NOUN

NOUN

 

The word noun means name. Nouns are names of persons, places, things, idea, quality, or state. The noun is a naming word.

A noun is a word that identifies:

  • a person (woman, boy, doctor, neighbour)
  • a thing (dog, building, tree, country)
  • an idea, quality, or state (truth, danger, birth, happiness).

There are several different types of noun, as follows:

Common noun

A common noun is a noun that refers to people or things in general.

E.g. boy, country, bridge, city, birth, day, happiness.

Proper noun

A proper noun is a name that identifies a particular person, place, or thing.

E.g. Steven, Africa, London, Monday.

Note: In written English, proper nouns begin with capital letters.

Concrete noun

A concrete noun is a noun that refers to people and to things that exist physically and can be seen, touched, smelled, heard, or tasted.

Eg: dog, building, coffee, tree, rain, beach, tune.

Abstract noun

An abstract noun is a noun that refers to ideas, qualities, and conditions – things that cannot be seen or touched and things that have no physical reality.

E.g. truth, danger, happiness, time, friendship, humor.

Collective nouns

Collective nouns refer to groups of people or things.

E.g. audience, family, government, team, jury.

In American English, most collective nouns are treated as singular, with a singular verb.

The whole family was at the table.

In British English, the preceding sentence would be correct, but it would also be correct to treat the collective noun as a plural, with a plural verb.

The whole family were at the table.

 For more information about this, see matching verbs to collective nouns.

NOTE:

A noun may belong to more than one category. For example, happiness is both a common noun and an abstract noun, while Mount Everest is both a concrete noun and a proper noun.

Count and Uncountable nouns

Nouns can be either countable or uncountable.

Countable nouns (or count nouns) are those that refer to something that can be counted.

Uncountable nouns (or mass nouns) do not typically refer to things that can be counted and so they do not regularly have a plural form.

Compound Nouns

2 or more words that create a noun.

Examples: rainfall, son-in-law, credit card, boyfriend

Noun Gender

In general, there is no distinction between masculine, feminine in English nouns. However, gender is sometimes shown by different forms or different words when referring to people or animals.

EXAMPLES

Masculine

Feminine

Gender-neutral

man

woman

person

father

mother

parent

boy

girl

child

uncle

aunt

 

husband

wife

spouse

actor

actress

 

prince

princess

 

waiter

waitress

server

rooster

hen

chicken

stallion

mare

horse

Nouns Singular and Plural

Most singular nouns form the plural by adding -s. But there are exceptions, look at the table, and study it to see all exceptions.

Note:

A singular noun ending in s, x, z, ch, sh makes the plural by adding-es.

Singular Plural

bus → buses

wish → wishes

pitch → pitches

box → boxes

A singular noun ending in a consonant and then y makes the plural by dropping the y and adding-ies.

Singular Plural

penny → pennies

spy → spies

baby → babies

city → cities

daisy → daisies

No Change:

Singular Plural

sheep → sheep

fish → fish

deer → deer

species → species

aircraft → aircraft

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