Questions tagged [nouns]

A noun is a word (other than a pronoun) used to identify people, places, or things, or to name a particular one of those.

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Why do we say "I love cake" but "I love cars"?

Why do some nouns need to be in the plural for that structure to work, while some are ok in the singular? E.g.: I love pizza, I love beef, etc. I always thought it was a matter of countable x ...
San Diago's user avatar
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54 votes
4 answers
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Why is Zika capitalized and chikungunya and yellow fever are not?

I noticed the usage on the CDC website. I don't understand why Zika is capitalized while the other two were in lower cases. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus ...
michele's user avatar
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46 votes
4 answers
13k views

What is understood if I say "I'm an English teacher"?

What is understood if I say "I'm an English teacher"? "I teach English", or "I'm a teacher coming from England"?
German Martinez's user avatar
35 votes
6 answers
55k views

Grammatical gender of the word "child"

I've been taught that a child is gender-neutral noun. But in the textbook on linguistics I've been reading, the noun is used as feminine. For example, a sentence in the book goes like this: The child ...
V.Lydia's user avatar
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33 votes
6 answers
74k views

How to write a plural form of 'ex' (ex girlfriend..etc)

She's my ex But then, In my photo album, you see many exes/exs/ex's of mine?
Maulik V's user avatar
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30 votes
10 answers
10k views

What's wrong with "Most people in the country would like to own their house some day."?

The following is a problem from my textbook. The following sentence has an error. Find it and correct it. (1)[Most people] in the country (2)[would like] to own (3)[their house] (4)[some day]. ...
Aki's user avatar
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30 votes
2 answers
2k views

dogs, not cats -> why 'not'?

When I want to clarify something and I say for example "Dogs, not cats.", I automatically want to write/say 'not' even though 'cats' is a noun, and for nouns one uses 'no'. But I'm quite sure this isn'...
Dex's user avatar
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29 votes
2 answers
6k views

“The,” “a” or no article: “See you in _____ court.”

Why is an article not used before the noun in sentences such as the one below? See you in (the, a) court.
Boyep's user avatar
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25 votes
5 answers
21k views

Is the term 'Invalid' applicable for human beings?

As I was reading a novel 'What Katy Did', I came across an interesting mention of the word Invalid. His wife was said to be an invalid, and people, when they spoke of him, shook their heads and ...
Bharat's user avatar
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21 votes
3 answers
58k views

Tap, faucet, spigot - what are the differences?

What are the differences between tap, faucet and spigot? Are they regional variants? (ngram isn't particularly helpful in determining that, due to other, more popular meanings of 'tap').
SF.'s user avatar
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20 votes
2 answers
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Why sister [nouns] and not brother [nouns]?

I have noticed this quite often that other (closely) related common nouns are called sister [common noun]. For example: This question is off-topic here, but is on-topic on our sister site. This issue ...
Dhanishtha Ghosh's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
734 views

Can "zero" be used to describe uncountable nouns?

“There was zero courage in this verdict,” he said. ”I think this goes to the jury not wanting to make a difficult decision." I learned that mass nouns cannot be enumerated. Yes, I know that zero ...
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19 votes
7 answers
11k views

Difference between 'stomach' and 'uterus'

If a lady is pregnant, for her can this be said? She had a baby in her stomach. Or is it necessary to use the word womb or uterus?
English-Learner's user avatar
19 votes
9 answers
10k views

What's the correct unit for homework?

Consider the case when a teacher has thirty students in the class. The noun "homework" is uncountable so he cannot say "I have thirty homeworks to grade every week." My question is that if there is ...
Chris Kuo's user avatar
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19 votes
3 answers
45k views

Difference between "Trip", "Travel", and "Journey"

Are there any significant differences between words trip, travel, and journey (nouns)? Are those interchangeable words or are there any specific expressions which uses one of them but not another?
Tom's user avatar
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17 votes
5 answers
13k views

"The cow" OR "a cow" OR "cows" in this context

Article before a common noun: The cow--- a particular cow. A cow--- any cow. Cows.---all of them. But while reading an essay on cow, we usually get to see: The cow is a very useful ...
Kumar sadhu's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
162k views

Is "people" a countable or a non-countable noun?

