Grade 2 English : Proper Nouns and Common Nouns

Grade 2 english(IEO): Adverbs

The table below shows the types of adverbs used in English along with their definitions and examples.

Type Definition Example
Adverbs of Manner Adverbs of manner provide information on how someone does something. Jack drives very carefully.
Adverbs of Time Adverbs of time provide information on when something happens. We’ll let you know our decision next week.
Adverbs of Frequency Adverbs of frequency provide information on how often something happens. They usually get to work at eight o’clock.
Adverbs of Degree Adverbs of degree provide information concerning how much of something is done. They like playing golf a lot.
Adverbs of Comment Adverbs of comment provide a comment, or opinion about a situation. Fortunately, there were enough seats left for the concert.


The table below shows the way we form English adverbs.

Adverbs are usually formed by adding ‘-ly‘ to an adjective. bad – badly
quiet – quietly
careful – carefully
careless – carelessly
Adjectives ending in ‘-le’ change to ‘-ly‘. possible – possibly
probable – probably
incredible – incredibly
Adjectives ending in ‘-y’ change to ‘-ily‘: consonant + y
Compare: vowel + y
lucky – luckily
happy – happily
angry – angrily
day (noun) – daily
Delete -e and add -ly for endings in -le noble – nobly
Adjectives ending in ‘-ic‘ change to ‘-ically‘. fantastic – fantastically
basic – basically
ironic – ironically
scientific – scientifically
Some adjectives are irregular. good – well
hard – hard
fast -fast


Position of adverbs in English

Type Position Example
Adverbs of Manner Adverbs of manner are placed after the verb or entire expression (at the end of the sentence). Their teacher speaksquickly.
Adverbs of Time Adverbs of time are placed after the verb or entire expression (at the end of the sentence). She visited her friends last year.
Adverbs of Frequency Adverbs of frequency are placed before the main verb (not the auxiliary verb). He often goes to bed late.
Do you sometimes get upearly?
Adverbs of Degree Adverbs of degree are placed after the verb or entire expression (at the end of the sentence). She’ll attend the meeting as well.
Adverbs of Comment Adverbs of comment are placed at the beginning of a sentence. Luckily, I was able to come to the presentation.

Important Exceptions to Adverb Placement

Some adverbs are placed at the beginning of a sentence to provide more emphasis.

For exampleNow you tell me you can’t come!

Adverbs of frequency are placed after the verb ‘to be‘ when used as the main verb of the sentence.

For example: Jack is often late for work.

Some adverbs of frequency (sometimesusuallynormally) are also placed at the beginning of the sentence for emphasis.

Comparison of adverbs in English

The table below shows the way we create comparative and superlative forms of adverbs in English.

  Adverb Comparative Superlative
Same form as adjective: fast faster fastest
-ly adverbs of manner easily more easily most easily
briefly more/less briefly most/least briefly
clearly more/less clearly most/least clearly
quickly more/less quickly most/least quickly
Some adverbs of frequency rarely more rarely most rarely
seldom more seldom most seldom
often more often
oftener (less common)
most often
Exceptions: badly worse worst
far farther
late later last
little less least
much more most
well better best

Latest and last can be adjectives.
I have bought the latest CD of Coldplay. (i.e. most recent)
I bought the last CD of Whitney Huston. (i.e. final)

Normally only last is used as an adverb.
That was a difficult question, so I answered it last.
It last snowed six months ago. (= The last time it snowed was …)

Farther and further can be both used to refer to distance.
He drove the miles farther/further than necessary.

Adverbs of manner in English

The table below shows how we can make adverbs from adjectives in English.

  Adjective Adverb
Add -ly to an adjective. This applies to adjectives ending in -l so that the l is doubled. But note: full/fully bad badly
careful carefully
mad madly
plain plainly
sudden suddenly
beautiful beautifully
musical musically
-y becomes -ily: consonant + y:
Compare: vowel + y
(day – noun)
busy busily
funny funnily
dry drily/dryly
sly slyly
Delete -e and add -ly for endings in -ie: noble nobly
able ably
nimble nimbly
possible possibly
whole wholy
Other adjectives ending in -e retain the -e when adding -ly: extreme extremely
tame tamely
Exceptions: due duly
true truly
Adjectives ending in -ic take -ally: fantastic fantastically
basic basically
systematic systematically
Exception: public publicly

Some adverbs have two forms which may have the same meaning:
I bought this car cheap/cheaply.

Some may have different meanings:
I work hard and play hard. He did hardly any work today.

Adverbs of place in English

Adverbs of place can be:

words like: abroad, ahead, anywhere/everywhere/nowhere/somewhere, ashore, away/back, backwards/forwards, here/there, left/right, north/south, upstairs/downstairs
words like the following, which can also function as prepositions: above, behind, below, beneath, underneath
two words combining to emphasize a place, such as: down below, down/up there, far ahead, far away, over here, over there

Position of adverbs of place

Adverbs of place are used after adverbs of manner but before adverbs of time. Chris read quietly(manner) in the library (place) all afternoon (time).

Adverbs of direction can often come after movement verbs (come, go, drive) and before other adverbials:
I drove to Manchester (direction) by train (manner) next month (time).

If there is more than one adverb of place, then ‘smaller places’ are mentioned before ‘bigger places’.
He lives in a small house in a village outside Leeds in England.

Adverbs of time in English

Adverbs of definite time

points of time today, tomorrow, yesterday
prepositional phrases functioning as adverbials of time at Christmas, in June, on April 29th

Adverbs of definite time are usually used at the very end of a sentence:
We arrived in London on Monday.

They can be also used at the beginning:
This morning I received an email from my boss

If there are more than one time reference, we arrange the adverbs starting from the particular to the general i.e. time + day + date + year.
My aunt was born at 12.25 on Saturday April 29th 1964.

Adverbs of indefinite time

The most common adverbs of indefinite time are: another day, another time, at last, at once, early, eventually, formerly, immediately, just, late, lately, now, nowadays, once, one day, presently, recently, some day, soon, still, suddenly, then, these days, yet

Adverbs of indefinite time are usually used at the end of a sentence, though they can be also used before the verb and ( to focus interest or for contrast ) at the beginning of a sentence.
I went to London recently.
recently went to London.
Recently, I went to London. I was very interesting.

Adverbs are usually used after the verb be.
was recently in London.

Adverbs of frequency in English

The table below shows a list of adverbs of frequency used in English.

Adverbs of frequency
again and again
a lot
all the time
from time to time
hardly ever

Adverbs of degree in English

Adverbs of degree answer the question: To what extent?

The most common adverbs of degree are:
almost, altogether, barely, a bit, enough, fairly, hardly, nearly, quite, rather, somewhat, too.

Adverbs of degree are used before the words they modify:
– adjectives: quite good
– adverbs: quite quickly
– verbs: I quite enjoy it.
– nouns: quite an experience.

Intensifiers in English

Intensifiers are adverbs which are used with gradable adjectives, adverbs and some verbs. They normally strengthen the meaning.
Your presentation is good.
Your presentation is very good. (the meaning is strengthened by the intensifier: very)
Your presentation is quite good. (the meaning is weakened by the adverb of degree: quite}

Adjectives and adverbs with the same form

The table below shows a list of adjectives and adverbs with the same forms.

  Adjectives Adverbs
all day an all day match play all day
all right I’m all right you’ve done all right
best best clothes do your best
better a better book speak better
big a big house talk big
cheap a cheap suit buy it cheap
clean clean air cut it clean
clear a clear sky stand clear
close the shops are close stay close
cold a cold person run cold
daily a daily paper they deliver daily
dead a dead stop stop dead
dear a dear bouquet sell it dear
big a big house talk big
deep a deep hole drink deep
direct a direct train go direct
dirty dirty weather play dirty
duty-free a duty-free shop buy it duty-free
early an early train arrive early
big a big house talk big
easy an easy book go easy
everyday my everyday suit work every day
extra an extra blanket charge extra
fair a fair decision play fair
far a far country go far
farther on the farther side walk father
fast a fast driver drive fast
fine a fine pencil cut it fine
firm a firm belief hold firm
first the first guest first I’ll wash
free a free ticket travel free
further further questions walk further
hard a hard worker work hard
big a big house talk big
high a high note aim high
home home cooking go home



Grade3 English (IEO) : Articles

Definite Article in English

The definite article the is used in the following cases:

