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What is a Noun?
Consider the sentences below:
① The country’s wealth belongs to
② Dancing can make you feel
The underlined word (mighty) in
Sentence 1 is an adjective; the underlined word (dancing) in Sentence 2 is a
verb. But these two words are in those sentences as nouns. Yes, they function
in those sentences as nouns, not as an adjective and a verb. Do you want to
verify? Let us attempt substituting them for words that are clearly nouns:
③ The country’s wealth belongs to
④ Drugs can make you feel better.
“President (person)” and “drugs
(things)” are irrefutably nouns and we have substituted them for an adjective
and a verb respectively. Should we confidently say, “A noun is the name of any
person, animal, place or thing” when “dancing (verb)” and “mighty (adjective)”
can function as nouns? No, we shouldn’t. The point here is that words from other
word classes can function as nouns.
Therefore, we simply define a
noun as a naming word. We can also say, “A noun is a name”.
Here is a tip to help you
recognise a noun when you see one. A noun is that element that comes
immediately after a determiner, e.g. a thief, the fence, few books. Recall that
we discussed determiners in Chapter 1. It is also important to note that a noun
answers the question “who/whom/what/where”.
The Finiteness and Non-Finiteness of Verbs
A verb is finite or non-finite,
depending on its responsiveness to the
singularity/plurality of the
subject and the tense (the time expressed in the
sentence). A finite verb is a
verb that changes as the number of subject changes
and as the time of the action
changes. Study the different mutations of this
78. I prefer my tea without
79. Sandra prefers her tea
80. My late grandfather preferred
his tea without sugar.
In Sentence 78, the subject is
the first person singular; the only conjugation of
the verb “prefer” that
can be used with the subject is the uninflected form (prefer).
The subject of Sentence 79 is the
third person singular and the only conjugation
of the verb “prefer”
that is grammatically suitable for that subject is “prefers”.
Sentence 80 expresses past tense;
the only conjugation of the verb “prefer” that
is grammatically suitable for the
subject is “preferred”.
We can, therefore, say “prefer”
is a finite verb.
Non-finite verbs do not respond
to the singularity/plurality of the subject,
neither do they respond to
tenses. Study the variations below:
81. I love to relax with a bottle
82. He loves to relax with a
bottle of Coke.
83. You love to relax with a
bottle of Coke.
84. My late grandfather loved to
relax with a bottle of Coke.
Did you observe that while the
verb “love” changes in response to the number of
persons and time in each
sentence, the verb “to relax” remains constant in all
the sentences, regardless of the
change in subject or tense?
“To relax” is,
therefore, a non-finite verb; whereas “love” is a finite verb.
This does not, however, mean that
“relax” is inherently a non-finite verb while
“love” is inherently
finite; it is the presence of “to” that renders “relax” non-finite.
There are three types of
non-finite verbs: to-infinitive; gerund and participle.
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✔ Parts of Speech
✔ Phrases and Clauses
✔Construction of Sentences
✔The Rules of Concord
✔Direct Speech and Reported
✔Active and Passive Voice
✔Exercises for Self Assessment
✔Sample Examination Questions
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Oluyemisi A. Adedokun-Oladejo was
the winner of the 2020 African Writers Award for Creative Nonfiction. She holds
a master’s degree in English from the University of Ibadan. Her experience as a
full-time teacher of English in the classroom and in the virtual space spans 12
years. Oluyemisi has three other publications to her credit. She is the founder
of Teachers’ Tribe, a network of teachers who are intentional about
professional and financial growth.
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purchase Premium English Grammar.
Would you peek into the
“Table of Contents” instead?