I saw these sentences on the Internet: There are three people here. A few people didn't enjoy the play. Now I'm not sure whether people and other collective nouns like team, family and police are ...
nkm's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
4k views

'Golden spoon' or 'Gold spoon' -if the spoon is made of gold?

Adjective or noun? A golden spoon or A gold spoon What to use? A spoon is made of gold. Dictionary says: golden (adjective) -made of gold But then... (the same page) golden (adjective) - ...
Maulik V's user avatar
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16 votes
4 answers
25k views

Is it 'thumb is up' in 'thumbs up'?

It was a thumbs up on the new filtration plant at Thursday's village board meeting This is so common but then I never thought too deep unless I became a fan of English language after joining this ...
Maulik V's user avatar
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14 votes
6 answers
85k views

What is the soft part of the palm called in English?

What is the soft part of the palm called in English? I don't know the name even in my native language, so I cannot look it up in the dictionary.
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
13 votes
7 answers
5k views

How do I express दिल लगाना in English? It literally means 'attaching heart.'

I am Indian, not a native English speaker. I can't figure out the English expression. We Indians use दिल लगाना literal translation 'to attach heart' which implies to be in love with someone in Hindi....
Ziya bano's user avatar
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13 votes
6 answers
8k views

They write in their school diary (or) diaries?

Currently, I am using a children's English coursebook called Gold Experience A2, by Pearson, it's for a private student of mine. It's supposed to help young learners prepare for the KEY exam, and it ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
5k views

Do the brave deserve the fair?

The sentence is: None but the brave _________ the fair. Where the blank is to filled with deserve or deserves. My understanding is that it should be filled with deserve since the sentence here ...
Gaurang Tandon's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
7k views

Noun used as an adjective in "passenger seat"?

A friend of mine (a native speaker of Japanese) wrote "passenger's seat", which a native speaker of English corrected to "passenger seat". Onelook.com has entries for the latter but not the former, ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
452 views

Fishy, Dishy: Adjectives used as nouns?

In the children song below, I'm bit confused on the two lines highlighted: Dance to your daddy My little baby Dance to your daddy My little lamb You will have a fishy In your little dishy You will ...
T2E's user avatar
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10 votes
9 answers
3k views

Noun for the event of something splitting in two directions

I know there's a perfect word for this, but I just can't seem to recall it. I know about split, but I'm thinking of something more eloquent. For example: After the split of Western philosophy ...
Fiksdal's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
22k views

"start from the beginning" vs "begin from the starting"

What is the difference between the following two sentences? Do they both mean the same? Why don't you start from the beginning? Why don't you begin from the starting?
v kumar's user avatar
  • 998
10 votes
2 answers
131k views

Difference between "search of" and "search for"

I was writing a classified for a company, but I got confused between two different usage of 'search'. Read the following sentences: If you're in search of a quality marketing company, then your ...
Rucheer M's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
24k views

Can an 'adverb' modify 'nouns/pronouns'?

While answering to this question here, very interesting discussion took place with CopperKettle. It's absolutely right that adverbs modify many things, but nouns/pronouns. But then, expressions ...
Maulik V's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
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Understanding, countable or not?

Read the sentence below- "Christine Sterling’s determination to repackage her Olvera Street concept into something Chinese has been matched by her total lack of understanding of our culture, ...
Jim's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
1k views

No more Hiroshimas - Can proper nouns be plural form?

No more Hiroshima - I have listened that is not wrong, but this is different to what I'm aiming for. Instead of it, I can say 'no more Hiroshimas'. I have a question about it. Why is Hiroshima ...
ra1ned's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
6k views

"Backyard" vs "Front yard" - same but different

Not really a serious English question, more like a curiosity. I am wondering, why "backyard" is written as one word but "front yard" is written as two separate words. Equivalently, ...
AIQ's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
19k views

Is the plural of "popcorn" a used word?