Explanations Examples
With singular countable nouns,
with plural countable nouns,
and uncountable nouns
the man
the shoes
the water
When we talk about people or things which we mentioned before I met a girl and a boy. I didn’t like the boy much, but the girl was very nice.
I have found a coinThe coin is worth 50p.
His car struck a tree; you can still see the mark on the tree.
When we say which things or people we mean Who is the man over there talking to Sue?
When it is clear from the situation which things or people we mean “Where’s Simon?” “He’s in the bathroom.”
( = the bathroom in this house)
Could you switch on the light? ( = the light in this room)
I got into a taxi. The driver asked me where I wanted to go. ( = the driver of the taxi that I got into)
When there is only one unique thing the sun
the moon
the sky
the earth
the world
When we talk about specific things or people These are the shoes which I bought last week.
(=the particular shoes which I bought last week)
Could you pass the milk, please?
(=the particular milk on the table)
I like horses. (=horses in general)
Look at the horses in that field. (=the particular horses)
He only cares about money. (=money in general)
Where is the money I gave you yesterday?
(=the particular money)
We sometimes use the with singular countable nouns when we talk about something in general. It takes place with names of animals, flowers or plants. The dolphin is an intelligent animal.
(=dolphins in general)
The orchid is a beautiful flower. (=orchids in general)
We use the when we talk in general about musical instruments and inventions. She can play the guitar and the piano.
Marconi invented the radio.
Some common expressions with the have general meaning: the town
the country/side
the sea/side
the mountains
the rain
We can use the in front of some adjectives e.g.youngoldrichpoorblind with general meaning. The young should listen to the old.
( = young people in general; old people in general )
We use the with nationalities e.g. English, Italian, French, Swiss, Japanese when we mean ‘the people of the country’. The English drink a lot of tea.
With the nouns described by a phrase, expression or sentence: the girl in blue
the man with the banner
the boy that I met
the place where I met him
With superlative adjectives and with firstsecondetc. used as adjectives or adverbs and only: the first week
the best day
the only way
When we refer to something which is unique in a specific place. Mrs Robertson heard that the church had been bombed.
He decided to put some words on the blackboard.
We use the with singular nouns when we refer to the system or service. I don’t like using the phone.
How long does it take on the train?
We use the with parts of the world, regions whose names include northsoutheast, or west.
Warning: there are some exceptions e.g.: North America
the Middle East
the Far East
the north of England
the west of Ireland
With nouns which represent only one specific thing because of its location: Could you switch on the light? ( = the light in this room )
Ann is in the garden. ( = the garden of this house )
the postman ( = the one who comes to us )
the car ( our car )
the newspaper ( = the one we read )
With the following nouns when they are used with their primary meaning connected with entertainment the cinema
the opera
the races
the pictures
the theatre
the radio
People often prefer watching TV to going to the cinema.
Yesterday, my fiancé suggested we should go to the theatre.
With musical instruments when we refer to ‘playing’: She can play the guitar and the piano.
With specific or special meal: I met him at the dinner given by the Browns.
When we talk about something in general, we use plural nouns and uncountable nouns without the.
but when we talk about something specific we use the.
Shoes are expensive. ( = shoes in general )
Milk is good for you. ( = milk in general )
These are the shoes which I bought last week.
( = the particular shoes )
Could you pass the milk, please?
( = the particular milk on the table )
He only cares about money. ( = money in general )
Where is the money I gave you yesterday?
( = the particular money )
When a noun refers to a set as a whole and when we make generalisations about the whole set of animals or inanimate nouns: The cat drinks a lot of milk.
The lemon has vitamins in.
But the word man, when it represents the mankind, is used without article. If oil supplies run out, man may have to fall back on the horse.
With adjectives used in superlative form and show comparison: Mary Hailey in the most intelligent girl in the class. (in comparison with the other girls in the class)
This is the biggest apple I have ever seen. (in comparison with all the other apples I have ever seen)
That’s the longer of the two shirts.
That’s the more expensive of the two cars.
With ordinal numbers That’s the fourth time you’ve made such a mistake.
Sofia is not the first capital of Bulgaria
With same Mary always invites the same people.
Ann has got the same shirt as I have
When the name is used in plural: the Quirks
the Sidneys
When there is a person or place with the same name and it is necessary to determine which one we are talking about Is that the Mary Brown?
I don’t mean the Warsaw in the United States.
When we want to emphasise that the person mentioned is the one known by everybody Was this book written by the Hemingway?
Are you going to the Monte Carlo?
When we refer to a place in a specific period of time This is not the Paris I used to know.
The New York of our epoch has become a dangerous place to live in.
With last and next when we refer to the nearest days, weeks, months etc.: I met him the last week of our holiday. (not the week before the present one)
I hope to see you the next week after the end of our holiday. (not the week after the present one)
Before a small group of adjectives which denote a group of people The unemployed should be given some money. (the class of people who are unemployed ) The brave are not always rewarded. (the class of people who are brave )
With adjectives which denote nationality and refer to a group of people The French often spend their free time abroad. ( the class of French people )
The Scottish are famous for their miserliness. (the class of Scottish people )
With some adjectives which change into abstract nouns The good characterizes his behaviour.
The bad is not a feature of Tom’s character.
With fixed expressions which consist of a comparative adjective and follow the pattern: the more the better The sooner you start your work the better.
The quicker you work the better for you
With gerund denoting an activity/state which is defined by a noun She has done the cooking.
We say go to sea/be at sea (without the) when we mean: go/be on a voyage Ken is a seaman. He spends most of his life at sea.
I would love to live near the sea. (not “near sea”)
We say space (not “the space“) when we mean the space in universe There are millions of stars in space. (not “in the space”)
He tried to park his car but the space wasn’t big enough.
We use the + singular countable noun, when we talk about the kind of machine or invention etc. When was the telephone invented?
The bicycle is an excellent means of transport
oceans the Pacific (Ocean)
the Atlantic (Ocean)
seas the Baltic (Sea)
the Black Sea
rivers the Vistula
the Nile
the River Thames or
the Thames
canals the Panama Canal
the Suez Canal
deserts the Sahara
the Kalahari
groups of islands the Canaries
the West Indies
the Bahamas
mountain ranges the Alps
the Tatras
exceptions: before names of towns/cities the Hague
the Piraeus
countries if their name includes the following words:
KingdomUnionRepublic or State
The United Kingdom
The People’s Republic of China
The United States
exceptions: The Netherlands
the Philippines
regions the Middle East
the Far East
the north of England

Indefinite Article in English

The indefinite article the is used in the following cases:

Explanations Examples
With singular countable nouns: I have a book.
I can see a mountain.
When a singular countable noun is mentioned for the first time: I have bought a house.
Yesterday I met a friend.
When a singular countable noun is used as an example of an element representing all elements which belong to the group: An elephant is heavy.
(i.e. “any elephant” or “all elephants”)
In spring, a tree is green.
(i.e. In spring, all trees are green.)
When a singular countable noun is used as a complement of a verb: be or become Ernest Hemingway was a writer.
Isaac Newton became a great scientist.
In exclamatory sentences with a singular countable noun: What a nice day!
What a charming person!
With few (used with a countable noun) and little(used with an uncountable noun) which denote “small number” or “small amount” I have a few friends. (i.e. “several friends”)
I have a little fortune. (i.e. “some money” – positive meaning)
Expressions of price, speed etc: two pounds a dozen
eighty miles an hour
With Mr./Mrs./Miss + surname, when the person mentioned is unknown for the speaker: a Mr. Brown which means “a man called Brown”
With a surname when we want to say that the person we are talking about has characteristics of the owner of the surname: He was an Einstein of his time.
Tom will never be a Nelson.
With certain numerical expressions: a dozen
a thousand = one thousand
and with such expressions like:
a lot of
a great deal
With uncountable nouns preceded by an adjective: He has a strong character.
Do you know that Robert Wilson has a good knowledge of Chinese?
With superlative adjectives followed by nouns: This is a better strawberry.
This is a more interesting book.
With superlative adjectives followed by a noun. In this case the word most means ‘very’ or ‘extremely’: Tom Smith is a most intelligent boy. (i.e. ‘a very intelligent boy’)
Professor Brown gave a most interesting lecture. (i.e. a very interesting lecture)

Zero Article in English

The zero article the is used in the following cases:

Explanations Examples
With a singular countable noun when we address somebody: What is the matter, Doctor?
Don’t worry, Mother. I will be O.K.
With plural countable nouns when they represent all the elements which belong to the group: Elephants are big animals.
Oranges have vitamins in.
When a plural countable countable noun denotes the number of indefinite elements: There are people in the street.
Students often stay at colleges.
When a plural countable noun is preceded by be or become: The Browns are engineers.
Mrs. Smith’s daughters became actresses.
With abstract nouns such as: beautytruth, etc. Beauty is truth.
With names of materials such as: woodglass, etc. Chairs are made of wood.
This vase is made of glass
Some of the above-mentioned nouns can be used as countable nouns and then they are preceded by the indefinite article a wood (i.e. “a small forest”)
a glass (i.e. “a mirror” or “a drinking vessel”)
There is a wood not far from my cottage.
I got a glass as a birthday present.
With such uncountable nouns as moneymilk, etc.: Lily needs money.
One should drink milk.
The above-mentioned nouns can be preceded by such expressions as: somea lot of, etc. Lily needs some money.
One should drink a lot of milk.
In exclamatory sentences when uncountable or plural countable nouns are used: What dirt! 
What flowers! 
What a waste! 
What a pity!
With few and little when we express small number or small amount I have few friends. (i.e. ‘almost no friends’)
I have little sugar. (i.e. ‘almost no sugar’)
When a singular countable noun is used after be and become and denotes a unique job/profession John Kennedy was President.
Karol Wojtyla became Pope.
When a noun is used after turn He turned musician and made a great career.
He turned spy and was imprisoned.
When a noun refers to an institution which is only one of its kind When will parliament begin its session?
When does school end?
With two or more nouns when they refer to a couple of people or a couple of inanimate things Father and mother went to the cinema.
She was studying day and night before her final exams.
When a noun is used in notes, signs, headlines, telegraphs etc. Private road.
Design flaw feared.
With some nouns which are only one of their kind Heaven
With the names of seasons, months, days of the week summer
With nouns preceded by a pronoun or an adjective my shirt
my white shirt
With names of meals, except when they are preceded by an adjective: We have breakfast at eight.
He gave us a good breakfast.
The indefinite article is used when we talk about a special meal prepared to celebrate something or welcome somebody: I was invited to dinner. (in the ordinary way)
I was invited to a dinner given to welcome the new ambassador.
With the following nouns when the places named are used for their primary purpose bed
We learn at school.
When he became seriously ill, he was taken to hospital.
My bus stops opposite the school.
Yesterday, I was allowed to go to the hospital to see my cousin.
With a noun sea when we talk about sailors or passengers We go to sea as sailors.
to be at sea = to be on a voyage as passengers or crew
But when we talk about sea as a seaside then we use the He was at the sea (at the seaside)
When he was young he lived by/near the sea.
When the speaker refers to his/her own town We go to town sometimes to buy clothes.
We were in town last Monday.
With surnames Professor Smith 
Adam Brown
With holidays Christmas
With the names of some magazines/newspapers Time
With the names of some organizations British Rail
British Airways
With the names of some buildings, bridges and streets Wetback Mansion
London Bridge
Regent Street
With man when we denote ‘mankind Man constantly changes his natural environment.
continents Africa
South America
countries, counties, states Poland
towns, cities and villages New York
single islands unless their name include a preposition Malta
Long Island
The Isle of Wight
The Isle of Man
lakes Lake Baikal
Lake Victoria
single mountains unless their name include a preposition Mount Everest
Mount Blanc
The Mountain of the Seven Sights
streets Oxford Street
expressions such as: day by day
from dawn to dusk
hand in hand
from beginning to end
face to face
from west to east
With abstract nouns which are used with general meaning Some people like risk.
With the noun home when we refer to the speaker’s or listener’s house It’s late I have to go home.
If you don’t feel well, you should stay at home.
With last and next when we refer to the nearest days, weeks, months, etc. I met him last week.
(i.e. “the week before the present one”)
I hope to see you next week.
(i.e. “the week after the present one”)
With gerund when an activity / state expressed by the gerund is not definite Mrs. Thompson likes cooking.

Grade 2 English(IEO) : Nouns

Countable Nouns in English

In English most of nouns belong to the category of countable nouns. Here it is only a short list including examples of countable nouns. You should remember that these nouns form plural forms by adding the ending -s or -es.

  • accident
  • account
  • actor
  • address
  • adult
  • animal
  • answer
  • apartment
  • article
  • artist
  • baby
  • bag
  • ball
  • bank
  • battle
  • beach
  • bed
  • bell
  • bill
  • bird
  • boat
  • book
  • bottle
  • box
  • boy
  • bridge
  • brother
  • bus
  • bush
  • camp
  • captain
  • car
  • card
  • case
  • castle
  • cat
  • chair
  • chapter
  • chest
  • child
  • cigarette
  • city
  • class
  • club
  • coat
  • college
  • computer
  • corner
  • country
  • crowd
  • cup
  • daughter
  • day
  • desk
  • doctor
  • dog
  • door
  • dream
  • dress
  • driver
  • ear
  • edge
  • effect
  • egg
  • election
  • engine
  • eye
  • face
  • factory
  • farm
  • father
  • field
  • film
  • finger
  • foot
  • friend
  • game
  • garden
  • gate
  • girl
  • group
  • gun
  • hall
  • hand
  • handle
  • hat
  • head
  • heart
  • hill
  • horse
  • hospital
  • hotel
  • hour
  • house
  • husband
  • idea
  • island
  • issue
  • job
  • journey
  • judge
  • key
  • king
  • kitchen
  • lady
  • lake
  • library
  • line
  • list
  • machine
  • magazine
  • man
  • meal
  • meeting
  • member
  • message
  • method
  • minute
  • mistake
  • model
  • month
  • motor
  • mouth
  • nation
  • neck
  • newspaper
  • office
  • page
  • park
  • party
  • path
  • picture
  • plan
  • plane
  • plant
  • problem
  • product
  • programme
  • project
  • ring
  • river
  • road
  • room
  • scheme
  • school
  • ship
  • shirt
  • shock
  • shop
  • sister
  • smile
  • son
  • spot
  • star
  • station
  • stream
  • street
  • student
  • table
  • task
  • teacher
  • tent
  • thought
  • tour
  • town
  • valley
  • village
  • walk
  • wall
  • week
  • window
  • woman
  • year

Countable nouns vs. uncountable nouns

1. Nouns are used as uncountable nouns when they refer to a substance, material or phenomenon in general but they are used as countable nouns when they refer to one particular unit which is composed of that substance or to one occurrence of the phenomenon in question:

This tower was built of stone.
I have found a stone in my garage.
Everybody wants success.
Mrs. Smith’s speech was a great success.

2. Some uncountable nouns are used as countable nouns, both in the singular and in the plural, when they have special meanings:
tin — tin (‘it is the name of a metal’)
a tin (‘it is the name of a metal box’)
glass — glass (‘it is the name of a material’)
a glass (‘it is the name of a drinking vessel’).

3. Names of substances can be used as countable nouns, both in the singular and in the plural, when they refer to a kind or portion of that substance. Notice the adjectives in front of the nouns in question.

This cafe has a very good coffee.
Please bring me two coffees (i.e. ‘two cups of coffee’).
This is a bad butter.
Unfortunately, I bought two butters of this sort (i.e. ‘two packets of butter’).

4. Some abstract nouns can be used as countable nouns, in the singular only, when they refer to a kind. Notice the adjectives in front of the nouns in question:

Education is free in most countries.
This means that even the poorest can receive a good education.
All scientists possess knowledge.
Tom has a good knowledge of Japanese.

In English some nouns belong to the category of uncountable nouns. Not always the same uncountable nouns in English correspond with uncountable nouns in other languages. Below you can find a list of the most common uncountable nouns in English. In bold you can see the most troublesome cases.

  • Uncountable nouns:
  • absence
  • access
  • accommodation
  • advice
  • age
  • agriculture
  • anger
  • applause
  • assistance
  • atmosphere
  • baggage
  • beauty
  • behaviour
  • bread
  • business (=trade)
  • capital (=money)
  • cardboard
  • capacity
  • cash
  • chaos
  • chess
  • childhood
  • china
  • clothing
  • coal
  • comfort
  • concern
  • confidence
  • cookery
  • countryside
  • courage
  • crockery
  • cutlery
  • damage
  • dancing
  • democracy
  • depression
  • design
  • dirt
  • duty
  • earth
  • education
  • electricity
  • energy
  • environment
  • equipment
  • evidence
  • evil
  • existence
  • experience
  • failure
  • faith
  • fashion
  • fear
  • finance
  • fire
  • flesh
  • flu
  • food
  • freedom
  • fruit
  • fun
  • furniture
  • garbage
  • grass
  • ground
  • growth
  • hair (= all the hairs on the head)
  • happiness
  • harm
  • health
  • help
  • history
  • homework
  • hospitality
  • housework
  • ice
  • independence
  • industry
  • information
  • insurance
  • intelligence
  • jealousy
  • jewellery
  • joy
  • justice
  • knowledge
  • labour
  • laughter
  • leisure
  • lightening
  • loneliness
  • love
  • luck
  • luggage
  • machinery
  • magic
  • marriage
  • meat
  • mercy
  • money
  • moonlight
  • mud
  • music
  • nature
  • news
  • nonsense
  • paper
  • parking
  • patience
  • peace
  • peel
  • permission
  • philosophy
  • pleasure
  • policy
  • poetry
  • the post (= letters)
  • poverty
  • power
  • pride
  • produce
  • progress
  • protection
  • purity
  • rain
  • reality
  • relief
  • religion
  • research
  • respect
  • rubbish
  • safety
  • salt
  • sand
  • scaffolding
  • scenery
  • seaside
  • security
  • sewing
  • shopping
  • silence
  • sleep
  • smoking
  • snow
  • soap
  • spaghetti
  • spelling
  • stream
  • strength
  • spite
  • status
  • stuff
  • stupidity
  • sunshine
  • teaching
  • technology
  • thunder
  • timber
  • time
  • toast (=bread)
  • trade
  • traffic
  • training
  • transport
  • travel
  • trust
  • truth
  • underwear
  • violence
  • vocabulary
  • wealth
  • weather
  • work
  • writing

Singular nouns that end in -s

There are a number of nouns which end in -s and form plural forms by adding -es:

bus — buses
lens — lenses.

There are some exceptions:

1. Some nouns ending in -s are used in the singular only:
a) news: The news is bad.
b) some games: billiards, bowls
Billiards is my favourite game.
c) some proper nouns:
e.g. Brussels or the United States when considered as a unit:
Brussels is the capital of Belgium.

2. Some nouns ending in -s occur in the singular but the plural is also possible:
a) some diseases: measles, mumps
b) subject names ending in -ics:
e.g. linguistics, classics are used in the singular but when they do not refer directly to a science they occur in the plural:
eg. statistics — We cannot rely on these statistics. They don’t seem to be accurate enough.
acoustics — The acoustics are very bad in this hall. This is not a good place for the concert.

3. Some nouns ending in -s are followed by a singular verb when they refer to one unit, or by a plural verb when they refer to more than one:
e.g. means, species
There is no good means to obtain the aim.
Different means have been used to obtain the aim.

4. Summation plurals
This term denotes tools and articles of dress consisting of two equal joined parts. Such nouns are used in the plural but in the construction a pair of… they occur in the singular:
e.g. bellows, glasses.
a pair of glasses

5. Pluralia tantum
These are nouns that are always followed by a plural verb:
e.g. the Middle Ages, annals.

In English there is a group of singular nouns that end in s. Although one may think that a plural verb should be used with such nouns, one should remember that these nouns are followed by a singular verb. Below you can find a list with examples of singular nouns that end in s.

  • Uncountable nouns
  • acoustics
  • aerobics
  • aerodynamics
  • aeronautics
  • athletics
  • classics
  • economics
  • electronics
  • genetics
  • linguistics
  • logistics
  • mathematics
  • mechanics
  • obstetrics
  • physics
  • politics
  • statistics
  • thermodynamics
  • billiards
  • bowls
  • cards
  • darts
  • diabetes
  • measles
  • mumps
  • rabies
  • draughts
  • skittles
  • rickets
  • shingles

Forming plural nouns in English

I. Regular plurals

The regular plural is formed by adding the suffix -s to the singular: e.g. cat — cats, table — tables.

II. Irregular plurals

1. Nouns in -ss, -sh, -ch, -x
Nouns ending in -ss, -sh, -ch, -x form their plural by adding -es:
e.g. glass — glasses, dish — dishes, peach — peaches, box — boxes.

2. Nouns in -o
Nouns ending in -o form their plural by adding -es if they are used frequently they have been introduced into English early:
e.g. tomato — tomatoes, hero — heroes
They add -s only if they are of foreign origin or abbreviated words:
e.g. bamboo — bamboos, kilo — kilos.
A number of nouns ending in -o can take both -s and -es:
e.g. tornado — tornados or tornadoes, motto — mottos or mottoes.

3. Nouns in -y
Nouns ending in -y preceded by a consonant form their plural by changing -y into -i and adding -es:
e.g. fly — flies, country — countries.
Nouns ending in -y preceded by a vowel form their plural by adding -s only:
e.g. boy — boys, journey —journeys.

4. Nouns in -f or -fe
The following nouns ending in -f or -fe form their plural by changing the -f into -adding -es:
e.g. calf — calves, wife — wives. These are the following nouns:
calf, life, shelf, half, loaf, thief, knife, self, wife, leaf, sheaf, wolf
Some nouns ending in -f can either take -s or change the -f into -v- and add -es
e.g. dwarf— dwarfs or dwarves scarf — scarfs or scarves.
Other nouns ending in -f or -fe form their plural in the regular way:
e.g. handkerchief— handkerchiefs, fife —fifes.

5. Mutation
The following nouns form their plural by a vowel change:
foot — feet, louse — lice, man — men, goose — geese, mouse — mice, woman — women, tooth — teeth

6. The -en plural
The following nouns form their plural by adding -en to the singular:
brother — brethren (i.e. ‘fellow members of a religious society’) child — children ox — oxen.

7. Foreign nouns
Words of foreign origin often form their plural according to the rules of a specific language:
a) Latin: stimulus — stimuli, larva — larvae, curriculum — curricula, codex — codices.
b) Greek: basis — bases, criterion — criteria.
c) French: bureau – beueaux
d) Italian: tempo – tempi
However, foreign plurals sometimes occur along with regular plurals:
e.g. index — indices, indexes , antenna — antennae, antennas, which indicate two different meanings or only the regular plural is used:
e.g. album — albums, metropolis — metropolises.

8. Zero plural
Some nouns do not have a separate plural form:
a) the names of certain animals, birds, and fish: e.g. sheep, grouse, trout
A sheep is a grass-eating animal.
Sheep are kept for their flesh as food and for their wool.
b) nouns denoting people of one nationality and ending in -ese or -ss:
e.g. Vietnamese, Swiss
Yesterday I met a Vietnamese.
The Vietnamese are natives of Vietnam.
c) craft (meaning ‘boat’) and aircraft:
e.g. I have a handy and useful little craft.
You can see all kinds of craft in the harbour.
d) definite numbers and measurements:
e.g. two hundred years, two score eggs
but indefinite numbers and measurements take the plural form:
e.g. hundreds of years, kilos of oranges.
Note that the form five kilos of oranges is also used.
e) offspring occurs with a singular verb if it refers to one human or animal and it is followed by a plural verb if it refers to more than one:
e.g. Their offspring is extremely intelligent. Their offspring are all slightly stupid.

9. Compounds
a) The final element of compounds is usually pluralized:
e.g. breakdown — breakdowns, bookcase — bookcases.
b) In compounds whose first element is man or woman both elements are made plural:
e.g. gentleman farmer — gentlemen farmers woman doctor — women doctors.
c) Compounds consisting of countable nouns and prepositions or prepositional phrases take the plural inflection on nouns:
e.g. passer-by — passers-by, mother-in-law — mothers-in-law. d) Compounds formed by verbs or adjectives and prepositions take the plural at the end:
eg.take-off — take-offs, grown-up — grown-ups.
e) Compounds (typical of legal English) consisting of countable nouns and lake the plural inflexion on nouns:
e.g. attorney general — attorneys general, notary public — notaries public
but it is also possible to have alternative forms:
e.g. court-martials, postmaster-generals
f) Nouns ending in -ful become plural in two ways:
e.g. spoonful — spoonfuls, handful — handfuls or handsful.
g) Compounds whose last element is a mass noun do not form the plural:
e.g. sunshine, homework.

10) Proper nouns
Only surnames can be used in the plural and then they denote a family. Such plurals are formed by adding -s:
e.g. Mr. and Mrs. Brown = the Browns
Mr. and Mrs. Crosby = the Crosbys
except for names ending in a sibilant as in Mr. and Mrs. James = the Jameses, where -es in added.

Rules in forming the plural of nouns. The spelling rules of plural nouns.

General rules

Regular spelling   Singular Plural
‘-s’ in most cases   cat cats
tub tubs
dog dogs
house houses
‘-es’ when a noun ends with: -o potato potatoes
tomato tomatoes
-ss class classes
-x box boxes
-ch watch watches
-sh bush bushes
words of foreign origin take ‘-s’
-o dynamo dynamos
kilo kilos
kimono kimonos
photo photos
piano pianos
soprano sopranos
consonant + -y turns into ies country countries
baby babies
fly flies
lady ladies
cry cries
vowel + y takes ‘-s’ -ay day days
-ey key keys
-oy boy boys
-uy guy guys
proper nouns   Fry the Frys
  Kennedy the Kennedys
nouns ending with -f / -fe -ves loaf loaves
knife knives
life lives
calf calves
leaf leaves
shelf shelves
thief thieves
wife wives
wolf wolves
half halves
wharf wharves
EXCEPTIONS   chief chiefs
cliff cliffs
handkerchief handkerchiefs
roof roofs
some nouns have both forms -s or -ves hoof hoofs / hooves
scarf scarfs / scarves
dwarf dwarfs / dwarves
nouns which change vowels   foot feet
  louse lice
  mouse mice
  woman women
  goose geese
  man men
  tooth teeth
  child children
  ox oxen

Pronunciation of Plural Nouns in English

The pronunciation of plural nouns is very important. Below you will find the rules which should be followed in the pronunciation of plural nouns.

Regular spelling Pronunciation Singular Plural
when a noun ends with a vowel or voiced consonant with the exception of
/z/ and / dz /
/ z / bed beds
stove stoves
dog dogs
room rooms
when a noun ends with voiceless consonant with the exception of:
/s/, /f/ /tf/
/ s / clock clocks
cat cats
roof roofs
month months
when a noun ends with a consonant
/z/, /s/, /f/, /dz/ or /tf/
or when a singular noun ends with
s, ss, sh, ch, z
/ iz / gas gases
glass glasses
nose noses
brush brushes
watch watches
judge judges
box boxes
a consonant + -y turns into ies country countries
baby babies
fly flies
lady ladies
a vowel + y takes -s -ay day days
-ey key keys
-oy boy boys
-uy guy guys
proper nouns   Fry the Frys
  Kennedy the Kennedys
nouns ending with -f / -fe -ves loaf loaves
wife wives
wolf wolves
half halves
some nouns have double forms -s or -ves hoof hoofs / hooves
scarf scarfs / scarves
wharf wharfs / wharves
nouns which change vowels   foot feet
  louse lice
  mouse mice
  woman women
  goose geese
  man men
  tooth teeth

Nouns with the same plural and singular forms

In English there is a group of nouns with the same singular and plural forms. Here it is a list with some examples of such nouns.

