One of the primary elements of parts of speech is the noun. It is a word used to describe a person, place, thing, event, idea, and so on. Nouns represent one of the main elements of sentences, along with verbs, adjectives, prepositions and articles.
Nouns usually function as subjects or objects within sentences, although they can also act as adjectives and adverbs.
Now there are different types of nouns, each with its own set of usages and rules. Let’s take a closer look at them:
- Proper nouns
Used to describe a unique person or thing, proper nouns always start with a capital letter. Examples include Mary, India, and Manchester United.
- Common nouns
Common nouns are used to describe persons or things in general. Examples include girl, country, and team
- Concrete nouns
Nouns that can be perceived through the five senses are called concrete nouns. Examples include ball, rainbow and melody.
- Abstract nouns
Nouns that cannot be perceived through the five senses are called abstract nouns. Examples include love, courage, and childhood.
- Countable nouns
Countable nouns can be counted. They also have both a singular and a plural form. Examples include toys, children and books.
- Non-countable nouns
These nouns (usually) cannot be counted, and they don’t have a plural form. Examples include sympathy, laughter and oxygen.
- Collective nouns
Collective nouns are used to describe groups of things. Examples include flock, committee and murder.
Plural Form of Nouns
The English language has both regular and irregular plural forms of nouns. The most common case is when you need to add -s to the noun. For example: one car and two cars.
The other two cases of the regular plural form are:
- nouns that end with s, x, chor sh, where you add -es (e.g., one box, two boxes)
- nouns that end with consonant + y, where you change the y with i and add -es(e.g., one enemy, two enemies)
On the irregular plural form of nouns there are basically eight cases:
- nouns that end with -o, where you add -es(e.g., one potato, two potatoes)
- nouns ending with -is, where you change -is to -es(e.g., one crisis, two crises)
- nouns ending with -f, where you change –f to -v and add -es(e.g., one wolf, two wolves)
- nouns ending with -fe, where you change -f to -v and add -s(e.g., one life, two lives)
- nouns ending with -us, where you change -us to -i(e.g., one fungus, two fungi)
- nouns that contain -oo, change -oo to -ee (e.g., one foot, two feet)
- nouns that end with -on, where you change -on with -a(e.g., phenomenon, phenomena)
- nouns that don’t change (e.g., sheep, offspring, series)
Fret not, all it takes is a little bit of practice everyday and you will be good with your nouns in no time! Watch out for the next piece on pronouns!