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Nouns 2 Basic Article Usage
Using A or 0 : Generic Nouns A speaker uses generic nouns to make generalizations. A generic noun represents a whole class of things; it is not a specific, real, concrete thing, but rather a symbol of a whole group. Singular Count Noun A banana is yellow
Singular Count Noun A banana is yellow Plural Count Noun 0 Bananas are yellow. The speaker is talking about any banana, all bananas, bananas in general. no article (0) is used to make generalizations with plural count nouns.
Noncount Noun 0 Fruit is good for you. No article (0) is used to make generalizations with noncount nouns.
Usually a/an is used with a singular generic count noun. Examples: A window is made o f glass. A doctor heals sick people. Parents must give a child love. A box has six sides. An apple can be red, green, or yellow.
However, the is sometimes used with a singular generic count noun (not a plural generic count noun, not a generic noncount noun). “Generic the ” is commonly used with, in particular: (1) species of animals: The blue whale is the largest mammal on earth. The elephant is the largest land mammal.
(2) inventions: Who invented the telephone? the wheel? the refrigerator? the airplane? The computer will play an increasingly large role in all o f our lives. (3) instruments: I ’d like to learn to play the piano. Do you play the guitar?
Using A or Some: Indefinite Nouns Indefinite nouns are actual things (not symbols), but they are not specifically identified. Singular Count Noun I ate a banana. The speaker is not referring to “this banana" or “that banana” or “the banana you gave me.” The speaker is simply saying that she/he ate one banana. The listener does not know or need to know which specific banana was eaten; it was simply one banana out of all bananas.
Plural Count Nouns I ate some bananas. Noncount Nouns I ate some fruit. Some is often used with indefinite plural count nouns and indefinite noncount nouns. In addition to some, a speaker might use two, a few, several, a lot of, etc., with plural count nouns, or a little, a lot of, etc., with noncount nouns.
Using The: Definite Nouns Singular Count Noun Thank you for the banana. Plural Count Noun Thank you for the bananas. The speaker uses ‘the’ because the listener knows which specific banana the speaker is talking about, i.e., that particular banana which the listener gave to the speaker. Notice that the is used with both singular and plural count nouns and with noncount nouns. Noncount Noun Thank you for the fruit.
Exercise 21, p.115 Add a /an if necessary. Write 0 if the noun is noncount. Capitalize as necessary. 4. ____ tennis is a sport. 5. ____ tennis player has to practice long hours. 6. ____ island is a piece of land surrounded by water. 7. ____ gold is a metal. 8. ____ bridge is a structure that spans a river. 9. ____ health is one of the most important things in life. 10. ____ adjective is a word that modifies a noun. 11. ____ tree needs water to survive.
12. ____ water is composed of oxygen and hydrogen. 13. ____ knowledge is a source of power. 14. ____ homework is a necessary part of a course of study. 15. ____ grammar is interesting and fun. 16. ____ sentence usually contains a subject and a verb. 17. ____ English is used in airports throughout much of the world. 18. ____ air is free.
19. ____ fruit is good for you. 20. ____ orange is green until it ripens. 21. ____ iron is a metal. 22. ____ iron is an appliance used to take wrinkles out of cloth. 23. ____ basketball is round. 24. ____ basketball is a sport.
Answers…Exercise 21, p.115 20. An12. 0 Water4. 0 Tennis 21. 0 Iron13. 0 Knowledge5. A 22. An14. 0 Homework6. An 23. A15. 0 Grammar7. 0 Gold 24. 0 Basketball16. A8. A 17. 0 English9. 0 Health 18. 0 Air10. An 19. 0 Fruit11. A
Exercise 22, p. 116 Complete the sentences with a, an, or some. 5. I had _____ accident. 6. I have _____ homework to do tonight. 7. There is _____ table in the room. 8. There is _____ furniture in the room. 9. There are _____ chairs in the room. 10. My father gave me _____ advice.
11. Sonya is carrying _____ bag. 12. Sonya is pulling _____ luggage. 13. There was _____ earthquake in California. 14. I got _____ letters in the mail. 15. Helen got _____ letter from her mother. 16. Mr. Alvarez got _____ mail yesterday.
17. A computer is _____ machine that can solve problems. 18. The factory bought _____ new machinery. 19. _____ machines are powered by electricity. Some use other sources of energy. 20. I threw away _____ junk. 21. I threw away _____ old basket that was falling apart. 22. I threw away _____ old boots that had holes in them.
5. an 11. a 17. a 6. some 12. some 18. some 7. a 13. an 19. Some 8. some 14. some 20. some 9. some 15. a 21. an 10. some 16. some 22. some
Exercise 25, p. 117 Correct the errors 1. Oh, look at moon! It’s beautiful tonight. 2. I saw a cat and a bird outside my window. Cat was trying to catch a bird, but it didn’t succeed. Bird flew away. 3. The birds have the wings. Many insects have wings too. 4. We all look for the happiness. 5. I have book.
Answers 1. Oh, look at the moon! It’s beautiful tonight. 2. I saw a cat and a bird outside my window. T he cat was trying to catch the bird, but it didn’t succeed. T he bird flew away. 3. Birds have wings. Many insects have wings too. 4. We all look for happiness. 5. I have a book.
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