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English Grammar

English Grammar Notes: “Noun+To Be+Noun”

Nouns are words that name things. Some common nouns include those used for animals, countries, food, languages, cities and countries.

When we are explaining things, we use Noun + To Be + Noun:

  • English is a language. (Noun + To Be + Noun)
  • A chicken is a bird. (Noun + To Be + Noun)

 

Singular Noun + IS + Singular Noun

We use IS between the two singular nouns.

  • Champagne is a drink.
  • Paris is a city.
  • France is a country.
  • French is a language.
  • Europe is a continent.

Note that we normally use an article (A / AN) before a singular noun.

 

Articles + Nouns

‘A’ or ‘AN’ are articles. In English we normally use articles before singular nouns.

A is used before a word that begins with a consonant.
AN is used before a word that begins with a vowel.

Vowels: A, E, I, O, U.
Consonants: B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Y, Z.

For example:

  • Chile is a country. (A before consonant)
  • Santiago is a city. (A before consonant)
  • An apple is a fruit (A before consonant)
  • A dog is an animal. (AN before vowel)
  • A mosquito is an insect. (AN before vowel)
  • Qantas is an airline. (AN before vowel)

 

Plural Noun + Are + Plural Noun

Singular Noun + IS + Singular Noun
Plural Noun + ARE + Plural Noun

Note that we do not use an article (A / AN) with a plural noun.

For example:

  • A dog is an animal. (singular)
  • Dogs are animals. (plural)
  • Spanish is a language. (singular)
  • Spanish and Italian are languages. (plural)
  • Cities are places. (plural)
  • Countries are states. (plural)
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