Found 78 articles starting with N:

narrative - correct spelling

narrative - noun and adjective  Example: The writer’s narrative recounts the plight of immigrants in 1900. ...

natural - correct spelling

natural - adjective and noun  Example: She insisted on buying natural foods. adjective...

naturally - correct spelling

naturally - adverb  Grammar.com's section on the Parts of Speech discusses the demise of -ly adverbs. Click here for...

nausea, nauseate, nauseous, nauseating - vocabulary

nausea, noun; nauseate, verb; nauseous, nauseated, and nauseating, adjectives.Note: Purists insist that nauseou...

nauseated - correct spelling

nauseated - adjective and verb (past tense and past participle of the verb nauseate)  Note: For a di...

nauseous - correct spelling

nauseous - adjective  Note: For a discussion of the differences among nauseous, nauseating, and nauseated, see Grammar.com’s section on Problem Words....

nauseous, nauseated, nauseating

Using nauseous for nauseated is incorrect but so common that we can no longer call it an error.But careful writers observe traditional meaning. The word nauseous de...

naval, navel

Your navel is your belly button. Naval is a synonym for nautical, which is used to describe anything having to do with the Navy or ships.Example: The ...

necessary - correct spelling

necessary - adjective and noun  Example: The weather caused a necessary change in our plans. adj...

necessity - correct spelling

necessity - noun  Example: He viewed his laptop computer as his one necessity....

Need vs. Knead

I need to knead ...

needle - correct spelling

needle - noun and verb  Example: The gentle nurse slipped the needle into the child’s arm. noun...

nefarious - vocabulary

adjectiveWicked or villainous in the extreme; vile, heinous. One of the most nefarious aspects of the court of Constantinople (known as the Seraglio and the Sublime Porte) was the all-...

negligence - correct spelling

negligence - noun  Example: His negligence on the highway caused him to lose his license.Example: The lawyers brought...

neighbor - correct spelling

neighbor - noun and verb  Example: Their neighbor mows his lawn at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. noun...

Neighbor vs. Neighbour

New neighbors just moved in the big white house. Consider this sentence for a moment. Does the word neighbors make you think again that maybe the spellings of neighbor aren’t re...

neither

When neither serves as a pronoun, it is typically singular, that is, it requires a singular verb and a singul...

neither - correct spelling

neither - correlative conjunction, adjective, and pronoun  Example: Neither...

neutron - correct spelling

neutron - noun  Example: The tiny neutron has slightly more mass than a proton....

newspaper - correct spelling

newspaper - noun  Example: The newspaper arrived in a plastic bag, but it was still all wet....

newsstand - correct spelling

newsstand - noun  Example: He bought the daily newspaper at the newsstand....

nickel - correct spelling

nickel - noun  Example: In the 1940s, the elderly lady paid a nickel for a cup of coffee....

niece - correct spelling

niece - noun  Example: My niece lives in California....

night - correct spelling

night - noun  Example: It was a dark and stormy night. ** From wikipedia:"It was a dark and stormy night" is an infamou...

Night vs. Knight

Another day and another set of confusing words. Like so many words in English, knight and night have identic...

nihilism, nihilist - vocabulary

nounNihilism: the total rejection of laws and institutions; nihilism is marked by terrorism, anarchy, and other revolutionary activity. In philosophy, nihilism is an extreme form...

ninety - correct spelling

ninety - noun and adjective  Example: He lived to the ripe old age of ninety. noun...

ninth - correct spelling

ninth - adjective, noun, and adverb (also ninthly)  Example: He was the ninth person t...

no one - correct spelling

no one - pronoun  Not noone.Example: He apparently likes no one, and no one...

no-action verb

All main verbs divide into two broad categories: action verbs (transitive and intransitive) and no-action verbs (the ...

No-Action Verbs

Recall that we’ve divided all verbs into two groups—action verbs and no-action verbs. The action verbs consist of two kinds: transitive and intransitive. Transitive verbs have direct objects. Intransitive verbs don’t.The no-action category al...

noisome, noisy

The human ear can detect only one of these words, that is, noisy. The other, noisome, is better associated with the nose. Noisy means “loud.” Noisome ...

noisome, noisy - vocabulary

adjectiveNoisome: very offensive, particularly to the sense of smell, as in noisome fumes.Noisy: loud.Note: The human ear c...

nominal clause

A nominal clause is a group of words with a conjugated verb in it that acts as a noun. Also called a noun clause, this structure can fulfill virtually all functions of a noun. A nominal clause s...

nondefining clause

The great grammarian Henry Fowler coined this term to refer to a nonrestrictive clause. A nondefining clause looks to the noun modified and adds information about it. It does not single it out among others that could exist in the ...

none, singular or plural

This indefinite pronoun may take either a singular or a plural verb. Don’t pa...

nonparallel construction

When you write a series of elements in a sentence, each element must (1) appear in the same grammatical form and (2) perform the same grammatical function. This is the rule of parallel construction. If any element...

nonpareil - vocabulary

noun, adjectiveA person or thing without equal, peerless; a small pellet of sugar used for decorating cookies or candy; a bite-sized chocolate covered with these pellets. I see you ...

nonrestrictive clause

A nonrestrictive clause is also called a nondefining clause.A nonrestrictive clause looks to the noun modified and adds information about it. It does not single it out among others that could exist in the context....

nor

Many writers use nor as a conjunction even when the negative state has already been established in the sentence. Savvy writers use or because the nega...

nostrum - vocabulary

nounA medicine sold with exaggerated claims of its efficacy; quack medicine; snake oil; a scheme, theory, or device, especially one to remedy social or political ills. As to Squire Western, he was seldom ou...

not to mention

See coupled with, as well as, along with, together with, not to mention....

noticeable - correct spelling

noticeable - adjective  Example: The stain was noticeable and caused him embarrassment....

noun

A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea or emotional state. Nouns are characterized by their ability to form plurals and to take possessive endings. The noun serves a variety of roles in our sentence...

noun absolute

The noun absolute is a power structure that belongs in your style. All great writers routinely use noun absolutes. In fact, you won't find a great work of fiction without oodles of noun absolutes. You form a noun absolute by taking a ...

noun adverb

A noun can act as an adverb. In the following examples, notice how the noun answers one of the adverbial questions (how, when, where, or why): He went h...

noun appositive

 See appositive....

noun chain

These days writers write long chains of nouns that befuddle the reader. A noun chain is a string of nouns, some acting as noun modifiers and one finally serving the noun function in the sentence. The expression noun chain is, itself, a noun ...

noun clause

 See nominal clause....

noun clause

 See nominal clause....

Noun Function 1 - Subjects of Sentences or Clauses

We reviewed this first function in our overview above: The subject joins with the verb to form the main idea of the sentence. An example will jog your memory. We’ll use our noun-packed sentence, a sentence showing all 10 functions of the noun....

Noun Function 10 - Noun Absolutes

And now we reach the end of the list and find one of the most potent structures the English language makes available to aspiring writers.But before visiting noun absolutes, let’s review. Here’s the list of the 10 functions of nouns. Notice th...

Noun Function 2 - Subject Complements

We reviewed this function in our overview above: The subject complement is a noun following the verb to be or other linking verb. An example should suffice to remind you of the gist of the subject complement. Remember, this function also car...

Noun Function 3 - Direct Object of Transitive Verb

In the Grammar.com section on verbs, we’ll discuss transitive verbs, those that can pick up nouns. (Click here for the beginning of that discussion.) The noun it sticks to the sentence is call...

Noun Function 4 - Object of Verbal Phrase

Transitive verbs—those that can directly pick up a noun and stick it to a sentence—can appear as phrases, specifically as infinitive phrases (to win the game) or as present-participial phrases (winning the game). Well, notice that e...

Noun Function 4 - Object of Verbal Phrase

Transitive verbs—those that can directly pick up a noun and stick it to a sentence—can appear as phrases, specifically as infinitive phrases (to win the game) or as present-participial phrases (winning the game). Well, notice that e...

Noun Function 5 - Indirect Object

Here’s a function of the noun we skipped over in our general overview above. Look at the following example. Then we’ll discuss the nature of the indirect object.5. Indirect ObjectOnce again, one sentence shows all 10 ...

