Nouns

Nouns, as per school level definition, are words which signify a person, thing, animal, place or an abstract idea. Accordingly, nouns can be of various forms. Knowledge of nouns, their uses in a sentence, their various forms is how English grammar lessons usually begin.

For instance, Michael lives in Paris in an apartment building.

In this sentence, “Michael” is a person’s name, “Paris” the name of a place, “apartment” and “building” are names of common things. As one can see, the various nouns used here are of different categories which are discussed below:

Nouns Proper Noun: these are words which are used to signify the names of persons, places, objects and even animals. Proper nouns are usually unique and signify names of individuals, building, places, objects and so forth. These are written with a capital letter in the beginning of the word. For instance, Michael is the name of a person and Paris is the name of a place in the above example.

Common Noun: these are words which indicate common objects, persons, animal species and so on. For instance, “apartment” is a common noun and so is “building”. These two words signify common architectural objects.

Abstract Noun: these are words which convey things which cannot be seen or felt by touch. Words like emotion, character, mood are words which signify aspects of human life which can be felt or experienced through the mind.

Noun Gender: this signifies use of different nouns for different genders. For instance, in many cases, the name for an occupation changes when it refers to a man and when it refers to a woman. “waitress” and “waiter” signify respectively women and men in the same occupation. Similarly for “actor”, “actress”, “head master”, “head mistress”.

Noun Plurals: many nouns change their form slightly or more when the plural form of an object, person, place is discussed. Usually, plural form is indicated by adding “s” to the singular noun or “es”. For instance, “city” becomes “cities” in the plural, “animal” becomes “animals” in the plural and so forth. But there are also exceptions.

Possessive Nouns: Nouns denote their possession of another person or object by the use of apostrophe and “s” in two different forms. In case of possession by a single person it is written as: Cassandra’s suitcase is lying in the corridor. In case of possession by more than one person it is written as: the suitcases’ handles were found defective in the manufacturing process.

These, in a nutshell, are the fundamentals of nouns in English grammar. For exercises on nouns, one can download nouns worksheets from the internet.

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