Seminarski rad Engleski jezik

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Seminarski rad Engleski jezik

1.1 One-word nouns:

A noun tells us what someone or something is called. For example, a noun can be the name of a person (John); a job title (doctor); the name of a thing (radio); the name of a place (London); the name of a quality (courage); or the name of an action (laughter/laughing). Nouns are the names we give to people, things, places, etc. in order to identify them.Nouns and noun phrases answer the question Who? or What? and may be:

- subject of a verb:
Our agent in Cairo sent a telex this morning.

- the direct object of a verb:
Frank sent an urgent telex from Cairo this morning.

- the indirect object of a verb:
Frank sent his boss a telex.

- the object of a proposition:
I read about it in the paper.

- the complement of be or a related verb like seem:
Bill Gates is our guest.

- used 'in apposition':
Laura Myers, a BBC reporter, asked for an interview.

- used when we speak directly to somebody:
Ann, shut that window, will you please?

1.2 Compound nouns:

Many nouns in English are formed of two parts (classroom) or, less commonly, three or more (son-in-law, stick-in-the-mud).Sometimes compounds are spelt with a hyphen, sometimes not. There are no precise rules, so the following are brief guidelines:

1. When two short nouns are joined together, they form one word without a hyphen (a teacup). We do not join two short nouns if this leads to problems of recognition: bus stop (not busstop).
2. Hyphens are often used for verb + particle combinations (make-up) and self-combinations (self-respect).

3. When a compound is accepted as a single word (it has an entry in a dictionary the tendency is to write it as one word `sunbathing`). In other cases, the use of the hyphen is at the discretion of the writer (writing paper or writing-paper), but the tendency is to avoid hyphens where possible.

1.3 Nouns classification


CONCRETE: a book

ABSTRACT: an idea

CONCRETE: clothing


ABSTRACT: courage

We distinguish two kinds of nouns:

1. Proper nouns – denote one particular person, place or thing. These nouns have no plural: John, London, the Danube, October.
2. Common nouns – denote a person, place or thing as one of a class or a group: man, town, river, month, table.
Common nouns are sometimes called class nouns. These nouns usually have a plural. When a common noun denotes a thing which is itself a group of other things or persons, it is called a collective noun.

A collective noun denotes a group of persons or things regarded as one. A collective noun is singular in number: army, band, family, team, crowd.

The verb and the pronoun used with a collective noun can be in the singular or in the plural. If we are thinking of the group collectively, the singular is used. If individually, the plural is used.

The class is going for its annual trip.
The class differ in their opinion where to go.

Mass nouns denote a formless mass or material (material nouns). They usually have no plural: tea, sand, water, iron, paper.

Abstract nouns denote some quality, state, feeling, condition etc. – anything that has no form or substance ( i. e. that is not concrete): answer, behaviour, discipline, traffic, leisure.


class collective



town family
tea iron

water paper


1.4 Countable and uncountable nouns

Some nouns can be countable or uncountable depending on their use. There are:
- Nouns we can think of as single item or substances
e. g. a chicken/chicken, an egg/egg, a ribbon/ribbon.

When we use these as countables, we refer to them as single items; when we use them as uncountables, we refer to them as substances.

countable (a single item) uncountable (substance/material)

He ate a whole chicken! Would you like some chicken?
I had a boiled egg for breakfast. There is egg on your face.
I tied it up with a ribbon. I bought a metre of ribbon.

- Nouns which refer to objects and materials
e. g. a glass/glass, an ice/ice, an iron/iron, a paper/paper.

When we use such nouns as countables, we refer to a thing which is made of the material or which we think of as being made of the material; when we use them as uncountables, we refer only to the material.

countable (thing) uncountable (material)

I broke a glass this morning. Glass is made from sand.
Would you like some an ice? Ice floats.
I have got a new iron. Steel is an alloy of iron.
What do the papers say? Paper is made from wood.

- Nouns which can refer to something specific or general
e. g. an education/education, a light/light, a noise/noise.

As countables, these nouns refer to something specific (He has had a good education. I need a light by my bed). As uncountables, the reference is general (Standards of education are falling. Light travels faster then sound).

countable (specific) uncountable (general)

A good education is expensive. Education should be free.
Try not to make a noise. Noise is a kind of pollution.

