Noun - An Overview

What is a Noun?

A noun refers to any word that names people, places, objects,events, ideas, and everything else in the universe and beyond. Nouns comprise  the largest group of words in English (and all other languages), which is not surprising since even the tiniest thing in the world has a name. 

What are the Types of Nouns?

There are six most important classes of nouns: Proper, Common, Count, Noncount, Abstract and Concrete. Each type is described below: 

1. Proper nouns

Proper nouns are names of specific people, places, months, days (but never seasons), festivals, magazines, and so forth. Most proper nouns lack articles (e.g. the, a/an) and begin with a capital letter.

  •  While Clara was waiting, Deta had arrived at the front door with Heidi.
  • The largest of all continents is Asia, followed by Africa, North America, South America, Antartica, Europe and Australia

2. Common Nouns

Common nouns are objects, places, events, and so forth that do not begin with a capital letter. Most common nouns can be preceded by articles.

  • Before him lay, spread out like a map, great plains, and farms, and villages, amid dark knots of trees
  • An old man sat in the public-house with a quart of beer and a long pipe.

3. Count Nouns

Count nouns are the type of common nouns that can be counted. Some grammarians call these nouns "countable nouns".

  • Our company designs laptops, desktop computers, music players, and mobile devices.
  • The earth has amazing landscapes- mountains, deserts, rainforests, and polar ice caps.

4. Noncount Nouns

Noncount nouns, also called "mass" or "uncountable" nouns, are common nouns that cannot be counted.

  •  If you need news and information about furniture shipping, visit this website.
  •  Cut down on salt, sugar, starch, and fat to prevent heart disease.

5. Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns refer to nouns that cannot be observed and measured, or simply nouns that only occur in the mind. Some common count and noncount nouns are classified as abstract nouns. 

  • The spiritual nature produces love, joy, peacepatience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness.
  • The CEO's late arrival has caused a one-hour delay in the meeting.

6. Concrete Nouns

Concrete nouns refer to physical, measurable, and observable objects. Some common count and noncount nouns are considered concrete nouns.

  • My dreamhouse consists of four cozy bedrooms, an office, a living room, a kitchen, a terrace, and a garden.
  • Grandpa has a farm where cattle, goats, ducks, chicken, and geese feed.

Each type of noun will be explained and elaborated in future lessons.

Reference

  •  A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language by Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, and Jan Svartvik (Longman Group Ltd., 1985) 
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