A noun is a word for a person, place, or thing. (You might like to think of nouns as “naming” words.) Everything we can see or talk about is represented by a word that names it. That “naming” word is called a noun.
Often a noun will be the name for something we can touch (e.g., lion, cake, computer), but sometimes a noun will be the name for something we cannot touch (e.g., bravery, mile, joy).
Everything is represented by a word that lets us talk about it. This includes people (e.g., man, scientist), animals (e.g., dog, lizard), places (e.g., town, street), objects (e.g., vase, pencil), substances (e.g., copper, glass), qualities (e.g., heroism, sorrow), actions (e.g., swimming, dancing), and measures (e.g., inch, ounce).
Common Nouns and Proper Nouns
A common noun is the word used for a class of person, place, or thing (e.g., person, city, dog).
A proper noun is the given name of a person, place or thing, i.e., its own name (e.g., Michael, New York, Rover). (Note: A proper noun always starts with a capital letter.)
Here are some more examples of common nouns and proper nouns:
|Common Noun||Proper Noun|
|bridge||The Golden Gate Bridge|
The Different Types of Nouns
A noun can usually be further categorized depending on its meaning (e.g., Is it something tangible?) or its structure (e.g., Is it made up of more than one word?).
Below is a list of the different types of nouns with examples:
Abstract nouns are things you cannot see or touch. For example:
Collective nouns are words that denote groups. For example:
Collective nouns can be treated as singular or plural. It depends on the sense of your sentence. For example:
- The team is scheduled to arrive at 4 o’clock.
- The team are wearing different novelty hats.
Compound nouns are nouns made up of more than one word. For example:
- water bottle
Some compound nouns are hyphenated, some are not, and some combine their words to form a single word.
Concrete nouns are things you can see or touch. For example: