What are Nouns?

What are Nouns?

A Noun is the name of a person or of a thing; as, Mary, Thomas, city, horse. Noun is one of the parts of speech in English. Every sentence requires at least one Noun in it. Rabi gave his father a book. Here, Rabi, father and book are Nouns.

Various types of Nouns

Familiarize yourself with the various types of Nouns. Learn these basics of English grammar. You will need these to learn English speaking.

Common Noun:

A Common Noun is a general name or the name of a class of things ; as, boy, girl, city, country.

Proper Noun:

A Proper Noun is a particular name ; as, Ram, Rahim, Kolkata, Durgapur. A Proper Noun always begins with a capital letter.

Collective Noun:

A Collective Noun is the name of a collection of things ; as, army, flock, pack.

Abstract Noun:

An Abstract Noun is the name of a quality, as, beauty, length, goodness.   In the following Exercise, state the class to which each noun belongs. Example : Robert is a proper noun because it is a particular name.   EXERCISE I. Robert, cow, swarm, length, Sarah, road, blanket, horse, Joseph, city, emperor, stove, sweetness, river, Washington, depth, gate, crowd, town, James, pig, Susan, company, lake, Samuel, coat, Annie, desk, weight, grass, mother, smoothness, Jessie, stool, money, William, strength.   Write twenty common nouns, ten proper nouns, five collective nouns and five abstract nouns not found in above exercise.


Gender is, in English, a grouping of words according to sex.   (a) Nouns which are the names of males as, George, king, gander, are said to be Masculine gender.   (3) Nouns which are the names of females as, Lucy, mother, sister, are said to be Feminine gender.   (c) Nouns which are the names of things without life as, iron, gate, chair, are said to be Neuter gender.   (d) Nouns which are the names of things which may be either male or female as, bird, animal, squirrel, are said to be Common gender.   Note.—The gender of masculine and feminine nouns is shown :   (1.) By using different words ; as.   Father, Mother, Son, Daughter, Brother, Sister, Husband, Wife, Uncle, Aunt   (2.) By adding to a noun or common gender some masculine or feminine word ; as,   Merman, Mermaid, He-goat, She-goat etc.

(3.) By adding to the masculine noun the feminine endings (taken from various languages) -ess, -trix, -ine, -a, -ster, -en ; as,

Jew, Jewess, Hero, Heroine, Host, Hostess, Joseph, Josephine, Count, Countess, Sultan, Sultana


Person is the character which a word has according as it represents the speaker, or the person spoken to, or the person spoken of. If John is represented as speaking, the noun John is said to be First Person. If he is spoken to, John is said to be Second Person. If he is spoken of, John is said to be Third Person.


Number is a form of a word to show whether it means one or more than one. There are, in English, two numbers. When a word means but one ; as boy, apple, house, it is said to be Singular number. When it means more than one ; as boys, apples, houses, it is said to be Plural number.


Case is a form of a word to show its relation to other words. There are, in English, three cases; Nominative, Possessive and Objective. In nouns the Nominative and Objective cases, singular, are always alike, but the difference in their use prevents confusion. The same is true of the plural. The Possessive Case, in the singular, is formed by adding an apostrophe and the letter s (‘s) to the nominative : as, John, John’s ; boy, boy’s. In the plural, if the last letter is s the possessive is formed by placing the apostrophe after the s ; as, girls, girls’ ; pens, pens’. But if the last letter in the nominative plural is not s, as in men, mice, oxen, the possessive is formed as in the singular, by adding an apostrophe and an s ; as, men’s, mice’s, oxen’s.

Compound Noun:

Nouns composed of several words are called Compound Nouns; as. Mister Allen, Doctor Brown, brother-in-law.

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