NOUNS AND PRONOUNS

What is a Noun?

 

A noun is a word used to name a person, animal, place, thing, and abstract idea. Nouns are usually the first words which small children learn. The highlighted words in the following sentences are all nouns:

 

Late last year our neighbours bought a goat.
Portia White was an opera singer.
The bus inspector looked at all the passengers’ passes.
According to Plutarch, the library at Alexandria was destroyed in 48 B.C.
Philosophy is of little comfort to the starving.

 

A noun can function in a sentence as a subject, a direct object, an indirect object, a subject complement, an object complement, an appositive, an adjective or an adverb.

 

Noun Gender

 

Many common nouns, like “engineer” or “teacher,” can refer to men or women. Once, many English nouns would change form depending on their gender — for example, a man was called an “author” while a woman was called an “authoress” — but this use of gender-specific nouns is very rare today. Those that are still used occasionally tend to refer to occupational categories, as in the following sentences.

 

David Garrick was a very prominent eighteenth-century actor.
Sarah Siddons was at the height of her career as an actress in the 1780s.
The manager was trying to write a want ad, but he couldn’t decide whether he was advertising for a “waiter” or a “waitress”

 

Noun Plurals

 

Most nouns change their form to indicate number by adding “-s” or “-es”, as illustrated in the following pairs of sentences:

 

When Matthew was small he rarely told the truth if he thought he was going to be punished.
Many people do not believe that truths are self-evident.

 

As they walked through the silent house, they were startled by an unexpected echo.
I like to shout into the quarry and listen to the echoes that return.

 

He tripped over a box left carelessly in the hallway.
Since we are moving, we will need many boxes.

 

There are other nouns which form the plural by changing the last letter before adding “s”. Some words ending in “f” form the plural by deleting “f” and adding “ves,” and words ending in “y” form the plural by deleting the “y” and adding “ies,” as in the following pairs of sentences:

 

The harbour at Marble Mountain has one wharf.
There are several wharves in Halifax Harbour.

 

Warsaw is their favourite city because it reminds them of their courtship.
The vacation my grandparents won includes trips to twelve European cities.

 

The children circled around the headmaster and shouted, “Are you a mouse or a man?”
The audience was shocked when all five men admitted that they were afraid of mice.

 

Other nouns form the plural irregularly. If English is your first language, you probably know most of these already: when in doubt, consult a good dictionary.

 

Possessive Nouns

 

In the possessive case, a noun or pronoun changes its form to show that it owns or is closely related to something else. Usually, nouns become possessive by adding a combination of an apostrophe and the letter “s.”

 

You can form the possessive case of a singular noun that does not end in “s” by adding an apostrophe and “s,” as in the following sentences:

 

The red suitcase is Cassandra’s.
The only luggage that was lost was the prime minister’s.
The exhausted recruits were woken before dawn by the drill sergeant’s screams.
The miner’s face was covered in coal dust.

 

You can form the possessive case of a singular noun that ends in “s” by adding an apostrophe alone or by adding an apostrophe and “s,” as in the following examples:

 

The bus’s seats are very uncomfortable.
The bus’ seats are very uncomfortable.

 

The film crew accidentally crushed the platypus’s eggs.
The film crew accidentally crushed the platypus’ eggs.

 

Felicia Hemans’s poetry was once more popular than Lord Byron’s.
Felicia Hemans’ poetry was once more popular than Lord Byron’s.

 

You can form the possessive case of a plural noun that does not end in “s” by adding an apostrophe and a “s,” as in the following examples:

 

The children’s mittens were scattered on the floor of the porch.
The sheep’s pen was mucked out every day.
Since we have a complex appeal process, a jury’s verdict is not always final.
The men’s hockey team will be playing as soon as the women’s team is finished.
The hunter followed the moose’s trail all morning but lost it in the afternoon.

 

You can form the possessive case of a plural noun that does end in “s” by adding an apostrophe:

 

The concert was interrupted by the dogs’ barking, the ducks’ quacking, and the babies’ squalling.
The janitors’ room is downstairs and to the left.
My uncle spent many hours trying to locate the squirrels’ nest.
The archivist quickly finished repairing the diaries’ bindings.
Religion is usually the subject of the roommates’ many late night debates.

 

Using Possessive Nouns

 

When you read the following sentences, you will notice that a noun in the possessive case frequently functions as an adjective modifying another noun:

 

The miner’s face was covered in coal dust.

 

Here the possessive noun “miner’s” is used to modify the noun “face” and together with the article “the,” they make up the noun phrase that is the sentence’s subject.

 

The concert was interrupted by the dogs’ barking, the ducks’ quacking, and the babies’ squalling.

 

In this sentence, each possessive noun modifies a gerund. The possessive noun “dogs”‘ modifies “barking,” “ducks”‘ modifies “quacking,” and “babies”‘ modifies “squalling.”

 

The film crew accidentally crushed the platypus’s eggs.

 

In this example the possessive noun “platypus’s” modifies the noun “eggs” and the noun phrase “the platypus’s eggs” is the direct object of the verb “crushed.”

 

My uncle spent many hours trying to locate the squirrels’ nest.

 

In this sentence the possessive noun “squirrels”‘ is used to modify the noun “nest” and the noun phrase “the squirrels’ nest” is the object of the infinitive phrase “to locate.”

