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A Summary of the 10 Functions of Nouns

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Here they are again—the 10 functions of nouns.

1. Subjects of Sentences

The professor, John Smith, is the noun expert, so yesterday he gave the class his views on the importance of learning to write papers clearly, his students feverishly taking notes on all he said.

2. Subject Complements (“Predicate Nouns” or “Predicate Nominatives”)

The professor, John Smith, is the noun expert, so yesterday he gave the class his views on the importance of learning to write papers clearly, his students feverishly taking notes on all he said.

3. Direct Objects of Transitive Verbs

The professor, John Smith, is the noun expert, so yesterday he gave the class his views on the importance of learning to write papers clearly, his students feverishly taking notes on all he said.

4. Objects of Verbal Phrases

The professor, John Smith, is the noun expert, so yesterday he gave the class his views on the importance of learning to write papers clearly, his students feverishly taking notes on all he said.

5. Indirect Objects

The professor, John Smith, is the noun expert, so yesterday he gave the class his views on the importance of learning to write papers clearly, his students feverishly taking notes on all he said.

6. Objects of Prepositions

The professor, John Smith, is the noun expert, so yesterday he gave the class his views on the importance of learning to write papers clearly, his students feverishly taking notes on all he said.

7. Noun Appositives

The professor, John Smith, is the noun expert, so yesterday he gave the class his views on the importance of learning to write papers clearly, his students feverishly taking notes on all he said.

8. Noun Modifiers

The professor, John Smith, is the noun expert, so yesterday he gave the class his views on the importance of learning to write papers clearly, his students feverishly taking notes on all he said.

9. Noun Adverbs

The professor, John Smith, is the noun expert, so yesterday he gave the class his views on the importance of learning to write papers clearly, his students feverishly taking notes on all he said.

10. Noun Absolutes

The professor, John Smith, is the noun expert, so yesterday he gave the class his views on the importance of learning to write papers clearly, his studentsfeverishly taking notes on all he said.

Those are the 10 biggies. You must know them cold. You must be able to take any sentence, identify all nouns in the sentence, and specify the function each noun serves.

As you can see, the noun does some heavy lifting in our language. In fact, when coupled with the verb, the noun reveals our main idea to our readers. It makes a great deal of sense to use the noun to communicate noun-like information, doesn’t it?

But would it make much sense to use the noun to communicate verb-like information? Especially when we have the verb sitting there—ready, willing, and able to do the job?

In the Grammar eBook Developing a Powerful Writing Style, we’ll learn about the superiority of the verb form and see how verb-based prose becomes the style of choice of writing pros.

Now let’s move on to the most important word in the English language, the verb.

Hard Copy

You may download our entire discussion of the Parts of Speech. Simply download the Grammar eBook Understanding the Parts of Speech.

 

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