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Nouns & its Types

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NOUNS are everywhere! You have learned about nouns before and probably think you know all about them. Hold on! In this lesson, you may learn some new things about nouns. Read on and let's see!

What Is a Noun?
  • Every word is a part of speech and has a role in our language. The biggest "star" of the English language is noun because it names things.
  • A noun names person, place, thing, feeling, idea, or any concept.

Are all nouns the same?

No! There are different types or classes of nouns. Let's take a look at all of them.

COMMON NOUNS
  • Common noun names non-specific person, place, or thing.
  • Let's look at some examples of common nouns:
Person
girl, man, woman, mother, sister, teacher
Place
house, school, hospital, store, building, playground
Thing
pencil, chair, shoe, bone, hair, window

Remember the rule!

Notice that none of these nouns start with a capital letter! The only time that you capitalize a common noun is at the beginning of a sentence or in a title.

Here are some sentences using common nouns:

1. The little girl liked reading comic books.

2. We live in the yellow house.

3. May I use your new pencil?

PROPER NOUNS
  • Proper nouns are the specific names of a person, place, or thing.
  • Let's look at some examples of proper nouns:
Person
Mary, Joe, Mrs. King
Place
Howard Elementary School, Florida, St. Andrew's Hospital
Thing
Earl Grey, Nike, Ford

Remember the rule!

Notice that all of these nouns begin with a capital letter. Because proper nouns are names, they are always capitalized.

Here are some sentences using proper nouns:

1. Mary was the fastest runner.

2. Howard Elementary School is a new school in our town.

3. I like to wash my hair with Pearl Shampoo.

NOTE: Every proper noun has a common noun, but not every common noun has a proper noun equivalent.

For example:

Proper Noun: India
Common Noun: country
 
 
Common Noun: Dust
Proper Noun: There is no specific kind of dust, so it's just a common noun.
CONCRETE NOUNS
  • Concrete nouns are nouns that can be experienced through our five senses, i.e. sight, hearing, smell, touch, or taste.
  • Most nouns are concrete nouns. The opposite of concrete nouns is abstract nouns.
  • Let's look at some examples of concrete nouns:
Person
girl, boy, nurse
Place
school, church, restaurant
Thing
computer, door, lamp

Here are some sentences using concrete nouns:

1. The nurse wrapped the cut on my finger.

2. The church was very large.

3. The door opened slowly.

ABSTRACT NOUNS
  • Abstract nouns are nouns that are all about feelings or characteristics and NOT any of your senses.

Let's look at some examples of feelings that are abstract nouns: love, fear, embarrassment, pride, surprise, trust.

Here are some sentences using abstract nouns:

1. The cat had fear in his eyes as he ran from the dog.

2. Love was mentioned in the song many times.

3.Trust grows in a good friendship.

The next class of nouns are ones that can be counted, or not, but before we talk about them, we need to make sure that you understand singular and plural forms.

  • Singular nouns are nouns that mean only one of something (ex. chair, dog, hat, box, etc.).
  • Plural nouns are nouns that mean more than one of something (ex. chairs, dogs, hats, boxes, etc.). Adding "s" or "es" changes the meaning from one to more than one.
COUNT AND NONCOUNT NOUNS
  • Count nouns are easy to spot because they are nouns that can be counted. They are a part of a unit or group of more than one.
  • Let's look at some examples of count nouns:
Person
girls, boys, nurses
Place
schools, churches, restaurants
Thing
books, chairs, lamps
  • Noncount nouns or Mass nouns are nouns that cannot be counted. They are a group, a liquid, gas, a concept, an activity, an idea, or a collection.

Let's look at some examples of noncount nouns: weather, water, poetry, smoking, milk, money.

Remember the rule!

If you can use the word "a/an" in front of the noun in a sentence or a number word in front of it, it is a counting noun. If you can't, then it is a noncount noun. Try it!

Here are some sentences using count nouns:

1. I ate three delicious cookies.

2. The two churches were all on the same street.

Here are some sentences using noncount nouns:

1. The homework was difficult to do.

2. The sunshine was warm on my face.

The next class will be another easy one for you because you already know about compound words. This class of nouns is called compound nouns.

COMPOUND NOUNS
  • Compound nouns are nouns made up of two or more words.
  • Some are just two words combined together to make a new word, while others are two words joined by a hyphen(-), or two words combined together to make a new word without being joined.

Let's look at some examples of compound nouns:

1. Two words joined = housework, eyelid

2. Two words joined by a hyphen = paper-clip, baby-sitter

3. Two words not joined = fish tank, swimming pool

Here are some sentences using compound nouns:

1. The homework was difficult to do.

2. The sunshine was warm on my face.

3. My time-out seemed so long.

4. The couch potato was too lazy to get up and answer the door.

Note: Have you seen the first two sentences before? That's right! The nouns in the first two sentences are also noncount nouns!

The next class will probably be something that you haven't learned before. Have you ever heard of a gerund? Don't worry! It isn't as hard as it sounds.

GERUND NOUNS
  • Gerund nouns are common nouns formed from a verb ending in -ing.

Let's look at some examples of gerund nouns: swimming, thinking, dancing

Here are some sentences using gerund nouns:

1. Running is something that I enjoy doing.

2. Laughing with my friends is so much fun.

3. We went whitewater rafting.

The last class of nouns that we are going to learn about are collective nouns.

COLLECTIVE NOUNS
  • Collective nouns are nouns that are easy to remember because they stand for groups.

Let's look at some examples of collective nouns: team, company, choir, club, family, class

Here are some sentences using collective nouns:

1. The team won the state title.

2. The large choir sounded beautiful.

3. My family spends every holiday together.

Summary

So, we have learned a lot about nouns! We have learned that there are different types or classes of nouns. Remember, nouns are everywhere!

  • A noun names personplacethingfeelingidea, or any concept.
  • There are different types or classes of nouns.
    • Common noun names non-specific personplace, or thing.
    • Proper nouns are the specific names of a personplace, or thing.
    • Concrete nouns are nouns that can be experienced through our five senses, i.e. sighthearingsmelltouch, or taste.
    • Abstract nouns are nouns that are all about feelings or characteristics and NOT any of your senses.
    • Count nouns are easy to spot because they are nouns that can be counted.
    • Noncount nouns or Mass nouns are nouns that cannot be counted.
    • Compound nouns are nouns made up of two or more words.
    • Gerund nouns are common nouns formed from a verb ending in -ing.
    • Collective nouns are nouns that are easy to remember because they stand for groups.

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