Noun

Noun
Definition: A noun is a word used to refer to people, animals, objects, substances, states, events and feelings. Nouns can be a subject or an object of a verb, can be modified by an adjective and can take an article or determiner.
For example:
  • Table
  • Pencil
  • The dog
  • A white house
Nouns also denote abstract and intangible concepts.
For example:
  • birth
  • happiness
  • evolution
  • technology, etc.
Noun Plurals
We are going to explain some rules that will help you to form the plural forms of the nouns. The general rule is to add "-s" to the noun in singular.
For exaample:
  • Book - Books
  • House - Houses
  • Chair - Chairs
When the singular noun ends in: -sh, -ch, -s, -ss, -x, -o we form their plural form by adding "-es".
For exaample:
  • sandwich - sandwiches
  • brush - brushes
  • bus - buses
  • box - boxes
  • potato - potatoes
When the singular noun ends in "y", we change the "y" for "i" and then add "-es" to form the plural form. But do not change the "y" for "ies" to form the plural when the singular noun ends in "y" preceded by a vowel.
For exaample:
  • nappy - nappies
  • day - days
  • toy - toys
However, there are many Irregular Nouns which do not form the plural in this way:
For exaample:
  • Woman - Women
  • Child - Children
  • Sheep - Sheep
Nouns may take an " 's " ("apostrophe s") or "Genitive marker" to indicate possession. If the noun already has an -s ending to mark the plural, then the genitive marker appears only as an apostrophe after the plural form.
For example:
  • my girlfriend's brother
  • John's house
  • The Browns' house
  • The boys' pens
The genitive marker should not be confused with the " 's " form of contracted verbs, as in John's a good student = John is a good student.
Noun Gender
Many common nouns, like "engineer" or "teacher", can refer to men or women. Once, many English nouns would change form depending on their gender. For example: A man was called an "author" while a woman was called an "authoress".
For example:
  • David Garrick was a very prominent eighteenth-century actor.
  • Sarah Siddons was at the height of her career as an actress in the 1780s.
  • The manager was trying to write a want ad, but he couldn't decide whether he was advertising for a "waiter" or a "waitress"
Types of Nouns
  • Proper nouns are the names of specific things, people, or places, such as Jhon, France. They usually begin with a capital letter.
  • Common nouns are general names such as person, mansion, and book. They can be either concrete or abstract.
  • Concrete nouns refer to things which you can sense such as clock and telephone.
  • Abstract nouns refer to ideas or qualities such as liberty and truth.
  • Countable nouns refer to things which can be counted (can be singular or plural)
  • Uncountable nouns refer to some groups of countable nouns, substances, feelings and types of activity (can only be singular)
Proper Noun
Definition: Proper nouns ( also called proper names) are the words which name specific people, organisations, places, titles, cities, countries, calendar times, etc. They are always written with a capital letter.
For example:
  • Janet; Simon; John Wesley; London; The President; Tuesday; Christmas; Thanksgiving; Atlantic Ocean; Spain.
Examples:
  • Peter lives in Spain.
  • Many people dread Monday mornings.
  • Beltane is celebrated on the first of May.
  • Abraham appears in the Talmud and in the Koran.
Names of people, places and organisations are called proper nouns. We spell proper nouns with a capital letter:
Mohammed Ali; Birmingham; China; Oxford University, the United Nations
We use capital letters for festivals:
Christmas; Deepawali; Easter; Ramadan; Thanksgiving
We use a capital letter for someone’s title:
I was talking to Doctor Wilson recently.
Everything depends on President Obama.
When we give the names of books, films, plays and paintings we use capital letters for the nouns, adjectives and verbs in the name:
I have been reading ‘The Old Man and the Sea’.
Beatrix Potter wrote ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’
You can see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre.
Sometimes we use a person’s name to refer to something they have created:
Recently a Van Gogh was sold for fifteen million dollars.
We were listening to Mozart.
I’m reading an Agatha Christie.




Common noun
Definition: A common noun is a word that names people, places, things, or ideas. They are not the names of a single person, place or thing. A common noun begins with a lowercase letter unless it is at the beginning of a sentence.

