Nouns | What are 11 Types of Nouns? Explain with Examples

What is a noun?

Definition

  • A noun is a word used as the name of a person, place, or thing as well as passion or thought.
  • Noun is a member of the class of words that typically can be combined with determiners to serve as the subject of a verb, can be interpreted as singular or plural, and refer to an entity, quality, state, action or concept.

First known use

It was first used in 14th Century.

History and etymology

Middle English nowne, from Anglo French nom, noun mane, noun, from Latin nomen. 

Common examples of noun

Sarmad, Karachi, School, girl, man, horse etc.

Use of nouns in sentences

  • I have a book.
  • I drink water.
  • She is my sister.
  • The Faisal Mosque is in Islamabad.
  • The student is reading a book.
  • The boys are singing.
  • The children are in the playground.

Some Important Nouns Explained

Fruit

When we use the word ‘fruit’, it can be singular or plural. For example, when we use the word fruit for eating item, it is singular and otherwise it is plural.

He served me with fruit.

In above sentence fruit is sued for eating therefore it is used in singular form.

He reaped the fruits of his labor. (Here the fruits is used other than eating item.)

People

‘People’ is a noun word which is used in singular or plural form.

  • When use for one group of people “The people have come to see the match.”
    • When use for different sects “The peoples of the world suffer from poverty.”

Work

When use to indicate assignment, it is in singular form.

For example,

He is looking for work.

When use to indicate the master piece of some writer or singer, it is used in plural form.

Example

The works of Shakespeare.

Further to indicate activity on large scale, we use work in plural form. For example,

  1. Engineering works
  2. Irrigation works
  3. Road works
  4. Iron works
  5. Gas works

Room

To indicate the space in order to show the standing position of someone, sitting position or to show the presence of items, we use the work room instead of place.

Example,

  1. There is no place in this compartment. (incorrect)
  2. There is no room in this compartment. (correct)

Family Member

The work of noun family member or staff member is wrongly used. It is written as member of the family or member of the staff.

Common Pitfalls in the use of Nouns

IncorrectCorrect
This house is built of bricks and stones.This house is built of brick and stone.
The officer passed order against him.The officer passed orders against him.
Put your sign here. *Put your signature here.
The whole family meets at meal. **The whole family meets at meals.
I saw two females. ***I saw two women or ladies.
Give me some blotting. ****Give me some blotting paper.
We have many works to do. *****We have much work to do.
In enjoy seasonal vegetable.In enjoy seasonal vegetables.
His father is in the custom department.His father is in the customs department.
I am out of sort today. ******I am out of sorts today.

Explanation

* In the above sentence, put has used as verb and sign has also used as verb, therefore with the already existing verb, we use noun i.e. signature.

** Here meal means the quantity of food for one time while meals mean the food which eat together.

*** Female means group of genders that can be birds or animals, however in this sentence there is indication towards women.

**** Blotting is no word rather blotting paper is the correct word.

***** Here work means assignment, there cannot be used in plural form.

****** Here sort means type but to indicate health condition we use ‘out of sorts’.

Gender of Nouns

The noun which denote males are said to be in the masculine gender; those denoting females are in the feminine gender.

Masculine: boy, man, cock, father, king etc.

Feminine: girl, woman, hen, mother, queen.

Neuter gender: box, stone, tree, book

Common Gender: child pupil, friend

Types of Nouns

  1. Common Noun
  2. Proper Noun
  3. Collective Noun
  4. Abstract Noun
  5. Material Noun
  6. Countable Noun
  7. Uncountable Noun
  8. Regular Noun
  9. Irregular Noun
  10. Plural Noun
  11. Possessive Noun

1 – Common Noun

A common noun is a noun that denotes a general or common person or thing. These nouns are names which can be used for any number of persons, places or things of the same kind. For example, boy, dog, gun, book, chair, man, woman.

Examples in sentences

  • She is a girl.
  • He is a boy.
  • I have a computer.
  • She bought a book and a pen.

A noun that may occur with limiting modifiers (such as a or an, some, every, and my) and that designates any one of a class of beings or things.

First known use

It was firstly used in 1656.

General Rule for common noun

In a work, common noun starts with small leter and when it starts from first word in a sentence, it is used in capital letter form.

Example

  • My father and his friend plan to go to Murree.
  • Cities must frame rules as per SOP of Government.

 Similarly when the common noun is used for the title of any movie or book, it is in capital form.

Examples

  • “website” is common noun.
  • “Leaf” the name of book.

2 – Proper Noun

The work “proper” means belonging particularly to somebody or something. Proper noun means the personal name of place, person or thing. These names usually do not belong to others of the same kind.

General Rule

Proper noun always start with a capital letter; as Ali, Venice, Germany, etc.

Example

Shakespeare was born in London.

In the above sentence, Shakespeare refers to a particular person and London refers to a particular place.

I recite the Holy Quran.

Here Holy Quran is a proper noun.

Our city name is Islamabad.

In this sentence, Islamabad is proper noun.

3 – Collective Noun

 A collective nouns is the name of a number of persons or things taken together and spoken of as one whole.

They are considered one unit and so they are singular.

Examples

Team, class, army, family, feet, herd, cattle, bunch, crowd etc.

Use of Collective Noun in Sentences

  1. The police dispersed the crowd.

The nouns police and crowd are used as the names of a number (or collection) of persons or things taken together and spoken of as one whole. They are called collective nouns.

  1. The jury gave the verdict.
  2. The crowd was very big.
  3. He is a respectable member of the faculty.

4 – Abstract Noun

A noun that denotes some quality, state or action. They cannot be physically touched.

Examples

Honesty, truth, pleasure, thought.

