NOUNS USED ONLY IN THE PLURAL FORM (PLURALIA TANTUM)
a) Clothes consisting of two parts – they always agree with a plural verb, e.g.
trousers, shorts, breeches, pyjamas, knickers, pants, tights, etc.
Look at my new tights! They are torn!
b) Tools and instruments consisting of two parts – they always agree with a plural verb, e.g. scissors, binoculars, glasses, spectacles, tongs, etc.
These scissors are not sharp. Give me another pair.
c)Nouns whose singular and plural forms have different meanings, e.g.
an arm – ðóêà; arms – îðóæèå.
arms clothes thanks congratulations customs species
goods looks manners belongings earnings works
regards riches outskirts shortcomings means premises
savings greens spirits whereabouts contents
These nouns are used only with the plural verb, e.g.
All their savings were in the Western European Bank and when it bankrupted, they lost everything.
Give my regards to your parents.
11. COLLECTIVE NOUNS
1. Nouns that mean a group of people united by one common characteristic can be used either with a singular or plural verb. These nouns include:
family crowd audience public parliament crew government authority class company group team
means that all people in this means that all people
in this group
group are a unit are regarded as individuals
My family is important for me. My family are going away next weekend. (They are all going to different places)
a) The noun POLICE is always used with the definite article and agrees with a plural verb, e.g.
The police were called.
The police are now looking for the bank robbers.
b) The nouns FISH and FRUIT are nowadays used only in the singular even if different types are meant. But they are substituted by a plural pronoun, e.g.
The fisherman caught several big fish. The fish is good. They are now lying on the bottom of his boat glittering in the sun.
There are so many fish in our river. They have come for spawning.
The fruit was not ripe. They were picked up too early.
c) The nouns PEOPLE and PEOPLES mean different things:
· a people – peoples:
A very friendly people lives in this part of Africa.
Different peoples live on out planet and they speak different languages.
· people – persons:
Most people are good at heart.
This person is good at heart.
f) The nouns PENNY and PENCE are different notions.
· pence means the price, e.g. The chewing gum costs 99 pence.
· pennymeans coins, e.g. The shop assistant gave me two pennies. It was wrong. She had to give me 3 pennies.
g) The nouns HAIRand HAIRS have different meaning.
· hair on one’s head always agrees with a singular verb, e.g.
Mary’s hair is red and thick.
· a hair may have both singular and plural forms, e.g.
She always has a wonderful hairdo. Not a single hair out of place.
Look there is a long red hair on your jacket. It might be Mary’s
12. COMPOUND NOUNS
These nouns consist of two or more words joined together to form a single lexical meaning. They may be written: as one word, e.g. headache; with a hyphen e.g. mouse-trap or separately e.g. police station.
They form the plural in different ways:
a) Normally the last word is made plural,
e.g. boy-friends, travel agents, etc.
b) But where MAN or WOMAN is found, both parts are made plural
e.g. men drivers, men servants, women students, etc.
c) The first word is made plural in nouns consisting of:
noun + preposition
e.g. passers-by, lookers-on, etc;
noun + preposition + noun
e.g. mothers-in-law, commanders-in-chief, men-of-war, etc.
e.g. a court-martial – courts-martial; an attorney-general – attorneys-general
d) The last word is made plural in nouns consisting of:
verb + preposition
e.g., break-ins, carry-ons, sit-ins, lay-bys, take-offs, forget-me-nots, etc.
adjective + preposition
e.g. close-ups, grown-ups, etc.
13. PROPER NOUNS
The Kelleys came in time, but both Marys were late.
(= There were two families with the same name, the Kelleys, and two separate people with similar names, Marys)
MUCH – MANY # LITTLE – A LITTLE # FEW – A FEW
a lot of
a great number of
a good number of
a great many
a lot of
a good deal of
a great deal of
1. In Modern English MUCH and MANY are mostly used in interrogative and negative sentences, while a lot of and its equivalents in affirmative ones, e.g.
Do you have much trouble with English? No, I don’t have much trouble with speaking, but quite a lot of difficulty with writing.
2. LITTLE and FEWare rather negative: they mean “not much/many”.
Unfortunately, students have little or no choice in choosing set literature.
Very few students learn Latin and Greek now.
3.A LITTLE and A FEWare more positive: their meaning is more like “some”, e.g.
I’ve read a little of the book so far, but I hope to finish it by Monday.
I’ve seen most of his movies but only a few are as good as the first one.