ZeePedia
Journalistic Writing

PARTS OF SPEECH:Noun Gender, Noun Plurals, Countable Nouns

<< DICTIONARY-A WRITER’S LANGUAGE TOOL:KINDS OF INFORMATION
BASIC CLAUSE PATTERNS >>
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
LECTURE 10
PARTS OF SPEECH
Parts of speech can be divided into two distinct divisions:
1. Picture words (Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Adverbs)
2. Function words (Pronouns, Prepositions, Conjunctions, Interjections)
WHAT IS A NOUN?
A noun is a word used to name a person, animal, place, thing, and abstract idea. Nouns are usually the first
words which small children learn. The highlighted words in the following sentences are all nouns:
Late last year our neighbors bought a goat.
Portia White was an opera singer.
The bus inspector looked at all the passengers' passes.
According to Plutarch, the library at Alexandria was destroyed in 48 B.C.
Philosophy is of little comfort to the starving.
A noun can function in a sentence as a subject, a direct object, an indirect object, a subject complement, an
object complement, an appositive, an adjective or an adverb.
Noun Gender
Many common nouns, like "engineer" or "teacher," can refer to men or women, for example, a man
was called an "author" while a woman was called an "authoress"; in hotels a service person male is
"waiter" and female is "waitress".
Noun Plurals
Most nouns change their form to indicate number by adding "-s" or "-es", as illustrated in the following pairs
of sentences: truth and truths; Box and boxes etc.
Possessive Nouns
In the possessive case, a noun or pronoun changes its form to show that it owns or is closely related to
something else. Usually, nouns become possessive by adding a combination of an apostrophe and the letter "s."
The red suitcase is Cassandra's.
The only luggage that was lost was the prime minister's.
The children's mittens were scattered on the floor of the porch.
The concert was interrupted by the dogs' barking, the ducks' quacking, and the babies' squalling.
Types of Nouns
There are many different types of nouns. If you are interested in the details of these different types, you can
read about them in the following sections.
Proper Nouns
You always write a proper noun with a capital letter, since the noun represents the name of a specific person,
place, or thing. The names of days of the week, months, historical documents, institutions, organizations,
religions, their holy texts and their adherents are proper nouns. A proper noun is the opposite of a common
noun
The Maroons were transported from Jamaica and forced to build the fortifications in Halifax.
Many people dread Monday mornings.
Abraham appears in the Talmud and in the Koran.
Common Nouns
A common noun is a noun referring to a person, place, or thing in a general sense --
According to the sign, the nearest town is 60 miles away.
The road crew was startled by the sight of three large moose crossing the road.
32
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
Concrete Nouns
A concrete noun is a noun which names anything (or anyone) that you can perceive through your physical
Senses: touch, sight, taste, hearing, or smell. A concrete noun is the opposite of an abstract noun.
The highlighted words in the following sentences are all concrete nouns:
The judge handed the files to the clerk.
Whenever they take the dog to the beach, it spends hours chasing waves.
The book binder replaced the flimsy paper cover with a sturdy, cloth-covered board.
Abstract Nouns
An abstract noun is a noun which names anything which you can not perceive through your five physical
senses, and is the opposite of a concrete noun. The highlighted words in the following sentences are all
abstract nouns:
Buying the fire extinguisher was an afterthought.
Tillie is amused by people who are nostalgic about childhood.
Justice often seems to slip out of our grasp.
Some scientists believe that schizophrenia is transmitted genetically.
Countable Nouns
A countable noun (or count noun) is a noun with both a singular and a plural form, and it names anything
(or anyone) that you can count. In each of the following sentences, the highlighted words are countable nouns:
We painted the table red and the chairs blue.
Miriam found six silver dollars in the toe of a sock.
The oak tree lost three branches in the hurricane.
Non-Countable Nouns
A non-countable noun (or mass noun) is a noun which does not have a plural form, and which refers to
something that you could (or would) not usually count.
Joseph Priestly discovered oxygen.
We decided to sell the furniture.
Collective Nouns
A collective noun is a noun naming a group of things, animals, or persons. You could count the individual
members of the group, but you usually think of the group as a whole is generally as one unit. In each of the
following sentences, the highlighted word is a collective noun:
The flock of geese spends most of its time in the pasture.
The jury is dining on take-out chicken tonight.
The steering committee meets every Wednesday afternoon.
The class was startled by the bursting light bulb.
WHAT IS A VERB?
The verb is perhaps the most important part of the sentence. A verb or compound verb asserts something
about the subject of the sentence and express actions, events, or states of being. The verb or compound verb is
the critical element of the predicate of a sentence.
In each of the following sentences, the verb or compound verb is highlighted:
Dracula bites his victims on the neck.
In early October, Giselle will plant twenty tulip bulbs.
