How are you today? We are simply happy you’re here.
So what’s today’s grammar lessons about? It’s a beginner’s class on articles, plurals and nouns. If you are not sure of your English level, take our test!
You can find all of this information, plus speaking exercises, writing exercises, vocabulary exercises and more on the ABA English Course Unit 4 “At Breakfast”. Click here to sign up for free.
Articles A, AN and THE
The good news is that there are only three articles in English: “a”, “an” and “the”. These articles are separated into two groups: definite and indefinite.
“The” is the only definite article and we use it to speak about specific nouns. We use it for all nouns, both singular and plural.
So how do we use it?
“The dog”, “the dogs”.
“The chair”, “the chairs”.
We are talking of a particular dog or a particular chair.
Ok, now let’s look at the indefinite articles for singular nouns: “a” and “an”. We use them when we are talking of nouns in a general sense.
Notice that “a” is used before nouns that begin with a consonant and “an” is used before words that start with a vowel.
Some and Any
They can be used with plural and uncountable nouns. Usually we use “some” in affirmative sentences and “any” in negative sentences and questions.
“Not any girls”
“Not any elephants”
A plural is a noun that tells you that there is more than one of something. So “one cat”, “two cats“. See?
Most plurals are formed by just adding an “S” to the singular. But it is not always like this since we have regular and irregular plural. We say a plural is regular when it follows some rules.
Rule 1: When a noun ends in -S/-SH/-CH/-X, we add -ES.
“Bus – buses“
“Watch – watches“
“Brush – brushes“
Rule 2: The second rule is that when a noun ends in a consonant + Y, we take away the “Y” and add “-IES”.
“Factory – factories“
“Strawberry – strawberries“
Rule 3: When a noun ends in “-F” or “-FE”, we take away the “-F” or “-FE” and add “-VES”.
“Knife – knives“
“Shelf – shelves“
Ok, now we have understood regular plurals, let’s have a look at irregular plurals. Ready? What you need to know about irregular plurals is that they are exceptions, so it is harder to remember. That’s why it is so important to practice them!
“Man – men”
“Woman – women”
“Child – children”
“Person – people”
“Foot – feet”
“Tooth – teeth”
“Mouse – mice”
“Sheep – sheep”
Why not try to remember one every day?
We also have only plural nouns. What are these? They are nouns that have no singular form. So we don’t use “is”, we always use “are”.
We can also use “a pair” instead of “the”. This way we can use them as singular nouns.
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Countable nouns are easy to remember because they are things we can count, like “horses”, “beds”, “dollars”. Easy, right?
Uncountable nouns are also easy. Why? Because they cannot be counted as separate things. For example: “water”, “sand” or “milk”.
All we have to remember is that countable nouns have singular and plural forms. Uncountable nouns just have a singular form.
We can use “some” with both countable and uncountable nouns.
Now, watch Ben’s video class with subtitles as many times as you need until you are able to understand it all without the subtitles!
In Unit 4 “At Breakfast”, you will meet a customer and his waiter. By watching the ABA Film, you will practice your listening comprehension. Record your voice and compare phrases to improve your speaking and learn how to write correctly. You will also gain fluency by interpreting roles and then you will learn the grammar and new vocabulary.
So remember: if you enjoyed this lesson, don’t forget to sign up! (it’s free!)