Thursday, June 18, 2009

Noun – Нэр үг

Нэр үгийн ангилал

(1) Proper - Оноосон нэр үг

(2) Common - Энгийн нэр үг


i. Individual
ii. Collective

(3) Abstract - Хийсвэр нэр үг


(1) Ямар нэгэн тодорхой эд юмс, хүн, гадар зэргийг оноон нэрлэсэн нэр үгийг оноосон нэр гэж нэрлэдэг.

Жишээ нь: city гэдэг үг нь ямар ч хамаагүй хотын тухай ярихад хэрэглэгдэх бол Chicago гэж ярьж байгаа тохиолдолд зөвхөн нэг хотын тухай ярьж байгаа нь тодорхой байна. Мөн үүний нэгэн адил King гэдэг ямар ч хааны тухай ярихад хэрэглэгдэх бол, Alfred the Great гэдэг үгээр зөвхөн нэг хааныг илэрхийлж байна.

PROPER гэдэг үг нь хязгаарлагдсан, нэг хүний утга бүхий латин үг юм.

(2) Энгийн нэр үг нь юмс үзэгдлийг ерөнхийд нь нэрлэж хэлсэн үгнүүд юм.

COMMON гэдэг нь ерөнхий, бүгдийн гэсэн утгатай латин үг.

Жишээ нь:

road - буюу зам гэсэн үг нь ямар ч замын тухай ярихдаа хэрэглэж болно.

Анхаар! Бид the man here, эсвэл the man in front of you, гэж яриж байхдаа зөвхөн нэг хүнийг тодорхойлж ярьж байгаа боловч man гэдэг нэр үг маань өөрөө энгийн нэр үг юм. the буюу тодорхой ялгац гишүүн хэрэглэж тухайн нэр үгийг тодорхойлсон болохоос бус man гэдэг нэр үг оноосон нэг үг биш юм.

Хүн ба мал амьтадыг бүлэглэж, эсвэл сүргээр нь нэрлэсэн нэр үгс нь энгийн нэр үгэнд тооцогдох бөгөөд Collective nouns буюу хамтатгасан нэг үг гэнэ.

Хүнийг илэрхийлсэн Collective nouns - a crowd, a mob, a committee, a council, a congress гэх мэт.

These are called COLLECTIVE NOUNS. They properly belong under common nouns, because each group is considered as a unit, and the name applied to it belongs to any group of its class.

Хэдийгээр энгийн нэр үгэнд хамаарагдаж болох боловч илэрхийлж байгаа утгаараа юмс үзэгдэлийг материаллаг.

6. The definition given for common nouns applies more strictly to class nouns. It may, however, be correctly used for another group of nouns detailed below; for they are common nouns in the sense that the names apply to every particle of similar substance, instead of to each individual or separate object.

They are called MATERIAL NOUNS. Such are glass, iron, clay, frost, rain, snow, wheat, wine, tea, sugar, etc.

They may be placed in groups as follows:-эдгээр нь дараах бүлгээр ангилагдаж болно.

(1) Металууд: iron, gold, platinum
(2) Хэмжээний хувьд яригддаг бүтээгдэхүүн: tea, sugar, rice, wheat
(3) Геологийн эрдэс чулуулгууд: mud, sand, granite, rock, stone
(4) Байгалын үзэгдэлүүд: rain, dew, cloud, frost, mist
(5) Төрөл бүрийн үйлдвэрлэлүүд: cloth, potash, soap, rubber, paint, celluloid

7. NOTE.-There are some nouns, such as sun, moon, earth, which seem to be the names of particular individual objects, but which are not called proper names.

Words naturally of limited application not proper.

The reason is, that in proper names the intention is to exclude all other individuals of the same class, and fasten a special name to the object considered, as in calling a city Cincinnati; but in the words sun, earth, etc., there is no such intention. If several bodies like the center of our solar system are known, they also are called suns by a natural extension of the term: so with the words earth, world, etc. They remain common class names.

Names of ideas, not things.

8. Abstract nouns are names of qualities, conditions, or actions, considered abstractly, or apart from their natural connection.

When we speak of a wise man, we recognize in him an attribute or quality. If we wish to think simply of that quality without describing the person, we speak of the wisdom of the man. The quality is still there as much as before, but it is taken merely as a name. So poverty would express the condition of a poor person; proof means the act of proving, or that which shows a thing has been proved; and so on.

Again, we may say, "Painting is a fine art," "Learning is hard to acquire," "a man of understanding."

9. There are two chief divisions of abstract nouns:-

(1) ATTRIBUTE NOUNS, expressing attributes or qualities.

(2) VERBAL NOUNS, expressing state, condition, or action.

Attribute abstract nouns.

10. The ATTRIBUTE ABSTRACT NOUNS are derived from adjectives and from common nouns. Thus, (1) prudence from prudent, height from high, redness from red, stupidity from stupid, etc.; (2) peerage from peer, childhood from child, mastery from master, kingship from king, etc.

