√лавна€ > Brush Up Your Grammar > Everyday Grammar > Commonly Used Nouns Contacts

Publications

Articles
Alumni, state.gove about me

Library

 Additional Reading
Great American Singers - Page 1
Great American Singers - Page 2
History of England and America

Tolerance

Stories
Videos
Videos - 2
Lessons in Kindness
Lessons in Kindness II
Video conferenmce Samara -Khasavyurt

Useful Information

Some Very Useful Web.Sites
For Teacher to Know
English for Kids
Learn the Christmas Songs!
 Myths and Legends of Dagestan
Myths and Legends, Part II
English in a Minute
American English - video

Our ID

Who we are...
Home is Where your Heart is -2011
Access in Action 2011-12
Russian Food in American School
New Friends in the Netherlands. 
English Languabe Festival  - 2015
English language Festival 2015 page II
English Language Festival-2015, page III
English Language Festival- 2015. page IV
 English Language Festival- 2015. page V
English Language Festival- 2015. page VI
English Language Festival-2015.page VII 
 English Language Festival-2015.p. VIII

How We Spend our Free Time

Let's Dance and Sing
Dagestan is my Home -2010

Brush Up Your Grammar

Everyday Grammar
Every Day grammar on TV

American Slang

Informal English I
Informal English II

VOA special programs

Words and Their Stories

Summer 2011.

History of State Maine
Exploring Maine
Visiting Searsmont, Maine
Washington DC
 Visiting the Capitol
New York

American English

News Words 
Vocational English
Business English
American Stories

English for Children

Learn to Listen and Read

Afanasyeva O.V.

National Exam in English 

Let's Learn English - Level 1

Lessons

Let's Learn English - Level 2

Lessons

Let's Teach English

Lessons


Photos

Our Friends in Russia and Abroad (0)
Galleries info (0)
Access Khasavyurt in Elista Summer Camp (0)




Commonly Used Nouns

magine you hear a mother or father talking to a child. The parent
wants the child to do well in school, but the child does not like to
read books.


The exchange might sound something like this:


A: To get a good grade, the first thing you have to do is read books.


B: Why do people always tell me to read books? I don't think books are fun.


A: Lots of people don't read books Ц that's why they do badly in school. The last thing you want is a bad grade!


Today's Everyday Grammar program is not about reading books, nor is it about how Americans lecture their children. In fact, our report is about something very different: commonly used nouns.


Today we are going to explore two of the most commonly used nouns in American English: people and thing.


What are nouns?


A noun is traditionally defined as a word that names a place, object,
or person. Nouns can be plural -- meaning more than one -- or possessive, or they can be both plural and possessive.*


You can read more about these words in an Everyday Grammar program called "Understanding Noncount Nouns." You can find it and other stories on our website, learningenglish.voanews.com.


Are nouns common in conversation?


Sometimes words take the place of nouns. These words are called pronouns. Examples include I, us, that, it and so on.


In American English, speakers use pronouns much more often than they
use nouns. This information comes from Susan Conrad and Douglas Biber,
two experts on English grammar.


Conrad and Biber say that Americans generally use pronouns more when
speaking because they understand the activities and things that the
pronouns represent.


This is not to say that nouns are never heard in everyday conversation! In fact, a few nouns are often used in conversation. Two such words are people and thing.


People


The noun people is a plural noun. It does not generally suggest a specific group of individuals. Instead, American often use people when they mean everyone.


Conrad and Biber say that people is the most commonly used
noun when Americans are speaking with one another. They generally use
this word to make a general statement about life.


For example, you might hear someone say "Lots of people make the same mistake," or "Why do people always criticize me?"


This use of people is considered polite and acceptable in formal and informal speech. You will hear it at school, at restaurants, in the workplace, and even in political speeches.


Thing


According to Conrad and Biber, the noun thing is almost as common in American English as the noun people.


The word thing can suggest an object, but this meaning is rare in conversation.


Instead, the word thing has several meanings.


#1 Thing refers to an event or activity


First, thing can mean an event or activity.


For example, imagine you are traveling to a city and your friend
wants to make a suggestion. He or she could say "After you arrive, the
first thing you should do is eat a hamburger."


#2 Thing refers to a speech or some kind of communication


Second, thing can suggest a statement or some kind of communication.


For example, you might hear students talking quietly after school: "The last thing I heard was that Tommy asked Laura to the dance."


In this sentence, thing refers to some kind of communication Ц in this case, a rumor Ц about two people going to a dance together.


#3 Thing refers to a general situation


Third, the word thing can refer to a general situation. In
many cases, the speaker will give a general opinion about the situation
by using an adjective.


For example, you might hear a person say "It's a good thing you bought an umbrella. I think it's going to rain today!"


The speaker is showing that they have a good opinion about the other person's decision to buy an umbrella.


Think back to the conversation


Now, think back to the exchange at the beginning of our program.


A: To get a good grade, the first thing you have to do is read books.


B: Why do people always tell me to read books! I don't think books are fun.


A: Lots of people don't read books Ц that's why they do badly in school. The last thing you want is a bad grade!


You will notice several uses of people and thing in this conversation.


The word people is used to make a general statement about life.


The word thing, in the example, is used to suggest a general situation in which the speaker expresses their opinion.


Our goal here is not to give you a list of all of the meanings of people and thing. Instead we want to tell you about the most common meanings of these common nouns.


Learning how these two words are used will not only help you
understand Americans when they speak. Using these words will also help
you sound more natural to an American.


The next time you are watching an American film or television show, try to listen to how the speakers use the nouns people and thing.


Try to use what you know about the situation to understand the meaning.


These definitions are difficult to learn, but the most important thing is that you do not give up



„итайте в разделе "Everyday Grammar":