Lesson 5. What You Need to Know about Nouns in English
What is a noun?
A noun is a word that represents a person, animal, plant, place, thing, or idea. It can be either singular or plural.
What are the characteristics of nouns?
- Nouns can work as the subject or the object.
- Nouns are usually preceded by the article – a, an, the.
What are the examples of nouns?
Nouns can be anything you can think of – a boy, Jane, a cat, giraffes, peach trees, the concert, the construction, and so on.
What are the types of nouns?
There are several types of nouns as the follows:
Common and Proper Nouns
Common nouns are used to express things in general.
e.g. language, university, fruit.
Proper things are used to express things in specific.
e.g. English, Harvard University, mango.
Concrete and Abstract Nouns
Concrete nouns are things that you can perceive with the five senses. They can be detected by sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.
e.g. doll, chair, mirror.
Abstract nouns are things that you cannot perceive with the five senses. These refer to ideas, concepts, emotions,
e.g. love, success, importance.
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Countable nouns are things that can be counted using numbers.
e.g. a box, three bananas, eight bowls.
Uncountable nouns are things that cannot be counted. Abstract nouns are usually uncountable as well.
e.g. sugar, music, snow.
Compound and Collective Nouns
Compound nouns consist of two or more words. They can be one word (usually combined with no space), joined by a hyphen (-), or written as two separate words.
e.g. sunglasses, mother-in-law, West Europe.
Collective nouns refer to a group of people, animals, or things.
e.g. a swarm (of bees), a herd (of elephants), a school (of fish).
Forming nouns from verbs
We can form nouns from verbs by adding the suffix –ing. We call that gerunds.
e.g. running (from run), swim (from swimming), eat (from eating).
On the other hand, we can also form nouns by adding the suffix -tion (-sion).
e.g. admission (from admit), description (from describe).
Forming nouns from adjectives
We can form nouns from adjectives by adding the suffixes –ness, –ity, –ment, –ance (-ence).
e.g. happiness (from happy), probability (from probable), enjoyment (from enjoy), and importance (from important).
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