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Nouns are used
in many ways.

Nouns Are Used In Many Ways

Hot air balloon

Noun Use
The following describes some of their most common uses.

Subject Of A Sentence
This is the person, idea, or thing that is being talked about. It usually comes at or near the beginning of the sentence.


  • The computers are down.
  • All employees need to turn in their vacation requests

Subject Compliment
This noun follows the verb to describe the subject of the sentence.

  • Susanna's son is an engineer. (Susanna's son and the engineer are the same person.)
  • Carol became a department manager. (Carol and the manager are the same person.)

Direct Object
This noun receives the action of the verb and follows the verb.

  • Mary knocked the folders off her desk. (The folders were knocked off.)
  • The Human Resources department employs payroll staff. (The payroll staff is employed)

Indirect Object
This noun tells who or what received something. This noun may come before or after the direct object. When it comes after the direct object it is used with the word to.

  • Doris gave the producer the script. Or Doris gave the script to her producer.
  • Pete sent accounting the invoices. Or Peter sent the invoices to accounting.

Object of a Preposition
This noun follows a preposition.

  • The memo is on your desk. (On is the preposition and desk is the noun.)
  • After the meeting, I expect a full report. (After is the preposition and meeting is the noun.)

This noun is not essential to the meaning of the sentence, but adds further understanding of another noun. It immediately follows, between commas, the noun it is describing.

  • Michelangelo, a great sculptor, was also a gifted painter.
  • I gave the analysis to Maria, my supervisor.

Direct Address
This noun is used when you address someone or something directly.

  • Hey, Jose, come and look at this!
  • Can you please help me, Alicia?
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Unit I - Page 4 of 36
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