My first teacher was Miss Crawford, but I remember the janitor Mr. Weatherbee more vividly.
Karl Creelman bicycled around the world in 1899, but his diaries and his bicycle were destroyed.
WHAT IS AN ADJECTIVE?
An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun by describing, identifying, or quantifying words. An adjective
usually precedes the noun or the pronoun which it modifies.
In the following examples, the highlighted words are adjectives:
The truck-shaped balloon floated over the treetops.
Mrs. Morrison papered her kitchen walls with hideous wall paper.
The small boat foundered on the wine dark sea.
33
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
The coal mines are dark and dank.
Many stores have already begun to play irritating Christmas music.
A battered music box sat on the mahogany sideboard.
The back room was filled with large, yellow rain boots.
Possessive Adjectives
A possessive adjective (``my,'' ``your,'' ``his,'' ``her,'' ``its,'' ``our,'' ``their'') is similar or identical to a
possessive pronoun; however, it is used as an adjective and modifies a noun or a noun phrase, as in the
following sentences:
What is your phone number?
The bakery sold his favorite type of bread.
Demonstrative Adjectives
The demonstrative adjectives ``this,'' ``these,'' ``that,'' ``those,'' and ``what'' are identical to the demonstrative
pronouns, but are used as adjectives to modify nouns or noun phrases, as in the following sentences:
This apartment needs to be fumigated.
Even though my friend preferred those plates, I bought these.
Which plants should be watered twice a week?
What book are you reading?
Indefinite Adjectives
An indefinite adjective is similar to an indefinite pronoun, except that it modifies a noun, pronoun, or noun
phrase, as in the following sentences:
Many people believe that corporations are under-taxed.
The indefinite adjective ``many'' modifies the noun ``people'' and the noun phrase ``many people'' is the
subject of the sentence.
I will send you any mail that arrives after you have moved to Sudbury.
They found a few goldfish floating belly up in the swan pound.
WHAT IS AN ADVERB?
An adverb can modify a verb, an adjective, another adverb, a phrase, or a clause. An adverb indicates manner,
time, place, cause, or degree and answers questions such as "how," "when," "where," "how much".
While some adverbs can be identified by their characteristic "ly" suffix, most of them must be identified by
untangling the grammatical relationships within the sentence or clause as a whole. Unlike an adjective, an
adverb can be found in various places within the sentence.
In the following examples, each of the highlighted words is an adverb:
The seamstress quickly made the mourning clothes.
In this sentence, the adverb "quickly" modifies the verb "made" and indicates in what manner (or how fast) the
clothing was constructed.
The midwives waited patiently through a long labor.
The boldly-spoken words would return to haunt the rebel.
We urged him to dial the number more expeditiously.
Unfortunately, the bank closed at three today.
WHAT IS A PRONOUN?
A pronoun can replace a noun or another pronoun. You use pronouns like "he," "which," "none," and "you"
to make your sentences less cumbersome and less repetitive.
Grammarians classify pronouns into several types, including the personal pronoun, the demonstrative pronoun,
the interrogative pronoun, the indefinite pronoun, the relative pronoun, the reflexive pronoun, and the
intensive pronoun.
Personal Pronouns
A personal pronoun refers to a specific person or thing and changes its form to indicate person, number,
gender, and case.
34
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
Subjective Personal Pronouns
Reflexive pronoun
Object Pronoun
Personal Possessive
Subject
Pronouns
Pronouns
Myself
Me
My/mine
I
Ourselves
Us
Our
We
Yourself
You
Yours truly
You
Himself
Him
His
He
Herself
Her
Her
She
Itself
It
Its
It
Themselves
Them
Their
They
Subject pronoun:
You are surely the strangest child I have ever met.
Possessive pronoun:
The smallest gift is mine.
Object pronoun:Aroma forced her parents to stay with her.
Reflexive pronoun:
You can help yourself.
.
Demonstrative Pronouns
A demonstrative pronoun points to and identifies a noun or a pronoun. "This" and "these" refer to things
that are nearby either in space or in time, while "that" and "those" refer to things that are farther away in space
or time.
This must not continue.
This is puny; that is the tree I want.
Three customers wanted these.
Interrogative Pronouns
An interrogative pronoun is used to ask questions. The interrogative pronouns are "who," "whom," "which,"
"what" and the compounds formed with the suffix "ever" ("whoever," "whomever," "whichever," and
"whatever").
Which wants to see the dentist first?
Who wrote the novel Rockbound?
Whom do you think we should invite?
To whom do you wish to speak?
Who will meet the delegates at the train station?
To whom did you give the paper?
Relative Pronouns
You can use a relative pronoun is used to link one phrase or clause to another phrase or clause. The relative
pronouns are "who," "whom," "that," and "which." The compounds "whoever", "whomever", and
"whichever" are also relative pronouns.