Singular = Plural:
  • bison
  • deer
  • greenfly
  • grouse
  • moose
  • reindeer
  • sheep
  • cod
  • fish
  • goldfish
  • halibut
  • mullet
  • salmon
  • shellfish
  • trout
  • whitebait
  • aircraft
  • hovercraft
  • spacecraft
  • crossroads
  • dice
  • fruit
  • gallows
  • grapefruit
  • insignia
  • mews
  • offspring
  • series
  • species
  • bourgeois
  • chassis
  • corps
  • patois
  • precis
  • rendezvous
  • means

Nouns of Foreign Origin in English

In English there is a group of nouns with very unusual plural forms. This group consists mainly of nouns of foreign origin especially of Latin and Greek. Below you can find a list with some examples of such nouns.

Singular Plural
analysis analyses
antenna antennae / antennas
appendix appendixes/appendices
axis axes
bacterium bacteria
basis bases
bureau bureaux
cactus cactuses/cacti
codex codices
criterion criteria
crisis crises
curriculum curricula
datum data
diagnosis diagnoses
focus focuses/foci
formula formulae / formulas
fungus fungi
index indexes/indices
kibbutz kibbutzim
larva larvae
medium mediums/media
nucleus nuclei
oasis oases
octopus octopuses/octopi
phenomenon phenomena
stimulus stimuli
syllabus syllabuses/syllabi
tempo tempi
terminus termini / terminuses
thesis theses

Nouns only in plural in English

In English there is a group of nouns with only plural form. Below you can find a list of such nouns.

  • trousers
  • scrissors
  • pliers
  • shorts
  • jeans
  • goods
  • clothes
  • BUT: a cloth
  • glasses
  • BUT: a glass
  • spectacles

Possessive nouns in English

Possessive nouns. In English possessive form of nouns is created by adding to the noun
apostrophe (‘) and letter -s.

General rules

typical possessive form John’s car
the girl’s father
James’s sister
a dog’s life
plural nouns get apostrophe after the final letter the boys’ father
our neighbours’ dog
the Browns’ house
the Joneses’ car
plural nouns get apostrophe and -s the children’s toys
women’s rights
men’s clothing
gentlemen’s agreement
nouns referring to things a pound of sugar
the door of the room
the conquest of space
a proof of honesty
nouns in case of personification of the names of countries, town, rivers, some nature phenomena Poland’s economy
England’s sons
Warsaw’s pride
the sun’s rays
in expressions referring to time and measure concepts a day’s journey
a four-weeks’ holiday
a three-miles’ walk
a yard’s distance

Genitive case in English

The forms of the genitive

The genitive is formed in two ways:

1. By a prepositional phrase with of and a head noun (of- genitive):
e.g. the title of the book, the top of the mountain.

2. By -s which is preceded by an apostrophe (which is called apostrophe -s) or by an apostrophe only:
a) Apostrophe -s is used in the following:
— when nouns occur in the singular:
e.g. a child’s dream, the dog’s kennel, Tom’s new job, the boy’s toy, the elephant’s trunk
– when two names are joined by and, add ‘s to the second:
John and Mary’s bank account; Scott and Henderson’s race
– when plural nouns are irregular:
children’s games, the men’s club, sheep’s wool
— when singular nouns end in -s or -x:
e.g. an actress’s career, a waitress’s job, St. James’s Square, Joe Alex’s detective stories
— when the final syllable begins and ends with -s and the syllable has more than four letters:
e.g. Peter Sparks’s poetry, Strauss’s music
— when plural nouns do not end in -s:
e.g. the gentlemen’s hats, the children’s behaviour.

b) Only apostrophe is used in the following:
— when proper nouns ending in -s are classical or less usual:
e.g. Archimedes’ Law, Pepys’ Diary
— when the last syllable of a noun has not more than four letters and when last syllable not only ends but also begins with -s:
e.g. Mrs. Onassis’ jewels, Moses’ times
— when singular nouns form fixed expressions of the type: for … sake:
e.g. for goodness’ sake, for kindness’ sake
— when plural nouns end in -s:
e.g. boys’ schoo, girls’ school, Winchester Ladies’ College, the Joneses’ house, the heroes’ honesty.

The use of the genitive

1) The of- genitive
a) The genitive with of is usually used with inanimate nouns:
e.g. the leg of the table, the bank of the river.
In some constructions of this type it is possible to use such expressions
e.g. town walls, church tower, where “the possessor” noun functions as an adjective.
b) The of construction is also found with animate nouns if they are postmodified by a phrase or relative clause:
e.g. What is the name of the guest in the long white dress?
What is the name of the guest who came first ?

2) The -s genitive
The -s genitive occurs with animate nouns:
e.g. the family’s money, the dog’s food.
There are some cases when inanimate nouns are used in the genitive with apostrophe -s:
a) When inanimate nouns are personified: e.g. the ship’s funnel, the country’s beauty.
b) When nouns denote the length of duration: e.g. a month’s time, a two weeks’ holiday.
c) When nouns concern measurement:
e.g. five yeards’ length, a park’s area
d) When nouns express value:
e.g. fifty pence’s worth of bananas, fifteen dollars worth of flowers.
e) When inanimate nouns are of special interest to human activity:
e.g. the science’s development, the brain’s power.
f) In a number of idiomatic expressions:
e.g. to come to one’s journey’s end, to go down to the water’s edge, a pin’s head, to be at one’s wits’ end.
g) Optionally, when inanimate nouns refer to a group of people, to places where people live, to human institutions:
e.g. the nation’s problems, London’s smog, the club’s terrains.
It should be noted that the usage of the -s genitive has recently changed. This is observed in such frequently used expressions as:
e.g. Seven Years War, twenty-four hour general strike.

The group genitive

1) Compounds are treated as one word and therefore apostrophe -s is added to the final part of the word:
my sister-in-law’s car, the passer-by’s observation.
2) In titles apostrophe -s is used with the last word:
e.g. Henry the Eighth’s marriages, the Secretary of State’s visit, Elizabeth the First’s reign, The Prince of Denmark’s island.
3) In case of nouns that are postmodified apostrophe -s is added to the final part of the post-modification:
e.g. the teacher of biology’s equipment -someone else’s business.
4) When two or more nouns are conjoined and they denote one idea, they are treated as single units:
e.g. Beaumont and Fletcher’s plays
Tom, Mary and John’s house. However, when they refer to different ideas, they form the genitive as follows:
e.g. Mr. Brown’s and Stephen’s gardens or Mr. Brown’s garden and Stephen’s garden
Eve’s and James’s books or Eve’s books and James’s books.

Double genitive

1) Form
The double genitive is formed by combining an of- genitive with an -s genitive:
e.g. a friend of Tom’s
this book of my brother’s.
A double genitive construction must begin with a, this, that, these, those whereas it cannot start with the definite article the or with the proper noun.
On the contrary, the noun with the -s genitive must be both definite and personal.

2) Meaning
The meaning of the double genitive may be observed by the analysis of contrasting examples:
a) a photograph of Tom (means ‘a photograph presenting Tom’) b) a photograph of Tom’s (means either ‘a photograph done by Tom’ or ‘a photograph belonging to Tom’)

The genitive with ellipsis

1) Form
The noun modified by the -s genitive may be omitted:
e.g. My daughter is taller than Mr. Brown’sI shall be at the tailor’s.

2) Use
The genitive with ellipsis is used in the following cases:
a) If the identity of the noun is clear from the context:
e.g. I have a tall son. Mr. Greene’s is a tall son, too (i.e. ‘Mr. Greene’s son’}
His strength is like Hercules’. (i.e. ‘Hercules’ strength’).
b) In expressions relating to premises or establishments:
e.g. I shall be at the doctor’sI shall be at Mary’s.
The same refers to small shops:
e.g. I always buy at Smith’s.
as well as to commercial firms:
e.g. I always buy at Harrod’s.

List of Plural Nouns

Two plural forms with different meanings

Some nouns have two plural forms with different meanings:
1. Both forms follow the English pattern:
e.g. cloth — cloths (i.e. ‘some pieces of material to wipe something up’)
clothes (i.e. ‘garments’)
penny – pennies (i.e. ‘single coins’)
pence (i.e. ‘a sum of money’)

2.Foreign plurals occur along with regular plurals:
genius – genii (i.e. ‘supernatural beings’) – geniuses (i.e. ‘very intelligent persons’) formula – formulae (i.e. ‘a mathematical term’) – formulas (i.e. ‘a general term’)

Singular nouns Plural nouns
analysis analyses
status status/statuses
moose moose
crisis crises
fish fish / fishes
series series
appendix appendixes / appendices
Mr. / Mr / Mister Misters / Messrs. / Messrs
sheep sheep
bus buses / US also busses
formula formulae / formulas
life lives
apparatus apparatuses
deer deer
ox oxen
focus focuses / foci
basis bases
platypus platypuses
cactus cacti / cactuses
sheep sheep
analysis analyses
woman women
equipment equipment
dice dice
leaf leaves
life lives
phenomenon phenomena
staff staff
alumnus alumni
genius geniuses
radius radii / radiuses
staff staff
alumnus alumni
software software
data data
addendum addenda
virus viruses
synopsis synopses
mongoose mongooses
genus genera
formula formulae / formulas
roof roofs
phenomenon phenomena
medium media / mediums
business businesses
datum data
chassis chassis
crisis crises
hero heroes
axis axes

Plural nouns list

The table below shows some examples of singular and plural nouns in English. As you can see some plural nouns have exactly the same forms as the singular ones.

Singular nouns Plural nouns
monkey monkeys
synopsis synopses
Ms Mss. / Mses.
cactus cacti / cactuses
chassis chassis
deer deer
process processes
business business / businesses
Mister Misters / Messrs. / Messrs
bus buses / US busses
memorandum memorandums / memoranda
passerby passers-by
antenna antennae
fetus fetuses
goose geese
equipment equipment
addendum addenda
agenda agendas
status statuses / (rare) stati
process processes
antenna antennae
leaf leaves
dice dice
virus viruses
nemesis nemeses
crisis crises
agenda agendas
person persons / people
woman women
it they or them
analysis analyses
quiz quizzes
calf calves
potato potatoes
census censuses
hippopotamus hippopotamuses or hippopotami
dwarf dwarfs or dwarves
prospectus prospectuses
woman women
species species
focus focuses or foci
software software
fly flies
mango mangoes or mangos
hypothesis hypotheses
scarf scarves or scarfs
fish fish / fishes
Christmas Christmases
advice some / pieces of advice

Singular and plural words list

In English there are some countable nouns which have the same form for both singular and plural. Many of these words refer to animals and fish. Below you can find singular and plural words list.

  • Singular and plural words list
  • bison
  • deer
  • greenfly
  • grouse
  • moose
  • reindeer
  • sheep
  • cod
  • fish
  • goldfish
  • halibut
  • mullet
  • salmon
  • shellfish
  • trout
  • whitebait
  • aircraft
  • hovercraft
  • spacecraft
  • crossroads
  • dice
  • fruit
  • gallows
  • grapefruit
  • insignia
  • news
  • offspring
  • series
  • species
  • bourgeois
  • chassis
  • corps
  • patois
  • précis
  • rendezvous

Mass nouns examples

Mass nouns often refer to quantifiers of a particular kind of food or drink. They also refer to types of something. Below you can find examples of mass nouns.

  • adhesive
  • beer
  • brandy
  • cake
  • cheese
  • claret
  • cloth
  • coal
  • coffee
  • cognac
  • coke
  • cotton
  • curry
  • deodorant
  • detergent
  • disinfectant
  • dye
  • fabric
  • fertilizer
  • fuel
  • fur
  • gin
  • glue
  • ink
  • insecticide
  • iron
  • jam
  • jelly
  • juice
  • lager
  • liqueur
  • lotion
  • meat
  • medicine
  • metal
  • milk
  • oil
  • ointment
  • ore
  • paint
  • perfume
  • pesticide
  • plastic
  • poison
  • preservative
  • ribbon
  • salad
  • sauce
  • sherry
  • soap
  • soil
  • soup
  • steel
  • sugar
  • tea
  • vodka
  • whisky
  • wine
  • wood
  • wool
  • yarn
  • yoghurt

Titles before names

Below you can find a list of the most common titles used before names used in English.

  • Admiral
  • Archbishop
  • Baron
  • Baroness
  • Bishop
  • Brother
  • Captain
  • Cardinal
  • Colonel
  • Constable
  • Corporal
  • Dame
  • Doctor
  • Emperor
  • Father
  • General
  • Governor
  • Inspector
  • Justice
  • King
  • Lady
  • Lieutenant
  • Lord
  • Major
  • Miss
  • Mr
  • Mrs
  • Ms
  • Nurse
  • Police Constable
  • Pope
  • President
  • Prince
  • Princess
  • Private
  • Professor
  • Queen
  • Saint
  • Sergeant
  • Sir
  • Sister

Male and female animal names

The table below shows a list of animal names used in English. The names are divided into Male and Female animal names.

Male Female
stalion mare
bull cow
cock hen
dog bitch
drake duck
fox vixen
gander goose
lion lioness
ram ewe
buck hind
stag doe
tiger tigress
boar sow

Compound nouns list

The table below shows a list of compound nouns used in English. This is only a short list to show you some examples of English compound nouns.

  • Compound nouns list
  • address book
  • air conditioner
  • air raid
  • alarm clock
  • assembly line
  • baby-sitter
  • back-seat driver
  • bank account
  • bird of prey
  • book token
  • blood donor
  • bride-to-be
  • bring-and-buy sale
  • bother-in-law
  • burglar alarm
  • bus stop
  • can opener
  • car park
  • come-on
  • compact disc
  • comrade in arms
  • contact lens
  • cover-up
  • credit card
  • dining room
  • drawing pin
  • driving licence
  • estate agent
  • fairy tale
  • film star
  • fire engine
  • fork-left truck
  • trying pan
  • guided missile
  • heath centre
  • heart attack
  • high school
  • human being
  • letter=box
  • lily of the valley
  • looker-on
  • musical instrument
  • nervous breakdown
  • news bulleting
  • old hand
  • one-parent family
  • package holiday
  • parking meter
  • passer-by
  • pen-friend
  • personal computer
  • polar bear
  • police station
  • post office
  • runner-up
  • sleeping bag
  • summing-up
  • swimming pool
  • T-shirt
  • tea bag
  • telephone number
  • traveller’s cheque
  • tea-table
  • washing machine
  • X-ray
  • youth hostel
  • zebra crossing



In English gender system affects only nouns and pronouns. Natural sex differentiations determine the distinctions between masculine and feminine, whereas inanimate things are usually neuter.


There are four genders in English:

  • masculine e.g. policeman, man, dog, etc.
  • feminine e.g. waitress, woman, bitch, etc.
  • neuter e.g. chair, table, idea, etc.
  • common e.g. doctor, baby, etc. (i.e. nouns which can be either male of female):
    My baby is only half-a-year old and he already has three teeth.
    Is it your baby? How old is she?


Some neuter nouns are considered either masculine or feminine:

Some neuter nouns can be personified and then they become masculine or feminine:
a. masculine, e.g. the fatherland
b. femininine, e.g. creation, nature, luck (Lady Luck), the earth (Mother Earth), the mother-land, the mother-language (a mother-tongue), fortune, fame.

The names of countries, cities, and towns become feminine when they denote political or economic units, but when they indicate geographical units they are neuter.

Sometimes cars and trains are considered feminine, especially when an affectionate attitude is expressed.

4. The moon, religion, ships are feminine.

5. The sun and winter are always masculine.

The distinction between masculine and feminine

There are three ways in which masculine and feminine are distinguished:

1. The feminine is formed from the masculine by adding -ess: e.g. count — countess, host — hostess,
however, a number of nouns ending in -er or -or drop the -e- or the -o-:
e.g. waiter — waitress, actor — actress.
Also, other, including zero, morphological markers are used: e.g. bridegroom — bride, widower — widow, hero — heroine, usher — usherette, sultan — sultana, testator — testatrix.

2. Different words are used for masculine and feminine: e.g. uncle — aunt, bull — cow.

3. One element indicating the gender is introduced: e.g. man-servant — maid-servant, he-goat — she-goat. ‘A gender marker’ is also used when a given activity is expected to be male or female, thus:
e.g. a nurse but a male nursea doctor but a woman doctor.


Grade 3 English (IEO) : Nouns

Nouns are commonly de¢ned as words that refer to a person, place, thing, or idea.

Nouns can be plural or singular and can be the subject or object of a verb. For example:

  • The flowers are in the vase.
  • Love is all you need.
  • Tim is in the garden.
  • Paris is lovely in the summer.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to know if a word is a noun or another part of speech. For example, in English, the word ‘love’ can be a noun and it can be a verb. We need to look at how the word is used in the sentence to work out what part of speech it is.

Here are some tips :

  • Nouns are often the subject or object of a verb.
  • A noun often comes after a preposition (in , on, at , of).
  • Nouns often come after an article like ‘a’ or ‘the’.
  • Nouns often come after an adjective like ‘red’ or ‘pretty’ or ‘big’.
  • Nouns are often used with a determiner like ‘this’ or ‘those’.

Singular Nouns

Plural Nouns

In general the plural of a noun is formed by adding -S to the noun.

Singular Plural
car cars
house houses
book books
bird birds
pencil pencils


1. When the noun ends in S, SH, CH, X or Z*, we add -ES to the noun.

Singular Plural
kiss kisses
wish wishes
match matches
fox foxes
quiz quizzes*
  • I have a box in my bedroom.
  • I have three boxes in my bedroom.

* With words that end in Z sometimes we add an extra Z to the plural form of the word (such as with the plural of quiz).

