Noun is the name of a person, place, thing, quality, condition and action.
Example: Apple, Ram, Pencil, Chandigarh, etc.
Types of Nouns
1. Proper Noun
- Name of a specific person, place or thing.
Example: Ram is a good boy. (In this sentence, Ram is a proper noun).
2. Common Noun
- A noun which does not point out any particular person, place or thing, but it is common to all the persons, places or things. Commonly used for everybody in the same class. It represents the whole class.
Example: River, girl, boy, bench, etc.
3. Abstract Noun
- An abstract noun is the name of something which we can neither see nor touch, but which we can only think of or feel. It expresses quality, state or action.
(i) Love, fear, anger, joy, excitement, and other emotions are abstract nouns.
(ii) Courage, bravery, cowardice, and other such states are abstract nouns.
(iii) Desire, creativity, uncertainty, and other innate feelings are abstract nouns.
4. Collective Noun
- The noun which is used for the group or the collective things of same kind, considered as one complete whole, is called collective noun.
Example: Army, Flock, Nation, Team, Jury, Class, etc.
5. Material Noun
- The material noun is the name given to the material, substance or things made up of something. Material nouns are not generally countable means we cannot count them because they are in the forms of liquid, semi-liquid or solid.
- Nouns in this class are materials like cloth, air, metal, gold, salt, iron, silver, steel, brass, bronze, copper, aluminium, lead, coal, coral, gem, diamond, glass, fibre etc.
(i) Cotton dresses are very cheap and comfortable.
(ii) My mom purchased a gold ring for me.
(iii) I drink milk in the silver.
Countable and Uncountable Noun
All the types of nouns stated above are divided chiefly into two categories:
- Uncountable/non-count nouns
1. Countable Noun
- A countable noun is a noun that names the things which are countable and occur in both single and plural forms.
- The nouns which can be modified by numerals are countable nouns. Simply if we can count something like one, two, three .... that comes under Countable Noun.
(i) There is one chair in this room (in this example, the word 'chair' is singular and countable)
(ii) There are 10 chairs in the house. (in this example, the word 'chair' is plural and countable).
2. Uncountable Noun
- An uncountable noun is a noun that names the things which are not countable. It cannot take the plural form.
- An uncountable noun is also called as mass nouns as we cannot count it.
(i) There is no more milk in the kitchen.
(ii) Please take good care of your furniture.
(iii) I need some Water
Errors in the use of Noun
➢ Rule No. 1
- Some nouns are used in singular form.
➢ Rule No. 2
- Some nouns are used in plural form.
Note: As a common noun ‘people’ means a ‘nation’ and is used in both singular and plural; as
- The Japanese are hard-working people.
- There are many different people in Europe.
- The French are brave people.
- There is a mad race for power among the people of Europe.
➢ Rule No. 3
- Collective Nouns like committee, jury, house, ministry, family, mob, crowd, audience, police, team, number, board, staff and public are used with singular verbs like is, was and has when the members in the group act as one body or one unit.
- These words are used with plural verbs like are, have and were when the members act as different individuals within the same group.
➢ Rule No. 4
- Some nouns have only plural forms and consequently are followed by a plural verb. (Many of these are used with the phrase “a pair of” as they refer to something made up of two parts).
Example: alms, riches, scissors, trousers, pants, clippers, tongs, bellows, gallows, fangs, eyeglasses, goggles, ashes, arrears, athletics, belongings, breeches, braces, binoculars, congratulations, dregs, earnings, fetters, lodgings, odds, outskirts, particulars, proceeds, proceedings, regards, remains, savings, spectacles, surroundings, valuables, wages, etc.
➢ Rule No. 5
- Some nouns have same form in both singular and plural forms and are expressed as singular or plural only by the use of verb.
Example: deer, swine, sheep, salmon (a type of fish) and offspring.
There is a sheep in the yard.
There are many sheep in the yard.
There are a lot of sheep in the yard.
- The words ‘fish’ and ‘hair’ are used in both singular and plural forms in a sentence, but they can be used as ‘fishes’ and ‘hairs’ in some specific sense.
- This pond has many fish.
- We use ‘fish’ in a general sense to refer to the aquatic life in a particular water body.
- More correctly, ‘fish’ is used in a plural from to describe one fish or a group of fish of the same species (one type). The word ‘fishes’ is used to describe a variety of fish of different species (different types).
- The fishes of this river include salmon and sturgeon.
- A fish is a cold-blooded vertebrate animal which lives in water.
Incorrect: Her hairs are soft today.
Correct: Her hair is soft today.
When used in a collective sense, hair is used as singular word.
But when there is a countable number, then it is used as ‘hairs’, like:
- He has few grey hairs in his beard.
- I have five grey hairs on my head.
➢ Rule No. 6
- A compound noun (numerical adjective + noun) is not used in plural if a noun does the work of an adjective.
(i) Ten-day tour.
(ii) A ten-mile race
(iii) A ten-year old boy
➢ Rule No. 7
- Abstract and Material Nouns have no plural forms. When they are put in the Plural, they are used as Common Nouns.
- He gave me a piece of information.
- All pieces of information given by her were reliable.
- Many kinds of furniture are available in that shop.
- I want a few articles of jewellery.
- He ate two slices of bread.
- Please show me some items of office stationery.
- The Police have found a strand of hair in the car.
- Ethics demands honesty.
➢ Rule No. 8
- Some nouns have different meanings in singular and plural.
➢ Rule No. 9
- The plural of a compound noun is usually made by adding “s” to the principal word.
➢ Rule No. 10
- Material nouns like marble, brick, stone, glass, iron, etc., are not used in a plural form when they are used as a building/construction material. We use these words in singular only.
(i) Your house is made of stone/ glass.
(ii) This house is made of brick.
➢ Rule No. 11
- Plural forms of certain nouns
- The agenda of the meeting was placed before the chairman.
- The agenda were drawn up.
- All the errata have been corrected.
- The old alumni of the college meet every year.
- The old dicta of conduct have changed.
- There are many sanatoria in India where sick people go for treatment.
Use of Possessive Case
The Possessive Case is chiefly used with:
- When the Noun denotes some living thing; as,
The rat’s tail; the man’s hands.
- When the Noun denotes some personified things; as,
Duty’s call; England’s heroes.
- When the Noun denotes time, space, or weight; as,
A day’s march; a week’s holiday; in a year’s time; a metre’s length; a pound’s weight.
- When the Noun denotes anything without life, it is generally expressed by the Preposition ‘of’;
‘The legs of the chair’; not ‘the chair’s legs.’
‘The pages of the book’; not ‘the book’s pages’.
‘The roof of the house’; not ‘the house’s roof’.
‘The cover of the book’; not ‘the book’s cover.’