Noun & its Classifications (Part -1) - English Grammar Teaching Notes | EduRev

English Grammar

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Class 9 : Noun & its Classifications (Part -1) - English Grammar Teaching Notes | EduRev

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A Noun is a word used as the name of a person, place or thing.
For example: Ram, Mohan, Sita, Gita, Kolkata, America, Shakespeare, pen, paper, cigarette, soldier etc.

Noun & its Classifications (Part -1) - English Grammar Teaching Notes | EduRev

Classification of Noun:

Noun are classified into four groups. They are :
1. Common Noun
2. Proper Noun
3. Collective Noun
4. Abstract Noun

Examples:

-Vikramaditya was a great king.

The noun Vikramaditya refers to a particular king, but the noun king might be applied to any other king as well as to Vikramaditya. We call Vikramaditya a Proper Noun, and king a Common Noun.
-Similarly, Gauri is a girl.

Here, Gauri is a Proper Noun, while girl is a Common Noun.

-Similarly, Ramesh is a boy.

Here, Ramesh is a Proper Noun, while boy is a Common Noun.

-Similarly, Delhi is a city.

Here, Delhi is a Proper Noun, while city is a Common Noun.

-Similarly, Canada is a country.

Here, Canada is a Proper Noun, while country is a Common Noun.

The words girl, boy, city, country in the above examples are all Common Nouns, because they are the names common to all girls, boys, cities and countries; while Gauri, Ramesh, Delhi and Canada are all Proper Nouns because, they are the names of particular girl, boy, city and country.

Thus,

1. A Common Noun is a name given in common to every person or thing of the same class or kind.

2. A Proper Noun is the name of some Particular  person or place.

[Proper means one's own. Hence, a Proper Name is a person's own name.]

Note 1 : Proper Nouns are always written with a capital letter at the beginning.

Note 2 : Proper Nouns are sometimes used as Common Nouns;
as,

1. He was the Lucknow (the wisest man) of his age.

2. Kalidas is often called the Shakespeare (the greatest dramatist) of India.

3. A Collective Noun is the name of a number (or collection) of persons or things taken together and spoken of as one whole. 

Examples: Crowd, mob, team, flock, herd, army, fleet, family, nation, jury, committee, parliament, troop, navy, library.

A fleet = a collection of ships or vessels.
An army = a collection of soldiers.
A crowd = a collection of people.
A herd = a collection of cattle.
A library = a collection of books.

Thus, when a name denotes a group of similar individuals, considered as one undivided whole, it is called a Collective Noun.

4. An Abstract Noun is usually the name of a quality, action or state considered apart from the object to which it belongs. As,

Quality

Action

State

Goodness

Laughter

Childhood

Kindness

Theft

Boyhood

Whiteness

Movement

Youth

Darkness

Judgement

Slavery

Hardness

Hatred

Sleep

Brightness

Heroism

Sickness


The names of the Arts and Science (Examples: grammar, music, chemistry, physics etc.) are also Abstract Nouns.

[We can speak of a brave soldier, a strong man, a beautiful flower. But we can also think of these qualities apart from any particular person or thing, and speak of bravery, strength, beauty by themselves. So, also we can speak of what persons do or feel apart from the persons themselves, and give it a name. The word abstract means drawn off.]

Noun : Number

There are two kinds of number :
(a) Singular            
(b) Plural
A noun that denotes one person or thing is said to be in the Singular Number.

Examples:
Boy, girl, man, bird, tree, book, pen, baby, sweater etc.

A noun that denotes more than one person or thing is said to be in the Plural Number.

Examples:
Boys, girls, men, birds, trees, books, pens, babies, sweaters etc.

How Plurals are formed?

Generally, the Plurals of nouns are formed by adding 's' to the singular.

As,
boy—boys                    girl—girls
bird—birds                   cow—cows
ship—ships                 desk—desks
pencil—pencils            book—books
cassette—cassettes    film—films

But, there are some rules of changing singular nouns into plural ones.

Rule 1 : If —s, —ss, —sh, —ch, —x and —z are the last letters of a noun put —es to the end to make them plural.

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

Class

Classes

Mass

Masses

Kiss

Kisses

Toss

Tosses

Miss

Misses

Bus

Buses


But, in case of Stomach (Pronounce Stomak), Monarch (Pronounce Monark) only 's' is needed at their end to make them plural.

Stomach: Stomachs     Monarch: Monarchs

Rule 2 : If there is — o in the end of a noun, put — es to the end for plural.

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

Hero

Heroes

Zero

Zeroes

VolcanoVolcanoesMangoMangoes
MosquitoMosquitoesEchoEchoes

There are some exceptions where only — s is needed for a plural one in — o ending nouns.

