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You know by now that a noun is a word - a word that is a person, place, thing, or idea. Let's take a closer look at nouns and the different types of ways we can describe them! Are you ready?
Nouns can be further broken down into common nouns and proper nouns.
Common nouns names general items. Common nouns
are not capitalized, unless they are at the beginning of a sentence
or part of a title.
Proper nouns are names given to a specific person, place or thing. Proper nouns are always capitalized
See the table below for some examples
|Common Noun||Proper Noun|
|amusement park||Disney World|
I live in a country called Canada.
(country - common, Canada - proper)
Out of all the coffee shops in the
neighbourhood, my favourite is the Starbucks coffee shop on Queen
(coffee shops - common, Starbucks - proper, Queen Street - proper)
Barack Obama, the White House, and Bugs Bunny are all examples of proper nouns.
Are you an expert on common nouns and proper nouns now? Take this quiz
Now that you're familiar with common and proper nouns, let's look at another way we can classify nouns - concrete and abstract!
Concrete nouns are words that represent objects you can experience in the real world with your five senses - what you see, hear, touch, smell or taste.
Abstract nouns is something intangible. You can't really see, hear, touch, smell or taste it. An abstract noun can be an aspect, concept, idea, experience, state of being, trait, quality, feeling, or other entity that cannot be experienced with your five senses.
To make sure something abstract is noun, check to see if you can place "a" or "the" before.
For example, you can say "I love my wife" - but in this case "love" is not a noun, it's a verb.
If you say "This is a love that will last forever", then love is an abstract noun.
Emotions/feelings: love, hate, anger, peace,
States/attributes: bravery, honesty, loyalty, integrity, compassion, courage, courage, deceit, beauty, skill, misery
Ideas/concepts: dreams, justice, liberty, freedom, life, truth, knowledge, information, culture, trust
Movements/events: education, hospitality, friendships.
Abstract nouns are very common. A lot of abstract nouns are derived from alterations of the root word, or from adding a suffix. For example, "child" is a concrete noun (a person is an idiot), while "childhood" is an abstract noun (because it's an intangible state). Here are some suffixes usually used in abstract nouns:
This concept is a bit more tricky! Check out our explanations below.
Count nouns refer to any types of nouns that can be counted. They have singular and plural forms. They are the most common types of nouns you will encounter.
e.g. cars, apples, buses, bananas
Mass nouns refer to things that cannot be counted. You don't really refer to these plural objects as separate entities. Rather, you think of it as one. For example, how exactly do describe a lot of money? You cannot say "moneys"! They do not usually have a plural form.
Some nouns may permit treatment as either count or mass nouns - that is, sometimes there are situations where you may add plural form to these mass nouns.
One example is salad: you can say "much salad", "a lot of salad" - this is using salad as a mass noun. Or you can use it as a count noun, "many salads", "kinds of salads".
Note that in all of these above instances, these words are describing groups of things.