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English Grammar - What are the Important Rules for Noun Usage? How to Learn General English Series

What are the Important Rules for Usage of Nouns?

Nouns like advice, furniture, luggage, information, grass, poetry, food, scenery, electricity, machinery, traffic, work, dust, wood, glass, paper are always singular.

Please note that these are uncountable nouns. Their plural is not formed. A/An is not used before them.

Some nouns have the singular and plural alike.

Like species, sheep, sine, deer etc.

A sheep is grazing.

Sheep are grazing.

Nouns expressing numbers used in singular with numerical adjectives (thousand, dozen, hundred, score etc).

He bought five dozen apples.

He gave him two hundred dollars.

Some nouns like electorate, cattle, peasantry, poultry, gentry, police, and people are always plural.

Cattle are not allowed here.

These poultry are sold.

Some nouns like audience, committee, government, jury, crowd, family are used as singulars when they are thought as units.

They are thought as plurals when their members are thought of.

The committee is unanimous on this proposal.

The audience are requested to keep silent.

Please note that when the plural noun is a proper name for some single object or some collective unit - it is used as singular.

The United States has a big army.

A plural noun is used after either of, neither of, one of, each of.

Neither of the girls have come.

The plural of compound nouns are formed by forming plural of the principal word.

All my sisters - in – law are in Paris.

Please note that in both the parts of the compound nouns of man and woman - plural formation is done.

All the women nurses here are skilled.

How to use Possessive Case?

With the names of living things - the possessive case is chiefly used.

Mohan’s brother is my friend.

Please note - Non living things are used in possessive case if they are personified.

Julie is at death’s door.

The possessive case is also used with nouns denoting space, time or weight.

She will be back in a month’s time.

The shop is at stone’s throw from here.

Please note - The possessive sign is put to latter only - when two or more nouns show joint possession.

If else is used with anybody, nobody, somebody etc the possessive sign is put to ‘else’.

This car is not mine, it is somebody else’s.

Please note - The possessive sign is put to the latter - when two nouns are in apposition.

That is Shyam the poet’s book.

The possessive sign is attached only to the last word with compound nouns.

His brother - in - law’s health is poor.

Possessive sign is not attached to two consecutive nouns.

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