A noun can be defined as a word describing a person, a place, or a thing. For example; a waiter, a town, a pizza, an egg, etc.
Names of people, places, days, months, etc. begin with a capital letter. For example; Emre Bilgiç, Ankara, New York, Friday, October, etc.
- Singular and Plural Nouns
Nouns can be singular (means “one”) or plural (means “more than one”).For Example; Singular: A watermelon, an apple, a chair, etc.
Plural: Two watermelons, three apples, sic chairs, etc.
In order to make plural nouns, we usually add “-s” to the end of singular nouns. For example; bananaS, appleS, televisionS, etc.
However; there are some exceptions.
If nouns end with “-s”, “-ss”, “-sh”, “-ch”, and “-x”, “-es” should be added to the noun. For example; bus => buses, class => classes, box => boxes, etc.
If nouns end with consonant (b, c, d, etc.) plus with “-y”, “-y” should be changed to “-I” and “-es” should be added. For example; family => families, country => countries, etc. (note: if nouns end with sonant plus with “-y”, only “-s” should be added. For example; boy => boys, toy => toys, etc.
If nouns end with “-f” or “-fe”, “-f” should be changed to “-v”, and “-es” should be added. For example; wife => wives, loaf => loaves, etc.
Also, there are some nouns which are different and “-s” are not added. For example; man (singular) => men (plural), child (singular) => children (plural), foot (singular) => feet (plural), sheep (singular) => sheep (plural), etc.
There are different verb forms for singular and plural nouns. In general, singular nouns are used with singular verbs, and plural nouns are used with plural verbs. For example; our teacher (singular noun) is (singular verb) Turkish. / Those students (plural noun) are (plural verb) Italian. / The train (singular noun) goes (singular verb) to Ankara. / The trains (plural noun) come (plural verb) from İstanbul.
In addition, there some nouns which are always plural. For example; scissors, glasses ( for reading), shorts, jeans, trousers, clothes.
2. Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Countable nouns are those in which we can count. For example; carrot, apple, banana, etc. Countable nouns can be singular or plural. There are a/an, the, this/that in front of singular and countable nouns. For example; Is there a school here? / Where is the school? / This banana is very sweet. There are often some, the, these/those in front of plural and countable nouns. For example; I’d like some oranges, please. / Those oranges are very sweet. / Do you like oranges?
Uncountable nouns are those in which we cannot count. For example; sugar, water, oil, salt, etc. These nouns don’t usually have a plural form, and there are not usually a/an in front of them. For example; one oil (wrong), two water (wrong), a salt (wrong), a sugar (wrong). They usually have “some” in front of them. For example; can I have some milk in my coffee? (True) / Can I have a milk in my coffee? (False). Uncountable nouns are used with singular verbs (uncountable nouns + singular verb). For example; this advice (uncountable noun) is (singular verb) very useful. / Sugar (uncountable noun) is (singular verb) very cheap.
Some examples for uncountable nouns are as follows; bread, cheese, meat, tea, coffee, sugar, oil, water, petrol, metal, wood, paper, plastic, art, history, geography, English, Russian, love, advice, information, education, time, furniture, luggage, money. These uncountable nouns can be categorized as; food (some food are uncountable), materials (some materials are uncountable), school subjects & languages (these are uncountable), ideas and feelings (these are uncountable), groups of similar things (these are uncountable such as furniture).
There are some nouns which can have both a countable meaning and an uncountable meaning. For example; three teas (cups of tea)/Tea (drink), 15 chickens (animals)/chicken(food), a chocolate (a sweet)/chocolate (food), a paper (newspaper)/ paper (material), Russians (people)/Russian(language).
We have ways to count uncountable nouns. We “count” uncountable nouns like this:
- a piece of cake/cheese
- a piece of furniture, luggage, paper
- a bit of information
- a bar of chocolate
- a slice of bread, toast, cake
- a loaf of bread
- a carton of milk/juice
- a can/tin of soup
- a glass of orange juice/water
- a box of chocolate
- a bottle of water
- a tube of toothpaste
- a liter of milk
- half a kilo of sugar
- six meters of cotton