Posted by: episystechpubs | January 15, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Any Place That You Could Go…

Today we return briefly to The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar and Usage to talk about nouns. “The word noun comes from a Latin word that means “name.” Accordingly, nouns are often defined by their naming ability: a noun is a word used to name a person, a place, a thing, or an idea.” (p.4)

Now, those of us who grew up watching “Schoolhouse Rock” probably have that definition lodged deeply in our brains. (If not, click here and I bet you’ll be humming the chorus all day.) But as I mentioned yesterday, sometimes words can function as more than one part of speech, and that gets us a bit confused.

McGraw-Hill has a little test to figure out if a word is being used as a noun in a particular sentence. It’s called “The the Test for Common Nouns.” It states: “If the can be put immediately in front of a word and the result makes sense, then that word is a noun.” (p.5) Let’s see how that works.

I tried to (the) run across the field. (Yuck! Sounds terrible. In this case, run is not a noun; run is a verb.)

The pony’s (the) roan coat was quite unusual. (Horrible! There’s no way roan being used as a noun; roan is an adjective.)

Putting the in front of those words does not make sense and that indicates they are common nouns.

Now let’s try some different sentences:

Jim put Toby in the dog run so he could enjoy the summer air. (run is a noun)

The strawberry roan grazed in the fields. (roan is a noun)

In the following cases, “the” is actually already there in the sentence:

Jim put Toby in the (dog) run

The (strawberry) roan grazed…

Next on the agenda: verbs.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

www.symitar.com

NOTICE: This electronic mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended
exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The message,
together with any attachment, may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
Any unauthorized review, use, printing, saving, copying, disclosure or distribution
is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please
immediately advise the sender by reply email and delete all copies.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: