What are Nouns? | Definitions | Types | Genders |



What are Nouns?

A noun is a part of speech that denotes a person, animal, place, thing, or idea. The English word noun has its roots in the Latin word “nomen”, which means “name.”

Types of Nouns:

  • Common Nouns – They are names of:
    • people (e.g. man),
    • things (e.g. books),
    • animals (e.g. monkey)
    • places (church)
  • Proper Nouns – They are special names of:
    • people (e.g. George ),
    • things (e.g. Financial Times),
    • animals (e.g. King Kong)
    • places (e.g. Paris).
    • A proper noun begins with a Capital Letter.
  • Abstract Nouns – An abstract noun is the name of something that we can only think of or feel but cannot see (e.g. friendship).
  • Collective Nouns – They are names used for a number of people, things or animals together and treated as one. For example: a group of friends, a bunch of bananas, a litter of puppies.
  • Countable and Uncountable Nouns
    • Countable nouns are nouns which can be counted (e.g. trees).
    • Uncountable nouns are nouns which cannot be counted. (e.g. smoke)

Nouns have four genders:

  • Masculine Gender – The masculine gender is used for all males. Example: boy, man
  • Feminine Gender – The feminine gender is used for all females. Example: girl, woman
  • Common Gender – The common gender is used where the noun can be both male and female. Example: cousin, friend, person, child, student
  • Neuter Gender – The neuter gender is used for things which have no life or sex. Example: table, chair.

Singular and Plural Nouns

  • A noun that shows only one person (e.g. a girl), thing (e.g. pencil), animal
    (e.g. tiger) or place (e.g. market) is called a singular noun.
  • A noun that shows more than one person (e.g. girls), thing (e.g. pencils), animal (e.g. tigers) or place (e.g. markets) is called a plural noun. 

Want to know how to form plural nouns? Read our post on the formation rules of plural nouns



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