Animate and inanimate nouns (1)

Take a look at the following sentence:

The postcard saw the mailman.

 What’s strange about this sentence? What’s strange is that we don’t expect a postcard, which is not alive, to be able to see something; only things that are alive have the ability to see. Nouns that refer to things that are alive are called animate, while nouns that refer to things that are not alive are called inanimate. Postcard is an inanimate noun and using it as an animate one makes for a very unusual sentence.

 Tip: Animate nouns refer to things that are alive; inanimate nouns refer to things that are not alive.

[Glossary: Postcard = kartu pos; Mailman = tukang pos; Strange = aneh; Expect = mengharapkan;  Alive = hidup; Able = dapat;  Ability = kemampuan; Animate = bernyawa/hidup;  Inanimate = mati/tidak bernyawa; Unusual = tidak biasa ]

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Exercise 4.1

Decide if each noun is animate or inanimate.

Sample: apple –> inanimate

1. word

2. lizard

3. glasses

4. calendar

5. baby

6. criminal

7. furniture

8. doctor

9. mouse

10. truck

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