Verbal abstract nouns.

II. The VERBAL ABSTRACT NOUNS Originate in verbs, as their name implies. They may be-

(1) Of the same form as the simple verb. The verb, by altering its function, is used as a noun; as in the expressions, "a long run" "a bold move," "a brisk walk."

(2) Derived from verbs by changing the ending or adding a suffix: motion from move, speech from speak, theft from thieve, action from act, service from serve.


(3) Derived from verbs by adding -ing to the simple verb. It must be remembered that these words are free from any verbal function. They cannot govern a word, and they cannot express action, but are merely names of actions. They are only the husks of verbs, and are to be rigidly distinguished from gerunds (Secs. 272, 273).

To avoid difficulty, study carefully these examples:

The best thoughts and sayings of the Greeks; the moon caused fearful forebodings; in the beginning of his life; he spread his blessings over the land; the great Puritan awakening; our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; a wedding or a festival; the rude drawings of the book; masterpieces of the Socratic reasoning; the teachings of the High Spirit; those opinions and feelings; there is time for such reasonings; the well-being of her subjects; her longing for their favor; feelings which their original meaning will by no means justify; the main bearings of this matter.

Underived abstract nouns.

12. Some abstract nouns were not derived from any other part of speech, but were framed directly for the expression of certain ideas or phenomena. Such are beauty, joy, hope, ease, energy; day, night, summer, winter; shadow, lightning, thunder, etc.

The adjectives or verbs corresponding to these are either themselves derived from the nouns or are totally different words; as glad-joy, hopeful-hope, etc.


Nouns change by use.

13. By being used so as to vary their usual meaning, nouns of one class may be made to approach another class, or to go over to it entirely. Since words alter their meaning so rapidly by a widening or narrowing of their application, we shall find numerous examples of this shifting from class to class; but most of them are in the following groups. For further discussion see the remarks on articles (p. 119).

Proper names transferred to common use.

14. Proper nouns are used as common in either of two ways:-

(1) The origin of a thing is used for the thing itself: that is, the name of the inventor may be applied to the thing invented, as a davy, meaning the miner"s lamp invented by Sir Humphry Davy; the guillotine, from the name of Dr. Guillotin, who was its inventor. Or the name of the country or city from which an article is derived is used for the article: as china, from China; arras, from a town in France; port (wine), from Oporto, in Portugal; levant and morocco (leather).

Some of this class have become worn by use so that at present we can scarcely discover the derivation from the form of the word; for example, the word port, above. Others of similar character are calico, from Calicut; damask, from Damascus; currants, from Corinth; etc.

(2) The name of a person or place noted for certain qualities is transferred to any person or place possessing those qualities; thus,-

Hercules and Samson were noted for their strength, and we call a very strong man a Hercules or a Samson. Sodom was famous for wickedness, and a similar place is called a Sodom of sin.

A Daniel come to judgment!-Shakespeare.

If it prove a mind of uncommon activity and power, a Locke, a Lavoisier, a Hutton, a Bentham, a Fourier, it imposes its classification on other men, and lo! a new system.-Emerson.

Names for things in bulk altered for separate portions.

15. Material nouns may be used as class names. Instead of considering the whole body of material of which certain uses are made, one can speak of particular uses or phases of the substance; as-

(1) Of individual objects made from metals or other substances capable of being wrought into various shapes. We know a number of objects made of iron. The material iron embraces the metal contained in them all; but we may say, "The cook made the irons hot," referring to flat-irons; or, "The sailor was put in irons" meaning chains of iron. So also we may speak of a glass to drink from or to look into; a steel to whet a knife on; a rubber for erasing marks; and so on.

(2) Of classes or kinds of the same substance. These are the same in material, but differ in strength, purity, etc. Hence it shortens speech to make the nouns plural, and say teas, tobaccos, paints, oils, candies, clays, coals.

(3) By poetical use, of certain words necessarily singular in idea, which are made plural, or used as class nouns, as in the following:-

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

From all around-
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air-
Comes a still voice.

Their airy ears
The winds have stationed on the mountain peaks.

(4) Of detached portions of matter used as class names; as stones, slates, papers, tins, clouds, mists, etc.

Personification of abstract ideas.

16. Abstract nouns are frequently used as proper names by being personified; that is, the ideas are spoken of as residing in living beings. This is a poetic usage, though not confined to verse.

Next Anger rushed; his eyes, on fire,
In lightnings owned his secret stings.

fame finds wings on every wind.-Byron.

Death, his mask melting like a nightmare dream, smiled.-Hayne.

Traffic has lain down to rest; and only Vice and Misery, to prowl or to moan like night birds, are abroad.-Carlyle.

A halfway class of words. Class nouns in use, abstract in meaning.