There are two kinds of nouns, common and proper, common noun names general items.

Examples:
  • People: man, woman, girl, baby, son, dughther, policeman, teacher
  • Animals: cat, dog, fish, ant, snake
  • Things: bear, book, boat, table, chair, phone
  • Places: bank, school, city, building, shop
  • Ideas: love, hate, idea, pride
Example sentences:
  • apple: I love a good red apple after dinner.
  • dog, yard: The black dog is in my yard.
  • book, table: The red book is on the table.
  • call: Give me a call when you arrive.
Concrete noun
Definition: Concrete nouns refers to objects and substances, including people and animals, physical items that we can perceive through our senses, that means concrete nouns can be touched, felt, held, something visible, smelt, taste, or be heard.
Concrete nouns can be countable nouns or uncountable nouns, and singular nouns or plural nouns. Concrete nouns can also be a common noun, proper nouns and collective nouns.

Example:
  • This is my house.
* In this example the noun "house" names a building where I live. That building is an individual object and can be seen and touched by everyone.
Other examples:
  • Common Concrete Nouns:
    cup, pencil, gift, snake, cat, table, girl, water
  • Countable Concrete Nouns (Singular):
    table, computer, book, door
  • Countable Concrete Nouns (Plural):
    shoes, pants, tables, computers, books, doors
  • Uncountable Concrete Nouns:
    gas, sugar, rice, water, air, oil, salt, cheese
  • Proper Nouns:
    Mrs. Jones, Tom Cruse, Max Ryan
     
  •  
  • * "Time" is a concept that has no physical existence; it is not a Concrete Noun




Abstract Noun
Definition: An abstract noun refers to states, events, concepts, feelings, qualities, etc., that have no physical existence.

Examples:
  1. Friendship; peace; romance; humor are all abstract nouns that have no physical existence.
An abstract noun can be either a countable noun or uncountable noun. Abstract nouns that refer to events are almost usually countable: a noise; a meeting.
achievement
adjustment
amazement
improvement
replacement
action
combination
imagination
production
reduction
attractiveness
bitterness
friendliness
tenderness
ugline

More examples:
  • She is a high-achieving student.
  • Honesty is very important.
  • Liberty was a great topic until most nations got independence.
  • Peter doesn’t want to have his curiosity.
Count Noun
Definition: A Count Noun is a noun which can be modified by a numeral and occur in both singular and plural form, as well as co-occurring with quantificational determiners like every, each, several, most, etc. Countable nouns are individual objects, people, places, etc. which can be counted. Count nouns can be made plural, usually by adding -s or -es at the end.
For example:
  • She saw seven cows in the garden
  • There is a cow in the garden.
  • Every cow is an animal.
Examples:
Usually count nouns
Persons
Places
Things
child/ren
teacher/s
student/s
plumber/s
lawyer/s
psychologist/s
historian/s
economist/s
biologist/s
reporter/s
dean/s
coordinator/s
researcher/s
store/s
mall/s
park/s
bar/s
office/s
school/s
home/s
station/s
church/es
deli/s
cafeteria/s
shop/s
airport/s
shoe/s
car/s
door/s
house/s
key/s
letter/s
chair/s
box/es
cow/s
poster/s
glass/es
ball/s
Some nouns, like the word time, beauty, fire, death, gossip can be used as either a count noun, or a non-count noun.
For example:
  • How much time did it take for you to drive to school?.
    Here, time is a non-count noun, because it refers to a category that contains smaller items (think of it as a "group" of minutes).
  • How many times did you take the test before you passed?.
    Here, time is a count noun, because you can count exactly how many separate times you took the test.
  • They had a death in the family.
  • Death is a tragic thing.
  • Supermarkets have aisles for different foods.
  • The animals at the zoo wanted food.
The "much" and "many" Rule
Many is used with count nouns.
For example:
  • How many papers do you have to write?
  • There were too many books required for that class.
Much is used with non-count nouns.
For example:
  • How much homework did you have last night?
  • I had to read so much literature for my English class.
You can use "some" and "any" with countable nouns.
For example:
  • Some dogs can be dangerous.
  • I don't use any computers at work.
You only use "many" and "few" with plural countable nouns.
For example:
  • Many elephants have been hunted.
  • There are few elephants in England.
You can use "a lot of" and "no" with plural countable nouns.
For example:
  • No computers were bought last week.
  • A lot of computers were reported broken the week before.
Count nouns have two forms: singular and plural.
The singular form refers to one person or thing:
a book; a teacher; a wish; an idea
The plural form refers to more than one person or thing:
books; teachers; wishes; ideas