Some countable nouns like this can be plural (a light/lights, a noise/noises). Other nouns (education, knowledge) cannot be plural; as countables they often have some kind of qualification (a classical education, a good knowledge of English).
- Nouns ending with -ing
e.g. a drawing/drawing, a painting/painting, a reading/reading.

-ing form are generally uncountable, but a few can refer to a specific thing or event.

countable (specific) uncountable (general)

Are these drawings by Goya? I am not good at drawing.
He has a painting by Hockney. Painting is my hobby.
She gave a reading of her poems. Reading is taught early.

A few –ing forms (a trashing, a wedding) are only countable.

1.5 Determiners

In actual usage, nouns appear in noun phrases, and the kind of reference such a noun phrase has depends on the accompanying DETERMINER. We distinguish three classes of determiners, set up on the basis of their position in the noun phrase in relation to each other:

Central determiners (e.g. the, a, this)
Predeterminers (e.g. half, all, double; as in all the people)
Postdeterminers (e.g. seven, many, few; as in the many passengers)

1.5.1 Predeterminers

Predeterminers from a class in generally being mutually exclusive, preceding those central determiners with which they can co-occur, and in having to do with quantification. It is useful to distinguish two subsets:

(a) all, both, half
(b) the multipliers

1.5.2 All, both, half

These have in common the positive characteristic of being able to occur before the articles, the demonstratives, and the possessives:

all the
both these students
half our

They also have negative characteristic of not occurring before determiners that themselves entail quantification: every, each, (n)either, some, any no, enough. Beyond these generalizations, their occurrence needs to be described on an individual basis:

ALL occurs with the plural count nouns and with noncount nouns, as in

all the books all the music
all books all music

BOTH occurs with plural count nouns, as in

both the books both books

HALF occurs with singular and plural count nouns and with noncount nouns, as in

half the book(s) half a book half the music (but *half music)

1.5.3 Postdeterminers

Postdeterminers take their place immediately after determiners just as predeterminers take their place immediately before determiners.

Predeterminer: Both the young women were successful.
Postdeterminer: The two young women were successful.

Postdeterminers fall into two classes:
(a) ordinals, such as first, second, last, other;
(b) quantifiers, such as seven, ninety, many, few, plenty of, a lot of.

Where they can co-occur, items from (a) usually precede items from (b); for example:

the first two poems
my last few possessions
her many other accomplishments

Among the (b) items, there are two important distinctions involving few and little. First, few occurs only with plural count nouns, little only with noncount nouns. Second, when preceded by a, each has a positive meaning; without a, each has negative meaning.

I play a few games (i.e. `several`)
I play few games (i.e. `hardly any)

She ate a little bread (i.e. `some`)
She ate little bread (i.e. `hardly any)

2 Properties of nouns

In English there are three properties of nouns:
a) Gender – is a grammatical distinction of sex indicating whether the noun denotes a male or a female; or is sexless.
b) Number – denotes the distinction of one from more.
c) Case – is a grammatical form which denotes the relation of a noun to some other words in the sentence.

2.1 Gender

English gender is different from Serbian gender. In Serbian, we have grammatical gender, i.e. lifeless things may also be masculine or feminine (sto, klupa). In English it is important to know the gender of a noun only when it is used with pronouns. Nouns and pronouns are the only two parts of speech in English that have the distinction of gender. We must know the gender of a noun to use the right form of the pronoun with it.

A boy is here. He is your pupil.
A girl is here. She is not your pupil.

English nouns follow natural gender. Nouns denoting male beings are masculine. Nouns denoting female beings are feminine. Nouns denoting inanimate (sexless) things are neuter.

Masculine gender: farmer, father, man
Feminine gender: mother, niece, woman
Neuter gender: book, tree, bread

Nouns denoting either males or females are of common gender.
teacher (man or woman),
parent (father or mother),
friend (boy or girl).










Animals and young children are usually classed as neuter and the pronoun it is used after them.

Mary had a little lamb. It was as white as snow.
The child is crying. It is ill.

Animals are often said to be of masculine gender if they are larger and fiercer, and of feminine gender if they are gentler or more timid.

He was a greedy dog.
The cat catches us, says a mouse, because we do not hear her. Put a bell on her and we shall hear her before she comes.

Insects and birds are usually neuter.

The bee was able to climb on the leaf and so it was brought safely to land.
The bee thanked the bird for its kindness.