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

Photo

Photos

Piano

Pianos

Dynamo

Dynamos

Canto

Cantos

Quarto

Quartos

Momento

Momentos

SoloSolosStereoStereos


Rule 3 : If there are double vowels to the end of a noun put only —s to the end of that noun for plural.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
RadioRadiosRatioRatios
StudioStudiosPortfolioPortfolios
CuckooCuckoosBambooBamboos


Rule 4 : If –y is the last letter of a noun and that –y is preceded by a consonant, then change –y into –ies for their plural forms.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
SpySpiesBabyBabies
HistoryHistoriesLadyLadies

 

Rule 5 : If — y is followed by a vowel and the last letter of a noun, put only — s to the end of that noun for plural.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
LayLaysBayBays
RayRaysPreyPreys


Rule 6 : If —f or —fe are the last letters of a noun, then change —f or —fe into —ves.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
KnifeKnivesLifeLives
WifeWivesThiefThieves

Yet, there are some exceptions in this rule, such as :

SingularPluralSingularPlural
ProofProofsRoofRoofs
ChiefChiefsReefReefs


Rule 7 : It is found that a few nouns form their plural by changing the inside vowel of the singular.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
ManMenWomanWomen
ToothTeethGooseGeese
MouseMiceLouseLice
FootFeet 
 


Rule 8 : There are a few nouns that form their plural by adding —en to the singular.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
OxOxenChildChildren


Rule 9 : There are some nouns which have their singular and plural alike.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
SwineSwineSheepSheep
DeerDeerTroutTrout
SalmonSalmonPairPair


Rule 10 : There are some nouns which are only used in the plural.

(a) Names of instruments which have two parts forming a kind of pair.
As,
Ballows, spectacles, scissors, tongs, pincers etc.

(b) Names of certain articles of dress.
As,
Trousers, breeches, drawers etc.

Rule 11 : There are some plural forms of nouns which are actually singular.
As,
Innings, mathematics, news, civics, politics, physics, ethics, economics, mechanics, summons etc.

For example,

Mathematics is an easy subject.

(Mathematics is singular number)

If plural looking subjects are particularised or possessed, they become as plural nouns.

My Mathematics are strong.
        ↓
Possessed
        ↓
Plural number

The Politics of our state are dirty.
        ↓
Particularised
       ↓
Plural number

The Summons was issued by the magistrate.
       ↓
 Singular number

Rule 12 : These nouns are always used in singular number.
Examples:
Scenery, machinery, poetry, stationery, sultry, jewellery, crockery, luggage, baggage, breakage, haltage, percentage, knowledge, postage, wastage, furniture, information, traffic, coffee, dust etc.

Rule 13 : Certain collective nouns, though singular in form, are always used as plurals.

Examples:
Poultry, cattle, vermin, people, gentry etc.

Rule 14 : In compound nouns, we make their plural forms only by adding —s to the main word.

SingularPlural
Father-in-lawFathers-in-law
Daughter-in-lawDaughters-in-law
Mother-in-lawMothers-in-law


Rule 15 : Nouns borrowed from other languages in English have their special rules to change them into plural.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
DatumDatastratum strata 
ErratumErrataBacteriumBacteria


Rule 16 : Some —um ending Latin nouns take only —s in plural form.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
ForumForumsPremiumPremiums
PendulumPendulumspetroleumpetroleums


Rule 17 : Noun + Proposition + the same noun remain always singular in use.
Examples: 

Village after village— correct
Match after match— correct
Row upon row— correct
Word for word— correct
But,  
Villages after villages— wrong
Matches after matches— wrong
Rows upon rows— wrong
Word for words— wrong


Rule 18 : The digits, verbs, pronouns and abbreviations takes their plural form in the following ways :

SingularPlural
7070's
2121's
shallshall's
willwill's
ifif's
whatwhat's
whowho's
M.A.M.A.s [not M.A.'s]
B.A.B.A.s [not B.A.'s]
M.L.A.M.L.A.s [not M.L.A.'s]


Rule 19 : Some nouns have two meanings in the singular but only one in plural.

SingularPlural
Light1. Radiance Lights Lamps
 2. A lamp
Practice1. Habit   Practices habits
 2. Exercise of a  profession
Powder1. Dust Powders  doses of medicine
 2. A dose of medicine in fine 
    Grains like dust
People1. Nation, Peoples, nations
 2. Men and women


Rule 20 : Some nouns have two forms for the plural, each with a somewhat different meaning.

SingularPlural
BrotherBrothers : sons of the same parent
 Brethren : members of a society of a community.
ClothCloths : kinds or pieces of cloth.
 Clothes : garments.
DieDies : stamps for coining.
 Dice : small cubes used in games.
FishFishes : taken separately.
 Fish : collectively
GeniusGeniuses : persons of great talent
 Genii : spirits
IndexIndexes : tables of contents to books
 Indices : signs used in algebra
PennyPennies : number of coins.
 Pence : amount in value


Rule 21 : Some nouns have one meaning in the singular and more than one in the plural.

Singular Plural
Colour : hue 1. Colours : hues
 2. the flag of a regiment.
Custom :  habit 1. Customs : habits
 2. duties levied on imports.


Rule 22 : Some noun changes their meaning when we make them plural.

SingularPlural
Air : atmosphereAirs : affected manners
Alphabet : letterAlphabets : languages
Advice : counselAdvices : information
Abuse : bad languageAbuses : languages


Rule 23: 
(a) Abstract Nouns have no plural.

Examples:
Hope, charity, love, kindness, happiness, hatred etc.

When such words do appear in the plural, they are used as common nouns.

Examples:
Kindnesses = acts of kindness.

Provocations = instances or cases of provocation.

(b) There are also some names of substances or materials which are never used in plurals. They are called Material Nouns.

Examples:
Copper, iron, tin, wood etc.

But, when these words are used in the plural, they become Common noun and also, their meanings are changed.

Examples:
Coppers - copper coins.
Irons - fetters.
Tins - cans made of tin.
Woods- forests.

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