Subjects >>English >>Nouns

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Definition
27 Jul 2020

The definition of Noun could be seen as:

  • Noun is the name of a person, Place or a thing (emotions/feelings)
  • Noun is a naming word
  • Whatever we can observe by our 5 senses that is known as noun

 Thus, noun is basically the name of anything around us.

The different kinds of noun could be seen as:

                                                                          Noun

         Kinds

       Number

        Gender

          Case

Noun in Apposition

Proper

Common

Collective

Material

Abstract

Singular

Plural

 

Countable

Uncountable

Masculine

Feminine

Common

Neutral

Position:

Subjective

Objective

Possessive

Reference

 

Proper Noun

It denotes the name of a person, place or thing.

Examples:

Name of a person: Ramesh. Suresh, Narendra Modi, Bala, and others.

Name of a place: Delhi, India, Haryana, United States, Badlapur, London and others.

Name of a thing: Pen, Paper, Scissors, Rock, Car, Television and others.

 

Common Noun

It denotes the name of the people, places, animals or things. It is not the actual name of the people, place or thing.

Thus common noun is used to identify the things whereas proper noun is the actual name of the people, place or thing.

Examples:

People:  Child, Boy, Altruist, Philanthropist, Chauffer, etc.

Animals: Dog, Cat, Mouse, alligator, wolf etc.

Things: Table, Book, Pencil, Books etc.

Places: City, State, Park, etc

 

Collective Noun

Collective noun denotes the collection of person, animal or things.

Class --- Students

Army --- Ants

Trail --- Ants (moving)

Quiver --- Arrows

Volley ---Arrows, Stone, Bullets, Abuse, Questions, etc

Flock --- Animal (milk); Birds

Herd --- Wild animals

Flight --- Birds (Flying)

Boquete --- Group of flowers

Garland --- Group of flowers on a string

Flotilla --- Boats

Armada --- Ships (War)

Fleet --- Ships (War + Traveller)

Galaxy --- Stars + Planets

Constellation --- Group of stars

Congress --- Delegates

Syndicate --- Merchants

Swarm --- Insects/Fish/Bees

Shoal --- Fish

Mob --- Angry people

Crowd --- People



Note                                                                                                                 

  • In case of division in the group – plural verb and plural possessive pronoun is used.

Example: Jury has given its verdict

  • In case there is no division (group as a whole) – singular verb and singular possessive pronoun is used.

Jury have given their verdicts.

Material Noun

The basic features of Material Noun are:

  • It denotes the base quality of a metal
  • We never use ‘a/an’ before it.
  • We never make plural of material noun.

Note: If we make plural of material noun it changes its meaning. For example:

          Fruit – Eatables; Fruits – Result

          Water --- Waters: River/Fountain

          Sand --- Sands: Desert

          Air --- Airs: Bad behaviour

          Powder --- Powders: Medicine

          Physic --- Physics: Subject

          Wood --- Woods: Forest

           Iron --- Irons: Fetters

           Silver --- Silvers (Jewellery)

           Gold --- Golds (Jewellery)

           Tin à Tins: Boxes

           Ash --- Ashes: Remains of mortal

           Alphabet – collection of all English letters;

           Alphabets – Language.

Material Noun used in some sentences as example:

          I work in a rubber factory.

          My boyfriend gifted me a fake diamond ring.

          Rita's hair are sleak and shiny.

Thus, material noun are usually found in nature and then used by humans to make various things of necessity.

They are uncountable and usually in concrete form.

Abstract Noun

The word abstract means something existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.

Abstract Noun denotes the feeling and emotions (mental state) i.e. something that our five senses cannot feel.

Ideas, Theories, Experiences, feelings and qualities are expressed by abstract nouns.

Trick to find Abstract Nouns: Word ends in: -ness, -ment, -hood, -ity, -tion, -ship

 

Some examples of the Abstract Nouns are:

 

Misery, Reality, Energy, intelligence, truth, happiness, curiosity, bravery, loyalty, amity, enmity, satisfaction, foolishness, adulthood, parenthood, relation and many others.

 

Use of Abstract Noun in a sentence:

Failure usually leads to success.

Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder.

One cannot doubt the loyalty of dogs towards their owners.

Patience is key to crack government exams.

Honesty is the best policy.

 

Abstract Nouns are opposite of Material Noun as they are not in concrete form.

Abstract Noun

The word abstract means something existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.

Abstract Noun denotes the feeling and emotions (mental state) i.e. something that our five senses cannot feel.

Ideas, Theories, Experiences, feelings and qualities are expressed by abstract nouns.

Trick to find Abstract Nouns: Word ends in: -ness, -ment, -hood, -ity, -tion, -ship

 

Some examples of the Abstract Nouns are:

 

Misery, Reality, Energy, intelligence, truth, happiness, curiosity, bravery, loyalty, amity, enmity, satisfaction, foolishness, adulthood, parenthood, relation and many others.

 

Use of Abstract Noun in a sentence:

Failure usually leads to success.

Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder.

One cannot doubt the loyalty of dogs towards their owners.

Patience is key to crack government exams.

Honesty is the best policy.

 

Abstract Nouns are opposite of Material Noun as they are not in concrete form.

Uncountable Nouns


The basic features of basic nouns are:

  • We never use ‘a/an’ before it.
  • The nouns referring to the things that we cannot count are called Uncountable Nouns.
  • We never make plural of it by adding ‘s/es’. Thus, only singular verbs are used with uncountable nouns.

Examples of uncountable nouns:

Advice, Abuse, Abundance, Baggage, Luggage, Bread, Butter, Chalk, Crockery, Drainage, Evidence, Equipment, Electricity, Health, Food, Fuel, Nature, Knowledge, Science, Justice, Furniture, Hair, Traffic, Scenery, Prose, Poetry, Information, Machinery, Work, Cost, etc.

Uncountable nouns have more general meaning (rather than countable nouns that have more particular meaning)

Determiners – Some, less, lesser, much, etc – are used for uncountable nouns.

For example:

            Please give me some rice.

            How much money does this dress cost?

            There was less traffic on road today.

            I don’t want any chocolate.

 

Note:

A number of/the number of – requires a plural noun after it, therefore uncountable noun is never placed after it.

A number of – take Plural verb

The number of - take Singular verb

Plural or Singular Nouns

List of nouns that look plural but they have singular verbs:

Phonetics, Measles, Humanities, Politics, Mathematics, Statistics, etc.

Note: if we use article ‘the’ before mathematics, politics and statistics we always use plural verbs.

Example:

Teacher said that the mathematics of your son were not excellent.

List of few nouns that look plural and they have plural verbs:

Jeans, Trousers, Pants, Leggings, Capris, Boxers, Spectacles, Goggles, Sun Glasses, Shoes, Socks, Compasses, Forceps, Tongs, Pluckers, Divides, Pilers, Pincers, Tweezers, Binoculars, Scissors, Annals, Archives, Assets, ruins, repairs, works, eatables, orders, contents, dues, etc.

Example:

Scissors are lying on the table.

List of Nouns that always have plural verbs:

Police, People, Poultry, Cattle, Peasantry, Gentry, Vermin, Excreta, Folk, Majority, Clergy, etc.

  • No ‘a/an’ before them
  • No ‘s/es’ after them

Example:

Police are running after gambler.

List of nouns that have either singular or plural verb without changing their forms:

Sheep, Swine, Series, Species, Fish, Offspring, Mischief, Innings, etc.

Example:

Sheep are used for wool (right) (note: not sheeps)

Sheep is used for wool (right)

Compound Noun

The nouns that consists of two words is called compound noun. These two words are used to denote single meaning.

Generally, there are, Common Word + Root Word.  Here, we make plural of Root Word.

For example:

 

Singular

Plural

Mother-in-law

Mothers in law

Brother-in-law

Brothers in law

Step son

Step sons

Step father

Step Fathers

Commander-in-chief

Commanders in chief

Pick Pocket

Pick pockets

Pick Purse

Pick purses

Major General

Major Generals

Passer by

Passers by

Shop Lifter

Shop lifters

Looker on

Lookers on

Hanger on

Hangers on

Woman eater

Woman eaters

Man hater

Man haters

Woman lover

Woman lovers

Touch-me-not (plant)

Touch-me-nots

Forget-me-not

Forget-me-nots

Have not

Have nots

 

Plural form of Some Nouns

Plural of nouns ending in ‘Rium’

  • It changes into ‘Ria’

Singular

Plural

Aquarium

Aquaria

Herbarium

Herbaria

Vivarium

Vivaria

Honorarium

Honoraria

Dolphinarium

Dolphinaria

Bacterium

Bacteria

 

Plural of nouns ending in ‘Um’

  • It changes into ‘a’

Singular

Plural

Stadium

Stadia

Erratum

Errata

Stratum

Strata

Dictum

Dicta

Datum

Data

 

Plural of some special nouns

 

Singular

Plural

Phenomenon

Phenomena

Criterion

Criteria

 

Plural of nouns ending in – ‘sis/xis’

  • It changes into ‘ses/xes’

Singular

Plural

Axis

Axes

Thesis

Theses

Synopsis

Synopses

Analysis

Analyses

Metamorphosis

Metamorphoses

 

Did You Know

  • The words that replace the noun are called the Pronouns.