Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 1,277
    #1

    variable noun

    Dear Teacher

    What is a variable noun? I often see it in the dictionary and can't figure out what it is.

    Thank you very much.

    With best wishes

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Romanian
      • Home Country:
      • Romania
      • Current Location:
      • Romania

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 1,948
    #2

    Re: variable noun

    Quote Originally Posted by kohyoongliat View Post
    Dear Teacher

    What is a variable noun? I often see it in the dictionary and can't figure out what it is.

    Thank you very much.

    With best wishes
    Hi

    Number

    "Variable nouns in English have both a plural and a singular form which differ from each other, most often by the addition or subtraction of an 's', though there are, of course, many irregular variable nouns. Invariable nouns in English come in different forms. Some have only a singular form, as is the case with uncountable nouns like furniture and the names of some academic subjects, games and diseases, e.g. mathematics, darts and measles, which look misleadingly like plurals. Others have only a plural form in English, whereas their counterparts in other languages may have singular forms. For example, many objects which are made up of two hinged or joined parts and are symmetrical, such as scissors, scales, secateurs and trousers, have only a plural form in English. To refer to these nouns in the singular, you have to use 'a pair of' or 'some'. If the learner assumes that the number of these nouns is the same in English as in their mother tongue invalid noun forms, like trouser, and incorrect verb-noun and determiner-noun agreement errors, as in 'this trouser is too small' will result. This is all the more confusing since in languages where nouns of this type have been borrowed from English, they are usually given a singular form, regardless of their status in the language they were borrowed from. Similarly, some nouns in English, like sheep, aircraft and offspring have the same form in both the singular and the plural, with only context to help with their interpretation. The learner who has not sufficiently learnt these facts may rely on the assumption that these nouns behave in the same way as they do in their mother tongue."
    Source :MED Magazine

    Regards

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 1,277
    #3

    Re: variable noun

    Thanks for the reply.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Romanian
      • Home Country:
      • Romania
      • Current Location:
      • Romania

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 1,948
    #4

    Re: variable noun

    Quote Originally Posted by kohyoongliat View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    You are welcome.

Similar Threads

  1. sentence structure question
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 17-Jan-2008, 10:53
  2. "e-mail"...countable or uncountable
    By pink dragon in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 31-Aug-2005, 02:28
  3. Predicate and Object Noun!
    By Farhaj in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 16-Mar-2005, 07:22
  4. Subject Noun
    By Farhaj in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-Mar-2005, 12:18
  5. Pick out nouns,pronouns and verb.
    By sara_pk in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 21-May-2004, 20:09

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •