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01 June 2019

What is a Noun in English Grammar? Types of noun in English grammar with examples

What is a Noun in English Grammar: Noun is nothing but a word or a group of words used as the name of a class of people (E.g. Teacher, Englishman, Sarah), places (E.g. Park, library, India), things (E.g. Cup, book, milk) of a specific person, place or thing. A noun can either be singular (i.e.) a pen or plural (i.e.) two pens.

Classification of nouns in English Grammar: Noun can be classified into:
·       Common nouns and proper nouns
·       Countable and uncountable nouns
·       Collective nouns
·       concrete and abstract nouns.

Common and Proper nouns: Common nouns are those which denote a class of entities like a city, person, and the planet as against Proper nouns which denote unique entities like India, John, and Jupiter. Common nouns are generic and proper nouns are more specific.

Countable and uncountable nouns: Countable nouns are those which can take a plural word and can combine with quantifiers and numerals, for example, one, four, every, most and several.  A countable noun can take an indefinite article (a or an). Examples for countable nouns are a nose, occasion, and chair. 

Uncountable nouns are also called as mass nouns and the uncountable nouns cannot take plural and cannot combine with quantifiers and numerals, for example, helium, laughter. In this example, we cannot say helium or four heliums. This is called uncountable nouns.

Collective nouns: Collective nouns are those which refer to a group consisting of more than one entity, even when they are modified for the singular. Examples are school, committee, and herd.

Concrete and abstract nouns: Concrete nouns are the sense that can observe physical bodies. For example, apple, chair, and John is a concrete noun. On the other hand, abstract nouns refer to abstract objects like concepts or ideas. For example, hatred, justice is abstract nouns.


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How to Use Nouns as the Subject of a Sentence

It is the prime intention of all to learn English, the World Language, well. It is his /her dream to master the language and to express it through speech and writing. But before mastering the language it is better to know the grammar of it. For it is inevitable to learn English grammar to have a keen sense of the language.
Among the eight parts of speech, the noun comes first as a noun is the name of anything whether it is the person, a place, an idea or anything else. Hence in a word we can easily say that noun is nothing but a naming word. It is noun that plays the most vital role in a English language sentence. So without the use of a noun it is quite impossible to use a sentence or express any feeling.
Now it is the first and foremost duty of a leaner of the English grammar to pick out from a sentence the nouns and try to differentiate it with the other parts of speech. It has to be noted that there are five nouns in English Grammar.


1.     Proper noun- It is that English Grammar noun which denotes the name of anything under the Sun. It may be a person, a thing, a material, an idea, anything or event as distinct from every other.
For Example: "Mary is my sister."
Explanation: In this word Mary is the name of a woman, similarly London, The Thames, The Alps, The French Revolution, The Ramayana, The Telegraph etc.


2.     Common noun- It denotes no one person or thing in particular but is common to any and every person or thing of the same kind. Thus when we use ‘man’ we denote no particular man but every man, ‘book’ not any particular book like the Bible or the Geeta, the Koran etc. but any and every book.

3.     Abstract noun- It is the name of a quality, action or state belonging to an object.
Thus we can mention Softness, smile, wealth, silence etc.


4.     Collective noun- A collective noun is the name of a group or collection of persons or things taken as a whole.

We can say in this manner: “A flock of sheep are grazing in the field.”
In this sentence “a flock of sheep” is the collective noun. “Sheep” is a common noun as it stands for any and every sheep; flock is a collective noun as it stands for all the sheep referred to.


5.     Material noun- A material noun denotes the name or substance, of which things are made. Thus we can say that ‘river’ is a common noun, but ‘water’ of which it is made is nothing but a material noun.

The other things that the learners have to keep in mind are:
1) A noun cannot go without a verb.
2) The first letter of a proper noun must be capitalized.

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