Singular count nouns

Singular count nouns cannot be used alone. They must have a determiner:
the book; that English teacher; a wish; my latest idea
or a quantifier:
some new books; a few teachers; lots of good ideas
or a numeral:
two new books; three wishes

Plural forms:

We usually add –s to make a plural noun:
book > books; school > schools; friend > friends
We add -es to nouns ending in –ss; -ch; -s; -sh; -x
class > classes; watch > watches; gas > gases; wish > wishes; box > boxes
When a noun ends in a consonant and -y we make the plural in -ies...
lady > ladies; country > countries; party > parties
…but if a noun ends in a vowel and -y we simply add -s:
boy > boys; day > days; play > plays
Some common nouns have irregular plurals:
Man > men; woman > women; child > children; foot > feet;
person > people
Plural count nouns do not have a determiner when they refer to people or things as a group:
Computers are very expensive.
Do you sell old books?
Uncountable Noun
Definition: An uncountable noun (or non-count noun) is a type of common noun that cannot be modified by a number without specifying a unit of measurement. In general, non-count nouns are considered to refer to indivisible wholes (which are not individual objects and can not be counted). For this reason, they are sometimes called MASS nouns. Uncountable nouns are used to describe a quality, action, thing or substance that can be poured or measured. Non-Count nouns also refer to a whole category made up of different varieties or a whole group of things that is made up of many individual parts. Uncountable nouns are always singular. Use the singular form of the verb with uncountable nouns.
For example:
  • There is some water in that pitcher.
  • That is the equipment we use for the project.
Examples:
Usually non-count nouns
Things
Qualities
Actions
Fields of Study
water
stuff
money
advice
proof
equipment
dust
homework
fun
information
ink
luck
dependability
honesty
loyalty
sincerity
integrity
walking/to walk
typing/to type
jumping/to jump
thinking/to think
swimming/to swim
psychology
history
social work
economics
biology
English
anatomy
philosophy
religion
theology
Some nouns, like the word time, beauty, fire, death, gossip can be used as either a count noun, or a non-count noun.
For example:
  • How much time did it take for you to drive to school?.
    Here, time is a non-count noun, because it refers to a category that contains smaller items (think of it as a "group" of minutes).
  • How many times did you take the test before you passed?.
    Here, time is a count noun, because you can count exactly how many separate times you took the test.
  • They had a death in the family.
  • Death is a tragic thing.
  • Supermarkets have aisles for different foods.
  • The animals at the zoo wanted food.
The "much" and "many" Rule
Many is used with count nouns.
For example:
  • How many papers do you have to write?
  • There were too many books required for that class.
Much is used with non-count nouns.
For example:
  • How much homework did you have last night?
  • I had to read so much literature for my English class.
You can use "some" and "any" with uncountable nouns.
For example:
  • I usually drink some wine with my meal.
  • I don't usually drink any water with my wine.
You only use "much" and "little" with uncountable nouns.
For example:
  • I don't usually drink much coffee.
  • Little wine is undrinkable though.
You can use "a lot of" and "no" with uncountable nouns.
For example:
  • A lot of wine is drunk in France.
  • No wine is drunk in Iran.



