Nouns are everywhere in our writing. But what are all the types of nouns you come across, and how do you use them?
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,
A noun is often called a' noun phrase'. A noun phrase can be a single-word noun:
Teachers love their pupils. (Noun phrase: Teacher)
But a noun phrase is usually longer than a single word because it consists of an adjective or a determiner plus a noun.
A good teacher loves his pupils. (Noun Phrase: A good teacher)
Nouns form a large proportion of the English vocabulary, and they come in a wide variety of types.
- In the given options, "A good teacher" is the only one that has both an adjective ("good") and a noun ("teacher").
- Therefore, option C, "A good teacher," is an example of a noun phrase.
A concrete noun refers to a physical object in the real world, such as a dog, a ball, or an ice cream cone. A concrete noun is a noun that can be identified through one of the five senses (taste, touch, sight, hearing, or smell).
Example 1: "Would someone please answer the phone?"
In the sentence above, the noun phone is a concrete noun: you can touch it, see it, hear it, and maybe even smell it or taste it.
Example 2: What is that noise ?
Even though noise can’t be touched—and the noise may even be coming from several places—you can hear the noise, so it’s a concrete noun.
An abstract noun is used to refer to concepts, ideas, experiences, traits, feelings or entities that cannot be seen, heard, tasted, smelt or touched. Abstract nouns are not concrete or tangible. There are a lot of abstract nouns (virtues) used in proverbs.
Example 1: We can’t imagine the courage it took to do that.
Courage is an abstract noun because it cannot be seen, heard, tasted, touched, or smelled.
Example 2: Early paleontologists assumed that the small brains of some dinosaurs indicated stupidity of the species.
Stupidity is an abstract noun because it cannot be seen, heard, tasted, touched, or smelled.
Examples based on Quality, action and state:
Nouns are of two kinds from the viewpoint of countability:
3.1 Countable Nouns
3.2 Uncountable Nouns
3.1 Countable Nouns:
Countable nouns are nouns which can be counted, even if the number might be extraordinarily high (like counting all the people in the world). Countable nouns can be used with a/an, the, some, any, a few, and many.
Example 1: Tom brought ten packets of lays for the trip. (Specific number – ten)
Example 2: Mom asked me to buy a dozen eggs. (specific – dozen means twelve)
- Love and happiness are abstract nouns because they cannot be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or heard.
- Tree, on the other hand, is a concrete noun as it is a physical object that can be seen and touched.
- Therefore, option C, tree, is the correct answer as it represents a concrete noun.
3.2 Uncountable Nouns:
Uncountable nouns, or mass nouns, are nouns that come in a state or quantity which is impossible to count; liquids are uncountable, as are things that act like liquids (sand, air). They are always considered to be singular, and can be used with some, any, a little, and much.
Example 1: An I.Q. test measures intelligence.
Intelligence is an uncountable noun.
Example 2: Students don’t seem to have much homework these days.
This example refers to an unspecified, unquantifiable amount of homework, so homework is an uncountable noun.
A collective noun is a word or phrase that refers to a group of people or things as one entity. Collective nouns represent more than one person or thing in a class. It isn’t possible to have just one lion in a pride, and a single flower does not make a bouquet. Thus, a collective noun always describes a plurality of one kind or another.
Collective nouns for groups of animals:
Collective nouns for groups of people
Collective nouns for a number of things or objects
A compound noun is a noun that is formed by a combination of more than one part of speech. Compound nouns are of three main types:
5.1 Open or spaced compound nouns
5.2 Hyphenated compound nouns
5.3 Closed or solid compound nouns
5.1 Open or Spaced Compound Nouns
An open compound word is created in cases when the modifying adjective is used with its noun to create a new noun. This isn’t quite the same as a noun with a modifying adjective. We just use a space between the adjective and the noun, so sometimes it can be hard to identify as a compound; however, if the two words are commonly used together, it’s considered to be a compound word.
Example: Living Room, Full Moon, Real Estate, Dinner Table
5.2 Hyphenated Compound Nouns
There are a great many grammar rules regarding hyphens in compound words. One important rule of thumb to remember is that in most cases, a compound adjective is hyphenated if placed before the noun it modifies, but not if placed after the noun.