Some feminine nouns are built by adding suffix –ess on the masculine form:

lion – lioness prince – princess heir - heiress

If a masculine noun is ending with –er or –or, then by adding –ess vowel e or o disappears:

tiger – tigress waiter – waitress actor – actress emperor – empress

Some nouns have irregular feminine gender:

master – mistress duke – duchess hero – heroine negro – negress

Sometimes in front of the noun we put some word that marks gender:

man-servant–maid-servant boyfriend–girlfriend

he-goat–she-goat tom-cat–she-cat

Sometimes a word that marks gender is put behind a noun:

turkey-cock – turkey-hen peacock – peahen

Some nouns have a whole different word for feminine gender:

man – woman
father – mother
brother – sister
uncle – aunt
king – queen
bachelor – spinster
nephew – niece
boy – girl
husband – wife
son – daughter
gentleman – lady
horse – mare
cock – hen
bull – cow
dog – bitch
monk – nun

2.2 Number

In English language there are two numbers: the singular and the plural. The plural of nouns is formed by adding –s which is pronounced {s} or {z}. The plural ending –s is pronounced {s} if the preceding sound is voiceless, and {z} if the preceding sound is voiced.

Pronunciation {s}:

hat – hats
head – heads
street – streets
duck – ducks
shop - shops

Pronunciation {z}:

key – keys
car – cars
chair – chairs
window – windows
table - tables

All vowels and {b}, {d}, {g}, {m}, {n}, {}, {l}, {v}, {đ}, {z}, {з}, {r}, {dз}, {w}, {j} are voiced. The other consonants ({p}, {t}, {k}, {f}, {}, {s}, {∫}, {h}, {t∫}) are voiceless.

The pronunciation of some nouns ending in {} which changes into {đ} in the plural:

bath – baths
path –paths
mouth – mouths
youth – youths
truth – truths
oath - oaths

But there are some exceptions like:

month – months
length – lengths
death – deaths

The plural of nouns ending in {s}, {z}, {∫}, {з}, {t∫}, {dз}, is formed by adding –es which is pronounced {iz}.

class – classes
size – sizes
bush – bushes
garage – garages
bench – benches
bridge – bridges
bus – buses
wish – wishes
match – matches
church – churches
page – pages
rose – roses

The plural of nouns ending in y preceded by a consonant is formed by changing y into i and adding –es which is pronounced {z}.

city – cities
story – stories
family – families
factory – factories
lorry – lorries
country – countries
fly – flies

If y is preceded by a vowel it remains unchanged and only –s {z} is added.

key – keys
boy – boys
way – ways
toy – toys
donkey – donkeys
bay – bays
monkey – monkeys

The plural ending in f or fe is formed by adding –es or –s and changing f into v.

calf – calves
half – halves
leaf – leaves
loaf – loaves
shelf – shelves
thief – thieves
wolf – wolves
knife – knives
life – lives
wife - wives

But there are some exceptions to the rule. Nouns ending in ff, oof, ief, rf do not change f into v and only –s is added.

roof – roofs
chief – chiefs
dwarf – dwarfs
cliff - cliffs

Some nouns have two plural forms:

hoof– hoofs, hooves
staff- staffs, staves
wharf- wharfs, wharves

The plural of nouns ending in o is formed by adding –es which is pronounced {z}.

potato- potatoes
tomato- tomatoes
negro- negroes
echo- echoes
hero- heroes
volcano- volcanoes

Some nouns ending in o form the plural by adding only –s {z}:

tobacco- tobaccos
piano- pianos
solo- solos
photo- photos

There are some nouns which form the plural by adding –en. Two of them change the root vowel.

ox- oxen child- children brother- brethren

Some nouns have a different meaning in the plural form that in the singular:

good (benefit) goods (property)
people (nation) peoples (nations)
people (persons)
The Serbs are brave and wise people.
All the peoples of Yugoslavia fought in the war of liberation.
There were many people in the hall.

Some nouns have two plural forms with different meanings:

brother- brothers (braca), brethren (braca po verskoj pripadnosti)
cloth- cloths (platna, tkanine, stoljnaci), clothes (odela, odeca)
fish- fishes (misli se na razne vrste riba), fish (misli se na ribe uopsteno)
pea- peas (grasak, kada mislimo na odredjenu vrstu), pease (grasak, kada mislimo uopsteno)
penny-pennies (sitan novac), pence (kovanica)
staff- staffs (motke, stapovi), staves (osoblje, stab)

The plural of some nouns is formed by changing the root vowel:

men –man woman – women goose – geese tooth – teeth
foot – feet mouse – mice louse – lice

Some English nouns have the same form in the plural and in the singular:

sheep – sheep fish – fish deer – deer swine – swine

When we are referring to different kinds of fish, we use noun fish in the plural form:

There are all kinds of fishes in our sea.

