Nouns with the Same Form in Both Numbers.

Some nouns have the same form for both singular and plural:

deer, sheep, fish, salmon, perch, shad, trout, hundredweight, yoke (of oxen), head (of cattle), heathen.

Nouns Plural in Form but Singular in Use. Such words as news, gallows, molasses, summons, and United States end in s, but they are of the singular number. The last, being really a collective noun, may be used as a plural when the individual states are thought of. Words in ics, physics, acoustics, phonetics, mathematics, ethics, athletics, politics, statistics, - are singular when they mean a science, or study, as:

1. Mathematics is my hardest study. 2. Athletics is not an exact science. 3. The acoustics of the building furnishes a difficult problem. 4. Phonetics was treated in a separate chapter.

5. The ethics of the matter seems not to have been considered.

Nouns Used Only in the Plural.

Some of these words, since they denote things composed of separate parts, have a right to their plural use: bellows, scissors, tongs, trousers, suspenders, wages, contents; but, apart from their form, ashes, dregs, mumps, and billiards have no more right to be plural than have sand, mud, toothache, and chess. Form, however, has here determined use.

Nouns Having Two Plurals.

A few words have two plurals, each with a different meaning:

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There are two forms in use, the latter being preferable:

1. the Miss Browns; the Mr. Parkers.
2. the Misses Brown; the Messrs. Parker.

Plurals of Letters, Figures, and Words.

Letters, figures, and names of words form their plurals by the addition either of s or of 's. The best usage favors 's:

Use fewer I's and and's in your composition.
Your i's are hard to distinguish from 7's.

Caution. — Do not use kind or sort as a plural. The plurals are kinds and sorts. We may say, therefore, this kind (or sort) or that kind (or sort), these kinds (or sorts) or those kinds (or sorts).



Give the plural of each of the following words:



conspiracy memorandum man-of-war


Use that, those, this, these correctly in these sentences : 1. How do you like molasses? 2. He said that United States could never be conquered.

shad are too dear. 4. When did


hear news? 5. By — means you


all danger. 6. I never saw - kind of dog before.

3. I think


Use is, are, has, have correctly in the following sentences: 1. The gallows -- just been erected.

. 2. Here

your summons. 3. Your data incorrect. 4. The strata in this place — plainly visible. 5. The banditti been arrested. 6. What the crises in this story?

melted away. 8. How many fish - been caught? 9. Physics — an interesting study. 10. The two Misses Jones not arrived. How many

7. The army

and's and so's been cut out?




Study the following sentences and note how the word dog is used in each sentence:

This dog is Fido.
He is a good dog.
I called the dog.
The collar of the dog is made of silver.
The dog's house is in the yard.
Come to me, good dog.

As you see, the word dog is used in various ways and is brought into different relations with the other words in the sentences. It is used as subject, as subject complement, as object of a verb, as object of a preposition, to note possession, and as the name of the thing addressed. See if you can pick out the sentence in which dog is used in each of the six ways mentioned.

The pronouns he, I, and me have also different relations in the sentences. The relation of the noun or pronoun to the other words in a sentence is called case.

The Three Cases.

You will understand the uses of the three cases if you understand thoroughly the relation of the words to one another in these two simple sentences :

1. John found Fido in Henry's yard.
2. I saw him on my porch.

John and I are in the nominative case, because they are the subjects of the sentences; Fido and him are in the objective case, because they are the direct objects of found and saw; yard and porch are also in the objective case, because they are the objects of the prepositions in and on; Henry's and my are in the possessive case, because they denote possession.

It will be seen that pronouns undergo more changes of form to express case relations than do nouns. nouns, therefore, that nearly all mistakes of case occur.

It is in pro

The subject of every sentence is in the nominative case.

The object of every verb and of every preposition is in the objective case.

A noun or pronoun denoting possession is in the possessive case.

The declension or inflection of a noun or pronoun means the naming of its three cases in both numbers.


To decline a noun or pronoun means to give its declension.

The following nouns may be taken as types of declension; one pronoun is added for the purpose of comparison :

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