1. The implication of number Number is one of the grammatical categories of nouns. Number of nouns falls into two classes: singular, which denotes one, and plural, which denotes more than one. Note: When the number is less than one, the form of noun is also singular. e.g. one day one half day one and a half days
Uncountable nouns (U.C.) only have singular forms. Only countable nouns (C.)have plural forms. Generally speaking, the number of nouns (as subjects) determine that of predicates. when the subject is uncountable noun, or singular countable noun, the number of predicates is singular; when the subject is plural nouns, the number of predicates is plural.
2. Plural forms of nouns Regular plural forms of nouns (emitted) Irregular plural forms of nouns a. Replacing the inner vowels e.g. foot[ ]-feet[ ] mouse[ ]-mice[ ] tooth[ ]-teeth[ ] b. -en e.g. ox-oxen child-children c. Unchanged
e.g. deer-deer fish-fish means-means d. Loanwords e.g. criterion-criteria phonomenon-phonomena syllabus-syllabi, stimulus-stimuli Note: Some nouns has no change of forms e.g. head 400 head of cattle dozen three dozen eggs score two score glasses
3. Number of uncountable nouns Uncountable nouns have only singular forms. a. Material nouns are uncountable e.g. bread, wine, coal, oil, sand Note: When denoting different kinds of things, they are in plural forms: e.g. We export steels
b.Abstract nouns are uncountable e.g. anger, curiosity, excitement, progress, fun, generosity Note: Some abstract nouns can be used as countable nouns, thus have plural forms. e.g. change-changes idea-ideas suggestion-suggestions
4. Number of collective nouns a. What are collective nouns class, club, family, army, crew, company, college, council, board, jury… b.When a singular collective noun is considered as a integrity, it has singularity concept. e.g. His family is well-known in their town. c. When a singular collective is considered as many individuals, it has plurality concept. e.g. His family are waiting for him.
5. Number of nominalized words Nominalized words are mainly adjectives, past participles, gerunds, numerals, etc. a. Nominalized adjectives denote person, usually used before the. e.g. the rich; the young; the dead The beautiful are envied by the ugly. b.Some nominalized adjectives are abstract in meaning, especially those which are the superlative degree, used together with definite article the. When they perform as subjects, the predicates are used in singular forms.
e.g. the best; the latest, the supernatural The very best is yet to come. b.Nominalized past participles are used almost equally with nominalized adjectives in terms of number. e.g. The dispossessed are demanding their rights. The accused was set free. The unknown is always something to be feared. c.Nominalized gerunds generally denote singularity, thus is uncountable.
e.g. Painting is very relaxing. d. Nominalized numerals have plural forms. e.g. The child crawls on all fours. He is in his eighties.