Use of abstract noun in sentences

  • Everyone loves him for his bravery. (Bravery refers to the quality of a person. It is called abstract noun)
  • Happiness is a great blessing.
  • One can lead a happy life even in poverty.
  • Honesty is the best policy.
  • Blood is thicker than water.

To give clear picture of abstract nouns, we show some then in a table.

StatesQualitiesActions
ChildhoodBraveryHatred
PovertyDarknessLaughter
SicknessHardnessLove
SleepyHonestyMovement
YouthWisdomTheft

5 – Material Noun

Things made of matter are called ‘material things’ and names given to them are called material nouns. It also denotes the matter or substance of which things made.

Examples

Glass, iron, clay, frost, rain, snow, wheat, sugar, tea etc.

They may be placed in groups as follows

SrCategoryExamples
1MetalsIron, gold, platinum, silver
2ProductsTea, sugar, rice, wheat
3Geological bodiesMud, sand, granite, stone
4Natural phenomenaRain, dew, cloud, frost
5ManufacturersCloth, soap, rubber, paint

6 – Countable Noun

The name of objects, people etc. that we can count are called countable nouns. These nouns can become plurals also.

Examples

Students, animals, pencils, book, house, paper etc.

Use of countable nouns in sentences

  • The boys are waiting for you.
  • Computers are available at low prices.

In above sentences, there is indication towards those boys and computers present there and which can be counted.

Forms of Countable Nouns

  1. Singular

The singular form refers to one thing or person. Example a ball, the boy, one student.

  1. Plural

The plural form refers to two or more than two things or persons. Example balls, boys, students

Note

Singular countable nouns always take an article such as ‘a’, ‘another’, ‘every’, or ‘the’.

Examples

  1. She wrote a letter to her friend.
  2. He had read every book on the subject.

Plural count nouns can be used with or without an article. They do not take an article when they refer to things or people in general.

Example

  1. Multan is famous for mango gardens.
  2. Students shall work hard.

Plural countable nouns do take the article ‘the’ when they refer precisely to particular things or people.

Example

  1. The old friends are very helpful.
  2. The devoted teachers are highly respected.

When a count noun is the subject of a verb, a singular count noun takes a singular verb, and a plural count noun takes a plural verb.

Example

  1. He likes playing football.
  2. They like playing hockey.

7 – Uncountable Noun

Common things which cannot be counted are called ‘uncountable common nouns’. Articles ‘a’ and ‘an’ cannot be used with such type of things. These things cannot be written in plural form. This type of nouns include some ‘material nouns’ and all ‘abstract nouns’.

These are common nouns that cannot be count and cannot become plurals.

Examples

Water, sugar, machinery, knowledge etc.

Use of Uncountable Nouns in Sentences

  1. Bees collect honey.
  2. We take tea.
  3. We use sugar.
  4. Children play with sand.
  5. We drink water.

8 – Regular Noun

Regular nouns change from their singular forms to become plurals their spelling no change. They become plural adding an ‘s’ as dogs, cats, girls, animals, acters, bangles etc.

To better understand the regular noun, look the charge below.

SingularPlural
ButcherButchers
BoyBoys
AxeAxes
ArrowArrows
MinuteMinutes
NibNibs
PrizePrizes
PicturePictures

9 – Irregular Nouns

Irregular nouns change from their singular form to become plurals their spelling not change.

The plural forms of irregular nouns do not follow the standard rules of add an ‘s’ to the end have instead special forms.

Nouns that end in “s, x, sh, chi, i and o” form their plurals by adding ‘es’ to them.

SingularPlural
ActressActresses
FoxFoxes
LionessLionesses
InchInches
TaxTaxies

For noun ending in ‘y’ with a constant before the last ‘y’, we change the last ‘y’ with ‘ies’ to convert them into plural form.

SingularPlural
ArmyArmies
LadyLadies
FireflyFireflies
PonyPonies
HobbyHobbies

The most nouns ending in ‘f’ or ‘fe’ are changed into ‘ves’.

SingularPlural
CalfCalves
ThiefThieves
WifeWives
HalfHalves
KnifeKnives

Some nouns are changed to plural by changing one or more vowels in them.

SingularPlural
FootFeet
LouseLice
GooseGeese
MouseMice
ToothTeeth

In some nouns we add ‘en’ or ‘ren’ after the noun to make them plural.

SingularPlural
BrotherBrethren
OxOxen
ChildChildren

Some nouns remain the same whether they are used as singular and plural both. Such as cod, fish, doze, news, hair and people.

Some words only occur in plural. Such as pliers, leggings, bowls, economics, tongs, billiards, tights, mathematics etc.

10 – Plural Nouns

Plural noun denotes more than one persons, places or things.

Examples

Boys, pencils etc.

Complete the following sentences; inserting the plural forms of the nouns in brackets.

The (girl) are playing with their (friend).The girls are playing with their friends.
These (tree) shed their (leaf) in autumn.These trees shed their leaves in autumn.
The (man) gather (strawberry) to make jam.The men gather strawberries to make jam.
The (sheep) graze in the (field).The sheep graze in the fields.

11 – Possessive Noun

A possessive noun shows ownership. It is formed by adding an apostrophe.

Examples

Ahmad’s bike, Naeem’s sister

Noun Rule Possessive

Singular: family of birds à bird’s family

Plural: color of eggs à egg’s color

Plurals not ending in ‘s’ (hat of men à men’s hats)

Use of Possessive Noun in Sentences

  1. There are three pencils in Ahmad’s pocket.
  2. Asad’s house is beautiful.
  3. Ahmad’s trouser is pink.
  4. I paid my visit to Naem’s dairy form.
  5. Rafia’s watch is very beautiful.

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