 

Types Of Nouns

 

There are many different types of nouns. As you know, you capitalise some nouns, such as “Canada” or “Louise,” and do not capitalise others, such as “badger” or “tree” (unless they appear at the beginning of a sentence). In fact, grammarians have developed a whole series of noun types, including the proper noun, the common noun, the concrete noun, the abstract noun, the countable noun (also called the count noun), the non-countable noun (also called the mass noun), and the collective noun. You should note that a noun will belong to more than one type: it will be proper or common, abstract or concrete, and countable or non-countable or collective.

 

If you are interested in the details of these different types, you can read about them in the following sections.

 

Proper Nouns

 

You always write a proper noun with a capital letter, since the noun represents the name of a specific person, place, or thing. The names of days of the week, months, historical documents, institutions, organisations, religions, their holy texts and their adherents are proper nouns. A proper noun is the opposite of a common noun

 

In each of the following sentences, the proper nouns are highlighted:

 

The Marroons were transported from Jamaica and forced to build the fortifications in Halifax.
Many people dread Monday mornings.
Beltane is celebrated on the first of May.
Abraham appears in the Talmud and in the Koran.
Last year, I had a Baptist, a Buddhist, and a Gardnerian Witch as roommates.

 

Common Nouns

 

A common noun is a noun referring to a person, place, or thing in a general sense — usually, you should write it with a capital letter only when it begins a sentence. A common noun is the opposite of a proper noun.

 

In each of the following sentences, the common nouns are highlighted:

 

According to the sign, the nearest town is 60 miles away.
All the gardens in the neighbourhood were invaded by beetles this summer.
I don’t understand why some people insist on having six different kinds of mustard in their cupboards.
The road crew was startled by the sight of three large moose crossing the road.
Many child-care workers are underpaid.

 

Sometimes you will make proper nouns out of common nouns, as in the following examples:

 

The tenants in the Garnet Apartments are appealing the large and sudden increase in their rent.
The meals in the Bouncing Bean Restaurant are less expensive than meals in ordinary restaurants.
Many witches refer to the Renaissance as the Burning Times.
The Diary of Anne Frank is often a child’s first introduction to the history of the Holocaust.

 

Concrete Nouns

 

A concrete noun is a noun which names anything (or anyone) that you can perceive through your physical senses: touch, sight, taste, hearing, or smell. A concrete noun is the opposite of a abstract noun.

 

The highlighted words in the following sentences are all concrete nouns:

 

The judge handed the files to the clerk.
Whenever they take the dog to the beach, it spends hours chasing waves.
The real estate agent urged the couple to buy the second house because it had new shingles.
As the car drove past the park, the thump of a disco tune overwhelmed the string quartet’s rendition of a minuet.
The book binder replaced the flimsy paper cover with a sturdy, cloth-covered board.

 

Abstract Nouns

 

An abstract noun is a noun which names anything which you can not perceive through your five physical senses, and is the opposite of a concrete noun. The highlighted words in the following sentences are all abstract nouns:

 

Buying the fire extinguisher was an afterthought.
Tillie is amused by people who are nostalgic about childhood.
Justice often seems to slip out of our grasp.
Some scientists believe that schizophrenia is transmitted genetically.

 

Countable Nouns

 

A countable noun (or count noun) is a noun with both a singular and a plural form, and it names anything (or anyone) that you can count. You can make a countable noun plural and attach it to a plural verb in a sentence. Countable nouns are the opposite of non-countable nouns and collective nouns.

 

In each of the following sentences, the highlighted words are countable nouns:

 

We painted the table red and the chairs blue.
Since he inherited his aunt’s library, Jerome spends every weekend indexing his books.
Miriam found six silver dollars in the toe of a sock.
The oak tree lost three branches in the hurricane.
Over the course of twenty-seven years, Martha Ballad delivered just over eight hundred babies.

 

Non-Countable Nouns

 

A non-countable noun (or mass noun) is a noun which does not have a plural form, and which refers to something that you could (or would) not usually count. A non-countable noun always takes a singular verb in a sentence. Non-countable nouns are similar to collective nouns, and are the opposite of countable nouns.

 

The highlighted words in the following sentences are non-countable nouns:

 

Joseph Priestly discovered oxygen.

 

The word “oxygen” cannot normally be made plural.

 

Oxygen is essential to human life.

 

Since “oxygen” is a non-countable noun, it takes the singular verb “is” rather than the plural verb “are.”

 

We decided to sell the furniture rather than take it with us when we moved.

 

You cannot make the noun “furniture” plural.

 

The furniture is heaped in the middle of the room.

 

Since “furniture” is a non-countable noun, it takes a singular verb, “is heaped.”

 

The crew spread the gravel over the roadbed.

 

You cannot make the non-countable noun “gravel” plural.

 

Gravel is more expensive than I thought.

 

Since “gravel” is a non-countable noun, it takes the singular verb form “is.”

 

Collective Nouns

 

A collective noun is a noun naming a group of things, animals, or persons. You could count the individual members of the group, but you usually think of the group as a whole is generally as one unit. You need to be able to recognise collective nouns in order to maintain subject-verb agreement. A collective noun is similar to a non-countable noun, and is roughly the opposite of a countable noun.

