A Brief Introduction: Nouns

What is a noun?

At its most basic level nouns are ‘naming words’. Meaning they describe a person, place or thing.

How many types of nouns are there?

There are four main groups of nouns. The following is a list with examples:


  1. Common nouns:
  • Common nouns are words that describe everyday objects/things.
    • For example: house, car, apple, bread, mobile, town, bank etc.
    • For example: This is my house.  My car is red. I am eating an apple.

2. Abstract nouns:

  • Abstract nouns are words that describe things that we cannot physically touch or see. Generally abstract nouns describe things such as feelings/ emotions, ideas and beliefs.
    • For example: love, hate, courage, communism, capitalism etc
    • For example: Love is special. Communism is not practiced anymore.

3. Collective nouns:

  • Collect nouns are names for groups of things such as plants/ animals/ humans.
    • For example: group, bunch, flock, herd/ gaggle/ school/ pod/ family etc
    • For example: … a pod of dolphins; a school of fish; a gaggle of geese; a herd of sheep; a bunch of flowers; a group of people

4. Proper nouns:

  • Proper nouns are the names of people, places (villages, towns, countries etc), buildings and institutions. They are easy to remember and identify in a sentence because the always start with a capital letter.
    • For example: Hester, Susan, Daniel, London, Paris, New York, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, Tokyo Sky Tree, International House, United Nations, Amnesty International etc
    • For example: I use to live in South Africa. When I lived in Paris I went up the Eiffel Tower.  I want to work for the United Nations.

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