We always hear this word – noun. We hear it at school, we hear it at home. Perhaps even when we grow old, we will still hear this word. That stands to reason – nouns are everywhere. A noun is the word used to name a person, place, thing, event, or idea. Anything that exists that can be named is a noun.

Examples of nouns:

Nouns for people: John, Peter, Robert

Nouns for places: Germany, school, shopping mall

Nouns for things: table, chair, electric fan

Nouns for ideas: exaggeration, ideology

Nouns for actions when considered as things (“gerunds”): reading, listening, crying

Quick tip

If you can put the word the in front of a word and it sounds like a unit, the word is a noun.

For example, the girl sounds like a unit, so girl is a noun. The window sounds like a unit, so window is a noun.

There are six distinct groups of nouns: Proper Nouns, Common Nouns, concrete nouns, abstract nouns, collective nouns, and compound nouns.

Proper Nouns – Refer to a specific name of a person, place, and things. These names are almost always capitalized. One particular type of proper noun which is used to address a certain person is called a noun of address.


Washington, D.C is the Capital of the USA.

Mary had a little lamb.

Halloween is a scary celebration.
Common Nouns – They can name anything, and are not usually capitalized.


The ladies are dancing.

Earth is called the living planet of the solar system.

The table is damaged.

There are also different categories of nouns.

Countable nouns – nouns which can be counted


- Four chickens

- One book

- A dozen eggs

- You should read these two books.

- My mother gave me five dolls.

- The dog barked at three bicyclists.
Non-countable nouns – are nouns which cannot be counted


- Air

- Water

- Strength

- The air is smoky in this restaurant.

- I need water to keep running.

- His strength inspired us all.
Collective Nouns – these are nouns which can appear in a singular form but can mean more than one person or items.

- Class

- Team

- Committee
- The class brought gifts for their teacher.

- The team needs a new captain.

- We voted on the committee.
Abstract Nouns – these nouns refers to things that you cannot touch.


- Justice

- Love

- He found justice at the courthouse.

- Love is a many-splendored thing.
Concrete Nouns— A concrete noun names an object that can be perceived by the senses: woman, Joan Shea, mice, cheese.

- Put the final sauce and cheese on them just before baking.

- The results appeared in all 30 mice tested.

Compound nouns— New words can be formed by combining two or more words, thus creating a compound word.


- tennis shoe

- bedroom

- They advertised it as the world's best tennis shoe.

- Both the bedroom and the terrace have views over South Cocoanut Bayou.

In order to identify if a noun is a noun, we need to identify what it does in a sentence.

For example:

What does it do in the sentence?

It is a noun if it comes after the words ‘a’, ‘an’, and ‘the’ in a sentence.
- A book
- An ant
- The house
If the word can be described as something good or bad, then it is a noun.


- The movie is good.

- The teacher is bad.

- The weather is bad.