 

In each of the following sentences, the highlighted word is a collective noun:

 

The flock of geese spends most of its time in the pasture.

 

The collective noun “flock” takes the singular verb “spends.”

 

The jury is dining on take-out chicken tonight.

 

In this example the collective noun “jury” is the subject of the singular compound verb “is dining.”

 

The steering committee meets every Wednesday afternoon.

 

Here the collective noun “committee” takes a singular verb, “meets.”

 

The class was startled by the bursting light bulb.

 

In this sentence the word “class” is a collective noun and takes the singular compound verb “was startled.”

 

Written by Heather MacFadyen

http://www.uottawa.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/nouns.html

What is a Pronoun?

A pronoun can replace a noun or another pronoun. You use pronouns like “he,” “which,” “none,” and “you” to make your sentences less cumbersome and less repetitive.

Grammarians classify pronouns into several types, including the personal pronoun, the demonstrative pronoun, the interrogative pronoun, the indefinite pronoun, the relative pronoun, the reflexive pronoun, and the intensive pronoun.

Personal Pronouns

A personal pronoun refers to a specific person or thing and changes its form to indicate person, number, gender, and case.

Subjective Personal Pronouns

A subjective personal pronoun indicates that the pronoun is acting as the subject of the sentence. The subjective personal pronouns are “I,” “you,” “she,” “he,” “it,” “we,” “you,” “they.”

In the following sentences, each of the highlighted words is a subjective personal pronoun and acts as the subject of the sentence:

I was glad to find the bus pass in the bottom of the green knapsack.
You are surely the strangest child I have ever met.
He stole the selkie’s skin and forced her to live with him.
When she was a young woman, she earned her living as a coal miner.
After many years, they returned to their homeland.
We will meet at the library at 3:30 p.m.
It is on the counter.
Are you the delegates from Malagawatch?

Objective Personal Pronouns

An objective personal pronoun indicates that the pronoun is acting as an object of a verb, compound verb, preposition, or infinitive phrase. The objective personal pronouns are: “me,” “you,” “her,” “him,” “it,” “us,” “you,” and “them.”

In the following sentences, each of the highlighted words is an objective personal pronoun:

Seamus stole the selkie’s skin and forced her to live with him.

The objective personal pronoun “her” is the direct object of the verb “forced” and the objective personal pronoun “him” is the object of the preposition “with.”

After reading the pamphlet, Judy threw it into the garbage can.

The pronoun “it” is the direct object of the verb “threw.”

The agitated assistant stood up and faced the angry delegates and said, “Our leader will address you in five minutes.”

In this sentence, the pronoun “you” is the direct object of the verb “address.”

Deborah and Roberta will meet us at the newest café in the market.

Here the objective personal pronoun “us” is the direct object of the compound verb “will meet.”

Give the list to me.

Here the objective personal pronoun “me” is the object of the preposition “to.”

I’m not sure that my contact will talk to you.

Similarly in this example, the objective personal pronoun “you” is the object of the preposition “to.”

Christopher was surprised to see her at the drag races.

Here the objective personal pronoun “her” is the object of the infinitive phrase “to see.”

Possessive Personal Pronouns

A possessive pronoun indicates that the pronoun is acting as a marker of possession and defines who owns a particular object or person. The possessive personal pronouns are “mine,” “yours,” “hers,” “his,” “its,” “ours,” and “theirs.” Note that possessive personal pronouns are very similar to possessive adjectives like “my,” “her,” and “their.”

In each of the following sentences, the highlighted word is a possessive personal pronoun:

The smallest gift is mine.

Here the possessive pronoun “mine” functions as a subject complement.

This is yours.

Here too the possessive pronoun “yours” functions as a subject complement.

His is on the kitchen counter.

In this example, the possessive pronoun “his” acts as the subject of the sentence.

Theirs will be delivered tomorrow.

In this sentence, the possessive pronoun “theirs” is the subject of the sentence.

Ours is the green one on the corner.

Here too the possessive pronoun “ours” function as the subject of the sentence.

Demonstrative Pronouns

A demonstrative pronoun points to and identifies a noun or a pronoun. “This” and “these” refer to things that are nearby either in space or in time, while “that” and “those” refer to things that are farther away in space or time.

The demonstrative pronouns are “this,” “that,” “these,” and “those.” “This” and “that” are used to refer to singular nouns or noun phrases and “these” and “those” are used to refer to plural nouns and noun phrases. Note that the demonstrative pronouns are identical to demonstrative adjectives, though, obviously, you use them differently. It is also important to note that “that” can also be used as a relative pronoun.

In the following sentences, each of the highlighted words is a demonstrative pronoun:

This must not continue.

Here “this” is used as the subject of the compound verb “must not continue.”

This is puny; that is the tree I want.

In this example “this” is used as subject and refers to something close to the speaker. The demonstrative pronoun “that” is also a subject but refers to something farther away from the speaker.

Three customers wanted these.

Here “these” is the direct object of the verb “wanted.”

Interrogative Pronouns

An interrogative pronoun is used to ask questions. The interrogative pronouns are “who,” “whom,” “which,” “what” and the compounds formed with the suffix “ever” (“whoever,” “whomever,” “whichever,” and “whatever”). Note that either “which” or “what” can also be used as an interrogative adjective, and that “who,” “whom,” or “which” can also be used as a relative pronoun.

