Articlesand nouns
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Articlesand nouns

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Articlesand nouns Articlesand nouns Presentation Transcript

  • Noun Phrases, Nouns and Articles E. Siler
  • Noun Phrases • A noun phrase is a noun (called a “head noun”) and all the words that modify it. • Let’s look at these noun phrases. • What are the head nouns of the noun phrases?
  • Examples • A failed state • Somalia • Somali pirates • The Andean region • These disappearing glaciers • A more recent efficiencychallenge
  • Structure of a Noun Phrase • The word at the very front of a noun phrase is often a determiner. • Determiners are a class of words that include words such as: • Articles (a/the) • Demonstratives (this/that/these/those) • Possessives (my, your, his. . .)
  • Focus • The focus of today’s lesson is how to select the proper article to go in front of a noun. • Before we begin remember that English has two articles: • The Definite Article: The • The Indefinite Article: A/an • There are four steps (questions to ask)to do this successfully.
  • Step 1: Question 1 • Look at the head noun. • Ask yourself this question: is the noun a proper noun or a common noun? • Common nouns are both count and non-count nouns that are NOT proper nouns. • Proper nouns are names.
  • You Decide • What are the proper and common nouns in this sentence? • Although the U.S. Congress has been passing legislation since 1975 to raise efficiency for 22 broad categories of household and industrial appliances, from dishwashers to electric motors, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has failed to write the standards needed to implement the legislation.
  • Common | Proper • The common are in red; the proper in blue. • Although the U.S. Congress has been passing legislation since 1975 to raise efficiency for 22 broad categories of household and industrial appliances, from dishwashers to electric motors, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has failed to write the standards needed to implement the legislation.
  • Step 1: Rules • If the noun is a proper noun, these very general rules probably apply: • If the noun refers to a singular referent, there is no article in front of it. (Pepsi/ Greenpeace) • If the head noun is plural, the definite article “the” goes in front of it. (The United States) • If the noun is modified by an “of” phrase that follows it, then there is probably a definite article. (The University of Washington) • If your noun is proper, you don’t have to ask further questions.
  • Step 2: Question 2 • If the noun is a common noun (which means it is NOT a proper noun), you have to ask yourself the next question: • Is the common noun specific or non-specific?
  • Specificity • Nouns in English can be made specific in many ways.
  • Specificity 1 • Some are always specific when they have a certain meaning and refer to something that is generally understood by all. (the wind, the sun, the moon, the climate). • Dioxin migrates on the wind.
  • Specificity 2 • Some are specific because they are understood to refer to other nouns that have been previously mentioned. • My cat hurt himself in a fightlast night. The incident happened at about 8 p.m.
  • Specificity 3 • Some nouns are specific because a modifying clause or prepositional phrase used with the noun make it crystal clear which noun is being referred to. • The hotel [where we stayed on our last vacation] burned down!
  • Specificity 4 • Some nouns are specific because they are understood to be “part and parcel” of something being referred to/described. • Mom, something strange happened in my math class today. The teacher enteredthe classroom and went up to the boardand began to draw pictures.
  • Specificity 5 • The noun represents shared information that both the writer and the reader understand. • Wife: Honey did you put the cat out? • Husband: Of course I did! I don’t want to have to get up in the middle of the night to let him out!
  • Specificity 6 • Some nouns are modified by restrictive words that make them “unique.” The ordinal numbers and ordinal words such as next, last, and other such words are all examples of such restrictive words. • The last time I saw Paris I was 13 years old!
  • Step 2: Rule • If the noun IS specific, put the word “the” in front of it. In the case of a specific noun, you don’t have to ask any further questions.
  • You Decide • Locate all the specific common nouns in this paragraph and decide why they are specific. • Another innovative initiative in Paris was the establishment of a city bicycle rental program that has 24,000 bikes available at 1,750 docking stations throughout the city. Rates for rental range from just over $1 per day to $40 per year, but if a bike is used for fewer than 30 minutes, the ride is free. Based on the first two years, the bicycles are proving to be immensely popular --- with 63 million trips takes as of late 2009.
  • Specific Nouns • Another innovative initiative in Paris was the establishment of a city bicycle rental program that has 24,000 bikes available at 1,750 docking stations throughout the city. Rates for rental range from just over $1 per day to $40 per year, but if a bike is used for fewer than 30 minutes, the ride is free. Based on the first two years, the bicycles are proving to be immensely popular --- with 63 million trips takes as of late 2009.
  • Reasons • The establishment (of a city bicycle program that . . .). Specificity 3: restricting preposition phrase. • The city . Specificity 2: refers to Paris, which was previously mentioned • The ride: Specificity 4: part and parcel of the experience of using a bike . . . The ride that came with the bike. • The first two years: Specificity 6: Ordinal number (the first). • The bicycles: Specificity 2: previously mentioned . . .bikes.
  • Step 3: Question 3 • If the noun is not specific, ask the next question: • Is the noun countable or uncountable?
  • How to Determine Countability • Check the dictionary! • The following lesson is developed for you to check the countability of nouns: • https://sites.google.com/site/esllinksandmate rials/dictionary-exercise-3
  • Step 3: Rules • If the noun is uncountable, do nothing to it. • Never use “a” or “an” in front of an uncountable noun. • Never make it plural. • Since it’s not specific, don’t use “the.” • You can (if appropriate) use non-specific quantifiers such as “some” or “most.”
  • Step 4: Question 4 • If you end up with a common, non-specific, count noun, you have one more question to ask: is the noun plural or singular?
  • Count Nouns • If the noun is a singular count noun, use “a” or “an” in front of it. • If the noun is a plural count noun, add an “s” to the end, but do not use an article in front of it. You can, however, use a quantifier such as “many” or “some.”
  • Find It! • In the following sentences, find one example of a proper noun, one of a specific common noun, one of a non- countable, non-specific common noun, one of a singular countable non-specific common noun, and one of a plural countable non-specific common noun. • The good news is that governments can help couples reduce family size very quickly when they commit to doing so. Janet Larsen writes that in just ten years, Iran dropped the population growth rate to almost the lowest in the developing world. But then Khoumeni wanted to build an army . . .
  • Answers • The good news (specific common) is that governments (plural, count, non-specific, common) can help couples (plural, count, non-specific, common) reduce family size (non-count, non- specific, common) very quickly when they commit to doing so. Janet Larsen (proper) writes that in just ten years (plural, count, non-specific, common), Iran (proper) dropped its population growth rate (specific common --- you could say “the” here) to almost the lowest rate (specific common) in the developing world (specific common). But then Khoumeni (proper) wanted to build an army (singular, count, non- specific, common). . .