17. Abstract nouns are made half abstract by being spoken of in the plural.

They are not then pure abstract nouns, nor are they common class nouns. For example, examine this:-

The arts differ from the sciences in this, that their power is founded not merely on facts which can be communicated, but on dispositions which require to be created.-Ruskin.

When it is said that art differs from science, that the power of art is founded on fact, that disposition is the thing to be created, the words italicized are pure abstract nouns; but in case an art or a science, or the arts and sciences, be spoken of, the abstract idea is partly lost. The words preceded by the article a, or made plural, are still names of abstract ideas, not material things; but they widen the application to separate kinds of art or different branches of science. They are neither class nouns nor pure abstract nouns: they are more properly called half abstract.

Test this in the following sentences:-

Let us, if we must have great actions, make our own so.-Emerson.

And still, as each repeated pleasure tired, Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired.-Goldsmith.

But ah! those pleasures, loves, and joys
Which I too keenly taste,
The Solitary can despise.

All these, however, were mere terrors of the night.-Irving.

By ellipses, nouns used to modify.

18. Nouns used as descriptive terms. Sometimes a noun is attached to another noun to add to its meaning, or describe it; for example, "a family quarrel," "a New York bank," "the State Bank Tax bill," "a morning walk."

It is evident that these approach very near to the function of adjectives. But it is better to consider them as nouns, for these reasons: they do not give up their identity as nouns; they do not express quality; they cannot be compared, as descriptive adjectives are.

They are more like the possessive noun, which belongs to another word, but is still a noun. They may be regarded as elliptical expressions, meaning a walk in the morning, a bank in New York, a bill as to tax on the banks, etc.

NOTE.-If the descriptive word be a material noun, it may be regarded as changed to an adjective. The term "gold pen" conveys the same idea as "golden pen," which contains a pure adjective.


The noun may borrow from any part of speech, or from any expression.

19. Owing to the scarcity of distinctive forms, and to the consequent flexibility of English speech, words which are usually other parts of speech are often used as nouns; and various word groups may take the place of nouns by being used as nouns.

Adjectives, Conjunctions, Adverbs.

(1) Other parts of speech used as nouns:-

The great, the wealthy, fear thy blow.-Burns.

Every why hath a wherefore.-Shakespeare.

When I was young? Ah, woeful When!
Ah! for the change "twixt Now and Then!

(2) Certain word groups used like single nouns:-

Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.-Shakespeare.

Then comes the "Why, sir!" and the "What then, sir?" and the "No, sir!" and the "You don`t see your way through the question, sir!"-Macaulay

(3) Any part of speech may be considered merely as a word, without reference to its function in the sentence; also titles of books are treated as simple nouns.

The it, at the beginning, is ambiguous, whether it mean the sun or the cold.-Dr BLAIR

In this definition, is the word "just," or "legal," finally to stand?-Ruskin.

There was also a book of Defoe"s called an "Essay on Projects," and another of Dr. Mather"s called "Essays to do Good."-B. FRANKLIN.


20. It is to be remembered, however, that the above cases are shiftings of the use, of words rather than of their meaning. We seldom find instances of complete conversion of one part of speech into another.

When, in a sentence above, the terms the great, the wealthy, are used, they are not names only: we have in mind the idea of persons and the quality of being great or wealthy. The words are used in the sentence where nouns are used, but have an adjectival meaning.

In the other sentences, why and wherefore, When, Now, and Then, are spoken of as if pure nouns; but still the reader considers this not a natural application of them as name words, but as a figure of speech.

NOTE.-These remarks do not apply, of course, to such words as become pure nouns by use. There are many of these. The adjective good has no claim on the noun goods; so, too, in speaking of the principal of a school, or a state secret, or a faithful domestic, or a criminal, etc., the words are entirely independent of any adjective force.



What gender means in English. It is founded on sex.

21. In Latin, Greek, German, and many other languages, some general rules are given that names of male beings are usually masculine, and names of females are usually feminine. There are exceptions even to this general statement, but not so in English. Male beings are, in English grammar, always masculine; female, always feminine.

When, however, inanimate things are spoken of, these languages are totally unlike our own in determining the gender of words. For instance: in Latin, hortus (garden) is masculine, mensa (table) is feminine, corpus (body) is neuter; in German, das Messer (knife) is neuter, der Tisch (table) is masculine, die Gabel (fork) is feminine.

The great difference is, that in English the gender follows the meaning of the word, in other languages gender follows the form; that is, in English, gender depends on sex: if a thing spoken of is of the male sex, the name of it is masculine; if of the female sex, the name of it is feminine. Hence:


22. Gender is the mode of distinguishing sex by words, or additions to words.

23. It is evident from this that English can have but two genders,-masculine and feminine.

Gender nouns. Neuter nouns.

All nouns, then, must be divided into two principal classes,-gender nouns, those distinguishing the sex of the object; and neuter nouns, those which do not distinguish sex, or names of things without life, and consequently without sex.

