We all are familiar with the common rhyme, “a noun is the name of a person, place or thing” taught to us in school. Little did we know that nouns include more than just these basic components. Nouns are categorized into various types, depending upon their nature and character. Rightly we can say that noun is a part of speech highly significant in the English language. In fact, our entire English language (be it formal or everyday) relies on the use of different kinds of nouns. Any message, conversation or expression is incomplete without a noun. A noun plays several roles in a sentence as a subject, a direct object, an indirect object, a subject complement, an object complement, an appositive, an adjective or an adverb. Given here are given different kinds of nouns described for your knowledge.
Different Kinds Of Nouns
Names of a specific person, place or thing that begin with a capital letter are classified as proper nouns. Say for instance, London, John, Sun, Manchester, Billy and White House, are all proper nouns that distinguish themselves from the rest. Names of days of the week, months, historical documents, organizations, institutions, religions and their holy books and brands are also proper nouns. Some such examples are Monday, Baptist, October and Atlantic Ocean.
A common noun is the opposite of a proper noun. Persons, places, things, animals and ideas that are referred in general are termed as common nouns. Man, cat, church, pen, park, etc. are all general, unspecified categories of entities. While Harvard represents a particular institution, the common noun ‘university’ can refer to any educational institution. Likewise, India signifies a specific country, while the word ‘country’ is a common noun as it can signify any country in the world.
Countable Nouns or Count Nouns
Nouns that can be represented in a numerical value are known as countable nouns. A countable noun, in short ‘count noun’, can take both singular and plural forms. For example, bike, book, tree, baby, etc. are countable nouns. However, they can be modified by affixing numerals or quantificational determiners, such as many, most, more, several, and so on. As such, the above mentioned nouns can become several bikes, five hundred books, many trees, eight babies, etc.
Uncountable Nouns or Mass Nouns
A non-countable noun is the opposite of a countable noun, since it never reveals the numerical status of the subject. That is, an uncountable noun is one that cannot be usually counted. Hence, non-countable nouns do not have plurals and always takes a singular verb in the sentence. For example, oxygen, furniture, gravel, information, wood, water, etc. are all uncountable nouns as they do not justify whether they are singular or plural.
Nouns that refer to a group of people, places, things or animals are collective nouns. Although it is possible to count the individual members in a group, it is better to refer the group as one unit, in case of several members. Hence, a collective noun is similar to non-countable noun distinguishing the group from the rest. Consider ‘a flock of geese’, ‘a pride of lions’, ‘a bouquet of flowers’ and ‘a colony of ants’. Here, flock, pride, bouquet and colony are collective nouns that describe a group of certain individuals/objects.
Anything that can be perceived through at least one of our five physical senses, namely, touch, sight, taste, hearing or smell, is called a concrete noun. For instance, dog, salt, wool, cologne, cookies, waves, book binder, couple, tune, etc. are all concrete nouns.
Groups of nouns that cannot be perceived through any of our five senses are termed as abstract nouns. These include emotions, ideas, qualities and feelings. Abstract nouns are opposite of concrete nouns, as they cannot be definitively described or calculated. Such examples are love, hate, freedom, power, patient, peace, war, childhood, afterthought, genius, etc.