Example: a long-term solution, an up-to-date user guide
5.3 Closed or Solid Compound Nouns
Closed compound words look like one word. At one point, these words weren’t used together, but they’re now accepted as a “real word” in the English language. Closed compound words are usually made up of only two words.
Example: Notebook, Superman, Waistcoat, Bookstore
Possessive nouns are nouns that possess something; i.e., they have something. You can identify a possessive noun by the apostrophe; most nouns show the possessive with an apostrophe and an s.
Example 1: The cat’s toy was missing.
The cat possesses the toy, and we denote this by the use of ’s at the end of cat.
When a singular noun ends in the letter s or z, the same format often applies. This is a matter of style, however, and some style guides suggest leaving off the extra s.
Example 2: I have been invited to the boss’s house for dinner.
Example 3: Mrs. Sanchez’s coat is still hanging on the back of her chair.
Plural nouns ending in s take only an apostrophe to form a possessive.
Example 4: My nieces’ prom dresses were exquisite.
There are many plural noun rules, and because we use nouns so frequently when writing, it’s important to know all of them! The correct spelling of plurals usually depends on what letter the singular noun ends in.
To make regular nouns plural, add ‑s to the end.
cat – cats
house – houses
If the singular noun ends in ‑s, -ss, -sh, -ch, -x, or -z, add ‑es to the end to make it plural.
truss – trusses
bus – buses
marsh – marshes
lunch – lunches
tax – taxes
blitz – blitzes
In some cases, singular nouns ending in -s or -z, require that you double the -s or -z prior to adding the -es for pluralization.
fez – fezzes
gas –gasses (note that gases is also an acceptable, and more commonly used, spelling of this plural noun)
If the noun ends with ‑f or ‑fe, the f is often changed to ‑ve before adding the -s to form the plural version.
wife – wives
wolf – wolves
roof – roofs
belief – beliefs
chef – chefs
chief – chiefs
If a singular noun ends in ‑y and the letter before the -y is a consonant, change the ending to ‑ies to make the noun plural.
city – cities
puppy – puppies
If the singular noun ends in -y and the letter before the -y is a vowel, simply add an -s to make it plural.
ray – rays
boy – boys
If the singular noun ends in ‑o, add ‑es to make it plural.
potato – potatoes
tomato – tomatoes
photo – photos
piano – pianos
halo – halosWith the unique word volcano, you can apply the standard pluralization for words that end in -o or not. It’s your choice! Both of the following are correct:
If the singular noun ends in ‑us, the plural ending is frequently ‑i.
cactus – cacti
focus – foci
If the singular noun ends in ‑is, the plural ending is ‑es.
analysis – analyses
ellipsis – ellipses
If the singular noun ends in ‑on, the plural ending is ‑a.
phenomenon – phenomena
criterion – criteria
Some nouns don’t change at all when they’re pluralized.
sheep – sheep
series – series
species – species
Irregular plural nouns are nouns that do not become plural by adding -s or -es, as most nouns in the English language do. You’re probably familiar with many of these already. For example, the plural form of man is men, not mans. The plural form of woman is women, not womans. There are hundreds of irregular plural nouns, and in truth, you must memorize them through reading and speaking. There are, however, some common patterns to look out for.
The most common irregular plurals
1. Nouns ending in -f and -fe
To make a plural of a word ending in -f, change the f to a v and add es. Similarly, if a word ends in -fe, change the f to a v and add an s. The result for both types is a plural that ends in -ves.
2. Nouns ending in -o
Plurals of words ending in -o are usually made by adding -es.
3. Nouns that change vowels
Many English words become plural by changing their vowels, such as oo to ee or an to en.
4. Irregular nouns that change substantiallyFor a variety of historical reasons, some words change in spelling substantially when made plural.
|1. What is a noun?|
|2. What is a noun phrase?|
|3. What are the types of nouns?|
|4. How can nouns be classified?|
|5. What are some examples of nouns?|