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The third person denotes the person or object spoken of; as, "Milton was a poet." "Rome was an ocean of flame." "I am reading Tennyson's Poems."

The writer or speaker often speaks of himself, or the person he addresses, in the third person; as, "Mr. Johnson has the pleasure of informing Mr. Mason that he has been elected Honorary Member of the Oriental Society."

A noun in the predicate is of the third person, though the subject may be of the first or second.

Ex. — " You are the man wanted." "We are strangers." "/am he whom you saw."


Number is that property of a noun which distinguishes one from more than one.

There are two numbers: singular and plural.

The singular number denotes but one; as, apple, flower, boy, girl.

The plural number denotes more than one; as, apples, flowers, boys, girls.


1. Nouns whose last sound will unite with the sound represented by s, form their plurals by adding s only to the singular; as, book, books; boy, boys; desk, desks.

2. Nouns whose last sound will not unite with the sound represented by J, form their plurals by adding es to the singular; as, church, churches; box, boxes; witness, witnesses.

3. Nouns ending iay preceded by a consonant, change/ into i, and add es; as, glory, glories; mercy, mercies.

4. Most nouns ending in/change/ to v, and add es; those ending in/; change/to v, and add s; as, beef, beeves; wife, wives.

5. Most nouns ending in o preceded by a consonant, add es; as, cargo, cargoes. Nouns ending in o preceded by a vowel, add s; as, folio, folios.

6. Some nouns form their plurals irregularly; as, man, nun; ox, oxen; tooth, teeth; mouse, mice.

7. Letters, figures, marks, and signs add \r; as, Mind your/'j and q's; the 9's and n's; the 3^'s; the + 's; Those §'s and 3's.

8. In compound words, the part which is described by the rest is generally pluralized; as, brothers-in-law, courts-martial; vragori-loads, ox-carts.

9. Compound words from foreign languages form their plurals according to 1 and 2; as, Ute-a-Utes, piano-fortes, ipse-dixits, scirefaciases.

10. Some compound words have both parts made plural; as, manservant, men-servants; knight-templar, knights-templars; ignis-fatuus, ignes-fatui.

11. Compound terms composed of a proper noun and a title, may be pluralized by adding a plural termination to either the name or the title, but not to both; as, the Miss Browns, the Misses Brown; the Messrs. Thompson; "May there be Sir Isaac Newtons in every science!"

12. When the title is preceded by a numeral, the name is always pluralized; as, the three Miss Johnsons; the two Dr. Bensons; the two Mrs. Kendricks.

13. Some nouns have two plurals, but with a difference in meaning; as, brother, brothers (of the same family), brethren (of the same society); die, dies (stamps for coining), dice (for gaming); fish, fishes (individuals),_/?j^ (quantity, or the species); genius, geniuses (men of genius), genii (spirits); index, indexes (table of contents), indices (algebraic signs); penny, pennies (pieces of money), pence (how much in value); pea, peas (individuals), pease (in distinction from other vegetables).

14. Proper nouns, and words generally used as other parts of speech, are changed as little as possible, and usually add s only in forming their plurals; as, Mary, Marys; Sarah, Sarahs; Nero, JVeros; The novel is full of ohs, bys, whys, alsos, and nos.

15. Many nouns from foreign languages retain their original plurals,


changing us to i; um and on to a; is to es or zVtej; a Xoa or at a; and .r or ex to £« or ices; as, calculus, calculi; arcanum, arcana; criterion, criteria; thesis,theses; ephemeris,ephemerides; nebula, nebula; calix, calices; index, indices.


1. Abstract nouns and names of material substances have no plural forms; as, silver, vinegar, hemp, tar, frankness, darkness. When different kinds of the same substance are referred to, a plural form may be used; as, sugars, vinegars, wines, oils.

2. Some nouns have no singular forms; as, ashes, assets, bellows, billiards, compasses, clothes, drawers, lees, scissors, shears, tongs. News and molasses have the plural form, but are regarded as singular. Lungs, bowels, and a few others, have a singular form denoting a part of the whole; as, " The left lung."

3. Some nouns have no singular forms, but are singular or plural in meaning; as, alms, amends, corps, mumps, measles, nuptials, odds, riches, series, suds, tidings, wages, and some others.

4. Some nouns are alike in the two numbers; as, sheep, deer, vermin, couple, salmon, trout, dozen, gross, hose, yoke.


Case is the relation of a noun or a pronoun to other words. Nouns have four cases: nominative, possessive, objective, and absolute, or nominative absolute.

The term case is applied also to the form of a noun or a pronoun when used independently, or as a part of a sentence.


The nominative case is the use of a noun or a pronoun as the subject or the predicate of a proposition, or as an adjective element explanatory of the subject or predicate.

The sun is shining.
That man is a sailor.

In the first sentence, "sun" is in the nominative case, because it is used as the subject of the proposition; in the second, "sailor" is in the nominative case, because it is used as the predicate of the proposition.

Old Sol, the sun, was shining.

•' Sun" is in the nominative case, because it is an adjective element explaining "Old Sol," which is the subject.

The man who came was Ben the sailor.

"Sailor " is in the nominative case, because it is an adjective element explaining " Ben," which is the predicate.


The possessive case is the use of a noun or a pronoun to denote ownership, authorship, origin, or kind.

Ex. — Susan's book; Gray's Botany; the j««Vrays; beys' hats; men's clothing.

The possessive case singular is formed by annexing's to the nominative; as, John's, Clarence's.

The possessive case plural is formed by annexing the apostrophe only, when the nominative plural ends with s; as, boys'; the Ohio State Teachers' Association.

Plural nouns not ending with s, form their possessive case by annexing V; as, men's hats; children's shoes.

In compound names, the possessive sign is annexed to the last word; as, "Daniel Webster's speeches ": in complex names it is annexed to the last word; as, " The Bishop of Dublin's palace ": in a series of terms, and common possession, it is annexed to the last term; as, "Day and Martin's Blacking": in a series of terms, and separate possession, it is annexed to each term; as, " Webster's and Worcester's Dictionaries."


When a noun in the possessive case is limited by a noun used as an adjective element, and explaining it, or by a descriptive phrase, the possessive sign is annexed to the noun immediately preceding the object possessed, though not always to the name of the possessor; as, "Her Majesty, Queen Victories government"; "The captain of the Fulton's wife died yesterday." Here "captain" is in the possessive case, and " Fulton" in the objective, governed by the preposition "of."

In compound words, the sign of possession is placed at the end; as, "The knight-templar's costume "; "My brother-in-law's residence."

"For conscience' sake," " For goodness' sake," etc., are exceptions to the general rule for forming the possessive case singular. The rule is violated in order to avoid harshness of sound.


The objective case is the use of a noun or a pronoun as the object of a verb expressing action, or of its participles, or of a preposition.

John studies grammar.
The book is on the table.

In the first sentence, " grammar" is the object of the verb " studies"; in the second, "table " is the object of the preposition " on."

A noun or a pronoun used to complete the meaning of a verb expressing action is called a direct object; as, " I bought a book.'' When added to a verb to denote that to or for which anything is or is done, or that from which anything proceeds, it is called an indirect object; as, "I bought him a book." In this sentence," book " is the direct and " him" the indirect object of " bought." When an indirect object precedes the direct, the preposition is generally omitted; as, " I gave him an apple "; "I gave an apple to him."


The absolute or nominative absolute case is the use of a noun independent of any governing word.

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