You will find “who,” “whom,” and occasionally “which” used to refer to people, and “which” and “what” used to refer to things and to animals.

“Who” acts as the subject of a verb, while “whom” acts as the object of a verb, preposition, or a verbal.

The highlighted word in each of the following sentences is an interrogative pronoun:

Which wants to see the dentist first?

“Which” is the subject of the sentence.

Who wrote the novel Rockbound?

Similarly “who” is the subject of the sentence.

Whom do you think we should invite?

In this sentence, “whom” is the object of the verb “invite.”

To whom do you wish to speak?

Here the interrogative pronoun “whom ” is the object of the preposition “to.”

Who will meet the delegates at the train station?

In this sentence, the interrogative pronoun “who” is the subject of the compound verb “will meet.”

To whom did you give the paper?

In this example the interrogative pronoun “whom” is the object of the preposition “to.”

What did she say?

Here the interrogative pronoun “what” is the direct object of the verb “say.”

Relative Pronouns

You can use a relative pronoun is used to link one phrase or clause to another phrase or clause. The relative pronouns are “who,” “whom,” “that,” and “which.” The compounds “whoever,” “whomever,” and “whichever” are also relative pronouns.

You can use the relative pronouns “who” and “whoever” to refer to the subject of a clause or sentence, and “whom” and “whomever” to refer to the objects of a verb, a verbal or a preposition.

In each of the following sentences, the highlighted word is a relative pronoun.

You may invite whomever you like to the party.

The relative pronoun “whomever” is the direct object of the compound verb “may invite.”

The candidate who wins the greatest popular vote is not always elected.

In this sentence, the relative pronoun is the subject of the verb “wins” and introduces the subordinate clause “who wins the greatest popular vote.” This subordinate clause acts as an adjective modifying “candidate.”

In a time of crisis, the manager asks the workers whom she believes to be the most efficient to arrive an hour earlier than usual.

In this sentence “whom” is the direct object of the verb “believes” and introduces the subordinate clause “whom she believes to be the most efficient”. This subordinate clause modifies the noun “workers.”

Whoever broke the window will have to replace it.

Here “whoever” functions as the subject of the verb “broke.”

The crate which was left in the corridor has now been moved into the storage closet.

In this example “which” acts as the subject of the compound verb “was left” and introduces the subordinate clause “which was left in the corridor.” The subordinate clause acts as an adjective modifying the noun “crate.”

I will read whichever manuscript arrives first.

Here “whichever” modifies the noun “manuscript” and introduces the subordinate clause “whichever manuscript arrives first.” The subordinate clause functions as the direct object of the compound verb “will read.”

Indefinite Pronouns

An indefinite pronoun is a pronoun referring to an identifiable but not specified person or thing. An indefinite pronoun conveys the idea of all, any, none, or some.

The most common indefinite pronouns are “all,” “another,” “any,” “anybody,” “anyone,” “anything,” “each,” “everybody,” “everyone,” “everything,” “few,” “many,” “nobody,” “none,” “one,” “several,” “some,” “somebody,” and “someone.” Note that some indefinite pronouns can also be used as indefinite adjectives.

The highlighted words in the following sentences are indefinite pronouns:

Many were invited to the lunch but only twelve showed up.

Here “many” acts as the subject of the compound verb “were invited.”

The office had been searched and everything was thrown onto the floor.

In this example, “everything” acts as a subject of the compound verb “was thrown.”

We donated everything we found in the attic to the woman’s shelter garage sale.

In this sentence, “everything” is the direct object of theverb “donated.”

Although they looked everywhere for extra copies of the magazine, they found none.

Here too the indefinite pronoun functions as a direct object: “none” is the direct object of “found.”

Make sure you give everyone a copy of the amended bylaws.

In this example, “everyone” is the indirect object of the verb “give” — the direct object is the noun phrase “a copy of the amended bylaws.”

Give a registration package to each.

Here “each” is the object of the preposition “to.”

Reflexive Pronouns

You can use a reflexive pronoun to refer back to the subject of the clause or sentence.

The reflexive pronouns are “myself,” “yourself,” “herself,” “himself,” “itself,” “ourselves,” “yourselves,” and “themselves.” Note each of these can also act as an intensive pronoun.

Each of the highlighted words in the following sentences is a reflexive pronoun:

Diabetics give themselves insulin shots several times a day.
The Dean often does the photocopying herself so that the secretaries can do more important work.
After the party, I asked myself why I had faxed invitations to everyone in my office building.
Richard usually remembered to send a copy of his e-mail to himself.
Although the landlord promised to paint the apartment, we ended up doing it ourselves.

Intensive Pronouns

An intensive pronoun is a pronoun used to emphasise its antecedent. Intensive pronouns are identical in form to reflexive pronouns.

The highlighted words in the following sentences are intensive pronouns:

I myself believe that aliens should abduct my sister.
The Prime Minister himself said that he would lower taxes.
They themselves promised to come to the party even though they had a final exam at the same time.

 

Written by Heather MacFadyen

http://www.uottawa.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/pronouns.html

Listening Comprehension Part B and C

Part B

Directions: In this part of the test you will hear longer conversations. After each conversation you will hear several questions. The conversations and questions will not be repeated.