Gender nouns include names of persons and some names of animals; neuter nouns include some animals and all inanimate objects.

Some words either gender or neuter nouns, according to use.

24. Some words may be either gender nouns or neuter nouns, according to their use. Thus, the word child is neuter in the sentence, "A little child shall lead them," but is masculine in the sentence from Wordsworth,-

I have seen
A curious child ... applying to his ear
The convolutions of a smooth-lipped shell.

Of animals, those with which man comes in contact often, or which arouse his interest most, are named by gender nouns, as in these sentences:-

Before the barn door strutted the gallant cock, that pattern of a husband, ... clapping his burnished wings.-Irving.

Gunpowder ... came to a stand just by the bridge, with a suddenness that had nearly sent his rider sprawling over his head-Id.

Other animals are not distinguished as to sex, but are spoken of as neuter, the sex being of no consequence.

Not a turkey but he [Ichabod] beheld daintily trussed up, with its gizzard under its wing.-Irving.

He next stooped down to feel the pig, if there were any signs of life in it.-Lamb.

No "common gender."

25. According to the definition, there can be no such thing as "common gender:" words either distinguish sex (or the sex is distinguished by the context) or else they do not distinguish sex.

If such words as parent, servant, teacher, ruler, relative, cousin, domestic, etc., do not show the sex to which the persons belong, they are neuter words.

26. Put in convenient form, the division of words according to sex, or the lack of it, is,-

(MASCULINE: Male beings.
Gender nouns {
(FEMININE: Female beings.

Neuter nouns: Names of inanimate things, or of living beings whose sex cannot be determined.

27. The inflections for gender belong, of course, only to masculine and feminine nouns. Forms would be a more accurate word than inflections, since inflection applies only to the case of nouns.

There are three ways to distinguish the genders:-

(1) By prefixing a gender word to another word.

(2) By adding a suffix, generally to a masculine word.

(3) By using a different word for each gender.

I. Gender shown by Prefixes.

Very few of class I.

28. Usually the gender words he and she are prefixed to neuter words; as he-goat-she-goat, cock sparrow-hen sparrow, he-bear-she-bear.

One feminine, woman, puts a prefix before the masculine man. Woman is a short way of writing wifeman.

II. Gender shown by Suffixes.

29. By far the largest number of gender words are those marked by suffixes. In this particular the native endings have been largely supplanted by foreign suffixes.

Native suffixes.

The native suffixes to indicate the feminine were -en and -ster. These remain in vixen and spinster, though both words have lost their original meanings.

The word vixen was once used as the feminine of fox by the Southern-English. For fox they said vox; for from they said vram; and for the older word fat they said vat, as in wine vat. Hence vixen is for fyxen, from the masculine fox.

Spinster is a relic of a large class of words that existed in Old and Middle English, but have now lost their original force as feminines. The old masculine answering to spinster was spinner; but spinster has now no connection with it.

The foreign suffixes are of two kinds:-

Foreign suffixes. Unaltered and little used.

(1) Those belonging to borrowed words, as czarina, señorita, executrix, donna. These are attached to foreign words, and are never used for words recognized as English.

Slightly changed and widely used.

(2) That regarded as the standard or regular termination of the feminine, -ess (French esse, Low Latin issa), the one most used. The corresponding masculine may have the ending -er (-or), but in most cases it has not. Whenever we adopt a new masculine word, the feminine is formed by adding this termination -ess.

Sometimes the -ess has been added to a word already feminine by the ending -ster; as seam-str-ess, song-str-ess. The ending -ster had then lost its force as a feminine suffix; it has none now in the words huckster, gamester, trickster, punster.

Ending of masculine not changed.

30. The ending -ess is added to many words without changing the ending of the masculine; as,-

  • baron-baroness
  • count-countess
  • lion-lioness
  • Jew-Jewess
  • heir-heiress
  • host-hostess
  • priest-priestess
  • giant-giantess

Masculine ending dropped.

The masculine ending may be dropped before the feminine -ess is added; as,-

  • abbot-abbess
  • negro-negress
  • murderer-murderess
  • sorcerer-sorceress

Vowel dropped before adding -ess.

The feminine may discard a vowel which appears in the masculine; as in-

  • actor-actress
  • master-mistress
  • benefactor-benefactress
  • emperor-empress
  • tiger-tigress
  • enchanter-enchantress

Empress has been cut down from emperice (twelfth century) and emperesse (thirteenth century), from Latin imperatricem.

Master and mistress were in Middle English maister-maistresse, from the Old French maistre-maistresse.

31. When the older -en and -ster went out of use as the distinctive mark of the feminine, the ending -ess, from the French -esse, sprang into a popularity much greater than at present.

Ending -ess less used now than formerly.

Instead of saying doctress, fosteress, wagoness, as was said in the sixteenth century, or servauntesse, teacheresse, neighboresse, frendesse, as in the fourteenth century, we have dispensed with the ending in many cases, and either use a prefix word or leave the masculine to do work for the feminine also.

