In keeping with most other English language
rules, rule #1 from last week: “A singular noun must always
have an article,” also has exceptions. The following four
sentences demonstrate some of these exceptions.
1. Jack has one house in Canada and
two houses in Europe.
2. His house in Canada is very big.
3. Many people are amazed by the size of Jack’s
4. My daughter has watched this movie five times.
To accommodate these exceptions, let’s
revise Rule #1 to:
Rule #1 (revised): Singular count nouns
must be preceded by articles, quantifiers, possessive forms,
usually numbers. In the case of a singular count noun, the
only number that can work is “one”. With plural count nouns,
you can use any number greater than one. For example: “Jack
has three houses and ten million dollars.”
can be of two types: possessive pronouns and nouns with
We can use the following possessive pronouns
with singular count nouns: my, your, his, her, its, their,
talked to your brother about his story of her
pet dog. Its title was: “How a Dog Saved My Life.”
Their opinion is that a dog can be our best friend.
Be careful not to use these possessive
pronouns: mine, ours, yours, hers, and theirs.
These pronouns are never attached to another noun. Compare the
two examples that follow: 1. This book is mine 2. This
is my book.
Nouns with possessive apostrophes
can be formed by using either a common noun or a proper noun
as can be seen in this example: My sister’s dog is the
hero of Jack’s story.
are limited to this and that with singular count
nouns. For example: This story reminds me of a story I
read about many years ago. The dog in that story was a
collie named Lassie.
Try a Practice Quiz on Articles
Visit Last Week's Feature:
Using Articles in Grammar: Part 1