After you hear a question, read the four possible answers in your test book and choose the best answer. Then, on your answer sheet, find the number of the question and fill in the space that corresponds to the letter of the answer you have chosen.

Remember, you are not allowed to take notes or write in your test book.

SAMPLE CONVERSATION AND PRACTICE QUESTIONS

(narrator)   Questions 4 through 7. Listen to a conversation about a trip.
(man)   Are you ready for “The Big Apple”?
(woman)   Excuse me?
(man)   You know, New York City. You are going to New York with us, aren’t you? I wanted to show everybody around my old neighborhood.
(woman)   Oh…sure! I wouldn’t miss it especially when the tour guide is a native New Yorker.
(man)   I thought we could start at the Museum of Modern Art. Right now there’s an exhibit on twentieth-century American painters.
(woman)   Fine with me…but what were you saying about…a big apple?
(man)   “The Big Apple.” It’s a nickname for New York. I think I heard once that it started with jazz musicians in the 20’s.
(woman)   Oh.
(man)   Whenever they played a concert in a city, they called that city an “apple.” In those days, New York was the biggest city in the country, so they called it “The Big Apple.”
(woman)   Hey, I have an idea! Let’s go to a jazz club while we’re there.
(man)   Sounds good.
Questions:  
4. You will hear:  
(narrator)   What is the man planning to see?
You will read:   A. An art exhibit.
B. A Broadway play.
C. A modern dance production.
D. An opera.
5. You will hear:  
(narrator)   What can be inferred about the man?
You will read:   A. He is a jazz musician.
B. He wants to join the woman’s club.
C. He is in his twenties.
D. He was born in New York.
6. You will hear:  
(narrator)   What does the word “Apple” in the phrase “The Big Apple” refer to?
You will read:   A. An instrument.
B. A city.
C. A theater.
D. A concert.
7. You will hear:  
(narrator)   Who gave New York its nickname?
You will read:   A. Painters.
B. Tour guides.
C. Musicians.
D. Grocers.

Part C

Directions: In this part of the test you will hear several talks. After each talk, you will hear some questions. The talks and questions will not be repeated.

After you hear a question, read the four possible answers in your test book and choose the best answer. Then, on your answer sheet, find the number of the question and fill in the space that corresponds to the letter of the answer you have chosen.

Here is an example.

On the recording, you will hear:

(narrator)   Listen to an instructor talk to his class about a television program.
(man)   I’d like to tell you about an interesting TV program that’ll be shown this coming Thursday. It’ll be on from 9 to 10 p.m. on Channel 4. It’s part of a series called “Mysteries of Human Biology.” The subject of the program is the human brain — how it functions and how it can malfunction. Topics that will be covered are dreams, memory, and depression. These topics are illustrated with outstanding computer animation that makes the explanations easy to follow. Make an effort to see this show. Since we’ve been studying the nervous system in class, I know you’ll find it very helpful.

Here is an example.

You will hear:  
(narrator)   What is the main purpose of the program?
In your test book, you will read:  
A. To demonstrate the latest use of computer graphics.
B. To discuss the possibility of an economic depression.
C. To explain the workings of the brain.
D. To dramatize a famous mystery story.

The best answer to the question, “What is the main purpose of the program?” is C, “To explain the workings of the brain.” Therefore, the correct choice is C.

Here is another example.

You will hear:  
(narrator)   Why does the speaker recommend watching the program?
In your test book, you will read:  
A. It is required of all science majors.
B. It will never be shown again.
C. It can help viewers improve their memory skills.
D. It will help with course work.

The best answer to the question, “Why does the speaker recommend watching the program?” is D, “It will help with course work.” Therefore, the correct choice is D.

Remember, you are not allowed to take notes or write in your test book.

PRACTICE TALK AND PRACTICE QUESTIONS

(narrator)   Questions 8 through 10. Listen to a talk about animal behavior.
(woman)   Today’s discussion is about a common animal reaction — the yawn. The dictionary defines a yawn as “an involuntary reaction to fatigue or boredom.” That’s certainly true for human yawns, but not necessarily for animal yawns. The same action can have quite different meanings in different species.

For example, some animals yawn to intimidate intruders on their territory. Fish and lizards are examples of this. Hippos use yawns when they want to settle a quarrel. Observers have seen two hippos yawn at each other for as long as two hours before they stop quarreling.

As for social animals like baboons or lions — they yawn to establish the pecking order within social groups, and lions often yawn to calm social tensions. Sometimes these animals yawn for a strictly physiological reason — that is, to increase oxygen levels. And curiously enough, when they yawn for a physical reason like that, they do what humans do — they try to stifle the yawn by looking away or by covering their mouths.

Questions:  
8. You will hear:  
(narrator)   What is the speaker’s main point?
You will read:   A. Animals yawn for a number of reasons.
B. Yawning results only from fatigue or boredom.
C. Human yawns are the same as those of other animals.
D. Only social animals yawn.
9. You will hear:  
(narrator)   According to the speaker, when are hippos likely to yawn?
You will read:   A. When they are swimming.
B. When they are quarreling.
C. When they are socializing.
D. When they are eating.
10. You will hear:  
(narrator)   What physiological reason for yawning is mentioned?
You will read:   A. To exercise the jaw muscles.
B. To eliminate fatigue.
C. To get greater strength for attacking.
D. To gain more oxygen.

