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Nouns

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A noun is typically introduced by determiners, and may be followed by adjectives and prepositional phrases, producing a noun phrase. Typical nouns denote physical objects such as people, places, and things, but nouns can also denote more abstract concepts that are grammatically similar.

PluralEdit

Adding -s to a noun makes it plural. If the singular noun ends in a consonant, -es is added instead. The plural ending does not affect the word's stress:

  • gato, gatos – cat, cats
  • om, omes – man, men

Adjectives modifying a noun do not change when the noun is plural. But when an adjective is used as a noun, it can be pluralized:

  • la bones, la males, e la feas – the good, the bad, and the ugly
  • multe belas – many beauties

Some nouns that are plural in English are singular in LFN:

  • El regarda un sisor con un binoculo. – He's looking at a pair of scissors through [a pair of] binoculars.
  • On usa un bretela per suporta se pantalon. – You use suspenders to hold up your pants (US); you use braces to hold up your trousers (Br).
  • Me ia compra esta oculo de sol en Nederland. – I bought these sunglasses in the Netherlands.

Countable and uncountable nounsEdit

Like many languages, LFN distinguishes countable and uncountable nouns. A countable noun (or "count noun") can be modified by a number, and can accept the plural -s. Typical countable nouns represent objects that are clearly individual entities, such as houses, cats, and thoughts. For example:

  • un auto; la autos; cuatro autos – a car; the cars; four cars
  • un gato; multe gatos; un milion gatos – a cat; many cats; a million cats

By contrast, uncountable nouns (sometimes called "mass nouns") do not normally accept the plural -s. Uncountable nouns typically denote masses that have no clear individuality, such as liquids (water, juice), powders (sugar, sand), substances (metal, wood), or abstract qualities (elegance, slowness). When they are modified by a number or other quantity word, a unit of measure is often added for clarity. For example:

  • la acua; alga acua; tre tases de acua – the water; some water; three cups of water
  • lenio; multe lenio; du pesos de lenio – wood; a lot of wood; two pieces of wood

However, uncountable nouns can be used in a countable manner. They then denote particular examples or instances:

  • Du cafes, per favore. – Two coffees, please.
  • Me ia proba multe cesos. – I've tasted many cheeses.
  • On no pote compara la belias de Paris e Venezia. – You can't compare the beauties of Paris and Venice.

GenderEdit

Nouns do not normally indicate their gender. To distinguish the sexes, the adjectives mas and fema are used:

  • un cavalo mas – a male horse, a stallion
  • un cavalo fema – a female horse, a mare

But there are a few words for family relations that mark females with -a and males with -o:

  • ava, avo – grandmother, grandfather
  • fia, fio – daughter, son
  • neta, neto – granddaughter, grandson
  • sobrina, sobrino – niece, nephew
  • sposa, sposo – wife, husband
  • tia, tio – aunt, uncle
  • xica, xico – girl, boy

There are also a few pairs that use different words for the two sexes:

  • dama, cavalor – dame, knight
  • diva, dio – goddess, god
  • fem, om – woman, man
  • madre, padre – mother, father
  • rea, re – queen, king
  • seniora, senior – lady, Mrs; gentleman, Mr
  • sore, frate – sister, brother

The rare suffix -esa forms the female variants of a few historical social roles:

  • abade, abadesa – abbot, abbess
  • baron, baronesa – baron, baroness
  • conte, contesa – count, countess
  • duxe, duxesa – duke, duchess
  • imperor, imperoresa – emperor, empress
  • marci, marcesa – marquess, marchioness
  • prinse, prinsesa – prince, princess
  • tsar, tsaresa – czar, czarina

Noun phrases Edit

A noun phrase consists of a noun and its modifiers: determiners, which precede the noun, and adjectives and prepositional phrases, which follow it.

The two most important noun phrases in a sentence are the subject and the object. The subject precedes the verb, and the object follows the verb. Other noun phrases are normally introduced by prepositions to clarify their function.

A noun phrase must normally contain a determiner – perhaps just the plural marker -s. But this rule does not apply to proper nouns, to the names of weekdays, months, and languages, and to uncountable nouns:

  • Desembre es calda en Australia. – December is warm in Australia.
  • Nederlandes es me lingua orijinal. – Dutch is my original language.
  • Me gusta pan. – I like bread.

The rule is also often relaxed when the noun phrase follows a preposition, particularly in fixed expressions:

  • El es la comandor de polisia. – He is the chief of police.
  • Me no gusta come bur de aracide. – I don't like eating peanut butter.
  • Nos vade a scola. – We are going to school.
  • Acel es un problem sin solve en matematica. – That is an unsolved problem in mathematics.
  • Un virgula pare nesesada per claria. – A comma seems necessary for clarity.

An adjective or determiner can be modified by a preceding adverb. Because adverbs look like adjectives, multiple adjectives are normally separated by commas or e. In speech, intonation makes the difference clear:

  • Sola un poma multe putrida ia resta. – Only a very rotten apple remained.
  • Me ia encontra un fem bela intelijente. – I met a beautifully intelligent woman.
  • Me ia encontra un fem bela, joven, e intelijente. – I met a beautiful, young, and intelligent woman.

Sometimes a noun is just a token for any member of its class. In such cases, it makes little difference whether la or un is used, or whether the noun is plural or singular:

  • La arpa es un strumento musical. – The harp is a musical instrument.
  • Un arpa es un strumento musical. – A harp is a musical instrument.
  • Arpos es strumentos musical. – Harps are musical instruments.

A pronoun is a special case of a noun phrase. Pronouns cannot normally be modified.

AppositionEdit

Two noun phrases are said to be in apposition when one directly follows the other and both refer to the same entity. In most cases, the second phrase identifies the entity:

  • la rio Amazon – the Amazon River
  • la mar Pasifica – the Pacific Ocean
  • la isola Skye – the Isle of Skye
  • la Universia Harvard – Harvard University
  • la Funda Ford – the Ford Foundation
  • re George 5 – King George V
  • san Jacobo major – St. James the Elder
  • Piotr la grande – Peter the Great
  • me ami Simon – my friend Simon
  • la parola "inverno" – the word "inverno"
  • la libro La prinse peti – the book The Little Prince
  • un arbor eucalipto – a eucalyptus tree

Acronyms and single letters can directly follow a noun to modify it:

  • La disionario es ance disponable como un fix PDF. – The dictionary is also available as a PDF file.
  • El ia porta un camisa T blu de escota V. – She was wearing a blue V-necked T-shirt.

Occasionally, two nouns apply equally to an object or person. In these cases, the nouns are joined by a hyphen:

  • un produor-diretor – a producer-director
  • un primador-scanador – a printer-scanner

In all cases, the plural -s or -es is applied to both nouns:

  • la statos membros – the member states
  • produores-diretores – producer-directors

A special case involves the verb nomi (name):

  • Nos ia nomi el Orion. – We named him Orion.
  • Me nomi esta forma un obelisce. — I call this shape an obelisk.
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