Wednesday, September 26, 2012
The Rules of Writing-Parts of Speech-Noun 1
Published: September 17, 2012

What’s a noun?

A noun is a word that represents a person, place, thing, or idea. Nouns can be proper (Fred) or common (book).

Yvonne, woman, radish, Ireland, dog, love, water, and hydrogen are nouns.

How do nouns work?

Once we have determined which noun is most appropriate to represent our concept, and depending on the sources, there are between five and eight ways in which nouns are used. These use are: subject, direct object, indirect object, object of preposition, predicate nominative, appositive, direct address, and objective complement. Since we already warned that this is not a treatise on grammar, we’ll review the first four.

Noun as a subject

Writers write.

Yvonne is a famous writer.

Writers and Yvonne are the subjects of these sentences.

Noun as direct object

The woman shampooed the skunk.

The jury murdered Rita.

We can identify a direct object by asking what or whom.

First sentence. The woman shampooed what? Answer: skunk. “Skunk” is the direct object of the verb “shampooed.”

Second sentence. The jury murdered whom? Answer: Rita. “Rita” is the direct object of the verb “murdered.”

Noun as indirect object

I mailed Vlad the bribe.

He gave the werewolf a collar.

We can identify an indirect object by asking to what, for what, or to whom/for whom.

First sentence. I mailed the bribe to whom? I mailed it to Vlad. “Vlad” is the indirect object.

Second sentence. He gave a collar to whom? He gave the collar to the werewolf. “Werewolf” is the indirect object.

Noun as object of a preposition

He pushed the stolen car to the garage.

Yvonne ate mouse with ketchup.

First sentence: The preposition is “to,” and the object of that preposition is the noun “garage.”

Second sentence: The preposition is “with,” and the object of that preposition is the noun “ketchup.”

Writer’s Companion, Renee Miller & Carlos Cortes 

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