You may invite whomever you like to the party.
The candidate who wins the greatest popular vote is not always elected.
Whoever broke the window will have to replace it.
The crate which was left in the corridor has now been moved into the storage closet.
I will read whichever manuscript arrives first.
Indefinite Pronouns
An indefinite pronoun is a pronoun referring to an identifiable but not specified person or thing. An
indefinite pronoun conveys the idea of all, any, none, or some.
35
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
The most common indefinite pronouns are "all," "another," "any," "anybody," "anyone," "anything," "each,"
"everybody," "everyone," "everything," "few," "many," "nobody," "none," "one," "several," "some,"
"somebody," and "someone." The highlighted words in the following sentences are indefinite pronouns:
Many were invited to the lunch but only twelve showed up.
The office had been searched and everything was thrown onto the floor.
We donated everything we found in the attic to the woman's shelter garage sale.
Although they looked everywhere for extra copies of the magazine, they found none.
Reflexive Pronouns
You can use a reflexive pronoun to refer back to the subject of the clause or sentence. The reflexive pronouns
are "myself," "yourself," "herself," "himself," "itself," "ourselves," "yourselves," and "themselves." Each of the
highlighted words in the following sentences is a reflexive pronoun:
Diabetics give themselves insulin shots several times a day.
The Dean often does the photocopying herself so that the secretaries can do more important work.
After the party, I asked myself why I had faxed invitations to everyone in my office building.
WHAT IS A PREPOSITION?
A preposition links nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence. The word or phrase that the
preposition introduces is called the object of the preposition.
A preposition usually indicates the temporal, spatial or logical relationship of its object to the rest of the
sentence as in the following examples:
The book is on the table.
The book is beneath the table.
The book is leaning against the table.
The book is beside the table.
She held the book over the table.
She read the book during class.
In each of the preceding sentences, a preposition locates the noun "book" in space or in time.
A prepositional phrase is made up of the preposition, its object and any associated adjectives or adverbs. A
prepositional phrase can function as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. The most common prepositions are
"about," "above," "across," "after," "against," "along," "among," "around," "at," "before," "behind," "below,"
"beneath," "beside," "between," "beyond," "but," "by," "despite," "down," "during," "except," "for," "from,"
"in," "inside," "into," "like," "near," "of," "off," "on," "onto," "out," "outside," "over," "past," "since,"
"through," "throughout," "till," "to," "toward," "under," "underneath," "until," "up," "upon," "with," "within,"
and "without."
Each of the highlighted words in the following sentences is a preposition:
The children climbed the mountain without fear.
In this sentence, the preposition "without" introduces the noun "fear" The prepositional phrase "without fear"
functions as an adverb describing how the children climbed.
There was rejoicing throughout the land when the government was defeated.
The spider crawled slowly along the banister.
The dog is hiding under the porch because it knows it will be punished for chewing up a new pair of
shoes.
The screenwriter searched for the manuscript he was certain was somewhere in his office.
WHAT IS A CONJUNCTION?
You can use a conjunction to link words, phrases, and clauses, as in the following example:
I ate the pizza and the pasta.
Call the movers when you are ready.
Coordinating Conjunctions
You use a coordinating conjunction ("and," "but," "or," "nor," "for," "so," or "yet") to join individual words,
phrases, and independent clauses. Note that you can also use the conjunctions "but" and "for" as prepositions.
In the following sentences, each of the highlighted words is a coordinating conjunction:
Lilacs and violets are usually purple.
36
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
In this example, the coordinating conjunction "and" links two nouns.
This movie is particularly interesting to feminist film theorists, for the screenplay was written by Mae
West.
Subordinating Conjunctions
A subordinating conjunction introduces a dependent clause and indicates the nature of the relationship
among the independent clause(s) and the dependent clause(s).
The most common subordinating conjunctions are "after," "although," "as," "because," "before," "how," "if,"
"once," "since," "than," "that," "though," "till," "until," "when," "where," "whether," and "while." Each of the
highlighted words in the following sentences is a subordinating conjunction:
After she had learned to drive, Alice felt more independent.
The subordinating conjunction "after" introduces the dependent clause "After she had learned to drive."
If the paperwork arrives on time, your cheque will be mailed on Tuesday.
Gerald had to begun his thesis over again when his computer crashed.
Correlative Conjunctions
Correlative conjunctions always appear in pairs -- you use them to link equivalent sentence elements. The
most common correlative conjunctions are "both...and," "either...or," "neither...nor,", "not only...but also,"
"so...as "and" whether...or." (Technically correlative conjunctions consist simply of a coordinating conjunction
linked to an adjective or adverb.)
The highlighted words in the following sentences are correlative conjunctions:
Both my grandfather and my father worked in the steel plant.
