Nouns are words that name something that is a person, place, thing, an idea or a concept.
As a person: Mahatma Gandhi, my father, Sachin Tendulkar, a child
As a place: Mt. Everest, New Delhi, dining room
As a thing: ball, table, sofa, cloth
As an idea or concept: freedom, honesty, usefulness, capitalism
They can function as subjects, objects (direct or indirect), subject complement, object complement and appositive and as an adjective.
These nouns can also be divided into different types and be categorised by various parameters-
PROPER NOUNS vs COMMON NOUNS
- One important distinction to be made is whether a noun is a proper noun or a common noun. A proper noun is a specific name of a person, place, or thing, and is always capitalized.
Does Ram have much homework to do this evening?
Ram is the name of a specific person.
I would like to visit the Taj Mahal.
Taj Mahal is the specific name of a famous monument.
- The opposite of a proper noun is a common noun, sometimes known as a generic noun. A common noun is the generic name of an item in a class or group and is not capitalized unless appearing at the beginning of a sentence or in a title.
The girl crossed the river.
Girl is a common noun; we do not learn the identity of the girl by reading this sentence, though we know the action she takes. River is also a common noun in this sentence.
Types of Common Nouns
Common or generic nouns can be broken down into three sub-types:
- A CONCRETE NOUN is something that is perceived by the senses; something that is physical or real.
I heard the doorbell.
My hands are sticky.
Doorbell and hands are real things that can be sensed.
- Conversely, an ABSTRACT NOUN is something that cannot be perceived by the senses.
We can’t imagine the courage it took to do that.
Courage is an abstract noun. Courage can’t be seen, heard, or sensed in any other way, but we know it exists.
- A COLLECTIVE NOUN denotes a group or collection of people or things.
That pack of lies is disgraceful.
The fleet of ships is getting into position.
Pack of lies and fleet of ships have been used here as collective nouns. Collective nouns take a singular verb as if they are one entity – in this case, the singular verb is.
A pride of lions roamed the savanna.
Pride of lions is also a collective noun.
COUNTABLE NOUNS VS. UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS
Countable nouns are nouns which can be counted, even if the number might be extraordinarily high (like counting all the people in the world). Countable nouns can be used with a/an, the, some, any, a few, and many.
Here is a cat.
Cat is singular and—obviously—countable.
Here are a few cats.
Here are some cats.
Uncountable nouns are nouns that come in a state or quantity which is impossible to count; liquids are uncountable, as are things that act like liquids (sand, air). They are always considered to be singular, and can be used with some, any, a little, and much.
An I.Q. test measures intelligence.
Intelligence is an uncountable noun.
Students don’t seem to have much homework these days.
This example refers to an unspecified, unquantifiable amount of homework, so homework is an uncountable noun.
If you can understand the essence of why a certain noun is used, you can rest assured, these pesky little words will become the least of your problems. For a better understanding, practical application and expert guidance, visit Pep Talk India today! Revolution is here!