In Grammar By Alexandra

How to avoid a repetition of — ways to replace a noun in the English language

Variety is the spice of life — in a variety of taste and intensity of life. If we are constantly engaged in the same thing, we get bored. It would be interesting to us to read the book, if multiple pages in a row we have met the same words in a sentence in the proposal? No, we would have postponed the book and did not want to finish it. The same applies in speech. The same words are bored, so we are constantly striving to learn a new design, a new variant of the use of known phrases to make «sharpness» in our speech.

If it is in a sentence is one and the same object, it will not be very nice to repeat the same word many times. We can not just delete the words as in the Russian language in order to avoid a repetition of the same words. In English, we need to replace them.

Replacing nouns with the answers to questions

Noun with the indefinite article

Let’s look at an example:

— You bought a car?
— Yes, I bought (it).
Have you bought a car?
Yes, I have bought one.

The proposal we are talking about the car. But we are not interested in the car, we are interested in the fact of purchase. In Russian, we just omit the word. And in English, if the noun is used with the indefinite article as well, we need to replace it with the word one:

— Do you now on the scarf?
— No, it is not me.
Are you wearing a scarf?
— No, I’m not wearing one.
— She has a dog?
— Yes, she had it.
Does she have a dog?
Yes, she has one.

A noun with the definite article

If we are talking about a particular subject, we need to be any article the demonstrative pronouns this (that this is) and that (he, she, it). In this case, we need to replace a particular noun to the pronoun it:

— Do you enjoy the ride?
— Yes, I get pleasure from it.
Are you enjoying the trip?
Yes, we are enjoying it.
— Did you like this movie?
— Yes, I liked him.
Did you like this movie?
Yes, I liked it.

That is, when we talk about the subject in the singular, we need to pay attention to the article in order to properly replace the word to any one it.

The noun in the plural

If a plural noun, we will follow the same rules, that is, we pay attention to the absence of a (since the article and we can not be used for plural nouns) or the presence of the definite article the and demonstrative pronouns these (these) those (the ones). Thus, the plural form of the noun without the article, we can be replaced by ones, and the noun in the plural form with definite article on they:

— Do you skip class?
— No, I do not miss.
Do you skip classes?
— No, I do not skip ones.
— Do you fancy pants?
— No, I do not like.
Do you like the pants?
— No, I do not like them.
— She brought the books?
— Yes, she brought them.
Has she brought those books?
Yes, she has brought them.

Note the response form them, and not they. After all, «I brought (who? What?) Them», not «brought (who? What?) They are.»

The noun with an adjective

If we are describing an object, and stands before a noun the adjective, in this case the replacement we pay attention not to the article, and a number. Replace noun we only word one (for the singular) and ones (for plural). Let’s look at the following examples:

— He drives a new car?
— Yes, in the new.
Is he driving a new car?
— Yes, he is driving a new one.
— She lives in (that) the big house?
— No, she lives in (that) small.
— Does she live in the big house?
— No, she lives in the small one.
— Yesterday he bought sweet apples?
— Yeah, sweet.
Did he buy sweet apples yesterday?
Yes, he bought sweet ones.
— She was wearing dirty pants?
— No, she put on clean pants.
— Has she put on the dirty pants?
— No, she’s put on the clean ones.

We see that the presence of the article does not affect the replacement, we leave the article unchanged, changing only the word on the one / ones.

Replacing nouns in declarative sentences

Of course, the replacement of the noun can be not only in response to the question, as well as in declarative sentences, when it will go on the same subject / location. For example:

  1. I have three dresses: a black dress, a red dress and a white dress. — I have three dresses: black dress, red dress and white dress.

    In this proposal, we repeat the words of the dress four times. Since we have an adjective, the word is singular, we leave the article as well, and each dress to change one.

    I have three dresses: a black one, a red one and a white one. — I have three dresses: black, red and white.

  2. She has two flats: the big flat and the small flat. — It has two apartments: a large apartment and a small apartment.

    Since it is two apartments, we use the definite article, we are talking about specific apartments. However, the word flat in the singular, so replacement is the same as in the preceding sentence.

    She has two flats: the big one and the small one. — It has two apartments: large and small.

  3. I do not know which pants to buy: the grey pants or the striped pants. — I do not know what to buy pants: pants or gray striped pants.

    The word «pants» is just the plural, so adding the plural to the word one when replacing.

    I do not know which pants to buy: the grey ones or the striped ones. — I do not know what to buy pants: gray or striped.

If the proposal involves two items, we can replace these nouns to the former (the first two), and the latter (the last two). How correctly to do this? Very simply, the first word is replaced by the former. We can spend the first association with the word (the first), which begins in the English language as the letter f. The second floor of the two, we replace on the latter. If it would be a three or four examples, the use of the latter will be incorrect.

I visited New York and Boston last summer. The former impressed me more. — I visited New York and Boston last summer. The first impressed me more.

She watched «The wolf of Wall street» and «12 years a slave». By the way, the latter got an Oscar. — She looked «The Wolf of Wall Street» and «12 years of slavery.» The latter, incidentally, won an Oscar.

Summary table of options to replace nouns

The following label on the example of a word, you can see all the possible options for the replacement of nouns according to the article, their number and presence in front of them features:

Singular Form Example Plural Form Example
A phone One Phones Ones
The / this / that phone It The / these / those phones Them
A new phone A new one New phones New ones
The / this / that new phone The new one The / these / those new phones The new ones

To verify that you have learned the material, answer the following questions, replacing the noun. Note the presence of the article (if the word without an adjective) or a number (if we see the response to the subject):



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