In this sentence, the correlative conjunction "both...and" is used to link the two noun phrases that act as the
compound subject of the sentence: "my grandfather" and "my father".
Bring either a Jello salad or a potato scallop.
Corinne is trying to decide whether to go to medical school or to go to law school.
The explosion destroyed not only the school but also the neighboring pub.
WHAT IS AN INTERJECTION?
An interjection is a word added to a sentence to convey emotion. It is not grammatically related to any other
part of the sentence.
You usually follow an interjection with an exclamation mark. Interjections are uncommon in formal academic
prose, except in direct quotations. The highlighted words in the following sentences are interjections:
Ouch, that hurt!
Oh no, I forgot that the exam was today.
Hey! Put that down!
I heard one guy say to another guy, "He has a new car, eh?"
I don't know about you but, good lord, I think taxes are too high!
Source: http://www.arts.uottawa.ca/writcent/hypergrammar/partsp.html
37
Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION TO JOURNALISTIC WRITING:Practical, THINGS TO KNOW
  2. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS
  3. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS
  4. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING:Achieve appropriate readability:
  5. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING:Be concise, Be creative, Be correct
  6. THE PROCESS OF WRITING:INVENTION, WHEN YOU START TO WRITE
  7. THE PROCESS OF WRITING II:ORGANIZING, DRAFTING, REVISING
  8. ALL ABOUT WORDS:HOW WORDS ARE FORMED?:SUFFIXES
  9. DICTIONARY-A WRITER’S LANGUAGE TOOL:KINDS OF INFORMATION
  10. PARTS OF SPEECH:Noun Gender, Noun Plurals, Countable Nouns
  11. BASIC CLAUSE PATTERNS
  12. ACTIVE AND PASSSIVE VOICE
  13. MODIFIERS AND SENTENCE TYPES:COMPOUND SENTENCES
  14. REPORTED SPEECH:Indirect Questions, Direct commands
  15. GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE – ISSUES:SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
  16. GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE – ISSUES II:SENTENCE FRAGMENTS
  17. EFFECTIVE SENTENCE:PARALLELISM, NEEDED WORDS, SHIFTS
  18. STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS I:COLLOQUIAL VS FORMAL, CIRCUMLOCUTION
  19. STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS II:AMBIGUITY, REDUNDANCY, EUPHEMISM:
  20. PARAGRAPH WRITING: TYPES AND TECHNIQUES:STRUCTURE
  21. PARAGRAPH WRITING: TYPES AND TECHNIQUES:Putting on Our Play
  22. ESSAY WRITING:VARIOUS STRATEGIES FOR ESSAYS, PROMPTS
  23. SIGNAL WORDS:Non word Emphasis Signals
  24. EXPOSITORY WRITING:LOGICAL FALLACIES, APPEAL TO EMOTION
  25. THE WRITING STYLES: REPORT and NARRATIVE WRITING, SHORT REPORTS
  26. THE WRITING STYLES: DESCRIPTIVE AND PERSUASIVE WRITINGS, Observation
  27. RESEARCH WRITING AND DOCUMNETING SOURCES:Handling Long Quotations
  28. Summary and Précis Writing:CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD SUMMARY
  29. Punctuation:THE PERIOD, THE COMMA, THE SEMICOLON, THE COLON
  30. MECHANICS:ABBREVIATIONS, NUMBERS, SPELLING, THE HYPHEN
  31. READING SKILLS FOR WRITERS:EDUCATED READING, STEPS
  32. PARTS OF A NEWSPAPER:Box-out, By-line, Caption, Exclusive, Feature
  33. THE LANGUAGE OF THE NEWSPAPERS II:BROADSHEET NEWSPAPER
  34. News Writing and Style I:WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A NEWSPAPER
  35. NEWS WRITING II:Accuracy, Clarity, Style, Qualities of Effective Leads
  36. EDITORIAL WRITING:WRITING AN EDITORIAL:STRUCTURING AN EDITORIAL
  37. WRITING FEATURES:GENERATING FEATURE STORY IDEAS
  38. WRITING COLUMNS:Column and a news report, Purpose, Audience
  39. WRITING ARTICLES FOR NEWSPAPERS:The Heading, The Lead
  40. WRITING ANALYSIS:purpose, scope, method, results, recommendations
  41. LETTERS TO EDITORS:Four important aspects about letters, Organizing letters
  42. BROADCAST AND WEB NEWS WRITING:WRITE CONCISELY, BROADCAST STYLE
  43. WRITING PRESS RELEASE, REVIEWS AND OBITUARIES:Summary of Content:
  44. THE ART OF INTERVIEWINGS
  45. FINAL THOUGHTS:Practical, Job-Related, Social, Stimulating, Therapeutic