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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.

Example:

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.

Example:

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

Example:

- 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

Example:

- 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.
Example:

- 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.

Example:

- 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.

Examples:
- 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.

Examples:

- 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.
Example:
- A book
- An ant
- The house
If the word can be described as something good or bad, then it is a noun.

Example:

- The movie is good.

- The teacher is bad.

- The weather is bad.