Some nouns in English are uncount nouns.
We do not use uncount nouns in the plural and we do not use them with the indefinite article, a/an.
We ate a lot of foods > We ate a lot of food
We bought some new furnitures > We bought some new furniture
That’s a useful information > That’s useful information
We can use some quantifiers with uncount nouns:
He gave me some useful advice.
They gave us a lot of information.
Uncount nouns often refer to:
  • Substances: food; water; wine; salt; bread; iron
  • Human feelings or qualities: anger; cruelty; happiness; honesty; pride;
  • Activities: help; sleep; travel; work
  • Abstract ideas: beauty; death; fun; life

Common uncount nouns

There are some common nouns in English, like accommodation, which are uncount nouns even though they have plurals in other languages:
advice
baggage
equipment
furniture
homework
information
knowledge
luggage
machinery
money
news
traffic
Let me give you some advice.
How much luggage have you got?
If we want to make these things countable, we use expressions like:
a piece of...
pieces of...
a bit of...
bits of...
an item of...
items of...
 Let me give you a piece of advice.
That’s a useful piece of equipment.
We bought a few bits of furniture for the new apartment.
She had six separate items of luggage.
but we do not use accommodation, money and traffic in this way.

common problems with count/uncount noun

1: Uncount nouns used as count nouns

Although substances are usually uncount nouns...
Would you like some cheese?
Coffee keeps me awake at night.
Wine makes me sleep.
... they can be also used as count nouns:
I’d like a coffee please.
 =
I’d like a [cup of] coffee.
May I have a white wine.
 =
May I have a [glass of] white wine.
They sell a lot of coffees.
 =
They sell a lot of [different kinds of] coffee.
I prefer white wines to red.
 =
I prefer [different kinds of] white wine to red.
They had over twenty cheeses on sale.
 =
They had over twenty [types of] cheese on sale.
This is an excellent soft cheese.
 =
This [kind of] soft cheese is excellent.

 2: Some nouns have both a count and an uncount form:

We should always have hope.
George had hopes of promotion.
Travel is a great teacher.
Where did you go on your travels?

3: Nouns with two meanings

Some nouns have two meanings, one count and the other non count:
His life was in danger.
There is a serious danger of fire.
Linguistics is the study of language.
Is English a difficult language?
It’s made of paper.
The Times is an excellent paper.
Other words like this are:
business
death
 industry
marriage
power
property
tax
time
victory
use
work

 4: Uncount nouns that end in -s

Some uncount nouns end in -s so they look like plurals even though they are singular nouns.
These nouns generally refer to:
Subjects of study:
mathematics, physics, economics, etc.
Activities:
gymnastics, athletics, etc. 
Games:
cards, darts, billiards, etc.
Diseases:
mumps, measles, rabies, etc.

Economics is a very difficult subject.
Billiards is easier than pool or snooker.

5: Group nouns

Some nouns, like army, refer to groups of people, animals or things, and we can use them either as singular nouns or as plural nouns.
army
audience
committee
company
crew
enemy
family
flock
gang
government
group
herd
media
public
regiment
staff
team
We can use these group nouns either as singular nouns or as plural nouns:
  • My family is very dear to me.
    I have a large family. They are very dear to me. (= The members of my family…)
  • The government is very unpopular.
    The government are always changing their minds.
Sometimes we think of the group as a single thing:
  • The audience always enjoys the show.
  • The group consists of two men and three women.
Sometimes we think of the group as several individuals;
  • The audience clapped their hands.
  • The largest group are the boys.
The names of many organisations and teams are also group nouns, but they are usually plural in spoken English:
  • Barcelona are winning 2-0.
  • The United Oil Company are putting prices up by 12%.

6: Two-part nouns

A few plural nouns, like binoculars, refer to things that have two parts.
glasses
jeans
knickers
pincers
pants
pliers
pyjamas
scissors
shorts
spectacles
tights
trainers
trousers
tweezers
These binoculars were very expensive
Those trousers are too long.
To make it clear we are talking about one of these items, we use a pair of …
I need a new pair of spectacles.
I’ve bought a pair of blue jeans.
If we want to talk about more than one, we use pairs of … :
We’ve got three pairs of scissors, but they are all blunt.
I always carry two pairs of binoculars

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