 

http://www.ets.org/toefl/pbt/prepare/sample_questions/listening_comprehension_practice_section1

Listening Comprehension Practice Questions — Section 1

The Listening Comprehension section tests your ability to understand both short and long conversations in English. The section contains recorded material that is similar to what you might hear if you were with a group of students at an English-speaking college or university. The language includes

 

  • vocabulary and idiomatic expressions common to spoken English
  • special grammatical constructions used in speech

 

Before completing these practice questions, print out an answer sheet so that you can become familiar with the format.

 

Directions and Practice Questions

 

Directions and examples of the types of questions you will find in the Listening Comprehension section of the TOEFL® test are below.

 

There are three parts to this section, with special directions for each part. Answer all questions based on what is stated or implied by the speakers you hear.

 

Do not:

 

  • take notes or write in your test book at any time
  • turn the pages until you are told to do so.

 

Part A

 

Directions: In Part A, you will hear short conversations between two people. After each conversation, you will hear a question about the conversation. The conversations and questions will not be repeated. After you hear a question, read the four possible answers in your test book and choose the best answer. Then, on your answer sheet, find the number of the question and fill in the space that corresponds to the letter of the answer you have chosen.

 

 

Here is an example.

 

On the recording, you will hear:

 

(woman)   I don’t like this painting very much.
(man)   Neither do I.
(narrator)   What does the man mean?

 

In your test book, you will read:

 

A. He doesn’t like the painting either.

B. He doesn’t know how to paint.

C. He doesn’t have any paintings.

D. He doesn’t know what to do.

 

You learn from the conversation that neither the man nor the woman likes the painting. The best answer to the question, “What does the man mean?” is A, “He doesn’t like the painting either.” Therefore, the correct choice is A.

 

PRACTICE QUESTIONS

 

1. You will hear:  
(man)   Shall I lock up the computer lab now before I go home?
(woman)   Don’t bother. I’m not leaving for a while, I can check it on my way out.
(narrator)   What will the woman probably do?

 

You will read:   A. Lock the computer lab later.
B. Leave with the man.
C. Buy a new lock for the computer lab.
D. Show the man where the lab is.

 

2. You will hear:  
(man)   Do you mind if I turn the television off?
(woman)   Well, I’m in the middle of watching a program.
(narrator)   What does the woman imply?

 

You will read:   A. The man should watch the program too.
B. The man should leave the television on.
C. The program will be over soon.
D. She’ll watch television later.

 

3. You will hear:  
(woman)   I heard the math requirements for graduation are being changed.
(man)   Yes. And I may be short one course.
(narrator)   What does the man mean?

 

You will read:   A. He isn’t sure what course to take.
B. The math course is too short.
C. He may not meet the graduation requirements.
D. The graduation date has been changed.

 

http://www.ets.org/toefl/pbt/prepare/sample_questions/listening_comprehension_practice_section1

 

Narration/Sequence-Arts/Architecture

In some questions in the Reading Section on the Paper-Based TOEFL, you will be asked to recall and relate information and content from narration or sequence passages in various fields of study.

EUGENE O’NEILL

Universally acclaimed as America’s greatest playwright, Eugene O’Neill was born in 1888 in the heart of the theater district in New York City. As the son of an actor he had early exposure to the world of theater. He attended Princeton University briefly in 1906, but returned  to New York to work in a variety of jobs before joining the crew of a freighter as a seaman. Upon returning from voyages to South Africa and South America, he was hospitalized for six months to recuperate from tuberculosis. While he was recovering, he determined to write a play about his adventures on the sea.

He went to Harvard, where he wrote the one-act Board East for Cardiff. It was produced in 1916 on Cape Cod by the Provincetown Players, an experimental theater group that was later to settle in the famous Greenwich Village theater district in New York City.  The players produced several more of his one-acts in the years between 1916-1920. With the full-length play Beyond the Horizon,  produced on Broadway in 1920, O’Neill success was assured. The play won the Pulitzer Price for the best play of the year. O’Neill was to be awarded the prize again in 1922, 1928, and 1957 for Anna Christie, Strange Interlude, and Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Although he did not receive the Pulitzer Price for it, Mourning Becomes Electra, produced in 1931, is arguably his most lasting contribution to the American theater. In 1936, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

O’Neill plays, forty five in all, over a wide range of dramatic subjects, but several themes emerge, including the ambivalence of family relationship, the struggle between the sexes, the conflict between spiritual and material desires, and the vision of modern man as a victim fo uncontrollable circumstances. Most of O’Neill’s characters are seeking meaning in their lives. According to his biographers, most of characters were portraits of himself and his family. In a sense, his work chronicled his life.

What is a Sentence

In simple terms, a sentence is a set of words that contain:

  1. a subject (what the sentence is about, the topic of the sentence)
  2. a predicate (what is said about the subject)

Look at this simple example:

<—– sentence —–>

subject

predicate

verb

 

You

speak

English.

The above example sentence is very short. Of course, a sentence can be longer and more complicated, but basically there is always a subject and a predicate. Look at this longer example:

<—– sentence —–>

subject

predicate

verb

 

Ram and Tara

speak

English when they are working.