Some nouns are used only in the singular:

chemistry furniture advice
knowledge progress information

If we want to express the plural meaning we use the plural of another noun (e.g. piece):

Six pieces of furniture.
I have given him three pieces of advice.

Some nouns are plural in form but singular in meaning:


Mathematics is very important in engineering.
Physics was his favourite subject.
Phonetics has always been his hobby.
This news is very surprising.

Some nouns are used only in the plural:
scissors trousers spectacles breeches
goods gallows wages

The goods have been damaged by the fire.
Where are the scissors?
Why are your trousers so dirty?
Breeches are short trousers fastened below the knee.

The plural of compound noun is form by adding the plural ending to the main part, i.e. to the element which bears the meaning of the compound word.

grandfather – grandfathers ashtray – ashtrays
writing desk – writing desks son-in-law – sons-in-low
passer-by – passers-by woman teacher – women teachers

There is no difference in pronunciation of the singular and the plural of the compound nouns ending in –man:

policeman – policemen postman – postmen

but there is an exception from this rule:

snowman – snowmen

2.3 Case

Case is a change in the form of a noun showing its relation to another word in the sentence. In English the only case of the noun that differs in form is the Saxon Genitive – the Possessive Case.

The function of other Serbian cases is expressed by prepositions of, to, for, about, with, etc.

The Nominative and Objective Cases (which are the same in form) are expressed by word order in the sentence.

The Nominative Case – the case of the subject in the sentence – precedes the verb.

The Objective Case – the Accusative – the case of the object of the sentence, follows the verb.

The pupils learn English.
The teacher teaches the pupils.

In the first example the pupils is the nominative, in the second example the same form is the accusative.


the boy the town
the boys the towns

Genitive – Possessive
the boy`s of the town
the boys` of the towns



to the boy to the town

the boy the town
to the boys to the town

the boys the towns

The function of the Serbian vocative case is expressed by the noun without the article. This noun is followed by a comma or a mark of exclamation.

George, come here!
Porter! Take my luggage, please.

The Saxon Genitive – the Possessive Case – is formed by adding an apostrophe and –s, which is pronounced {z} after the vowels and voiced consonants, and {s} after the voiceless consonants.

My aunt`s birthday
The man`s coat
If the noun ends in s the ending –s is pronounced {iz}.

Charles`s talk
Dickens`s novels
The actress`s voice

The Saxon Genitive in the plural is formed by adding an apostrophe only. The pronunciation of the word remains unchanged.

Poets` opinions
Publishers` rights

If the plural of the noun ends in a consonant different form s, the Saxon Genitive is formed by adding apostrophe and –s which is pronounced {s} or {z}.

Children`s toys
Man`s tools
Women`s activities

In compound nouns `s is added to the last word following the above mentioned rules.

a school-girl`s frock – a school-girls` hats
the postman`s bag – the postmans` duties

The Saxon Genitive is usually used for persons and sometimes animals; it can express possession, origin, etc.

Shakespeare`s plays
Our teacher`s words
A fox`s tail

It is also used in some set phrases to express place, distance, periods of time, measure, value, etc.

an hour`s walk
a week`s work
a night`s passage
a hair`s breadth
a stone`s throw
a shilling`s worth

The nouns house, shop, church, hotel, theatre can be omitted if they are understood from the Saxon Genitive or the context.

to my friend`s (house)
at the butcher`s (shop)
at the greengrocer`s
to the chemist`s
at the shoemaker`s
to St. Peter`s (church)
to St. James (theatre)
at Maxim`s (hotel)

In all other cases the genitive case is expressed by means of the preposition of. The phrase with the preposition of is an equivalent to the Saxon Genitive.

The foot of the mountain.
The end of the month.


1. dr. R. Filipovic (1986) An Outline of English Grammar, Zagreb

2. B. Grgic – J. Brihta (1989) An English Grammar, Zagreb

3. L.G. Alexander (1984) English Grammar, Cambridge

4. A.J. Thommson – A.V. Martinet (1986) A Practical English Grammar, Oxford

5. R. Quirk (1989) English Grammar, Cambridge

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