denoting human activities, especially musical, but not including sports: She is studying the law. He plays the violin. (Compare: She plays tennis.}
g) Before nouns denoting directions, such as north, south, west, east: A strange light appeared in the south. They moved to the north of the country.
h) Before adjectives as part of their substantivized forms: The rich must help the poor. The library offers a special service for the blind. The following is the summary of the article.
i) Before nouns or the substitutional one, attributed by adjectives in the superlative degree: This is the most interesting film I ever saw. The Louvre is the most famous French museum of art.
j) Before abstract nouns denoting particular notions: The life of a writer is difficult. We study the history of the English language.
2.5.2. Definite article before proper nouns
The definite article is used to determine proper nouns in the following cases:
a) Before persons' surnames in the plural to refer to the whole family: The Browns were sitting at the table and having tea.
b) Before a person's name or surname with the limiting attribute: She was again the Marv he had met years ago.
c) As part of substantivized adjectives and before ordinals in the names of kings: Peter I (pronounced the first), Louise XIY (pronounced the fourteenth}, Alexander the Great.
d) As part of substantivized adjectives denoting nationalities: The British are famous for their conservatism.
e) Before names of countries and states including words like republic, union, commonwealth, kingdom, states: the German Federal Republic, the Soviet Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America.
f) Before names denoting groups of islands: the British Isles, the Bahamas, the Canary Islands.
g) Before names of mountain ranges in the plural: the Rocky Mountains/the Rockies, the Alps/the Swiss Alps.
h) Before names of rivers, channels, canals, seas, oceans: the Nile, the Thames, the English Channel, the Suez Canal, the Baltic Sea, the Pacific (Ocean).
i) Before names of regions: the Far East, the Middle East.
j) Before a limited number of names of cities and streets: the Hague (a city in the Netherlands), the Strand, the Mall (streets in London).
k) Before names of cities, countries, etc., with the limited attribute: the London of the 1980s., the England of the 19'' century.
1) Before names of hotels, restaurants or pubs, theatres, cinemas, museums or art galleries: the Hilton (Hotel),
the Peking (Restaurant), the National Theatre, the Covent Garden, the British Museum, the Tate Gallery.
m) Before names of places or buildings, especially with the limiting of- attribute: The Empire State Building, The Bank of Scotland, the Houses of Parliament, the Museum of Fine Arts.
n) Before names of newspapers, magazines, journals, etc.: The Times, The Economist, The Observer.
2.5.3. Definite article in collocations and set expressions
a) The definite article may be used before nouns of any class defined by the limiting attribute or a subordinate clause: He kicked the snow from his shoes and then came up to the armchair opposite mine. She walked along the street that led to his house. She is the lady who lives next door to me.
b) The definite article is used before nouns attributed by ordinals, by the adjectives same, very in the meaning actual, following, next in the meaning closest in space, order, or degree; immediately following in time, last in the meaning after the others; final; the least suitable: He was the first person to arrive. My father sits in the same chair every evening. She died at the very height of her fame. This was the very thing he looked for. He felt sick hut on the following day he seemed quite well again. The next house to ours is a mile away. Where will you be during the next few weeks?
c) The definite article is used after the words one of, some of, many of, each of: Can I have one of the books?
Some of the articles are easy to translate. Each of the boys got excellent marks.
Besides, the definite article is part of numerous a) preposition + noun set phrases used in a sentence as , adverbial modifiers or predicatives and b) verb + noun set phrases functioning as one verb.
a) Preposition + noun/substentivized adjective set phrases: at the top, at the bottom, in the beginning, in the middle, in the centre, in the end, in the rain, in the cold, in the heat, in the main, in the market, in the original, in the slightest, on the whole, on the one handEon the other hand, on the alert, on the look-out, on the market; out of the question, to the life.
b) Verb +noun set phrases: be on the safe side, break the heart, break the ice, break the news, keep the bed, play the game, take the trouble to do, tell the truth.
2.6. Zero article: usage
The zero article (no article) whose function is that of generalization may be used to determine nouns of any lexical class both in the singular and plural.
