REVISITING NOUNS AND THE COMMON ERRORS ASSOCIATED WITH THEM
Dear reader, welcome to today’s edition of ‘This English Self’. In this write up, I will define; explain and illustrate with sentences how users of the English language commit pitfalls through the erroneous use of nouns. By definition, nouns are naming words and I guess everyone knows that already but that may not translate to impeccable expressions. So, names of persons, animals, places, things, ideas, days of the week, months of the year, events and actions are nouns. From this definition, we can confidently say that Jide, dog, Paris, pencil, dreams, Monday, June, birthday, singing are common examples of nouns.
Permit me state it here and now, that the concept noun, is so broad that no column can exhaustively treat all its aspect comprehensively. In its types, we can identify proper nouns, common nouns, collective nouns, concrete nouns, count nouns, non-count nouns (mass nouns) abstract nouns and the list continues. For the purpose of this edition, we will briefly explain each.
Specific names are called proper nouns while general names are known as common nouns. The basic illustration rests in the names Jack and boy. Jack is also a boy but a specific boy. Concrete nouns are those nouns we can see, touch and feel. They are known as tangible nouns while abstract nouns are those nouns we can’t see nor touch but we can feel them.
In all of this, today’s edition will simply concern itself with the count nouns. Count nouns, in its ordinary definition, are those nouns we can count. This may sound plausible but it is not the sole reason a noun is a count noun.
Another point to note is that count nouns inflect for singular and plural forms.
The singular form means one while the plural form means more than one.
Take a quick glance at the following sentences:
📛 I have a big banana.
📛 He bought two ripe oranges.
📛 The duration for this examination is one and a half hours.
📛 Some boys came here yesterday.
From the above examples, it becomes glaring that most singular nouns will end without ‘s’ while plural nouns are formed through the addition of the letter‘s’.
Dear reader, it is not all that simple. Some nouns are rebels. They do not follow that law. Take this verse below as my give away. Read it. Enjoy it and digest the meaning.
📛For a pen can become two pens
📛Just as a boy and a girl can make up boys and girls
📛So, can your box become two boxes
📛But never can an ox with another birth ‘oxes’
📛You can only get ten oxen
📛Who else knows that a thief among other thieves
📛Cannot lift a shelf or shelves and the chief
📛No matter his position cannot buy and sell ten chiefs.
📛My father has a goat and two sheep
📛Before he left for the states on a ship.
What I have achieved in this piece of almost a five-hundred word, is set the pace for next week’s post when we shall be looking at the errors associated with singular and plural nouns.
Thanks for reading through. Like and drop your comments. They will help me dish you better.
About the Author
Shola Ojikutu is a stellar English and Literature in English teacher and a prolific writer of poems, reviews, speeches, persuasive and motivational copies. He writes and resides in Lagos.
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