Note that the predicate always contains a verb. Sometimes, in fact, the predicate is only a verb:

<—– sentence —–>

subject

predicate

verb

 

Smoke

rises.

 

So we can say that a sentence must contain at least a subject and verb.

There is one apparent exception to this – the imperative. When someone gives a command (the imperative), they usually do not use a subject. They don’t say the subject because it is obvious – the subject is YOU! Look at these examples of the imperative, with and without a subject:

<—– sentence —–>

subject

predicate

verb

 

 

Stop!

 

 

Wait

a minute!

You

look!

 

Everybody

look!

 

Note that a sentence expresses a complete thought. Here are some examples of complete and incomplete thoughts:

 

complete thought?

He opened the door.

YES

Come in, please.

Do you like coffee?

people who work hard

NO

a fast-moving animal with big ears

Note also that a sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop* or a question mark or an exclamation mark. Look at these examples:

People need food.

How are you?

Look out!

http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/what-is-a-sentence.htm

What Is A Verb?

A verb is a word that expresses an action or a state of being.

As you can see from that definition, there are two main categories of verbs: action verbs and state of being verbs (also known as linking verb.

Because action verbs and linking verbs are strong enough to be used in sentences all by themselves, they are called main verbs.

love cheese. I turned the page. (action verbs)

am a teacher. I turned green. (linking verbs)

But wait! There is also a third category of verbs which doesn’t get any glory. They are the helping verbs.

The reason that these guys don’t get any of the fame that action and linking verbs get is because they don’t stand alone as main verbs.

Helping verbs are always helping either an action verb or a linking verb.

I will play the piano. (helping verb and action verb)

I will be a teacher. (helping verb and linking verb)


Let’s look at some examples of verbs!

Action verb with no helping verb

I ate five pizzas!

Helping verb helping an action verb

Now, my stomach will hurt for an hour.

Two helping verbs helping an action verb

Actually, my stomach will be hurting for a few days.


When you have a helping verb along with an action or linking verb, all of those verbs together are called a verb phrase.

Here are some examples of sentences with verb phrases.

Example: Now, I will eat fruits and veggies.

helping verb

will

main verb (action verb)

eat

verb phrase

will eat


Example: I have been feeling great!

helping verbs

have been

main verb (linking verb)

feeling

verb phrase

have been feeling


What is a verb? Got it all? Here’s a summary.

  • There are three categories of verbs (action, linking, helping).
  • Only two can be main verbs (action, linking). Main means that the verb is strong enough to be the only verb in the sentence.
  • Helping verbs are not main verbs. They help action and linking verbs.
  • A helping verb and a main verb working together are called a verb phrase.


The Four Verb Types

So, you now know the answer to the question, “What is a verb?” (It’s a word that expresses an action or a state of being!)

You also know that there are three categories of verbs (action verbs, linking verbs, and helping verbs).

For the next little while, we are going to focus on main verbs. So, forget about those poor little helping verbs for a bit, and let’s turn our attention to action verbs and linking verbs.

These two kinds of main verbs can act in four different ways.

Transitive Active

Action Verb

John kicked the ball.

Intransitive Complete

Action Verb

The ball rolled.

Transitive Passive

Action Verb

The ball was kicked.

Intransitive Linking

Linking Verb

John felt happy.

 

1. Intransitive Complete Verbs

These guys are action verbs, so we know that they show action.

This type of verb does not transfer its action to anyone or anything. These verbs make sense without having to transfer action anywhere.

Cats drink. Clocks tick. Buses move.

2. Transitive Active Verbs

These action verbs transfer their action to someone or something.

That means that something or someone is always being acted upon. In our example sentence, Jen is receiving the action kicked – even though she probably doesn’t want to be receiving it.

The receiver of the action in this kind of verb is called the direct object. In our example sentence, Jen is the direct object.

Every single transitive active sentence must have a direct object, and the direct object always receives the action.

Cats drink milk. Clocks make noise. I lost my ticket.


Milk is receiving the action of drink. It is what cats drink. It is the direct object.

Noise is receiving the action of make. It is what clocks make. It is the direct object.

Ticket is receiving the action of lost. It is what I lost. It is the direct object.

These verbs are written in the active voice.

3. Transitive Passive Verbs

These verbs also show action, and they also transfer their action to a receiver.

In transitive active verbs, the receiver was the direct object. In transitive passive verb, the receiver of the action is the subject!

John was kicked. The house was demolished.


Who is receiving the action in those sentences?

John received the action of kick and house received the action of demolished. John and house are the subjects of those sentences.

Notice that we may not actually know who initiated the action. (Who kicked John?) Sometimes we find this out in a prepositional phrase.

John was kicked by Jen. The house was demolished by the storm.


These verbs are written in the passive voice.

4. Intransitive Linking

Linking verbs differ from the three other verb types because they are the only verb type that does not express any action.

What do linking verbs do? It’s pretty simple. Linking verbs tell us about the state or condition of the subject.

They link the subject of a sentence with either a noun that renames the subject or an adjective that describes the subject.

Nouns that rename the subject are called predicate nouns. Adjectives that describe the subject are called predicate adjectives.

Milk tastes delicious. Clocks are helpful. I am the bus driver!


