Grammar-QuizzesNoun Phrases › Nouns


Recognize function and form

► What is a noun? ▼ Explanation of term

A noun:

  • expresses or names a person, animal, place, thing, substance, event, quality, action, natural phenomenon, concept, and more. A noun has lexical meaning (one or more meanings that can be found in a dictionary.)
  • functions as the "head" element, primary element of a noun phrase.
  • takes form with a number of suffixes such as -al, -ence, -tion, -ment, -ing, -ery, -ness, -ity, -ism, -ty.

A noun phrase:

  • expresses or names a person, animal, place, thing, substance, event, quality, action, or concept. A noun phrase includes determiners and modifiers that specifically add information about the noun.
  • functions as the subject or object of a clause or as the object of a prepositional phrase.
  • takes form as a noun (the head or primary element) and may include dependents—a determiner (the, a, this, his, some) and modifiers such as adjectives or prepositional phrases or clauses.




Summary of Practices



Nouns—Diagnostic Quiz

Noun Diagnostic: identify specific points that need review

moving day

Quiz 1: beginning – intermediate

Quiz 2: intermediate – advanced


A Noun: recognize how it can function in a clause

Beginning – Advanced ESL, native speakers

A private jet

jet  (N)

A private jet (NP)



Genitive Nouns: indicate possession for people or things

Intermediate–Advanced ESL, Native Speakers

The class' soccer team

The state's soccer team won several games.

The state's won several games.

The states' soccer teams won several games.

The goalpost's leg was broken.
The leg of the goal post was broken.

Double Pronouns: distinguish subject vs. object pronouns

Native Speakers

Bachelor talking to date

Me and Diana got to know each other.

Diana and I got to know each other.

I had a good feeling about her and I

I had a good feeling about her and me

Noun Suffixes: recognize a variety of noun forms

Beginning – Advanced ESL, native speakers

A jet landing

Our plane arrived at noon. (verb form)

The arrival of our plane was at noon. (noun form)


We departed on time. (verb form)

Our departure was on time. (noun form)


Our landing was on time. (noun form)

Landing was difficult.(gerund)


Word Forms: recognize meanings of noun, verb, adjective and adverb forms (origins and dates)

Beginning – Advanced ESL, native speakers


The singer had imagination.

He imagined.

His writing was imaginative.

He used words imaginatively.

The singer sang about social revolution.

He revolted.

~His writing was revolting. (disgusting)

~He used words revoltingly.

Negative Word Forms: express absence, doubt, denial, prohibition and more (Negative Word Forms)

Beginning – Advanced ESL, native speakers

No No's

No one  /   Not anyone has parked illegally.

His inability / disability was clear to us.

He was unsatisfied / dissatisfied.

Do not park there!  We do not park there.

He would park there, wouldn't he?

We asked him not to park there.

I doubt that he *never / ever helps.

He is neither optimistic nor pessimistic.

His no nonsense approach to life is refreshing. (expression)

Nationality: recognize country, language/origin, people and person word forms

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

an Englishman

He is an Englishman. (unspecific)

He is English. (adjective of nationality)

The English are northern people. (specific nationality)


Regular Plural Nouns: mark these nouns with the plural form -s

Beginning ESL


Two apples were hanging from a high branch.

Two tomatoes were on the plant.

Two leaves were on the ground.

Two roofs blew away.


Irregular Plural Nouns: mark these nouns with plural forms: -ee, -i, -en, -a, -es, -ae

Beginning ESL


Two cacti were along side of the highway.

Two deer stood by the road.

Two indices were incomplete.

Two formulas were used.

The dat were received.

All the fishes in the sea…

Unusual Singular/Plural Nouns: note some unexpected subject-predicate agreement

Beginning ESL


A sheep is walking on the road.

Two sheep are walking on the road.

The news is good today!

Mathematics is an important course.

The measles is a serious disease.

The police are at the door.

The cattle are coming in from the pasture.

Twenty minutes is a short time.

These twenty minutes are passing slowly

Plurals of Linked Words: mark plurals of hyphenated words, letters and numbers

Int – Advanced ESL & Native Speakers

people on sidewalk 

We watched the passers-by.

He earned As and Bs.

We watch the 747s take off.

Send me cc's and bcc's of your messages.