2. When the noun ends in a VOWEL + Y, we add -S to the noun.

Singular Plural
boy boys
holiday holidays
key keys
guy guys

3. When the noun ends in a CONSONANT + Y, we remove Y and add -IES to the noun.

Singular Plural
party parties
lady ladies
story stories
nanny nannies
city cities

4. If the noun ends in F or FE, we remove the F/FE and add -VES to the noun.

Singular Plural
life lives
leaf leaves
thief thieves
wife wives

Some exceptions: roof – roofs, cliff – cliffs, chief – chiefs, belief – beliefs, chef – chefs

5. If the noun ends in a CONSONANT + O, we normally add -ES to the noun.

Singular Plural
tomato tomatoes
potato potatoes
echo echoes
hero heroes

Some exceptions: piano – pianos, halo – halos, photo – photos

NOTE: Volcano has two correct forms of plural. Both volcanos and volcanoes are accepted.

6. There are a number of nouns that don’t follow these rules. They are irregular and you need to learn them individually because they don’t normally have an S on the end.

Singular Plural
man men
woman women
child children
foot feet
tooth teeth
goose geese
mouse mice
  • There is a child in the park.
  • There are many children in the park.

7. There are some nouns in English that are the same in the singular and the plural.

Singular Plural
fish fish
sheep sheep
deer deer
moose moose
aircraft aircraft
  • I can see a sheep in the field.
  • I can see ten sheep in the field.

Sometimes you will hear the word fishes (especially in songs) though it is grammatically incorrect.

8. If the noun ends in IS, we change it to ES. Words that end in IS usually have a Greek root.

Singular Plural
analysis analyses
basis bases
crisis crises

9. If the noun ends in US, we change it to I. Words that end in US usually have a Latin root.

Singular Plural
cactus cacti
fungus fungi
stimulus stimuli
syllabus syllabi

Some exceptions: octupus – octupuses (because it is from Greek, not Latin), walrus – walruses

Countable and Uncountable nouns

A) Most nouns have singular and plural forms. They are countable nouns.

e.g. One letter, two letters

  • There is a letter on the table for you. (singular)
  • There are letters on the table for you. (plural)

B) Some nouns only have one form. They are uncountable nouns.

e.g. Money

  • There is no money in my bank account.
  • There is a lot of money in my bank account.

C) Many uncountable nouns refer to substances:

e.g. Chocolate, water, coffee, milk, sugar, salt, cheese, bread, rice, wood, glass, plastic, soap, toothpaste.

  • Do you have any chocolate?
  • The milk is sour – let’s make cheese.
  • Rice is only edible when it has been cooked.

D) Many uncountable nouns refer to abstract ideas or emotions.

e.g. love, sadness, happiness, education, knowledge, and grammar.

  • Money can’t buy love.
  • We like to experience happiness.
  • This education is priceless.

E) You can use a/an with singular countable nouns.

e.g. an umbrella, a wheel, a mistake.

  • It’s raining so I need an umbrella.
  • I made a mistake.
  • This is a job for superman.

F) You can use plural countable nouns alone.

e.g. apples, bees, clouds.

  • There are clouds in the sky today.
  • There are bees making honey.
  • We eat apples for breakfast.

G) You can’t use an article with an uncountable noun.

e.g. time, sand, electricity.

  • We need electricity to use our heater.
  • I lost track of time and we stayed up very late.
  • The beaches in Brazil have very nice sand.

H) It is very common in English to use some / any with plural nouns and uncountable nouns (Refer to grammar notes on Some Any for more details).

e.g. They don’t listen to any advice.

  • We don’t have any toys for the children.
  • There are many lessons in life, this is just one more.
  • It is important to have some knowledge of grammar.

I) There are a range of nouns that are uncountable in English but are countable in other languages.

These include: accommodation, advice, baggage, behaviour, bread, chaos, damage, furniture, information, luck, luggage, news, permission, progress, scenery, traffic, weather and work.

J) For comparison purposes, look at these sentences:

Countable Uncountable
I’m looking for a job. I’m looking for work.
What a beautiful view! What beautiful scenery!
It’s a nice day today. It’s nice weather today.
We had a lot of bags and suitcases. We had a lot of luggage.
These chairs are mine. This furniture is mine.
It was a good suggestion. It was good advice.

A noun is a word that functions as the name of something. Nouns are the most common class of word in English.

Below we have a list of the different types of nouns in English with an explanation of what each one is and with examples of each type of noun.

Common Nouns

Common nouns are used to name a GENERAL type of person, place or thing.

Common nouns can be divided into smaller classes such as countable and uncountable nouns, concrete and abstract nouns and collective nouns.

Examples of common nouns: girl, city, animal, friend, house, food

Proper Nouns

Proper nouns are used to name a SPECIFIC person, place or thing. In English, proper nouns begin with a capital letter. Proper nouns do not normally have a determiner before them (e.g. the London, the Mary etc.) though there are some exceptions (e.g. Is she the Mary that we met at the conference?).

Examples of proper nouns: John, London, Pluto, Monday, France

Compound Nouns

Compound nouns are two or more words that create a noun. Compound nouns are sometimes one word (haircut), words joined by a hyphen (son-in-law) or as separate words (bus stop). The main stress is normally on the first part of the compound word (sunglasses, swimming pool)

Examples of compound nouns: toothbrush, rainfall, sailboat, mother-in-law, well-being, alarm clock, credit card

Countable Nouns

Countable nouns are nouns that CAN be counted. They have a singular and a plural form and can be used with a number. Sometimes countable nouns are called count nouns.

Examples of countable nouns: car, desk, cup, house, bike, eye, butterfly

See more information about Countable vs Uncountable Nouns.

Uncountable Nouns

Uncountable nouns are nouns that CANNOT be counted. These are sometimes called Mass Nouns. Uncountable nouns often refer to:

  • substances: paper, wood, plastic
  • liquids: milk, oil , juice
  • gases: air, oxygen
  • abstract ideas: happiness, time, information

Examples of uncountable nouns: water, coffee, cheese, sand, furniture, skin, wool, gold, fur

See more information about Countable vs Uncountable Nouns.

Collective Nouns

Collective nouns are words that refer to a set or group of people, animals or things.

Examples of collective nouns: staff, team, crew, herd, flock, bunch

See our list of Collective Nouns

Concrete Nouns

Concrete nouns are nouns which refer to people and things that exist physically and that at least one of the senses can detect (can be seen, felt, heard, smelled/smelt, or tasted).

Examples of concrete nouns: dog, tree, apple, moon, coin, sock, ball, water

Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns are nouns that have no physical existence and are not concrete. They refer to ideas, emotions or concepts so you CANNOT see, touch, hear, smell or taste something that is an abstract noun. Many abstract nouns are uncountable.

Examples of abstract nouns: love, time, happiness, bravery, creativity, justice, freedom, speed


A gerund, sometimes called a verbal noun, is a noun formed from a verb. Since all gerunds end in -ing, they are sometimes confused as being a verb (present participle).

Example: Running is good for you.
Here running looks like a verb because of its -ing ending but it is a noun (gerund) because we are talking about the concept of running, we are talking about a thing.

Examples of gerunds: reading, writing, dancing, thinking, flying

Grade 3 English (IEO) : Use of Some Any, Much Many, Little Few

When do you use some and when do you use any? Is it much or many? And what’s the difference between few and little?

Some, any, much, many, few and little are all words that come before nouns to help explain them. Some and any are both “determiners” – they tell us whether the noun phrase is general or specific. Some and any are both “general determiners”, which means they refer to an indefinite or unknown quantity of something.

Much, many, few and little are all “quantifiers”. Quantifiers are used to give information about quantity (the number of something). Both much and many suggest a large quantity of something, whilst little and few mean: not as much, or not as many. However, if you use a little or a few this means: a small amount!

Some vs. any

The words some and any are used when the exact number or amount of something is not known, or when it’s not important. Some and any are both used to refer to an indefinite quantity or number.

Some and any are known as “general determiners”. They are used to modify nouns, specifically to tell us that the noun phrase is general (rather than specific).  They can be used with:

  1. Countable or uncountable nouns:
    We don’t have any time to get popcorn before the film starts.(Time is uncountable)
    We still have some apples on the tree. (Apples are countable)
  2. Singular or plural nouns:
    We don’t have any chicken left for dinner. (Chicken is singular)
    It’s such nice weather! Let’s invite some friends round for a BBQ. (Friends is plural)

When do I use someand when do I use any?

Although some and any are both used to describe an indefinite number, they are used in different ways. So how do we use them correctly?

In general, some is used in positive sentences (that don’t contain the word ‘not’):

I would love to try some of that food! It looks delicious!
I have bought some strawberries and cream to have for dessert.
Let’s invite some friends round and have a party tonight!
Some people think it’s better to eat healthily than to exercise a lot.

Any is used in negative sentences (that contain the word ‘not’):

We don’t have any space left in the car so we won’t be able to give you a lift.
I don’t need any help with my homework because I can do it on my own.
There isn’t any milk in the fridge so we’ll have to have black coffee.
I’m not hungry at the moment so I don’t want anything to eat.

And in questions:

Have you got any idea how long the film lasts?
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
It would be great to season these potatoes. Is there any salt and pepper?
Do you have any plans for the summer?

1. When do we use much and when many?

  • much: uncountable nouns (milk, marmalade, money, time etc.)
  • many: countable nouns (bottles of milk, jars of marmalade, dollars, minutes etc.)


  • How much money have you got?
  • How many dollars have you got?

In informal English these questions are often answered with a lot of, lots of. There is no much difference between the two phrases.