Thus, we say doctor (masculine and feminine) or woman doctor, teacher or lady teacher, neighbor (masculine and feminine), etc. We frequently use such words as author, editor, chairman, to represent persons of either sex.

NOTE.-There is perhaps this distinction observed: when we speak of a female as an active agent merely, we use the masculine termination, as, "George Eliot is the author of "Adam Bede;"" but when we speak purposely to denote a distinction from a male, we use the feminine, as, "George Eliot is an eminent authoress."

III. Gender shown by Different Words.

32. In some of these pairs, the feminine and the masculine are entirely different words; others have in their origin the same root. Some of them have an interesting history, and will be noted below:-

  • bachelor-maid
  • boy-girl
  • brother-sister
  • drake-duck
  • earl-countess
  • father-mother
  • gander-goose
  • hart-roe
  • horse-mare
  • husband-wife
  • king-queen
  • lord-lady
  • wizard-witch
  • nephew-niece
  • ram-ewe
  • sir-madam
  • son-daughter
  • uncle-aunt
  • bull-cow
  • boar-sow

Girl originally meant a child of either sex, and was used for male or female until about the fifteenth century.

Drake is peculiar in that it is formed from a corresponding feminine which is no longer used. It is not connected historically with our word duck, but is derived from ened (duck) and an obsolete suffix rake (king). Three letters of ened have fallen away, leaving our word drake.

Gander and goose were originally from the same root word. Goose has various cognate forms in the languages akin to English (German Gans, Icelandic gás, Danish gaas, etc.). The masculine was formed by adding -a, the old sign of the masculine. This gansa was modified into gan-ra, gand-ra, finally gander; the d being inserted to make pronunciation easy, as in many other words.

Mare, in Old English mere, had the masculine mearh (horse), but this has long been obsolete.

Husband and wife are not connected in origin. Husband is a Scandinavian word (Anglo-Saxon hūsbonda from Icelandic hús-bóndi, probably meaning house dweller); wife was used in Old and Middle English to mean woman in general.

King and queen are said by some (Skeat, among others) to be from the same root word, but the German etymologist Kluge says they are not.

Lord is said to be a worn-down form of the Old English hlāf-weard (loaf keeper), written loverd, lhauerd, or lauerd in Middle English. Lady is from hlœ̄̄fdige (hlœ̄̄f meaning loaf, and dige being of uncertain origin and meaning).

Witch is the Old English wicce, but wizard is from the Old French guiscart (prudent), not immediately connected with witch, though both are ultimately from the same root.

Sir is worn down from the Old French sire (Latin senior). Madam is the French ma dame, from Latin mea domina.

Two masculines from feminines.

33. Besides gander and drake, there are two other masculine words that were formed from the feminine:-

Bridegroom, from Old English brȳd-guma (bride"s man). The r in groom has crept in from confusion with the word groom.

Widower, from the weakening of the ending -a in Old English to -e in Middle English. The older forms, widuwa-widuwe, became identical, and a new masculine ending was therefore added to distinguish the masculine from the feminine (compare Middle English widuer-widewe).


34. Just as abstract ideas are personified (Sec. 16), material objects may be spoken of like gender nouns; for example,-

"Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his way."

The Sun now rose upon the right:
Out of the sea came he.

And haply the Queen Moon is on her throne,
Clustered around by all her starry Fays.

Britannia needs no bulwarks,
No towers along the steep;
Her march is o`er the mountain waves,
Her home is on the deep.

This is not exclusively a poetic use. In ordinary speech personification is very frequent: the pilot speaks of his boat as feminine; the engineer speaks so of his engine; etc.

Effect of personification.

In such cases the gender is marked by the pronoun, and not by the form of the noun. But the fact that in English the distinction of gender is confined to difference of sex makes these departures more effective.



35. In nouns, number means the mode of indicating whether we are speaking of one thing or of more than one.

36. Our language has two numbers,-singular and plural. The singular number denotes that one thing is spoken of; the plural, more than one.

37. There are three ways of changing the singular form to the plural:-

(1) By adding -en.

(2) By changing the root vowel.

(3) By adding -s (or -es).

The first two methods prevailed, together with the third, in Old English, but in modern English -s or -es has come to be the "standard" ending; that is, whenever we adopt a new word, we make its plural by adding -s or -es.

I. Plurals formed by the Suffix -en.

The -en inflection.

38. This inflection remains only in the word oxen, though it was quite common in Old and Middle English; for instance, eyen (eyes), treen (trees), shoon (shoes), which last is still used in Lowland Scotch. Hosen is found in the King James version of the Bible, and housen is still common in the provincial speech in England.

39. But other words were inflected afterwards, in imitation of the old words in -en by making a double plural.

-En inflection imitated by other words.

