What is a noun?
Noun Definition | Meaning
A noun is a naming word. It can be the name of a thing, place, person, animal or feeling.
Examples of Noun
It could be a name of any person, for example: John, Fatima, Singh, Michael, Tom and so on.
It could be a name of any place, for example: America, China, Church, Taj Mahal, Paris and so on.
Naming things are like Car, Hat, Bottle, Table, Chair, Ball and so on.
Dog, Rabbit, Elephant, Chicken, Horse.
Joy, Fear, Beauty, Strength, Anger.
- I live in Australia.
- Jenny is my sister.
- I love to play with my dog.
- The name of this monkey is Boo.
- Pacific Ocean is very vast.
All the things in the world of nouns fall into two classes:
All Types of Nouns
- Proper Noun
- Common Noun
- Collective Noun
- Concrete Noun (or Material Noun)
- Abstract Noun
- Possessive Noun
- Number Noun
- Compound Noun
- Countable Noun
- Uncountable Noun (or Mass Noun)
- Masculine Noun
- Feminine Noun
Names of people or places such as your name, your friend’s name, your parents’ name or the name of your town and country are special naming words. These words are called proper nouns. Special naming words or proper nouns always always begin with a capital letter.
Example Sentences of Proper Noun
- My name is Mark.
- Her name is Sofie.
- Come Tom, let us go for a walk.
- Hello Jack! Will you play with me?
- My cousin lives in Norway.
- These bears are from China.
- Albert Einstein was born in Germany.
- I visited the Taj Mahal in India.
- Fio and Laa are close friends.
Understanding Proper Nouns
The days of the week and the months of the year are proper nouns.
- Every Sunday Mike visits the church.
- Christmas comes in the month of December.
- My sister was born in March month.
- Sam goes for swimming classes every Friday.
The names of festivals and some special days are proper nouns.
- Christmas is my favourite festival.
- My mother likes Mother’s Day.
- We will celebrate New Year’s Eve.
The names of buildings, mountains, rivers and seas are also proper nouns.
- I have seen the Great Wall of China.
- Last year we visited the Niagara Falls.
- Many people have climber the Mount Everest.
- River Nile is very long.
Common nouns are naming words that are common to people, places, things and animals etc. Common nouns do not define any particular person, place or thing. They are general names. So, they are not capitalized unless they begin a sentence. For example boy, girl, doctor, town, city, dog, car and so on.
Example Sentences of Common Noun
- Teachers teach in school.
- Birds live on trees.
- I love to read storybooks.
- Sally’s mother is a doctor.
- These chocolates and cakes are so delicious.
Identify and learn about proper nouns and common nouns in the list of sentences below.
- Sony produces cameras too.
- Alicia and Cathy were playing with a doll.
- Sandy is joining school today.
- Hens have laid eggs at Todd‘s farm.
- The postman Mr. Robert was carrying postcards.
In above examples the words in purple colour are proper noun whereas words in green colour are common nouns.
Collective nouns are used to name a group of persons, places, animals or things. A collective noun represents a complete whole. For examples: a library of books, a team of players and a family of four.
Some collective nouns are used to name a group of animals and birds.
- A flock of sheep.
- A herd of cattle.
- A stud of horses.
- A gaggle of geese.
- A litter of cubs.
- A flock of birds.
- A shoal of fish.
- A pack of wolves.
- A swarm of bees.
Some collective nouns define a group of people.
- A crew of sailors.
- An army of soldiers.
- A band of musicians.
- A class of pupils.
- A troupe of actors.
- A panel of judges.
- A gang of robbers.
There are some collective nouns that stand for a group of things.
- A bunch of keys.
- A pile of clothes.
- A collection of books.
- A string of pearls.
- A set of stamps.
- A galaxy of stars.
- A pack of cards.
- An atlas of maps.
- A bouquet of flowers.
- A bunch of grapes.
Example Sentences of Collective Noun
- My maternal aunt bought me a pair of tennis shoes.
- At the playground, you get to observe a colony of ants.
- A pile of clothes was kept on the bed.
- I need to finish an agenda of tasks before I leave.
- There is a network of computers in Joseph’s office.
Things that have material bodies are called “concrete nouns.” In other words, a concrete noun represents a material object rather than an abstract quality, state, or action, for example, a building, tree, or dog.
Example Sentences of Concrete Noun
- The dog is a faithful animal.
- She gave me a bouquet of flowers.
- He bought a new pack of playing cards.
- I cannot go outside because of the rain.
- The scent of the perfume is delightful.
These are the nouns that name feelings, qualities, actions, ideas, states, and other things that one cannot touch or see but feel or experience. They are called abstract nouns. In other words, things that have no material bodies are known as abstract nouns.
Example Sentences of Abstract Noun
- We should always speak the truth.
- The audience burst into peals of laughter.
