Noun - What is a Noun?

Noun is a word used as the name of a person place or thing OR it is a naming word.

For example, Arnold, Sybil, student, teacher, cow, dog, California, city, pen, book. chair etc

Note: The word thing used in the definition includes:

a. All objects that we can see, hear, taste, touch or smell
b. Something we can think of, but cannot perceive by the senses.

Nouns are divided into two categories:

a. Countable Nouns. These are the names of things that can be counted.

For example: buy, teacher, door, pen, table, dog, horse

b. Uncountable Nouns. Names of things, substances, metals, materials or abstract ideas which are not counted.

For example: wood, milk. sugar, rice, gold, silver, honesty, beauty, death, strength, pain, truth, sickness etc.

Types of Nouns:

Nouns are of six types:

1. Proper Noun
2. Common Noun
3. Collective Noun
4. Material Noun
5. Abstract Noun
6. Compound Noun

1. Proper Noun

Proper noun is the name of a particular person, place or thing which is given to that person or place individually. If the proper noun is name of a person or place then the first word will always be capital. See the examples below:

Arnold, Sybil, Phillips, Suez, California, Los Angeles, Australia etc

  • Arnold is the governor of California.
  • I have booked a seat for Los Angeles.
  • Sara is going to visit Australia in March.

  • 2. Common Noun

    Common noun is a name that refers commonly to a large number of persons, places or things of similar kind. It means all members of the same class share the same name. See some examples below:

    boy, girl, woman, father, chair, animal, bird city, village etc.

    * Most of the common nouns have plurals:

    city - cities, village - villages, boy - boys, bird - birds

    * Some common nouns do not have plurals:

    sheep - sheep, deer - deer

    * Some common nouns have one meaning in the singular form and another meaning in their plural form:

    fish - fishes, today we caught the best fishes in the sea.

    Video About Nouns

    3. Collective Noun

    Collective noun is a word used as the name of a collection of persons or things taken together and referred to as one whole.

    For example class army, crowd, team, crew, staff etc.

    * A collective noun is generally used as a common noun.

  • The police are busy with the Independence Day celebrations.
  • The furniture they have bought is of Victorian style.

  • However, 'police' and ;furniture' are collective nouns, are the same in the plural form.

    * Some collective nouns are used in the singular and plural with changed meaning.

  • The committee has eleven members in total. (the committee as a single unit)
  • The committee were in disagreement about the matter. (the members of the committee)
  • Our family is always happy. (the family as a unit)
  • The family are planning to build houses in different parts of the city. (the members of the family)

  • Material Noun

    Material noun is the name of materials, metals and substances used in making other things.

    For example: wood iron, plastic, gold, silver, cotton etc

    Meat, water, mil etc. from which foods are made are also material nouns.

    * Silver, gold and platinum do not have plurals or they do not take the indefinite article. These are uncountable nouns.

    Abstract Noun

    Abstract noun is the name given to feelings, ideas, actions, arts, sciences. diseases, qualities and characteristics etc. which have no material being.

    For example: love, honesty, kindness, anger, heat, wisdom, purity, pain, knowledge, bravery etc.

    * Remember

    1. Truth, honesty, wisdom and knowledge etc. do not have plurals or they do not take the indefinite article when they are used as (abstract) qualities.

    2. Most abstract nouns like 'goodness' and 'shame' do not have plurals. Nouns like 'joy', 'sorrow', 'decency', 'promise' and 'wonder' can have plurals when used as facts.

    3. Fact is countable when it means 'a thing that is true or situation that exists or a piece of information'. It is uncountable abstract noun when it means 'what is true'. See the example below:

    Most of their report is fact (uncountable)
    Is it a fact? (countable) that she is still unmarried.


    Compound Nouns

    Compound nouns are two or more words that are used as a name of one person, place or thing.

    For example:

    class-fellow, room-mate, class room, lady doctor, grand father, passer-by, school teacher, brother-in-law, commander-in-chief

    Singular & Plural Nouns

    Noun Number: There are two numbers in English grammar, singular and the plural. The singular number denotes one person or thing and the plural number denotes more than one person or thing.

    For Example:

  • Book - Books
  • Boy - Boys
  • Girl - Girls
  • Monkey - Monkeys
  • Tomato - Tomatoes
  • Potato - Potatoes

  • List of Nouns

    Quotes About Noun

    To some people, power is a noun. To others, it's a verb. Andre Carson

    Suffrage, noun. Expression of opinion by means of a ballot. The right of suffrage (which is held to be both a privilege and a duty) means, as commonly interpreted, the right to vote for the man of another man's choice, and is highly prized. Ambrose Bierce

    But love is really more of an interactive process. It's about what we do not just what we feel. It's a verb, not a noun. bell hooks

    I wanted to write rather than do anything else. But 'cause I left school at 15, I didn't know what a noun was, still don't. Nick Frost

    A novel is utterly your own creation, a very private process. I think of a novel as a noun and a screenplay as a verb. In a novel, very little needs to happen; you can explore a person's memories and thoughts and fantasies. In a screenplay, it's all action; you must push the story on. Deborah Moggach

    One of the glories of English simplicity is the possibility of using the same word as noun and verb. Edward Sapir

    'State' can be a word that is a noun or a verb or an adverb - it's kind of why I chose that title. It's not to confound the audience but to keep me from painting myself into a cul-de-sac in the early stages of making a record by having too high concept or having some really strict set of rules I have to adhere to. Todd Rundgren

    Marriage is not a noun; it's a verb. It isn't something you get. It's something you do. It's the way you love your partner every day. Barbara de Angelis

    I believe in the verb, not the noun - I am not a writer, but someone compelled to write. Richard Flanagan

    Leisure is not synonymous with time. Nor is it a noun. Leisure is a verb. I leisure. You leisure. Mortimer Adler

    We talk about cancer as a noun, as if it's a one time event: 'I've got cancer.' David Agus

    Any adjective you put before the noun 'writer' is going to be limiting in some way. Whether it's feminist writer, Jewish writer, Russian writer, or whatever. Alice McDermott

    The noun phrase straw man, now used as a compound adjective as in 'straw-man device, technique or issue,' was popularized in American culture by 'The Wizard of Oz.' William Safire

    Theater is a verb before it is a noun, an act before it is a place. Martha Graham

    The word 'universe' is obviously not intended to have a plural, but science has evolved in such a way that we need a plural noun for something similar to what we ordinarily call our universe. Leonard Susskind

    There are many, many nouns for the act of looking - a glance, a glimpse, a peep - but there's no noun for the act of listening. In general, we don't think primarily about sound. So I have a different perspective on the world; I can construct soundscapes that have an effect on people, but they don't know why. It's a sort of subterfuge. Walter Murch

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