Noun Function 6 - Object of the Preposition

We’ll learn more about this function in the Grammar.com section on prepositions.  (Click here for the beginning of that discussion.) A preposition has one major role ...

Noun Function 7 - Noun Appositives

Now let’s look at some noun structures that can hang directly on sentences all by themselves without prepositions or verbs. We’ll visit the final four functions:7. Noun Appositives 8. Noun Modifiers 9. Noun Adverbs 10. Noun AbsolutesL...

Noun Function 8 - Noun Modifiers

Nouns often modify other nouns, as in noun modifier or sentence structure. We have thousands of terms where a first ...

Noun Function 9 - Noun Adverbs

Words we think of as nouns often act like adverbs.9. Noun AdverbsOur model sentence shows a noun adverb: The professor, John Smith, is the noun expert, so yesterday he gave th...

Noun functions - What They Do - A Closer Look

Above, we learned about three functions of the noun: subjects, objects, and complements. But nouns perform 10 functions in our language, and good writers take advantage of all of them. When you finish this more detailed discussion, you’ll start playi...

Noun Functions 1-5 - Verb Dependent

Take a look at the first five noun functions:1. subject of the verb 2. complement of to be or a linking verb 3. direct object of a transitive verb 4. object of a verbal phras...

Noun Functions 1-6 - Dependent Nouns

Noun Functions - Dependent on Verbs and PrepositionsA noun has a hard time jumping up on the back of a sentence without some help. It turns to the verb for its first five functions, to the preposition for its sixth. Its remai...

noun modifier

A noun can act as an adjective. When it does, we call it a noun modifier. Indeed, in the expression noun modifier, the word noun acts as a noun modifier. We have hundreds of these expressions in our...

Noun Modifiers

Noun Acting as an AdjectiveIronically, another word often acts as a modifier of nouns. The noun itself often modifies another noun.Our language overflows with noun modifiers: football ...

noun substitute

This is not an official grammatical term. Rather, I made it up to refer to three structures in our language that can step in and perform the roles of the noun: (1) nominal clauses, (2) infini...

nouniness

In his great work, Modern English Usage, Henry Fowler referred to a “nouny abstract style.” I took that adjective nouny and turned it into the noun nouniness.The term nouniness describes the style of many w...

Nouns - Definition, Overview, and Lists of Examples

WelcomeWhat's a noun?Below you’ll find links to our discussion on nouns. We recommend that you start with the first topic, Nouns - Words That Name. At the bottom o...

Nouns - Words That Name

Let’s start with the noun. Here, you’ll learn about the nature of the noun and three of its main functions in our language: (1) subjects, (2) objects, and (3) complements. Then, in later sections, we’ll explore the 10 functions that nouns perform in ...

Now let’s fix the chapter title…

The chapter title "There's lots of these subject-verb disagreements" should read:There are lots of these subject-verb disagreements.The expression "there is" should alw...

now, know, no

Now means “at the present time,” “immediately,” or “at this point.” Know means “to perceive” or “to understand.” No means “no.”Example: Ri...

nowadays - correct spelling

nowadays - adverb and noun  Example: Few people grow their own food nowadays. adverb...

nuance - vocabulary

nounA slight degree of difference in anything perceptible; a very slight variation or difference in color or tone. Throughout these eight or ten volumes he proves himself to be one of those rare writers who...

nuisance - correct spelling

nuisance - noun  Example: The barking dog was nothing but a nuisance....

number

The concept of number applies to nouns, verbs, and pronouns. Number distinguishes “oneness” and “more-than-oneness,” that is, it distinguishes the singular from th...

Number - Singular or Plural

More than OneWhen the Pronoun Committee met in Amber and Igor’s cave, it realized another universal truth:Often there would be more than one speaker, more than one listener, and more than one unfortunate soul ...

Numbers in Lists Within Text

Use parentheses to enclose numerals or letters marking divisions or enumerations within the text of your writing. Remember, in indented and vertical lists, the period sets off the number or letter: He discovered the various abuses in ...

Discuss these letter quotes with the community:


We need you!

Help us build the largest grammar knowledge base and articles collection on the web!

Improve your writing now:

Download Grammar eBooks

It’s now more important than ever to develop a powerful writing style. After all, most communication takes place in reports, emails, and instant messages.