Brethren has passed through three stages. The old plural was brothru, then brothre or brethre, finally brethren. The weakening of inflections led to this addition.

Children has passed through the same history, though the intermediate form childer lasted till the seventeenth century in literary English, and is still found in dialects; as,-

"God bless me! so then, after all, you"ll have a chance to see your childer get up like, and get settled."-Quoted By De Quincey.

Kine is another double plural, but has now no singular.

In spite of wandering kine and other adverse circumstance.-Thoreau.

II. Plurals formed by Vowel Change.

40. Examples of this inflection are,-

  • man-men
  • foot-feet
  • goose-geese
  • louse-lice
  • mouse-mice
  • tooth-teeth

Some other words-as book, turf, wight, borough-formerly had the same inflection, but they now add the ending -s.

41. Akin to this class are some words, originally neuter, that have the singular and plural alike; such as deer, sheep, swine, etc.

Other words following the same usage are, pair, brace, dozen, after numerals (if not after numerals, or if preceded by the prepositions in, by, etc, they add -s): also trout, salmon; head, sail; cannon; heathen, folk, people.

The words horse and foot, when they mean soldiery, retain the same form for plural meaning; as,-

The foot are fourscore thousand,
The horse are thousands ten.

Lee marched over the mountain wall,-
Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town.

III. Plurals formed by Adding -s or -es.

42. Instead of -s, the ending -es is added-

(1) If a word ends in a letter which cannot add -s and be pronounced. Such are box, cross, ditch, glass, lens, quartz, etc.

-Es added in certain cases.

If the word ends in a sound which cannot add -s, a new syllable is made; as, niche-niches, race-races, house-houses, prize-prizes, chaise-chaises, etc.

-Es is also added to a few words ending in -o, though this sound combines readily with -s, and does not make an extra syllable: cargo-cargoes, negro-negroes, hero-heroes, volcano-volcanoes, etc.

Usage differs somewhat in other words of this class, some adding -s, and some -es.

(2) If a word ends in -y preceded by a consonant (the y being then changed to i); e.g., fancies, allies, daisies, fairies.

Words in -ies.

Formerly, however, these words ended in -ie, and the real ending is therefore -s. Notice these from Chaucer (fourteenth century):-

Their old form.

The lilie on hir stalke grene.
Of maladie the which he hadde endured.

And these from Spenser (sixteenth century):-

Be well aware, quoth then that ladie milde.
At last fair Hesperus in highest skie
Had spent his lampe.

(3) In the case of some words ending in -f or -fe, which have the plural in -ves: calf-calves, half-halves, knife-knives, shelf-shelves, etc.

Special Lists.

43. Material nouns and abstract nouns are always singular. When such words take a plural ending, they lose their identity, and go over to other classes (Secs. 15 and 17).

44. Proper nouns are regularly singular, but may be made plural when we wish to speak of several persons or things bearing the same name; e.g., the Washingtons, the Americas.

45. Some words are usually singular, though they are plural in form. Examples of these are, optics, economics, physics, mathematics, politics, and many branches of learning; also news, pains (care), molasses, summons, means: as,-

Politics, in its widest extent, is both the science and the art of government.-Century Dictionary.

So live, that when thy summons comes, etc.-Bryant.

It served simply as a means of sight.-Prof. Dana.

Means plural.

Two words, means and politics, may be plural in their construction with verbs and adjectives:-

Words, by strongly conveying the passions, by those means which we have already mentioned, fully compensate for their weakness in other respects.-Burke.

With great dexterity these means were now applied.-Motley.

By these means, I say, riches will accumulate.-Goldsmith.

Politics plural.

Cultivating a feeling that politics are tiresome.-G. W. Curtis.

The politics in which he took the keenest interest were politics scarcely deserving of the name.-Macaulay.

Now I read all the politics that come out.-Goldsmith.

46. Some words have no corresponding singular.

  • aborigines
  • amends
  • annals
  • assets
  • antipodes
  • scissors
  • thanks
  • spectacles
  • vespers
  • victuals
  • matins
  • nuptials
  • oats
  • obsequies
  • premises
  • bellows
  • billiards
  • dregs
  • gallows
  • tongs

Occasionally singular words.

Sometimes, however, a few of these words have the construction of singular nouns. Notice the following:-

They cannot get on without each other any more than one blade of a scissors can cut without the other.-J. L. Laughlin.

A relic which, if I recollect right, he pronounced to have been a tongs.-Irving.

Besides this, it is furnished with a forceps.-Goldsmith.

The air,-was it subdued when...the wind was trained only to turn a windmill, carry off chaff, or work in a bellows?-Prof. Dana.

In Early Modern English thank is found.

What thank have ye?-Bible

47. Three words were originally singular, the present ending -s not being really a plural inflection, but they are regularly construed as plural: alms, eaves, riches.

two plurals.

