Tag Archives: Nouns

Verbs as Nouns: participles and gerunds—grammatical chameleons

Verbs as nouns Some words are like amphibious vehicles that can be both a boat and a truck: the same basic word form is equally at home behaving in very different ways One of the confusing aspects of English is that the same word can act as different parts of speech, or change the function

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Nouns: mass and count, and the less–fewer issue

Mass or count? In this stunning photograph, we use two nouns to describe what we can see: we see two penguins on ice. And these two nouns demonstrate the final way nouns can be divided: into count nouns and mass nouns.  Count nouns are also sometimes called unit nouns (in that unhelpful way in English

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Nouns: Proper nouns and common nouns – and capital letters

Proper or common? Of queens, receptionists and capital letters One useful way to split up the infinite number of nouns is to divide them into common and proper nouns. It is a useful division, because proper nouns are a very strange group of nouns: in several ways, they have quite different characteristics from all other

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Apostrophes: their other use—contractions

Apostrophes and contractions Part of the reason that people find apostrophes confusing is that we use them in two different ways: to show possession (or, as I prefer to say, close association) between two things to show where letters have been left out of word or where it has been contracted (sometimes the contracted word

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