Составитель: Жукатинская Виктория Александровна, учитель английского языка, г.Липецк, МАОУ лицей №44,2016-2017 учебный год
Сводная таблица «The classification of nouns»
The main grammatically relevant subclasses of nouns:
On the basis of “type of nomination”:
proper nouns are opposed to
have no generalized meaning; they serve as a label, a nickname of a separate individual being or thing present a general name of any thing belonging to a certain class of things
e.g.: Mississippi, John, New York, etc. e.g.: river – any river, boy – any boy, etc.
class nouns collective nouns nouns of material abstract nouns
denote persons or things belonging to a class.
countable and have two numbers: singular and plural.
generally used with an article.
denote a number or collection of similar individuals or things as a single unit.
fall under the groups:
(a) nouns used only in the singular and denoting a number of things collected together and regarded as a single object: e.g. machinery.
(b) nouns which are singular in form though plural in meaning:
police, cattle, people - nouns of multitude. (When the subject of the sentence is a noun of multitude the verb used as predicate is in the plural)
(c) nouns that may be both singular and plural: family, crowd, nation. denote material: iron, gold, paper, tea, water. uncountable
generally used without any article.
may turn into class nouns (thus becoming countable) when they come to express an individual object of definite shape.
(e.g. glass – a glass of…- s.o. in the glass) denote some quality, state, action or idea: (kindness, sadness, fight).
usually uncountable, though some of them may be countable.
may change their meaning and become class nouns. This change is marked by the use of the article and of the plural number:
beauty - a beauty - beauties
sight - a sight - sights
On the basis of “form of existence” of the referents:
are opposed to inanimate nouns
denoting living beings (man, woman, dog) denoting things and phenomena (tree, table)
This semantic difference is formally exposed through the category of case forms, as animate nouns are predominantly used in the genitive case, cf.: John’s leg, but the leg of the table. This subdivision of nouns is semantically closely connected with the following one.
On the basis of “personal quality”:
human animate nouns (person nouns), denoting human beings, or persons, are opposed to non-human (animate and inanimate) nouns (non-person nouns), denoting all the other referents. This lexico-semantic subdivision of nouns is traditionally overlooked in practical and theoretical courses on grammar, but it is grammatically relevant because only human nouns in English can distinguish masculine or feminine genders, e.g.: man – he, woman – she, while the non-human nouns, both animate and inanimate, are substituted by the neuter gender pronoun ‘it’. The exceptions take place only in cases of transposition of the noun from one group into another, e.g., in cases of personification, e.g.: the sun - he, the moon - she, etc.
On the basis of “quantitative structure” of the referent:
countable (variable) nouns are opposed to uncountable (invariable) nouns, the former denoting discrete, separate things which can be counted and form discrete multitudes, e.g.: table – tables, the latter denoting either substances (sugar), or multitudes as a whole (police), or abstract notions (anger), and some others entities. This subdivision is formally manifested in the category of number.