2. When do we use a little/little and when a few/few?

  • a little: non countable nouns (milk, marmalade, money, time etc.)
  • a few: countable nouns (bottles of milk, jars of marmalade, dollars, minutes etc.)


  • He has a little money left.
  • He has a few dollars left.

We use few and little without the article a to point out a more negative meaning.


  • A few students of our school know this. (There are some student who know it.)
  • Few students know this. (It is almost unkonown.)

When do we use some and when any?

We use some and any for an amount which is not known e.g. Have you got any crisps?

Use of some and any

  • some: affirmative statements, offers, requests and in questions when you expect the answer ›yes‹
  • any: negative statements, questions

Have you got any bananas? No, we haven’t got any. But we’ve got some oranges.


I would like to buy fruit at a market. I see the man has wonderful apples so I can ask him:

  • Can I have some of these apples?

If I do not see apples or if I am not sure whether there are apples at all I use any in this question.

  • Have you got any apples?

Grade 3 English (IEO) : Tenses

Tenses are one of the fundamental building blocks in the English language and  indicate the time for the particular action. We all know that verbs are action words. However, tenses help us communicate WHEN those actions took place.   When writing a passage, it is critical that students use the right tense, are consistent in their use of tense and do not jump from one tense to another.

Verb Conjugation


In English, we have six different persons: first person singular (I), second person singular (you), third person singular (he/she/it/one), first person plural (we), second person plural (you), and third person plural (they). We must conjugate a verb for each person. The verb to be is a particularly notable verb for conjugation because it’s irregular.

Conjugation of the Irregular Verb to Be:

First Person Singular Second Person Singular Third Person Singular
I am you are he/she/it is
First Person Plural Second Person Plural Third Person Plural
we are you are they are


Verbs are also conjugated according to their tenses. Verb tense indicates when the action in a sentence is happening (e.g., in the present, future, or past). Regular verbs follow a standard pattern when conjugated according to tense. Look at the examples below: Conjugation of the Regular Verb to Live (based on tense):

Simple Present Simple Past Simple Future
live lived will live
Present Continuous Past Continuous Future Continuous
am living was living will be living
Present Perfect Past Perfect Future Perfect
have lived had lived will have lived
Present Perfect Continuous Past Perfect Continuous Future Perfect Continuous
have been living had been living will have been living

Conjugation of the Regular Verb to Work (based on tense):

Simple Present Simple Past Simple Future
work worked will work
Present Continuous Past Continuous Future Continuous
am working was working will be working
Present Perfect Past Perfect Future Perfect
have worked had worked will have worked
Present Perfect Continuous Past Perfect Continuous Future Perfect Continuous
have been working had been working will have been working

Irregular verbs do not follow a standard pattern when conjugated according to verb tense. The following examples illustrate this point: Conjugation of the Irregular Verb to Eat (based on tense):

Simple Present Simple Past Simple Future
eat ate will eat
Present Continuous Past Continuous Future Continuous
am eating was eating will be eating
Present Perfect Past Perfect Future Perfect
have eaten had eaten will have eaten
Present Perfect Continuous Past Perfect Continuous Future Perfect Continuous
have been eating had been eating will have been eating

Conjugation of the Irregular Verb to Drink (based on tense):

Simple Present Simple Past Simple Future
drink drank will drink
Present Continuous Past Continuous Future Continuous
am drinking was drinking will be drinking
Present Perfect Past Perfect Future Perfect
have drunk had drunk will have drunk
Present Perfect Continuous Past Perfect Continuous Future Perfect Continuous
have been drinking had been drinking will have been drinking

Before we launch into learning tenses, it is important that we are familiar and thorough with the usage of the three verb forms:

Verb forms

There are up to five forms for each verb: root, third-person singular, present participle, past, and past participle.

Root Form of the Verb

The root form of a verb is the base form of the word. Roots have not been conjugated and do not include prefixes or suffixes.

The root form of the verb is the same as the infinitive form with “to” removed. See the examples below: to see – see

to be – be

to wear – wear

to go – go

The root form of a verb is used to create other forms of the verb when conjugated. This is always true with regular verbs, but may not apply with irregular verbs, depending on the tense. The examples below illustrate this concept.

I am going to school.

(Root: go)

What did you do yesterday?

(Root: do)

The girl showed her mother the picture she drew in school.

(Root: show)

He had eaten three hamburgers.

(Root: eat)

Third Person Singular Form of a Verb

The third person singular (he/she/it/one) conjugation is the verb form that tends to be different from other conjugations. For regular verbs, this verb form end in ‑s (or sometimes ‑es). Consider the examples below: he sees

she watches

it shrinks

one does

Present Participle Form of a Verb

The present participle verb form is created by adding -ing to the root word. It’s used in the past, present, and future progressive verb tenses. Look at the examples below:

We’re coming to the party tonight.

(come – coming)

They have been drawing for hours.

(draw – drawing)

We will be washing the car before vacation.

(wash – washing)

Past and Past Participle Forms of the Verb

The past and past participle verb form for regular verbs is the root word + ‑ed. It’s only used with the past tenses. Consider the examples below:

We shopped for hours on Saturday afternoon.

(shop – shopped)

The books were stacked on the shelf.

(stack – stacked)

He had played computer games for the whole weekend.

(play – played)

The past participle can be difficult to determine for some irregular verbs. It’s best to look these up in a dictionary if you’re at all unsure of the past participle. Here are a few examples of irregular verbs:

Root Simple Past Past Participle
Sing Sang Sung
See Saw Seen
Fall Fell Fallen
Give Gave Given
Go Went Gone
I had forgiven him for his unkind words.
Simon had lit candles all around the room.
Root (Verb) Simple Past Past Participle
Sing Sang Sung
See Saw Seen
Fall Fell Fallen
Give Gave Given
Go Went Gone
Verb(V1) Past(v2) Past Participle(v3)
Break Broke Broken
Begin Began Begun
Choose Chose Chosen
Bite bit Bitten

It is important that verbs are used properly in all these forms before we understand how they are used in a sentence with the proper ‘tense’ structure.

So how do you show your children the difference in the sentence structure in these three tenses? The following chart will help:

Definition An action that has taken place already An action that is currently happening An action that is expected to happen in the future
Structure Subject +Verb+ ‘ed’ + Rest of sentence Subject + is/are + verb + ing + rest of sentence Subject +will +verb+ Rest of sentence
Example The dog + jump + ed + onto the bed. The dog + is + jump + ing + onto the bed The dog will jump onto the bed.
The dog jumped onto the bed The dog is jumping onto the bed The dog will jump on to the bed

There are totally 12 tenses.  It is basically the three tenses in four possible combinations.

  1st 2nd` 3rd 4th
Present Simple Continuous Perfect Perfect Continuous
Past Simple Continuous Perfect Perfect Continuous
Future Simple Continuous Perfect Perfect Continuous

Simple is also called as indefinite. Continuous is also called as Progressive. Perfect is also called as Simple Perfect and Perfect Continuous is also called as Perfect Progressive.

Since Math, is similar to grammar in its precision, it is best to represent the structure of grammar through a table:


When should you use it? Action is regular or habitual, a fact or general truth like ‘The sun rises in the east’ Action is happening at the moment Action just ended Action has been going on for sometime
Verb form  V1-Present tense of verb, like walk, take, see V1 + am/is/are + ing V3 + have /has V1+ have/has+been +’ing’
Examples I take, You take, she takes, he takes.I usually wake up at 6am. I am taking
I am waiting for the bus.
I have taken
You have takenIt has taken
I have already written the letter
He/She/It has been taking.
She has been living here for a year


When should you use it? Action has taken place in the past Action going on in the past Action took place before another action Action lasted for some time before another action.
Verb form V2- Past tense of verb. V1+ was or were + ing V3+ had V1+ had been +ing
Example I/she/he   took
They took
I watched a movie yesterday
I/she was taking
He was walking in the park.
I/We had takenWhen I came, he had finished his work You/she/It had been taking.
‘When I returned, he had been working for 2 hrs.’


When should you use it? Action will take place in the future Action will be going on in the future Action will take place before another action Action will last for some time before another action
Verb form V1+ Will or shall V1+’will be’ or ‘shall be’ +ing V3+ will have or shall have V1+ will or shall+ have been+ing
Example I/We/you/They will take
I will meet him next week
I/She will be taking
He will be reading a book when I return
She will have taken.
She will have prepared the food before I return
I will have been taking
By the time I return, she will have been waiting for 2 hrs.

It may seem complicated at first, but once you read a book with your child and point out the tenses as you go along, it comes more naturally and effortlessly. You can print practice work sheets on the internet. This will help your child practice the tenses so that they are internalized better and applied easily. Even grammar experts sometimes argue over the finer nuances of the English language, so if your child makes a few mistakes, don’t get ‘tensed’. As with everything, it will definitely only get better with constant exposure and practice.

References :

Class 8 : IEO papers

Class 8 : IEO papers

I have uploaded class 8 IEO (International English Olympiad) here. These papers will give a good idea of what to expect in the exam.

You can also  find papers and reading material of other classes and exams here.


Continue reading