Noun Definition and Types

A noun simply gives the name of a person, place, thing, or idea. A noun can be a/an:-

  • person – Sammy, man
  • place – Philadelphia, city thing
  • thing – Toyota, car
  • idea – philosophy, warmth, love

Different Types of Noun

Nouns are divided into several other categories. These are:

Common and Proper Nouns

Nouns that identify general people, places, or things are called common nouns—they name or identify that which is common among others.

  • He sat on the chair.
  • I live in a city.
  • We met some

Proper nouns, on the other hand, are used to identify an absolutely unique person, place, or thing, and they are signified by capital letters, no matter where they appear in a sentence.

  • Go find Jeff and tell him dinner is ready.
  • Prince William is adored by many.

Concrete and Abstract Nouns

Concrete nouns name people, places, animals, or things that are physically tangible—that is, they can be seen or touched, or have some physical properties. Proper nouns are also usually concrete, as they describe unique people, places, or things that are also tangible. For example:- star, water, album, television, flower.

Abstract nouns, as their name implies, name intangible things, such as concepts, ideas, feelings, characteristics, attributes, etc. For instance:- freedom, capitalism, courage.

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Countable nouns (also known as count nouns) are nouns that can be considered as individual, separable items, which means that we are able to count them with numbers—we can have one, two, five, 15, 100, and so on. For example:- three cars, four pens.

We can also use them with the indefinite articles a and an (which signify a single person or thing) or with the plural form of the noun.

Uncountable nouns (also known as noncount or mass nouns) are nouns, which cannot be separated and counted as individual units or elements. Uncountable nouns cannot take an indefinite article (a/an), nor can they be made plural. They are always singular. For example:- unease, happiness.

  • Would you like tea? (Correct)
  • Would you like a tea? (Incorrect)
  • Do you have any information? (Correct)
  • Do you have an information? (Incorrect)
  • We bought new camping equipment. (Correct)
  • We bought new camping equipments. (Incorrect)

Collective Nouns

Collective nouns are nouns that refer to a collection or group of multiple people, animals, or things. However, even though collective nouns refer to multiple individuals, they still function as singular nouns in a sentence. This is because they still are technically referring to one thing: the group as a whole. For example:

  • The flock of birds flew south for the winter.
  • The organization voted to revoke the rules that it had previously approved.
  • The set of tablecloths had disappeared.

Attributive Nouns (Noun Adjuncts)

Attributive nouns, also called noun adjuncts, are nouns that are used to modify other nouns. The resulting phrase is called a compound noun. For example:

  • The boy played with his toy soldier.

In this sentence, toy is the noun adjunct, and it modifies the word soldier, creating the compound noun toy soldier.

Compound Nouns

A compound noun is a noun composed of two or more words working together as a single unit to name a person, place, or thing. Compound nouns are usually made up of two nouns or an adjective and a noun.

  • water + bottle = water bottle (a bottle used for water)
  • dining + room = dining room (a room used for dining)
  • back + pack = backpack (a pack you wear on your back)
  • police + man = policeman (a police officer who is a man)

In a sentence, a noun will act either as a subject or some type of complement (predicate nominative, direct or indirect object of a verb, or object of a preposition).

Thanks for reading about “noun definition and types”.

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