CAT Calling: Part II

Nouns and Pronouns

Noun as we all know is a word used to name a person, animal, place, thing and abstract idea.
Pronoun is a word used in the place of a noun.
Some pronouns are aliases for nouns used as subjects – called subjective
…………………………………………………………..objects – called objective
……………………………………………….that show possessiveness – called possessives
John threw a stone. Here John is the subject and stone is the object
Possessive Case : Rama’s play, Children’s Playground

              Subjective                   Objective               Possessive

                 He                              Him                        His
                 She                             Her                         Her

                 It                                  It                      Its(not It’s which is It is)

               They                            Them                    Their, Theirs      

                 I                                 Me                          Mine

              You                              You                   Your, Yours

              We                               Us                      Our, Ours

              Who                           Whom                    Whose

Rules for nouns

  • a/an can be used only with singular countable nouns and you cannot use singular countable nouns alone.
The sea, a girl, a suitcase
I went to see the movie (Correct)
I went to see movie.(Incorrect)
  • You cannot use a/an with uncountable nouns

a bag of gravel

an oxygen cylinder
Use with
                  Plural Countable Nouns                                                          Uncountable Nouns
                    Some, any                                                                            Some, any
We bought some CDs                                                                    We bought some coffee
Are there any pencils in the box?                                            Can you get some syrup for me ?
               Many, few                                                                                 Much, Little
There were many people in the bookshop.                             The boys were looking a little off colour
I have a few pictures in my album.                                          There wasn’t much to do.
Rules for Possessive Case 
  • To be confined to names of living beings & personified objects
A governor’s bodygaurds
the lion’s mane
Nature’s laws Fortune’s favorite
  • few stereotyped phrases
For conscience’s sake, for god’s sake, at his finger’s ends, the boat’s crew
  • When one noun is qualified by 2 possessive nouns both must have possessive sign unless joint possession is indicated.
Joint Possession – Charles Dickens the novelist’s penchant for the poignant portrayal of human emotions has earned him immense respect in the literary world.
Here portrayal of human emotions is jointly qualified by Charles Dickens and novelist so the apostrophe comes with the last one.
Had the two been different entities both would have had an apostrophe.
Object should be in objective case and subject in subjective case
  • Object of a verb or preposition when it is pronoun should be in objective form.
Her(objective case, not she), who had been the apple of his eye, he now began to regard with something like distinct.
Him(objective case, not He), who had always inspired in her a respect which almost overcame her affection, she now saw the object of open pleasantry.
  • In definite pronoun ‘one’ should be used throughout if used at all
One cannot be too careful about what one says.
Some uncountable nouns are
Accommodation, permission, scenery, traffic, behavior, weather, work, information, travel, chaos, luck
bread, advice, baggage, damage……\
He gave me an advice (wrong).
He gave me a piece of advice(correct)
As we had discussed above , uncountable nouns may or may not take an article.
But a/an are used only for singular countable nouns and nothing else.
Collective Nouns They refer to a single unit,(single word nouns like family, army, jury etc)
Collective Noun take the same type of persons or things and regard them as one entity.
Inanimate collective nouns take singular verb only
People : A faculty of academicians, A babble of barbers, A bench of bishops, A shuffle of bureaucrats
A conjunction of grammarians, A worship of writers
Reptiles : A quiver of cobras, A bask of crocodiles, A nest of vipers
Fish : A flock of dolphins, A hover of trout, A swarm of eels, A shiver of sharks, A troop of dogfish,
Insects : An intrusion of cockroaches, A plague of locusts, A clutter of spiders, A flight of butterflies
Birds : A murder of crows, A wake of buzzards, A parliament of owls, A run of poultry, A descent of woodpeckers
Rules for pronouns
  1. Check whether the pronoun used is correct in terms of being subjective, objective and possessive
  2. Check for the precedent noun pronoun is referring, Is the pronoun correct in gender, number, tense et al
  3. After ‘than’ or ‘as’ we use objective case. X is better than him
  4. Gerunds(verb + ing) always take possessive case.
I hope you don’t mind my/ me asking ?
It should be my asking (see table at the top) Gerunds always take possessives.
You doing or Your doing ? should be your, as it it the possessive case
Who/Whom and Whoever or Whomever ?
Who is used as a subject and whom as an object 
When in doubt try to answer the question.
Who do you think is the most promising candidate ?
I think he(subjective since who is subjective) is
Whom do you consider the most promising candidate ?
I consider him ( Objective case since whom is objective)

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