Nouns

A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing. It is to identify a particular person, place, object, or set of objects. Let’s learn to use Nouns the correct way in English sentences.

Know how to use Past Continuous Passive voice

Structure and Rules of Using Past Continous Passive Voice

There are times you may want to write in both Passive Voice and Past Continuous tense. Simply, the Past Continuous tense can be identified by the past tense form of “be” and Verbs ending in ing

For example, the sentence: 

“Many elephants were being killed by poachers,” suggests that elephants had been killed by poachers, but no longer are. Something stopped the elephants from being killed. 

Passive Voice is deployed to highlight a sentence’s Object. In our case, “elephants.” By writing the above example, we want the reader to focus on the “elephants” rather than the poachers. “For example,” the sentence could be rewritten in an Active Voice like so:

“Poachers were killing elephants.” 

image representation of content above

Psychologically, we are trained to focus on a sentence’s header. A sentence’s subject is much more significant to the reader or listener. 

You may ask, how was this sentence constructed? There’s a simple format to follow. It goes like this: 

Object + was/were + being + Past Participle Simple, right? 

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Nouns: Abstract noun and Collective noun with examples

What is a Noun?

A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing. When we specify who or what we are particularly speaking of for the listener to be able to relate to, that’s called a noun.

Types of Nouns with examples

Types of NounsDefinition Examples
Proper NounName of a person, a place, an animal, or thing. Max, Burj Khalifa, October.
Common NounName of a class or section of people, animals, or things.Teacher, Doctor, Tiger.
Abstract NounThese are feelings, quality or characteristics, ideas, or state of being.Happy, anger, honest, rich.
Collective Noun Denotes a group of nouns or a set of things. They are a group of common nouns and can be counted. Shoal of fish, Swarm of bees, pack of wolves.

How can we identify the type of Noun?

There are 4 main types of nouns to identify:

  • Proper Noun: Proper nouns is the name of a person or of something you specifically imply. It is the name of a person, place, animal, or thing.
    Examples: Wall Street Journal, Albert Einstein, London, Monday, etc.
  • Common Noun: It refers to the name of a class or section of people, animals, or things.
    Examples: Teacher, Nurse, Street, Post office, Table, Bench, etc.
  • Abstract Noun: They are nouns used to define anything that cannot be seen, touched, or sensed by any of our senses. An idea, a state of being, a feeling, a quality, or a characteristic quality can be termed abstract nouns.
    For example, you can be sad, and feel the emotion, but not touch it, smell it, taste it, or even see it, but you do know it exists within you.
  • Collective Noun: Nouns that are considered to be a group of nouns or a set of things, people, animals, emotions, or concepts considered as a single whole. They are a group of common nouns and can be counted. 
    For example, a banana is a common noun, the collective noun for it
    will be a bunch of bananas/hand of bananas.
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Could vs Can – Ability

“Could” is a Modal Verb. In fact, it acts as the past tense of the Modal Verb can. This Modal Verb refers to the ability to have done something, Don’t worry, this is not as confusing as it seems, here’s a simple dialogue:

Can you pass the test tomorrow? 

I don’t think so.

Could you have passed yesterday’s test? 

Definitely not.

Alternatively, the speaker could’ve said, “Can you pass the test now?”. If they wanted to use the Modal Verb “can” in the present tense. 

Image representation: A boy giving the test
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Could vs Can – Request

Both “can” and “could” are Modal Verbs. Despite this similarity, “can” speaks of present/future actions, and “could” speaks of actions that occurred in the past. Here is an example of dialogue:

Can penguins fly?

No, they cannot. 

Could they fly a long time ago? 

No, they couldn’t. 

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