Thursday, 1 August 2013

Sentence Corrections ---- Clarifications & Tips : Chapter Two - Nouns , Use of Apostrophe-s etc


The Noun--Case

A  Noun or A Pronoun shows a relation with some other word.

This relation is  mainly of three types :  

The Nominative, The Objective & The Possessive.

The Nominative

When a noun or pronoun is used as a subject to a  verb for the sake of address it is said to be in the nominative case.

Example : 
  • Birds fly.     
  • Boys, are you listening?
The Objective

When a noun is the object to a verb or a preposition, it is said to be the objective case.

Example : 
  • John drove a car. 
  • Janes sits in the chair.


The  apostrophe ( ' ) is used in following cases:

1. The  apostrophe ( ' ) is inserted to show that some letter or letters have been omitted.

               se'en (for seven); 'tis (for it is); don't (for do not) shan't (for shall not).

2. To indicate the plural of letters or figures; a's,t's, 6's,4's etc.

3. ( ' ) is used in possessive case also; as

The Possessive : It denotes the possessor or an owner.

 It is shown by putting   's (apostrophe - s) to the noun.
  • Singular  - 
    • a singer’s 
    • a girl’s.
  • Plural  - 
    • Men’s 
    • Women’s.

s is omitted.  

In Plurals ending with s,    
Example : 
  • Cats' paws 
  • Lions' cage 
  • Boys' balls.

Whenever the last syllable of a singular noun begins and ends with s, as: 

Moses’ laws. 

But in case of James’s hat, Venus’s beauty.

Whenever the last syllable  of a singular noun ends with s or ce and the noun is followed by ‘sake’ :

 For goodness’ sake
 For conscience’ sake.

The possessive noun is used with:

1. Nouns denoting persons

Examples:Madan’s  book, Boy’s hand

2.Nouns in respect of living things other than man

3.Nouns in respect of personified things:

  • Fortune’s  favours, 
  • Sorrow’s tears, 
  • India’s heroes etc.

4.Nouns in respect of time, space or weight as :

(a) Time : a week’s leave,  a year’s absence,  a day’s journey etc.(b) Space : a stone’s throw,  an arm’s length,  a hand’s breadth etc.(c) Weight : a pound’s weight,   a ton’s weight etc.

Possessive Case of lifeless objects is formed by ‘of ’

  • The leg of the table,  
  • The pages of the book, 
  • The roof of the house, 
  • The windows of the house etc.

Look at the following sentence:

1.   Members of the Doctors’ Association will visit the Senior Citizens’ Centre today.

Since both “Doctors” and “Citizens” in the two phrases above are plural nouns with affiliation to certain institutions, they don’t  necessarily need the aphostrophe. The apostrophe is usually omitted in names of organizations like Ladies Hostel, Sailors’ Club and Officers’ Mess. The trend is more towards eliminating apostrophes. But phrases like Children’s  Festival use it since “Childrens” is not in an acceptable form.

(d) When two nouns are used  together to denote the same person or thing, the second is said to be in apposition to the first.

Examples :
  • My friend, John’s house, 
  • His aunt, Mrs. Paul’s etc.
Here apostrophe-s is used with John & Mrs. Paul only and not with My friend & His aunt.

Contractions are used in English language for example "It's, She's They're.He'd, We'd, I'm, I've and I'd etc.  Here by using 's two words become one one word by dropping one or two words out of the latter word. But their use is understood according to the meaning implied in the given context.  

She's  has a meaning of She is as well as  She has. similarly I'd means I had as well as I would.  John's late and John's bag  have  different meanings Former is John is late whereas the latter is  Bag of John. 

1. She's close to me.   2. She's a close relationship with me.
In the two sentences written above apostrophe s  has different meaning in each. In first case It is "She is close to me. In the second sentence it is " She has a close relationship with me."

Although proper and common nouns take apostrophe followed by an 's' to indicate ownership i.e. John's book, Mary's dog etc. But all possesive pronouns, its, his hers, ours and yours etc. dspite ending with a never take an apostrophe. It should not be used between your and s  and her and s.

Contractions are used in the following manner also:
I' d means I had and I would.  She's means she is and she has. These are used according to the meaning implied in the sentence.

  • Peter loves Janes
  • Janes is loved by Peter.
But Pronouns are different in the Subject (Nominative) and Object (Accusative) forms.
Examples : 
  • He loves her. 
  • She is loved by him.

By putting the words ‘who’ or ‘whom’ in place of pronoun, nominative or accusative form can be checked.

For who subjective and for whom objective form is used.
Examples :  
  • Who loves whom. 
  • He in place of who and her in place of whom will be used.  --->  He loves her.
Similarly in Case of :  Who is there? ---> It is I.
Here I is being used in place of who. So it will be I and not me.
Examples : 
  • Whom did they select  a captain? --->  They selected him  a captain.

(e) Nouns have the same form in Subject (Nominative) and  Object (Accusative).

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