It may help you to think of linking verbs as an equal sign between the subject and a predicate noun or a predicate adjective.

I am a teacher.

I = teacher

The soup is salty.

soup = salty

Am is linking the subject I with the predicate noun teacher. Is is linking the subject soup with the predicate adjective salty.

http://www.english-grammar-revolution.com/what-is-a-verb.html

 what are ‘auxiliary verbs’?

‘There are lots of things to buy.’

Auxiliary verbs are also known as ‘helping verbs’.

The three most common auxiliary verbs are:

be, do and have

I am leaving = Leaving is the main verb. Am is the auxiliary.

She has arrived = Arrived is the main verb. Has is the auxiliary.

Do you smoke? = Smoke is the main verb. Do is the auxiliary.

Do / does / did

Do is common for forming questions and making negatives.

Did is used for do and does in the past tense. Do and does is never used for the past.

In statements

I do my homework.

You do the laundry.

We do the washing up.

They do yoga.

He/she does the cleaning.

In questions

Do I know you?

Do you live here?

Do we have time?

Do they come from Vietnam?

Does he/she drive to work?

In negative sentences

I do not. (I don’t)

You do not. (you don’t)

We do not. (we don’t)

They do not. (they don’t)

He/she does not. (he/she doesn’t)

Be = am / is / are

Be can be used as an auxiliary verb or the main verb in a sentence.

Is tells us that an action is happening now or is going to happen in the future.

Be is also used to make passives.

Are is used for they and we.

Was is used for the past tense of am and is.

Were is used for the past tense of you, we and they.

In statements

I am 21.

You are Indian.

We are waiting.

They are excited

He/she is cool.

In questions

Am I in the right place?

Are you my new boss?

Are we nearly there?

Are they the best players on the team?

Is he/she old enough to go to bars?

In negative sentences

I am not. (I aren’t)

You are not. (you aren’t)

We are not. (we aren’t)

They are not. (they aren’t)

He/she is not. (he/she isn’t)

Have = has / had

Have is used to make the present perfect tense (it is always followed by the past participle).

Has is used for the third person singular.

Had is used for past tenses especially the past perfect tense. It describes an action that began in the past and continues into the present or that occurred in the recent past.

In statements

I have a dog.

You have something on your shirt.

We have seen it before.

They have called me three times.

He/she has lived in America.

In negative sentences

I have not. (I haven’t/ I’ve not)

You have not. (you haven’t/you’ve not)

We have not. (we haven’t/we’ve not)

They have not. (they haven’t/they’ve not)

He/she has not (he/she hasn’t)

Others

Other common auxiliary verbs are:

can, could, may, might, must, ought, should, and would.

These are also known as modal verbs. We use them to show obligation, possibility and necessity.

For example:

Jack is late. He might be sleeping. (possibility)

I should clean my room today. (obligation)

I must wear a tie to school. (necessity)

Answering questions

Auxiliary verbs are useful in giving short answers to questions.

Basically, your answer can end with the auxiliary verb.

The following examples are natural and completely acceptable ways to answer questions:

Do you like reading?
Yes, I do (like reading)

Can you speak English?
Yes, I can (speak English)

Do you have a sister?
No, I don’t (have a sister)

‘have and has’ – more practice

  • I’m not coming tomorrow,___ I?

am
should
do
is

  • ___ you seen the Mona Lisa?

Has
Have
Do
Can

  • ___ your family celebrate Easter?

Do
Have
Has
Does

  • They ___ opened yet.

did
don’t
hasn’t
haven’t

  • ___ everyone ready?

Has
Does
Are
Is

  • The Russian tourists ___ in the museum.

had
is
been
were

  • Which floor ___ they live on?

is
do
does
are

  • I’m using your pen, ___ I?

isn’t
was
is
aren’t

  • She ___ already finished the project before he asked for it.

had
has
have
is

  • He ___ brought it yet

has
hasn’t
haven’t
had


http://www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish/what-are-auxiliary-verbs

Nouns

A noun is a word for a person, place, or thing. (You might like to think of nouns as naming words.)

Everything we can see or talk about is represented by a word which names it. That “naming word” is called a noun.

Sometimes a noun will be the name for something we can touch (e.g., lion, cake, computer), and sometimes a noun will be the name for something we cannot touch (e.g., bravery, mile, joy).

Everything is represented by a word that lets us talk about it. This includes people (e.g., man, scientist), animals (e.g., dog, lizard), places (e.g., town, street), objects (e.g., vase, pencil), substances (e.g., copper, glass), qualities (e.g., heroism, sorrow), actions (e.g., swimming, dancing), and measures (e.g., inch, ounce).

Here are some more examples:

  • soldier – Alan – cousin – Frenchman   (< names for people)

 

  • rat – zebra – lion – aardvark (< names for animals)

 

  • house – London – factory – shelter   (< names for places)

 

  • table – frame – printer – chisel (< names for objects)

 

  • lead – nitrogen – water – ice (< names for substances)

 

  • kindness – beauty – bravery – wealth – faith (< names for qualities)

 

  • rowing – cooking – barking – reading – listening (< names for actions)

 

  • month – inch – day – pound – ounce (< names for measures)

 


Read more at http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/nouns.htm#aLzWS70IYPzkUIij.99