Accommodation has two c's and two m's.

Eating cakes and cookies are no-no's.

Count/Noncount: differentiate individual nouns from mass and collective nouns

Beginning ESL


My hair is clean.

Some blond hairs are on your jacket.

Group Nouns: identify the collective noun for individual items

Beginning ESL


She had a computer, printer, fax and scanner.

She had a lot of equipment.

Count-Noncount Practice: practice agreement in sentences and paragraphs

Beginning ESL


I use my laptop all day.  I look up general information and  (detail / details) ____. 

I have learned a lot of (vocabulary/ vocabularies) ____.

The–Group: name a collective group by a shared characteristic

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

the blind

The blind need accessible walkways.

The English  were proud of their team.

Do you want a large or a small coffee.  I'll have the large.

The latter will be much better.  In fact,  it's the best.

Nationality Names: (Demonyms) country, language/origin, people and person word forms

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

an Englishman

He is an Englishman. (unspecific)

He is English. (adjective of nationality)

The English are northern people. (specific nationality)


Country Names: recognize when to use the with country names

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

Map of U.S

She lives in Bolivia. (no article)

He is from the Kingdom of Tonga. (kind of union)

He lives in the United States of America.

He lives in the Netherlands. (plural)

He lives in The Gambia. (exception–capital)

Noun Modifiers: modify a noun with a noun 

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

office chair

Its a chair for an office.

It's an office chair (singular)

It is a sports car (a rare plural modifier)

Number-Noun Modifiers: combine a number and noun to form a modifier

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


The ladder had five steps.

It was a five-step ladder.

There are a million uses for WD-40(spelled out)

Transitive Verbs: indicate the person or thing affected by the action ( "patient" of the action)

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

Jason studies

Jason rises.

Jason raises the blinds.

Jason studies.

Jason studies English.

The glass broke.

Jason broke the glass.

The baby weighs 10 lbs.

The doctor weighed the baby.

Ditransitive Verbs: indicate the thing or person for whom the action is done ("recipient" or "beneficiary" of the action)

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

A letter

My friend is bringing me a letter.

My friend is bringing a letter to me.

My friend is bringing me it.

Gender & Pronouns: express a gender neutral reference ("Singular They and Their")

Intermediate–Advanced ESL, Native Speakers


Everyone in my class had their homework.


Grammar Dispute: citations from Fowler, Hudddleston and Pullam, Merriam-Webster, Robin Lakoff, Bill Walsh, McIntyre and others.   

Subject–Predicate Agreement: mark verbs for third person singular agreement

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

Wakes up early 

Simon get up at 6 a.m. everyday.

Final -S Practice: edit nouns and verbs for final -S / -ES

Beginning ESL


Tom work at a grocery store.

Every day, he arrive early to do his chore.


Final –S Audio: listen for final "s" as /s/ or /z/

Beginning ESL

ropes and robes  

rope [s]

robes  [z]

Nouns with Modifiers: recognize the true subject in agreement with the verb

Intermediate ESL, Native Speakers

monkey emerging from bananas

At least three quarters of the monkeys – in the zoo – suffer from nutritional deficiencies.

The monkey  – under the bananas – is hiding.

The monkeys  – under the bananas – are hiding.

The chimpanzee is one of the monkeys that is/are closely related to humans.

Sentence Edit: edit for articles, pronouns and singular-plural agreement

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


*When my mother was child, she lived in small town.


Paragraph Editing: using agreement within an essay

Intermediate ESL

scuba diver

 *My family enjoy scuba-diving, so nearly every vacation, we go on a diving trip.



What Phrases: package content for emphasis (noun phrases)

Intermediate–Advanced ESL, Native Speakers


What he said  was funny.  (that + which he said)

What was funny  was his expression


Cleft Clauses:  reposition content to another part of a sentence by using it or what

Advanced ESL, Native Speaker


His energy amazed me

What amazed me was his energy.

His energy was what amazed me.

It amazed me that he had so much energy.

Wh-ever Phrases: refer to any one  (noun phrases)

Intermediate–Advanced ESL, Native Speakers


Whatever you say is confidential. (NP)

You can take whomever you want.

Whatever way will be fine.



Chapter Review:  review singular–plural agreement


If one of the (baby) _____  (cry) _____,  call one of the (nurse)___.