Wednesday, August 22, 2018

What You Need to Know About Nouns and Gerunds

Taken from the Latin word 'nomen', nouns identify everything you can see.  This includes people, places, things and ideas.

Here are some examples to help you determine what they are and how you use them in a sentence:

Animal - A scientific name or type of species, or a word that signifies an animal.

Example: The Lion roared that night.

Person - A proper name, occupation or title that signifies a person.

Example: Christina went for a walk to the shops.

Place - A location, general vicinity or a word signifying a place.

Example: The cinema opens at 10:00 Am this morning.

Thing - A living or non-living thing a word that signifies a thing or an object.

Example: I lost my cellphone last week at the shopping mall.

Idea - A conception existing in the mind,  a word that signifies an idea.

Example: Everyone should follow the law of the land.

Important Operations of Nouns

Nouns can perform many different functions in sentences, or do distinctive jobs. 

Subject let's us know what or whom the sentence is all about.

Example: Jonathan played the piano.

Complete Subject vs. Simple Subject

The who or what is the doing the verb action is done by the Complete Subject along with the modifiers (descriptive words) that go with it.

Example: The big, black, panther grabbed a boy from outside of his house.

A Simple Subject let's us know what or whom performs the action in the sentence.

Example: The bright silver coin gleamed on the sidewalk.

Direct and Indirect Objects as Nouns

Direct Objects in sentences give meaning to the subject's action of the verb.  In the case of a direct object it answer the question of who(m) or what.

Example: Suzy caught the baseball.

Indirect Objects identify to whom the verb is performed.

Example: James sent his aunt a postcard from Florida.

Nouns Paired With a Preposition

Prepositional phrases are comprised of a group of words that usually contain a preposition, a noun or pronoun and any modifiers.  Prepositions commonly sit before its object.

Example: The flock of tiny swallows flew over the trees near the lake.

Objective and Subjective

Objective complements can be followed by a noun or adjective which renames or modifies it.

Example: My sister named her new born baby David.

Subjective complements are nouns, pronouns or adjectives that follow a linking verb.

Example: Sarah is a gifted athlete.

What Are Proper and Common Nouns?

A Proper Noun is the collective term for persons, animals, things, places, or concepts. Usually capitalized when used in a sentence.

Example: Agatha Christie wrote many books.

A Common Noun is a general term for persons, animals, things, places, or concepts that doesn't require capitalization within a sentence.

Example: I write books.

How to Identify a Gerund When You See One

What is a gerund?

A gerund is a verb form which functions as a noun.

All gerunds, invariably end in ing.  However, gerunds are not easy to identify, because participles similarly also end in ing.  So what's the difference?

A gerund functions as a noun.  Therefore will be subjects, subject complements, direct objects, indirect objects, and objects and prepositions.

A present participle, by contrast, complete progressive verbs or act as modifiers.

Here are some examples of gerunds:

Since Laura was five years old, swimming has been her passion.

Swimming = subject of the verb has been.

Laura's first love is swimming.

Swimming = subject complement of the verb is.

Laura enjoys swimming more than spending time with her boyfriend Peter.

Swimming = direct object of the verb enjoys.

Laura gives swimming all of her energy and time.

Swimming = indirect object of the word gives.

When Laura wore dive fins to class, everyone knew that she was devoted to swimming.

Swimming = object of the preposition to.

Here are some examples of words that are present participles:

One day last summer, Laura and her coach were swimming at Whitehaven Beach.

Swimming = present participle completing the past progressive verb were swimming.

A bull shark ate Laura's coach.

Swimming = present participle modifying coach.

Now Laura practices her sport  in safe swimming pools.

Swimming = present participle modifying pools.

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