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English grammar (NOUNS)


Nouns are simply the names, which is used to call everything around us. In other words, noun is a every particular name used to define something. E.g. : Amsterdam, Anita, Blackberry, Honesty, Waiter, etc.
A noun is a word that identifies:
  • a person (woman, boy, doctor, neighbour)
  • a thing (dog, building, tree, country)
  • an idea, quality, or state (truth, danger, birth, happiness).         

Types of nouns

There are several different types of noun, as follows:
Singular and Plural Nouns
Common and Proper nouns
Concrete and Abstract nouns
Collective and Compound nouns
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Possessive Noun
Animate and Inanimate nouns

1)Singular and plural nouns

Singular Noun Definition:  When a noun means one only, it is said to be singular.
Examples:  boy, girl, book, church, box

Plural Noun Definition:  When a noun means more than one, it is said to be plural.
Examples:  boys, girls, books, churches

For the plural form of most nouns, add 's'
  • bottle – bottles
  • cup – cups
  • pencil – pencils
  • desk – desks
  • sticker – stickers
  • window – windows
For nouns that end in ch, x, s, or s sounds, add 'es'
  • box – boxes
  • watch – watches
  • moss – mosses
  • bus – buses
For nouns ending in f or fe, change f to v and add 'es'
  • wolf – wolves
  • wife – wives
  • leaf – leaves. 
  • life – lives.    
Some nouns have different plural forms.
  • child – children
  • woman – women
  • man – men
  • mouse – mice
  • goose – geese
Nouns ending in vowels like y or o do not have definite rules.
  • baby – babies
  • toy – toys.  
  • kidney – kidneys
  • potato – potatoes
  • memo – memos
  • stereo – stereos
A few nouns have the same singular and plural forms.
  • sheep – sheep
  • deer – deer
  • series – series.                                                                                                                               

2)Common and Proper nouns

Common nouns - It is the name of a group of similar things. It can be the name of a particular 
person, place, thing or idea. Common nouns are not capitalized unless they are at the beginning of a sentence or part of a title. 
Example: The boys went to play cricket. - Both boys and cricket are common nouns as they can refer to any boy or any cricket match.
Proper nouns - These are the names of specific people and places. It can be the names of the days of weeks, months, religions, organizations, institutions etc. Proper nouns are always capitalized.
Example: New York, Monday, Islam, William Shakespeare, January etc.

3)Concrete and Abstract nouns

Concrete nouns - They are nouns recognizable through the sense (touch, smell, see, hear and taste/feel).
Example: table, dog, house, saltwool etc.  
Concrete nouns may be either common or proper but, it should be perceived by at least one of our senses.
Abstract nouns - These are the names of things that we cannot perceive through our five senses of touching, smelling, seeing, hearing and tasting. 
Example: courage, electricity, poverty, beauty, power etc.
Abstract nouns may be either common or proper. These nouns refer to concepts, ideas, philosophies, and other entities that cannot be concretely perceived. 

4)Collective and Compound Nouns

Collective noun – It is the name we give to a group of nouns to refer to them as a unit. It can be the

name of groups, beasts, birds, people or things.
Common collective nouns for birds: chain, flock, muse, flight, murder etc
Common collective nouns for mammals: husk, mob, herd, colony, litter, gang, colony etc
Common collective nouns for people: faculty, pack, feast, crew, crowd, school etc
Collective nouns can be used in either the singular or plural form depending on the context of the sentence. To use verbs and pronouns correctly, identify whether the collective noun refers to a group or unit working as individuals or in unison.
Use the plural form if it is acting as individuals and use the singular form if the unit acting as a unison.
For example:
  • The audience waits (singular verb) for its (singular pronoun) speaker quietly. (The audience is referred to as a unit acting in unison. The people are all doing the same thing at the same time.)
  • The audience begin (plural verb) their (plural pronoun) tea-snacks while they (plural pronoun) wait (plural verb) for their (plural pronoun) speaker. (The audience are a unit, but are acting as individuals -- they each doing their own activities.)

Compound nouns
It is a noun that is made with two or more words. A compound noun is usually a combination of two nouns or a noun and adjective. Other combinations are also there with noun and verb, noun and adverb, verb and noun etc.  They normally have two parts. The first part identifies the purpose and the second part identifies the person/object. 
The two parts may be written in a number of ways:

1. as one word - policeman, football
2. as two words joined with a hyphen - dining-table, fire-fly
3. as two separate words - fish tank, full moon

5)Countable and Un-countable nouns

Countable nouns - They are individual objects, people, places, etc. which can be counted.
Example: dog, cat, animal, man, person etc

They have a singular form and a plural form. Use the singular form of the verb with a singular countable noun: (My dog is playing). Use the
plural form of the verb with a countable noun in the plural: (My dogs areplaying).

Un-countable nouns - They are materials, concepts, information, etc. which are not individual objects and can not be counted.
Example: milk, art, love, happiness, information etc
We usually treat uncountable nouns as singular. Use the singular form of the verb with uncountable nouns.
Example: This news is very important.
There is some water in that glass.   

6)Possessive Noun.  

Possessive Noun - It demonstrates ownership or some similar relationship over something else. It tells us who (or what) owns or has something. It typically include an apostrophe.
Example: David's job, cat's fur, doctor's coat etc. 
It can be singular or plural. Add an apostrophe + s to most singular nouns and to plural nouns that do not end in s. 
Example: kitten’s toy, women’s dresses, children’s books etc.
In the case of plural forms, use only an apostrophe. No need to add an extra ‘s’ to plural nouns that already end with the letter ‘s’. 
Example: Companies’ workers, Countries’ armies, teachers' desks etc. 

7)Animate and Inanimate nouns

Animate nouns - It refers to a person, animal, or other creature. It correlates with the pronouns heshewho etc.
Example: boysheepworm
Inanimate nouns - It refers to a thing or concept that is non-living. It correlates with itwhich etc. 
Example: cornboyhoodsleep

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