Is popcorns a used word, for example in "popcorns are ready"? If I cook meat rolls, and I want to announce they are ready, I would say "Meat rolls are ready." Can I say the same for popcorn?
apaderno's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
1k views

The ambiguity of 'Noun + Photographer' while addressing the photographer

We use nouns + photographer to mean that the photographer masters the photography in that noun. Say - Wildlife photographer (the photographer masters wildlife photography) But then, when I try ...
Maulik V's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
6k views

Earring, don't use is or are? Pronouns “it” or “they”

I know that sunglasses, scissors, pants are plural. How about earring? If it's a pair (both left and right are alike), do we say "I love them" or "I love it"? I got a present from ...
Alex Ang's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
61k views

laugh (noun) vs laughter

Recently, a proofreader suggested an edit for my story: a laughter laugh escaped my throat. The New Oxford American Dictionary suggests: laughter noun [mass noun] the action or ...
SF.'s user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
21k views

What is the feminine equivalent of "guy"?

Is there a word that is the feminine equivalent of guy? I thought of gal, but I think it is used for a girl, or a young woman. I am looking for a word that can be used to generally mean woman, and ...
apaderno's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
1k views

"A turmoil" vs "turmoil"

Can we say: The country was in a turmoil instead of: The country was in turmoil I have searched the web and found that it is used without "a". But why is it so? Is the first use incorrect?
Kirti's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
2k views

"Means [...] is" versus "means [...] are"

The most effective means of control is immediate removal of pods from harvested plants, but this is not always possible at a time when other farm activities are at their peak, so one possible option ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
3k views

Are there cases in which "empiric" and "empirical" are not interchangeable?

On stackoverflow.com I found 3 instances of empiric solution and 4 instances of empirical solution. What does this mean, if it means something—perhaps empiric and empirical are completely ...
user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why the "soap" here is singular?

I'm learning TOEFL recently, and today I stumbled on this sentence from TPO 47: There was a town that passed a law that banned the sale of a certain kind of soap. There was an ingredient in this soap ...
babeimi's user avatar
  • 109
8 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is the 'a nice' in 'a nice to have' grammatical?

In this context, 'a nice' is used as a noun as 'a must': Design’s role has moved from a nice to have to a must have to a differentiator I wonder if the 'indefinite article + adjective' form can ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

“ What is the different between COVID-19 antibodies that you “ - Is the word different wrong in this sentence?

I read this on redcross.org It says: Q: What is the different between COVID-19 antibodies that you develop from exposure to the virus and antibodies you develop as a reaction to the vaccine? I ...
AGamePlayer's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is it correct to ask "who needs a dragons"?

According to the title of this question... Who needs a dragons Is it "a dragons" or just "dragons"? And "need" or "needs"?
user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
20k views

Why do we say 'The earth' and not 'An earth'?

As I understand, noun which is singular and start with vowels, we put an article "an" in front of it. ( e.g an eye, an ear ) But why it is not "an earth" and why "the earth"?
Ronald's user avatar
  • 482
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Referring to letters of the alphabet

In Italian, letters can be referred to using their noun. For example, when speaking of the letter M, I could say La lettera emme è l'undicesima lettera dell'alfabeto italiano. (that is, "M is the 11th ...
apaderno's user avatar
  • 20.7k
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

“Was” or “were” in sentence where no noun subject exists

I can't figure out if the below sentence should use “was” or “were”, since I'm not sure what the subject of the sentence is. Is the sentence incomplete? How do I handle this kind of sentence, where no ...
AnneS1's user avatar
  • 83
8 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why is oak considered an adjective in 'the big oak tree'?

I have been reading grammar instructions on this website. When I came across the bottom of the page, there was a quiz. In the quiz it was noted that the word oak in the following sentence is an ...
GforOevOerD's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
18k views

"Persons" versus "individuals"

In Italian, the equivalent of person is persona, whose plural is persone; there is also another word that could be used instead of persone (gente) but that is not the plural of persona. It cannot be ...
apaderno's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
4k views

The phrase "from before"

In the sentence "I know him from before", what part of speech is "before"? Is such a sentence acceptable in the first place? More generally, is the phrase "from before" ...
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