2.6.1. Zero article before common nouns
No article is used in the following cases: a) Before concrete class nouns (countables) in the plural denoting persons or things which are not already mentioned or known about, either with or without a descriptive attribute: Charles Dickens and William Thackeray are writers. They are famous writers. I have slight stomach pains. A bookcase contains shelves to hold books. (See}
Note that plural nouns of the category are often determined by the indefinite pronouns some, any: Have you got any books on English art? Yes, I have some (books).
b) After the words such, quite, most, what before co-untables in the plural: I've never met such beautiful girls. They are quite young men. These are most interesting films. What nice days we have spent there.
c) Before concrete nouns of materials the amounts of which are not defined: Life is impossible without water. The vegetables need more salt. Pepper and nutmeg are spices.
d) Before abstract uncountable nouns, etc.: No news is good news. Jealousy is worse than envy.
e) Before nouns denoting fields of knowledge: I don't like mathematics. He is fond of history. She studies linguistics.
f) Before nouns denoting periods of time, attributed by the words next and last, as well as before nouns attributed by cardinals in postposition: Last winter we traveled in the Swiss Alps. Next summer we are going to Italy. Next week we 11 have 3 English classes.
g) Before singular or plural nouns denoting persons addressed by someone: Come quickly, doctor.
h) After kind of and sort of before either singular or plural nouns: What sort of music do you like best? I don't like that sort of book. That kind/sort of question is very difficult. There were all sorts of colour.
i) Before nouns used in newspaper titles, announcements, advertisements, etc.: Former Judge Sentenced Over Driving Offences, Night Intruder, Driver.
2.6.2. Zero article before proper nouns
No article is usually used in the following cases.
a) Before names of cities, towns, villages, streets, etc.: London is the capital of Great Britain. (For exceptions see 2.5.2.)
b) Before names of shops, restaurants, banks, etc., ending in -5 or -'s, which are named after people who started them: Selfridges, Harrods (shops), Maxim's, Macdonalds (restaurants), Barclay Bank, Lloyd Bank.
c) Before words like Mother, Father, Uncle, Aunt, etc. used by members of a family: Has Father come back yet? Mother wants to speak to you.
d) Before nouns denoting persons' ranks and attributing proper names: The monograph is written by Professor White. Doctor Smith is to take the flow.
2.6.3. Zero article in collocations and set expressions
No article is used before nouns determined by possessive, demonstrative, interrogative, indefinite and negative pronouns. (See Chapter IY)
A great number of set expressions contain nouns without article:
a) preposition + noun/substentivized adjective set phrases: at present, at first sight, at dawn, at sunrise, at sunset, at night, at peace, at sea, at work, at last, at least, at once, at hand, at best, at worst; by day, by chance, by mistake, by land, by air, by sea, by train, by metro, by post, by air mail, by name, by moonlight; for hours, for ages, for miles; from day to day, from morning till night, from head to foot, from beginning to end, from birth to grave, from spring to autumn, from east to west, from
grief, from joy, from fear, from shame, from memory; in bed, in debt, in revenge, in question, in silk, in red, in time for; on duty, on fire, on foot, on holiday, on horseback, on leave, on principle, on sale, on time; under consideration.
b) verb + noun set phrases: bear/have in mind, break cover, break ground, cast doubt on, catch cold, catch fire, come to grief, come/bring to life, come to light, come to pass, give/ask (for) permission, give birth, give rise, give way, have breakfast/lunch, dinner, go to bed, keep house, keep in mind, lose heart, make haste, make sense, make use of, set to work, take advantage of, take into account, take to heart, take offence, take part, take place, take revenge.
2.7. Article determination of certain noun groups
Some English nouns present special difficulties in the use of articles. Here are 5 groups of them.
a) Morning, day, afternoon, evening, night. With regard to meaning and syntactic position the nouns can be determined by the zero (no article), definite and indefinite article.
No article is used before the above nouns when the idea of day, afternoon, night, morning, evening is meant. Day, afternoon and morning are used in the meaning light while evening and night in the meaning darkness. Hence the set expressions by day, at night, from morning till night, etc. The nouns may be attributed by the adjectives early, late. For example: It was early morning. Day broke and we set out for work. The sun set and night came. It was late evening. Day is for work, night for sleep.
The indefinite article is used when the nouns are modified by the descriptive attribute, and thus performs its classifying function: It was a foggy, frosty afternoon. (Not a clear, warm afternoon.) / spent a sleepless night. (Not a night full of sweet dreams.)
The definite article is used to denote a concrete morning, day, afternoon, evening and night. The nouns may be modified by the limiting attribute. For example: We spent the night in the mountains. (A particular night.) / will never forget the day I met her.
The definite article is always used with the nouns as part of adverbial phrases with the preposition in to denote a concrete, usually tomorrow, morning, day, afternoon, . etc.: / haven't got what you want now, but I can get it for you in the morning. I'll work in the evening. I'll have a sleep in the late afternoon. (Today)
b) Spring, summer, autumn, winter. These nouns can be determined by the 3 types of the article.
No article is used when the nouns denote the idea of the season. They may be attributed by the adjectives early and late. For example: It was spring. Winter is the season between autumn and spring. It was late autumn. I like summer.
No article is used before the nouns attributed by next and last, last autumn, next winter.
The indefinite article is used with the nouns modified by a descriptive attribute: It was a wet spring. It was a hot summer. It was a rainy autumn. It was a snowy winter.
The definite article is used to point to a concrete season of a year. The nouns may be modified by the limiting attribute. For example: It was the spring of 1987.
The summer was cold and rainy. It happened in the summer of 1990.
c) Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, supper. These nouns can have various article determination.
No article is used before the nouns when they arc not described by any attribute: We usually have breakfast at eight in the morning. What time do you have dinner? Mother is cooking dinner. It happened during lunch. She made a cake for tea. We had fish for supper.
The indefinite article is used with the nouns attributed by adjectives: We had a substantial breakfast. They had a nice dinner at a restaurant.
The definite article is used with the nouns when a concrete meal is meant. They may as well be modified by the limiting attribute. For example: The breakfast we had today was substantial. The dinner was a success.
d) School, college, university, hospital, church, prison. These nouns can also be determined by various articles.
No article is used before the above nouns when they denote the idea of those places. Most often they collocate with the verbs be and go: For example: She went to school at the age of six. (As a pupil) She started college last year. Did you go to university? (As a student) He had to go to hospital. He is still in hospital. (As a patient) They go to church every Sunday. I saw them at church. (As parishioners) The thief was sent to prison for a year. (For punishment)
The indefinite article is used when these nouns refer to a building, with or without an attribute. For example:
There is a school near my house. (Not a college, a church, or prison) A new hospital is being built in this street. While travelling in the country we passed through a small village with an old church.
The definite article is used with the nouns to denote a particular school, college, university, church, etc.: The parents went to the school to meet their daughter's teacher. (To a concrete school, not as pupils) Where is the university? (A concrete university) The workmen went to the church to repair the roof. (Not as parishioners) She went to the hospital to visit her brother. (To a concrete hospital, as a visitor)
e) Bed, town. These nouns differ in terms of article determination and therefore should be described one after another.
Bed can be determined by the 3 types of the article.
The indefinite article before bed is used to denote a piece of furniture to sleep on, usually after there is, with or without an attribute: There is a comfortable bed in his room. There is a bed, a table, and a cupboard in the room.
The definite article before the noun is used to denote a concrete bed: The bed has never been slept in. The bed is not comfortable.
No article before the noun usually renders the idea of sleep or illness: It's time to go to bed. Is she still in bed? She likes reading in bed. (Before falling asleep) You look ill, you 'd better stay in bed.
Town can be specified by the 3 types of the article.
The indefinite article before town is used to refer to something which is larger than a village but smaller than a city: Stratford-upon-Avon is a small town on the Thames.
The definite article before town is used to denote a concrete town, or life in towns and cities: / want to go to the town where I was born. The town is small but beautiful. I prefer the town to the country.
No article before town is used to denote the nearest town or the chief city of an area in England, usually London: We cannot go shopping to town tomorrow. I was in town on business last week.
1. Comment on the use of the italicized articles and nouns they determine in the extracts below:
a) The origin of the name Mother Goose and how it came to be attached to collections of traditional children's rhymes has been a subject of scholarly research and discussion. It is claimed by some that she was really Mistress Elizabeth Goose, who is said to have lived in Boston about a hundred years ago, and who crooned nonsense jingles to a large and happy family of grandchildren.
b) The good teacher will be aware of what each of his pupils knows in terms of vocabulary and mastery of structures and grammar points. He will know what ground in the syllabus he has covered, where more practice is needed and who needs the practice.
c) The various branches of the Germanic family of language derive from the migrations of the Germanic tribes who lived in northern Europe during the ' millenium BC.
d) If you do not speak in the right way, it could affect the impression you make at an interview or on the telephone, your credibility as a defendant in court, even the way your doctor treats you. There remains a conspiracy of silence about all this, but in Britain, perhaps more than in any other country, people are still often assigned to a social and educational category, and even to a level of intelligence, partly because of their accent.
