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Common and Proper Nouns

††††††† Exercise 1

Directions: On your paper, label the following nouns as Common or Proper.For each common noun, write a proper noun that serves as an example of it.For each proper noun, write a common noun that names its category.



1.          ship

2.          Caribbean Sea

3.          Christopher Columbus

4.          Santa Maria

5.          Indian Ocean

6.          gulf

7.          Long Island Sound

8.          ocean

9.          island

10.     bay

11.     sea

12.     Suez Canal

13.     pirate

14.     Jaws

15.     seaport

16.     Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

17.     explorer

18.     canal

19.     Sea World

20.     beach



Compound and Collective Nouns

†††††† Exercise 2

Directions: On your paper, set up a table with two columns, one for compound nouns and one forcollective nouns. Find the compound and collective nouns in each sentence and place in the appropriate column.


1.              Has your class read I your textbooks about one of the most famous sea battles in history?

2.              King Philip II of Spain organized an armada in the 1570s.

3.              At that time, the majority of people ruled by Queen Elizabeth I of England were Protestants, while most Spaniards were Catholics.

4.              The battleships of Englandís fleet had brought home wealth from North America.

5.              Sir Francis Drake of England robbed Spanish ships and towns during daytime and nighttime raids.

6.              Spainís commander-in-chief, King Philip, ordered a group of new vessels to fight the English.

7.              He hoped that this assembly of powerful ships would enable Spain to conquer the British Isles.

8.              In 1588, Spainís navy set out to fight the crew of any English man-of-war that they might encounter.

9.              The Spanish king believed that his ships could withstand tany problems at sea, including shipwrecks of large sea swells.

10.         The battle cry of the smaller English navy was strong enough to shake the self-assurance of the Spanish.

11.         By August 2, 1588, the English had successfully won a cluster of small battles against the mighty Spanish.

12.         At the Strait of Dover, the English sent a group of burning ships toward a gathering of Spanish vessels.

13.         Unprepared, the Spanish were attacked by battalions of English near the coastline of England.

14.         Luckily, changing air currents saved the losing flotilla and allowed the ships to drift into the North Sea.

15.         Although the Spanish prided themselves on the seaworthiness of their vessels, the English ships were more maneuverable.

16.         With its ships swept out of English waterways, the government of Spain recognized the sea power of the English.

17.         The brave seafarers of Spain sadly met disappointed Spanish crowds as the mass of limping ships approached the dockyards.

18.         A commission might have concluded that the size of the Spanish ships as well as unfortunate weather helped turn the battle around.

Concrete and Abstract Nouns

††† Exercise 3

††† Directions: On your paper, make a chart with two columns, one for concrete, and one for abstract.Place the nouns in the following sentences in the appropriate column.


1.          Salt water and grass create the wonder of salt marshes.

2.          One fear is that some activities might destroy these environments.

3.          The truth is that these places are home to a host of wildlife.

4.          Unfortunately, pollution kills oysters and other shellfish.

5.          One concern of conservationists is that roads and houses are often built on these valuable lands.

6.          The destruction of commercial fishing industries would fill most citizens with horror.

7.          A simple grass, Spartina alterniflora, captures the special quality of life in these mysterious areas.

8.          Young biologists feel astonishment when they learn that this primitive plant becomes food for animals, both directly and indirectly.

9.          Students often react with surprise to the idea that decayed vegetation keeps many fish alive.

10.     Other creatures then feed on these vegetarians for their survival.

11.     Discipline allows scientists to study the harmful effect of human beings on their natural surroundings.

12.     That some species can survive in a marsh seems like a miracle t some individuals.

13.     A mixture of high tides and rain demands strength and adaptability of all living things at a marshy site.

14.     Insects depend on the height of the grasses to survive floods.

15.     Decayed material washes out to sea and serves as nourishment for dwellers of the deep.

16.     One of the glories of modern science is the fact that natural environments may often be imitated in the laboratory.

17.     Some researchers have shown their inventiveness and brilliance in these settings, where they grown shellfish.

18.     One hope is that, in the future, the beauty of salt marshes will be preserved rather than destroyed by human activities.


Identifying Nouns

††††††††† Exercise 4

††††††††† Directions: On your paper, list all the nouns in the following sentences.Label the nouns as common or proper, compound or collective, and concrete or abstract.Some nouns may or may not be all three.


1.            The Odyssey by Homer is about a long voyage at sea.

2.            Ulysses and his crew sailed from the city of Troy.

3.            Homer may have been a wandering seafarer, like the main character of his poem.

4.            This voyage occurred mostly on the Mediterranean Sea and a group of islands found within those waters.

5.            the tiny island of Grabousa, near Crete, is probably the site of the sailorsí fictional meeting with Aeolus.

6.            This mythical keeper of the winds gave the squadron of twelve ships a bag made of leather.

7.            This object was a treasure chest of air to help the fleet sail home.

8.            The rocks at this location look as if they were made by stonemasons, according to the members of the 1984 team of explorers.

9.            A windfall for the company was the discovery of the ancient name for Grabousa, which was Korykos, meaning bag mad of leather.

10.       This discovery may have givent he assembly of modern explorers a feeling of confidence about other guesses concerning the Odyssey.

11.       At one point Ulysses and his men find themselves in a deathtrap of a harbor, walled in by rocky cliffs.

12.       It was possible for hostile observers to attack by throwing spears and by dropping rocks form the clifftops.

13.       A sorceress named Circe was said to have turned members of th gang of seafarers into pigs on her island.

14.       The god Mercury, known as Hermes by the ancient Greeks, helped Ulysses free his people from the spell of Circe with a combination of magical herbs and advice.

15.       With the help of Circe, Ulysses and his band of mariners were protected in the Strait of Messina, where the enchantments of Scylla and Charybdis usually destroyed passers-by.