Saturday, October 13, 2007

Teaching Nouns to ESL Students

Ask almost any native-born American what a noun is and they will answer, "It's a person, place or thing." We are (almost) all taught this starting in grammar school. It's not until we are young adults and in college that we are taught that a noun is a "person, place, thing, idea or concept," for example, love or beauty.

I heard one adult speaker giving a lecture the other day and she said that a "noun" is something that you essentially can see or feel, that is, it's a tangible object. She said that the other things that we call nouns, like "love" are actually verbs that we are using as nouns. I found that somewhat interesting, but I still think intangibles, like ideas and concepts are nouns in their own right.


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