Nouns: Rules - Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC) - CAT

What is a Noun?

Nouns: Rules | Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC) - CAT

A noun is a word that names something, such as a person, place, thing, or idea. In a sentence, nouns can play the role of subject, direct object, indirect object, subject complement, object complement, appositive, or adjective.

Examples of Nouns

  • Name of a Person: Zuker, Max, Xavier, Joseph, etc
  • Name of an Animal: Kangaroo, Dolphin, Jackal, etc.
  • Name of a Place: Boston, Australia, India, etc.
  • Name of a Thing: Table, Computer, Chair, etc.
  • Name of an Idea: Happiness, Superstitions, Excitement, etc.

Rules of Nouns

Now that you are well versed with the nouns and its types, let us move ahead to the rules associated with Nouns in English Grammar. Rules of Nouns are important to know if you want to ace the verbal ability section of competitive exams.

Rule 1

Some Nouns are Singular in their meaning but are used as Plural nouns and take plural verbs always, such as people, cattle, and police.


(i) The cattle are grazing the field.

(ii) People are indifferent to you in new cities.

Rule 2

Some nouns are always used in Plural Form and always take Plural Verb. Like, Scissors, Premises, Thanks, Spectacles, etc.

(i) ‘I cannot find my Trousers, where are they?’

(ii) She ordered a pair of Spectacles online, they are classy.

Rule 3

Some nouns always take Singular Verb such as news, ethics, machinery, advice, stationery, physics, mathematics, etc.


(i) Mathematics is my favourite subject.

(ii) The news of his suicide is not true.

Rule 4

Some nouns indicate the number, measure, money, length, weight, etc. They remain unchanged when any definite numeral precedes these nouns.


(i) She bought 2 dozen eggs from the shop. (not dozens)

(ii) My office is 5 kilometres from my house. (not kilometre)

Rule 5

Collective nouns are used both in singular and plural form.


(i) The Government is a great achievement of Civilization.

(ii) The Jury were divided in their opinions.

Rule 6

There are nouns that give different meanings when used as a singular and other meanings when used as a plural noun.


(i) Good means wise and goods mean property.

(ii) Authority is command while authorities mean people in power.

(iii) Force means strength while forces is an army.

(iv) Wages in singular form is punishment while wages are daily labor charges when used in the plural form.

(v) Content means satisfaction and content is things contained.

(vi) Iron is metal while irons mean chains or fetters.

Rule 7

Material Nouns generally do not take any article (a, an or the) before them.

(i) Incorrect: My mother likes a gold and not a silver.

Correct: My Mother likes gold and not silver.

(ii) Incorrect: Cooking food on a cast iron pan is healthy.

Correct: Cooking food on cast iron pan is healthy.

Rule 8

To personify a Neuter Gender Noun, we use:

Masculine gender to personify the strength or power, and

Feminine Gender to personify beauty and grace.


(i) The Moon was shining on the sea with all his might.

(ii) It is our duty to protect Mother Earth. 

Rule 9

The work of art, the title of books, etc. even if they sound plural is always considered singular.


(i) ‘The Palace of Illusions’ is an incredible narration of the Mahabharata.

(ii) ‘The Game of Thrones is my favorite drama series

Rule 10

(a) for small creatures, insects or very young children neuter gender is used.


(i) The baby wants food every hour or it starts crying.

(ii) I could see the butterfly moving its wings.

(b) Collective nouns are used as neuter gender even if they are used to refer to living beings.

(i) The team gave its best performance.

(ii) The army is at its best to protect the country.

The document Nouns: Rules | Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC) - CAT is a part of the CAT Course Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC).
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FAQs on Nouns: Rules - Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC) - CAT

1. What is a noun?
Ans. A noun is a word that represents a person, place, thing, or idea. It is one of the eight parts of speech in English language.
2. What are the types of nouns?
Ans. There are several types of nouns, including common nouns, proper nouns, concrete nouns, abstract nouns, collective nouns, countable nouns, and uncountable nouns.
3. What are some rules of using nouns in English language?
Ans. Some rules of using nouns in English language include using the correct articles (a, an, the) before them, using plural forms correctly, using possessive forms correctly, and capitalizing proper nouns.
4. How do I identify a proper noun?
Ans. A proper noun is a specific name of a person, place, or thing and always begins with a capital letter. Examples include Peter, London, and Coca-Cola.
5. What is the difference between countable and uncountable nouns?
Ans. Countable nouns refer to things that can be counted and have both singular and plural forms, while uncountable nouns refer to things that cannot be counted and do not have a plural form. Examples of countable nouns include book and chair, while examples of uncountable nouns include water and happiness.
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