2. Compare and explain the use of the italicized articles and nouns they specify in the following groups of sentences:
a) 1. Cultural life in England takes so many forms that a brief summary can only attempt to suggest its variety. 2. A vigorous cultural life in Scotland has as its highlight the annual Edinburgh International Festival, one of the world's leading cultural events. 3. He was the life and soul of the party.
b) 1. A large part of the house was destroyed by the fire. 2. She has been offered a marvellous part in the new film. 3. The best part of my job is all the travel it involves. 4. She lived there for the better part of her life. 5. In the play he plays the part of the policeman. 6. Working irregular hours is part and parcel of being a journalist.
c) 1. It will take you a long time to learn French properly. 2. What's the time! 3. The universe exists in
time and space. 4. Time does fly, and we are not getting any younger.
d) 1. I couldn't find a parking space. 2. Please save a space for me in the queue. 3. He satellite has been in space for a year. 4. In the space of ten miles the road rises 1000 feet.
e) 1. There is a fish market near here. 2. He can't find a market for his skills. 3. They sell mainly to the home market. 4. They have put their house on the market.
f) 1. Silence in court! 2. The defendant told the court that he had never seen the woman before. 3. He is well-known at court. 4. Are the players on court yet?
g) 1. He has sailed round the world. 2. She is a well-known character in the business world. 3. There is a world of difference between thinking about it and doing it.
h) 1. The injured man was lying on the ground. 2. Moles seldom come above ground. 3. The soldiers marched on a parade ground. 4. The curtains have white flowers on a blue ground.
i) 1. They have a charming home in London. 2. She came from a poor home. 3. India is the home of elephants and tigers. 4. Is he home from work yet?
j) 1. He became king on the death of his father.
2. Once upon a time there was a rich king in Baghdad.
3. The Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the British Commonwealth. 4. Elizabeth became queen in 1952. 5. He was sitting on a Queen Anne chair.
3. Insert proper articles where necessary into the texts below:
a) It was raining heavily as I was walking towards ... Metro station. There were very few people in ... street. ... road was slippery. Just as I was crossing ... road near ... Metro station, ... car came round ... corner. It was travelling very fast, at ... speed of 80-90 miles. It was clear ... driver was having difficulty in controlling it. Suddenly it hit ... lamp-post and turned over. At once I ran to ... car. I tried to help ... driver. But I could do very little. ... man's eyes were closed, there's ... lot of ... blood on his face.
b) ... Pygmalion was ... king of ... Cyprus and ... famous sculptor. One day he took ... piece of ... marble and began to sculpt ... statue of ... young woman. When ... statue was finished, it was more beautiful than any woman in ... world. ... marble girl seemed to be almost alive. ... Pygmalion looked at ... beautiful statue ... day after ... day, and soon he fell in ... love with it. He brought ... flowers to ... statue and often kissed it. Sometimes it seemed to him that ... statue moved and became warm. But he understood that it was only ... marble statue.
c) When in 1483 Edward died, his eldest son was to become ... king. But before it happened ... prince was taken with his younger brother to ... prison and they were never seen again. Richard became ... king of ... England. ... people said that he had murdered his younger nephews. Shakespeare's play Richard III and many history books show Richard as ... cruel king, but he lived in ... cruel times, and many king who are not known as cruel did ...
same things. It is ... murder of ... prince and his brother that make ... people angry. But was it Richard who murdered them? Nobody knows.
d) At ... dinner ... beautiful girl looks at ... young man sitting at another table. They smile at each other. It is ... end of... dinner. ... People get from their tables. Will ... young man come up to ... girl? Yes, he is walking to her. Then suddenly when he is near ... girl turns round and walks quickly away. This is ... beginning of anti-smoking advertisement in ... British cinemas. As she walks from ... dining room alone ... girl turns to us and says, He smells like ... old ash-tray. ... British government has ... campaign against smoking. In ... film they say, Smoking makes you unattractive.
e) Once upon ... time there lived ... noble lord and his lady. They had ... little son. He was seven years old and his name was Philip. ... boy had no brothers and sisters and so felt lonely. He often ran after ... butterflies in ... beautiful gardens. ... butterflies and ... flowers were his only friends. One afternoon Philip was missing, and nobody knew where he was. ... servants were sent along all ... roads, but they came ... home without hearing anything of Philip.
4. Translate the following texts into English using proper articles:
) . . . . ,
. , , [ , .
b) . , . , , . . , 22 , 22 . , , , , 10 . ' . , .
c) , . , . . , , . , , , , . , , .


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