CHAPTER 1 – Determiners
1.1 What are Determiners?
1.2 Categories of
CHAPTER 2 – Nouns and Noun
2.1 What is a Noun?
2.2 Classification of Nouns
2.2.1 Common Nouns
2.2.2 Proper Nouns
2.2.3 Collective Noun
2.2.4 Concrete Nouns
2.2.5 Abstract Nouns
2.2.6 Compound Nouns
2.2.7 Nominalised Words
2.3 Nouns and Gender
2.4 Nouns and Cases
2.4.1 The Nominative (Subjective
2.4.2 The Objective Case
2.4.3 The Possessive Case
2.5 Noun Phrase
2.5.1. The Structure of a Noun
2.5.2 The Functions of the Noun
2.6. Rules about the Use of Some
CHAPTER 3 – Pronouns
3.1 What is a Pronoun?
3.2 Types of Pronouns
3.2.1 Personal Pronouns
3.2.2 Reflexive Pronouns
3.2.3 Interrogative Pronouns
3.2.5 Possessive Pronouns
3.2.6 Indefinite Pronouns
3.2.7 Reciprocal Pronouns
3.2.8 Relative Pronouns
3.2.9 Distributive Pronouns
3.3 Rules Guiding the Use of Some
CHAPTER 4 – Adjectives and
4.1. What is an Adjective?
4.2 Formation of Adjectives
4.3 Types of Adjectives
4.3.1 Adjective of Origin
4.3.2 Adjective of Quality
4.3.3 Adjective of Colour
4.3.4 Adjective of Size
4.3.5 Adjectives of Quantity
4.3.6. Possessive Adjectives
4.3.7 Interrogative Adjectives
4.4. Comparison of Adjectives
4.5. Non-Gradable Adjectives
4.6 Positioning of Adjectives
4.7 Ordering of Adjectives
4.8 Adjective Intensifiers
4.9 Adjective Phrases
4.9.1. The Structure of an
4.9.2 Functions of Adjective
CHAPTER 5 – Verbs and Verb
5.1 What is a Verb?
5.2 Classification of Verbs
5.2.1 Lexical Verbs
5.2.2 Auxiliary Verbs
5.3 The Finiteness and
Non-Finiteness of Verbs
5.4 Verbs and Moods
5.4.1 The Indicative Mood
5.4.2 The Subjunctive Mood
5.4.3 The Imperative Mood
Notes on Some Verbs
5.5 Verb Phrases
5.5.1. Finite Verb Phrase
5.5.2 Participial Phrase
5.5.3 Infinitive Phrase
CHAPTER 6 – Adverbs
6.1. What is an Adverb?
6.2. Formation of Adverbs
6.3. Gradation and Comparison of
6.4 Adverb Phrases
6.5 Types of Adverbs and Adverb
Phrases 6.6. Functions of Adverbs and Adverb Phrases Evaluation
CHAPTER 7- Prepositions and
7.1 What is a Preposition
7.2 Categories of Prepositions
7.3 Prepositional Phrases
7.4 Rules of Prepositions and
7.5 Functions of Prepositions and
7.6 The Positions Prepositions
7.7 Types of Prepositions
7.7.1 Notes on Some Prepositions
CHAPTER 8 – Conjunctions
8.1 What is a Conjunction?
8.2 Categories of
CHAPTER 9 – Interjection
CHAPTER 10 – Clauses
10.1 What is a Clause?
10.2 Categories of Clauses
10.2.1 Main Clause
10.2.2 Subordinate Clause
10.3 Elements of a Clause
10.4 Coordination of Clauses
10.5 Subordination of Clauses
10.6 Clause Patterns in
10.7 Types of Clauses
10.7.1 Noun Clause
10.7.2 Adjectival Clause
10.7.3 Adverbial Clause
10.7.3.1 Types of Adverbial
CHAPTER 11 – The Sentence
11.1 What is a Sentence?
11.2 Forms of Sentences
11.2.1 Elliptical Sentence
11.2.2 Unfinished Sentence
11.2.3 Complete Sentence
11.3 Classification of Sentences
11.3.1 Classification of
Sentences According to Structure
11.3.2 Classification of
Sentences According to Functions Evaluation
CHAPTER 12 – Tense and Aspect
12.1 The Definition of a
12.2 The Definition of an Aspect
12.3 Tenses and Aspects
12.3.1 The Past Tense
12.3.2 The Present Tense
12.3.3 The Future Tense
12.3.4 The Future in the Past
CHAPTER 13 – Concord
13.1 What is Concord?
13.2 The Rules of Concord
ii) Notional Concord
iii) Concord of Coordinate
iv) Double Title Concord v)
vi) Concord of Indefinite
vii) Concord of Proximity
viii) Concord of Pronouns’
ix) Concord Relating to “More
x) Concord Relating to Percentage
xi) Concord of Pluratia Tantum
xii) Concord Relating to
xiii) Concord Involving “Many a”
xiv) Concord Involving “The
number of/A number of”
xv) Concord Involving
xvi) Concord Involving “A lot
xvii) Concord Involving “A Pair
xviii) Concord Involving “Much
xix) Concord Relating to the
Titles of Books/Movies
xx) Concord Relating to the
CHAPTER 14 – Active Voice and
Passive Voice Objectives
14.1 The Active Voice
14.2 The Passive Voice 14.3
Formation of the Passive Voice
14.4 The Passive Voice in Tenses
14.4.1 The Passive Voice in the
Simple Past Tense
14.4.2 The Passive Voice in the
Past Progressive Tense
14.4.3 The Passive Voice in the
Past Perfect Tense
14.4.4 The Passive Voice in the
Simple Present Tense
14.4.5 The Passive Voice in the
Present Progressive Tense
14.4.6 The Passive Voice in the
Present Perfect Tense
14.4.7 The Passive Voice in the
Simple Future Tense
14.4.8 The Passive Voice in the
Future Perfect Tense
14.5 Uses of the Passive Voice
CHAPTER 15 – Direct Speech and
15.1 What is a Direct Speech?
What is a Reported Speech?
15.2 Points to Note When Making
15.3 Reported Speech and the
Different Sentence Types
15.3.1 Reporting a Declarative
Sentence 15.3.2 Reporting an Interrogative Sentence
15.3.3 Reporting an Imperative
15.3.4 Reporting an Exclamatory
15.4 Mutations of Word Classes
and Tenses in Reported Speeches
15.4.1 Verb Changes in Reported
15.4.2 Pronoun Changes in
15.4.3 Adverb Changes in Reported
15.4.4 Tense Changes in Reported
15.5 Functions of Reported
CHAPTER 16 – Formation of
16.1 Types of Questions
16.1.2 Yes/NO Question
16.1.3. Indirect Questions
16.1.4 Negative Questions
220.127.116.11 Uses of Negative
Questions 16.1.5 Question Tag 16.1.5 Rules about Question Tag
16.5.2 Contractions to Use in
CHAPTER – 17
Sample Examination Questions