48. A few nouns have two plurals differing in meaning.

  • brother-brothers (by blood), brethren (of a society or church).
  • cloth-cloths (kinds of cloth), clothes (garments).
  • die-dies (stamps for coins, etc.), dice (for gaming).
  • fish-fish (collectively), fishes (individuals or kinds).
  • genius-geniuses (men of genius), genii (spirits).
  • index-indexes (to books), indices (signs in algebra).
  • pea-peas (separately), pease (collectively).
  • penny-pennies (separately), pence (collectively).
  • shot-shot (collective balls), shots (number of times fired).

In speaking of coins, twopence, sixpence, etc., may add -s, making a double plural, as two sixpences.

One plural, two meanings.

49. Other words have one plural form with two meanings,-one corresponding to the singular, the other unlike it.

  • custom-customs: (1) habits, ways; (2) revenue duties.
  • letter-letters: (1) the alphabet, or epistles; (2) literature.
  • number-numbers: (1) figures; (2) poetry, as in the lines,-

I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers.

Numbers also means issues, or copies, of a periodical.

  • pain-pains: (1) suffering; (2) care, trouble,
  • part-parts: (1) divisions; (2) abilities, faculties.

Two classes of compound words.

50. Compound words may be divided into two classes:-

(1) Those whose parts are so closely joined as to constitute one word. These make the last part plural.

  • courtyard
  • dormouse
  • Englishman
  • fellow-servant
  • fisherman
  • Frenchman
  • forget-me-not
  • goosequill
  • handful
  • mouthful
  • cupful
  • maidservant
  • pianoforte
  • stepson
  • spoonful
  • titmouse

(2) Those groups in which the first part is the principal one, followed by a word or phrase making a modifier. The chief member adds -s in the plural.

  • aid-de-camp
  • attorney at law
  • billet-doux
  • commander in chief
  • court-martial
  • cousin-german
  • father-in-law
  • knight-errant
  • hanger-on

NOTE.-Some words ending in -man are not compounds of the English word man, but add -s; such as talisman, firman, Brahman, German, Norman, Mussulman, Ottoman.

51. Some groups pluralize both parts of the group; as man singer, manservant, woman servant, woman singer.

Two methods in use for names with titles.

52. As to plurals of names with titles, there is some disagreement among English writers. The title may be plural, as the Messrs. Allen, the Drs. Brown, the Misses Rich; or the name may be pluralized.

The former is perhaps more common in present-day use, though the latter is often found; for example,-

Then came Mr. and Mrs. Briggs, and then the three Miss Spinneys, then Silas Peckham.-Dr. Holmes.

Our immortal Fielding was of the younger branch of the Earls of Denbigh, who drew their origin from the Counts of Hapsburgh.-Gibbon.

The Miss Flamboroughs were reckoned the best dancers in the parish.-Goldsmith.

The Misses Nettengall`s young ladies come to the Cathedral too.-Dickens.

The Messrs. Harper have done the more than generous thing by Mr. Du Maurier.-The Critic.

53. A number of foreign words have been adopted into English without change of form. These are said to be domesticated, and retain their foreign plurals.

Others have been adopted, and by long use have altered their power so as to conform to English words. They are then said to be naturalized, or Anglicized, or Englished.

Domesticated words.

The domesticated words may retain the original plural. Some of them have a secondary English plural in -s or -es.


Find in the dictionary the plurals of these words:-


  • apparatus
  • appendix
  • axis
  • datum
  • erratum
  • focus
  • formula
  • genus
  • larva
  • medium
  • memorandum
  • nebula
  • radius
  • series
  • species
  • stratum
  • terminus
  • vertex


  • analysis
  • antithesis
  • automaton
  • basis
  • crisis
  • ellipsis
  • hypothesis
  • parenthesis
  • phenomenon
  • thesis

Anglicized words.

When the foreign words are fully naturalized, they form their plurals in the regular way; as,-

  • bandits
  • cherubs
  • dogmas
  • encomiums
  • enigmas
  • focuses
  • formulas
  • geniuses
  • herbariums
  • indexes
  • seraphs
  • apexes

Usage varies in plurals of letters, figures, etc.

54. Letters, figures, etc., form their plurals by adding -s or "s. Words quoted merely as words, without reference to their meaning, also add -s or "s; as, "His 9"s (or 9s) look like 7"s (or 7s)," "Avoid using too many and"s (or ands)," "Change the +"s (or +s) to -"s (or -s)."



55. Case is an inflection or use of a noun (or pronoun) to show its relation to other words in the sentence.

In the sentence, "He sleeps in a felon"s cell," the word felon`s modifies cell, and expresses a relation akin to possession; cell has another relation, helping to express the idea of place with the word in.

56. In the general wearing-away of inflections, the number of case forms has been greatly reduced.

Only two case forms.

There are now only two case forms of English nouns,-one for the nominative and objective, one for the possessive: consequently the matter of inflection is a very easy thing to handle in learning about cases.

Reasons for speaking of three cases of nouns.

But there are reasons why grammars treat of three cases of nouns when there are only two forms:-

(1) Because the relations of all words, whether inflected or not, must be understood for purposes of analysis.

(2) Because pronouns still have three case forms as well as three case relations.

57. Nouns, then, may be said to have three cases,-the nominative, the objective, and the possessive.

I. Uses of the Nominative.

58. The nominative case is used as follows:-

(1) As the subject of a verb: "Water seeks its level."

(2) As a predicate noun, completing a verb, and referring to or explaining the subject: "A bent twig makes a crooked tree."

(3) In apposition with some other nominative word, adding to the meaning of that word: "The reaper Death with his sickle keen."

(4) In direct address: "Lord Angus, thou hast lied!"

(5) With a participle in an absolute or independent phrase (there is some discussion whether this is a true nominative): "The work done, they returned to their homes."

(6) With an infinitive in exclamations: "David to die!"


Pick out the nouns in the nominative case, and tell which use of the nominative each one has.

1. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead; excessive grief, the enemy of the living.

2. Excuses are clothes which, when asked unawares,
Good Breeding to naked Necessity spares.

3. Human experience is the great test of truth.

4. Cheerfulness and content are great beautifiers.

5. Three properties belong to wisdom,-nature, learning, and experience; three things characterize man,-person, fate, and merit.

6. But of all plagues, good Heaven, thy wrath can send,
Save, save, oh save me from the candid friend!

7. Conscience, her first law broken, wounded lies.

8. They charged, sword in hand and visor down.

9. O sleep! O gentle sleep!
Nature"s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee?

II. Uses of the Objective.

59. The objective case is used as follows:-

(1) As the direct object of a verb, naming the person or thing directly receiving the action of the verb: "Woodman, spare that tree!"

(2) As the indirect object of a verb, naming the person or thing indirectly affected by the action of the verb: "Give the devil his due."

(3) Adverbially, defining the action of a verb by denoting time, measure, distance, etc. (in the older stages of the language, this took the regular accusative inflection): "Full fathom five thy father lies;" "Cowards die many times before their deaths."

(4) As the second object, completing the verb, and thus becoming part of the predicate in acting upon an object: "Time makes the worst enemies friends;" "Thou makest the storm a calm." In these sentences the real predicates are makes friends, taking the object enemies, and being equivalent to one verb, reconciles; and makest a calm, taking the object storm, and meaning calmest. This is also called the predicate objective or the factitive object.

(5) As the object of a preposition, the word toward which the preposition points, and which it joins to another word: "He must have a long spoon that would eat with the devil."

The preposition sometimes takes the possessive case of a noun, as will be seen in Sec. 68.

(6) In apposition with another objective: "The opinions of this junto were completely controlled by Nicholas Vedder, a patriarch of the village, and landlord of the inn."


Point out the nouns in the objective case in these sentences, and tell which use each has:-

1. Tender men sometimes have strong wills.

2. Necessity is the certain connection between cause and effect.

3. Set a high price on your leisure moments; they are sands of precious gold.

4. But the flood came howling one day.

5. I found the urchin Cupid sleeping.

6. Five times every year he was to be exposed in the pillory.

7. The noblest mind the best contentment has.

8. Multitudes came every summer to visit that famous natural curiosity, the Great Stone Face.

9. And whirling plate, and forfeits paid,
His winter task a pastime made.

10. He broke the ice on the streamlet"s brink,
And gave the leper to eat and drink.

III. Uses of the Possessive.

60. The possessive case always modifies another word, expressed or understood. There are three forms of possessive showing how a word is related in sense to the modified word:-

(1) Appositional possessive, as in these expressions,-

The blind old man of Scio"s rocky isle.-Byron.

Beside a pumice isle in Baiæ"s bay.-Shelley.

In these sentences the phrases are equivalent to of the rocky isle [of] Scio, and in the bay [of] Baiæ, the possessive being rally equivalent here to an appositional objective. It is a poetic expression, the equivalent phrase being used in prose.

(2) Objective possessive, as shown in the sentences,-

Ann Turner had taught her the secret before this last good lady had been hanged for Sir Thomas Overbury"s murder.-Hawthorne.

He passes to-day in building an air castle for to-morrow, or in writing yesterday`s elegy.-Thackeray

In these the possessives are equivalent to an objective after a verbal expression: as, for murdering Sir Thomas Overbury; an elegy to commemorate yesterday. For this reason the use of the possessive here is called objective.

(3) Subjective possessive, the most common of all; as,-

The unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator"s power display.

If this were expanded into the power which his Creator possesses, the word Creator would be the subject of the verb: hence it is called a subjective possessive.

61. This last-named possessive expresses a variety of relations. Possession in some sense is the most common. The kind of relation may usually be found by expanding the possessive into an equivalent phrase: for example, "Winter"s rude tempests are gathering

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