- Theidioms.com gives us a lot of knowledge.
- Treat animals with kindness.
- In his excitement, he dropped his glass.
A possessive noun is a word that names who or what has or owns something. We add an apostrophe and s (‘s) to form the possessive of most singular nouns.
Example Sentences of Possessive Noun
- This is Bob’s skateboard. (Means – The skateboard belongs to Bob)
- This is Ian’s Coat. (Means – The coat belongs to Ian)
- Papa bought a new frame for grandpa’s spectacles.
- Ted’s dream for a bicycle came true on his birthday.
- Julia’s homework was not checked.
Sometimes we need to show possession for plural nouns or where the owners are more than one. In such cases we add an apostrophe at the end.
- A girls’ school is located near my house.
- We should not harm the birds’ nests.
Number nouns denote one or many. There are two kinds of number nouns:
- Singular number noun – It stands for one person, animal, thing or place.
- Plural number noun – It stands for more than one person, animal, thing or place.
For example: One toy, three balls, two dogs, five cars, nine planets and so on.
Generally, by adding a ‘s’ at the end, we can change a singular noun to a plural noun.
There are different rules we follow to change a singular noun to a plural noun.
When a singular noun ends with a ‘y’ after a consonant, we remove the ‘y’ and add ‘ies’.
- City – Cities
- Lady – Ladies
- Story – Stories
Consonants are all other letters except vowels (a, e, i, o, u).
If there is vowel before ‘y’ just add s to form its plural.
- Boy – Boys
- Day – Days
- Trolley – Trolleys
- Toy – Toys
When a singular noun ends with ‘o’ after a vowel, add ‘s’ to make it a plural noun.
- Bamboo – Bamboos
- Radio – Radios
- Video – Videos
When a singular noun ends with ‘o’ after a consonant, we add ‘es’ to make it a plural noun.
- Tomato – Tomatoes
- Volcano – Volcanoes
- Hero – Heroes
It is also possible that for few nouns ending with ‘o’ preceded by a consonant, we add the letter ‘s’ to form their plurals.
- Piano – Pianos
- Photo – Photos
If a singular noun ends with a sound like ‘s’ such as ‘ss’, ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘x’, ‘z’, ‘tch’, we add ‘es’ to make it plural.
- Box – Boxes
- Watch – Watches
- Dress – Dresses
- Quiz – Quizzes
If a singular noun ends with ‘f’ or ‘fe’, change the ‘f’ into ‘v’ and add ‘es’ to make it plural.
- Life – Lives
- Calf – Calves
- Loaf – Loaves
- Knife – Knives
Plurals of some nouns remains the same.
- Fish – Fish
- Deer – Deer
- Cattle – Cattle
- Sheep – Sheep
- Bison – Bison
Plural of some nouns are totally different from their singular form.
- Mouse – Mice
- Ox – Oxen
- Cactus – Cacti
- Child – Children
- Man – Men
Some nouns are always plural like pants, jeans, shorts, tongs, scissors, hair and sunglasses.
Compound nouns are formed by joining two nouns together. There are three different ways to form compound nouns:
- The closed form, like notebook, firefly and keyboard.
- The hyphenated form, like x-ray, co-pilot and mother-in-law.
- The open form, like post office, history book, mineral water.
Example Sentences of Compound Noun
- Ian looked at his timetable.
- It was going to be lunchtime.
- The basketball match was scheduled in the afternoon.
- Just after the breakfast, Matt rushed to his tracksuit.
- X-rays were discovered by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen.
Nouns that can be counted are called countable nouns. Most of the nouns come in the category of countable nouns rather than uncountable nouns because they refer to things, people or animals that can be counted.
Example Sentences of Countable Noun
- I saw two owls sitting on the tree.
- There are four milk bottles in the fridge.
- My father has two cars.
- I need an umbrella to get out in the rain.
- To make this cake we need an egg.
Note: We use ‘the’ for some singular nouns which are unique (one of their kind). For example: The Earth, The Sun, The Moon etc.
Nouns that cannot be counted are called uncountable nouns. Uncountable nouns also known as ‘mass noun.’
We cannot count certain things in numbers such as milk, rain, sugar, water, jam. We have to use words like – a glass of milk, a jar of sugar, a jug of water or a bottle of jam. We can use terms like – a little, plenty or a bowl of with uncountable nouns. Though these nouns can be measured, they cannot be counted. Such nouns do not have a singular or plural form.
The Noun: Gender
Noun words can be divided into masculine and feminine.
Masculine nouns represent males: Boys, men and male animals. For example: Prince, man, king, boy, cock, lion etc.
Feminine nouns represent females: Girls, women and female animals. For example: Princess, woman, queen, girl, hen, lioness, etc.
But there are some nouns that represent both males and females. For example: Children, artists, principals, teachers, singers, lawyers, etc.