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A noun is a word used to name a person, animal, place, thing, and abstract idea.

A noun can function in a sentence as a subject, a direct object, an indirect object, a subject complement, an object complement, an adjective or an adverb.


Noun Gender

Many common nouns, like “engineer” or “teacher,” can refer to men or women. Once, many English nouns would change form depending on their gender. For example, a man was called an “author” while a woman was called an “authoress”—but this use of gender-specific nouns is very rare today. Those that are still used occasionally tend to refer to occupational categories.

Noun Plurals

Most nouns change their form to indicate number by adding “-s” or “-es in good number of cases.

Other nouns form the plural irregularly. For example, plural of ox is oxen. We will discuss more about plurals in the next pages of this chapter.


Possessive Nouns

In the possessive case, a noun or pronoun changes its form to show that it owns or is closely related to something else. Usually, nouns become possessive by adding a combination of an apostrophe and the letter “s”.

Possessive case of a singular noun that does not end in “s” can be made by adding an apostrophe and “s”.

Possessive case of a singular noun that ends in “s” can be made by adding an apostrophe alone.

Possessive case of a plural noun that does not end in “s” can be made by adding an apostrophe and a “s”.

Possessive case of a plural noun that does end in “s” can be made by adding an apostrophe.

Types of Nouns

Proper Nouns

Proper noun represents the name of a specific person, place, or thing. The names of days of the week, months, historical documents, institutions, organizations, religions, their holy texts and their adherents are proper nouns. A proper noun can be seen as the opposite of a common noun. A proper noun is written with a capital letter. 

Example : Saturday, May, Oxford University, Islam, etc.


Common Nouns

A common noun is a noun referring to a person, place, or thing in a general sense. A common noun can be seen as the opposite of a proper noun. 

Example : Man, hotel, chair, etc.

Concrete Nouns

A concrete noun refers to objects and substances, including people and animals, physical items that we can perceive through our senses, that mean concrete nouns can be touched, felt, held, something visible, smelt, taste, or be heard. A concrete noun is the opposite of abstract noun. 

Example : desk, cake, water, etc.


Abstract Nouns

An abstract noun is a noun which names anything which cannot perceive through five physical senses. It is opposite of a concrete noun. 

Example : happiness, knowledge, kindness, etc.


Countable Nouns

A countable noun is a noun with both a singular and a plural form, and it names anything (or anyone) that can be counted. A countable noun can be made plural. Countable nouns are the opposite of non-countable nouns and collective nouns. 

Example : pens, bottles, trees, men, etc.


Non-Countable Nouns

A non-countable noun (or mass noun) is a noun which does not have a plural form, and which refers to something that could (or would) not be usually counted. A non-countable noun always takes a singular verb in a sentence. Non-countable nouns are similar to collective nouns, and are the opposite of countable nouns. 

Example : furniture hair, coffee, ink, etc.


Collective Nouns

A collective noun is a noun naming a group of things, animals, or persons. One can count the individual members of the group, but usually group is seen as a whole and generally as one unit.

It is important to be able to recognize collective nouns in order to maintain subject-verb agreement. A collective noun is similar to a non-countable noun, and is roughly the opposite of a countable noun. 


Example : army, class, crew, jury, family, etc.

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