What is a Noun in English Grammar?


What is a Noun in English Grammar? We’ll explain the meaning of a noun, how to use nouns, types of nouns, and provide a variety of examples of nouns in English. When you’re learning English grammar, you’ve to deal with the noun. But what exactly is it? And what do nouns do in a sentence? In this article, we will look deeper into the definition of a noun, how it can be used, and the rules that govern its use. Additionally, we will look at some examples to better understand the purpose of nouns.

As a guide, the below definitions and tables provide the fundamental use of the noun. Read on to get a more in-depth explanation of the rules and examples of when and how to use a noun.

Learn to use nouns with example sentences and ESLBLOCK worksheets for printing.

Also read: Baby Farm Animals

What is a Noun?

Nouns are all over our writing. But what are the types of nouns you face, and how do you use them? To understand the meaning of a noun one of the easiest explanations is that it is a word used for the person, object, place, idea, event, quality, quantity, and substance. Nouns are the most common words used in English. Nouns are one of the nine parts of speech.

In English Grammar, nouns can play the role of subject, direct object, indirect object, object complement, subject complement, appositive, or adjective.

Some common noun examples: Aeroplane, train, America, China, Pakistan, teacher, clerk, police officer, preacher, mother, blue, delivery driver, boyfriend, girlfriend, grandma, cousin, bacteria, chemistry.

Some example sentences of nouns;

  • We need to feed our new kitten. (concrete noun – thing)
  • My uncle is staying with me. (concrete noun – person)
  • I am looking forward to visiting New York. (concrete noun – place)
  • They are eating pizza tonight. (concrete noun – thing)
  • The server asked if I’d like to order. (concrete noun – person)
  • She needs a new bag. (concrete noun – thing)
  • There is no honor in cheating. (abstract noun – idea)
  • He is too dishonest for her. (abstract noun – idea)

The noun is a radically different part of speech from an adverb, pronoun, preposition, conjunction, interjunction, noun, adjective, and the rest.

Using a Noun in English Grammar

Following are ways you can use nouns in English Grammar.

  • Using nouns as subjects
  • Using nouns as objects
  • Nouns as subject and object complement
  • Using appositive noun
  • Using nouns as adjectives
  • Using a possessive noun

Using nouns as subjects

Every sentence needs to include a subject, and the subject is always a noun. The subject of a sentence can be the person, place, or thing.

Sofia is beautiful.

Sofia is the subject of this sentence.

Using nouns as objects

Nouns may also be an object of a verb in the sentence. An object can be a direct or indirect object. Let’s take a look at some examples of nouns as objects.

  • Give the bike to her.
  • Through the plate towards the sister.

In these examples, the words her and sister are both nouns being used as the object in the sentence.

Nouns as subject and object complement

Another type of noun use is called a subject complement. In this example, the noun doctor is used as a subject complement.

Amelia is a doctor.

Using appositive noun

The noun will come after another noun as a way of explaining it further when serving as an appositive noun.

My brother, Oliver, is a singer.

The noun Oliver is the appositive noun as it gives us further information on the first noun, brother.

Using nouns as adjectives

A noun may also be used as an adjective in sentences.

The house has a light kitchen.

The word light has been used as an adjective in the above example.

Using a possessive noun

An apostrophe should be used when a noun is used to denote possession of something.

These are the kitten’s things.

Nouns can name a person:

  • Olivia
  • Emma
  • Charlotte
  • Amelia
  • Ava
  • Sophia
  • Isabella
  • Mia
  • Liam
  • Noah
  • Oliver
  • Elijah
  • William
  • James
  • Benjamin

Nouns can name a place:

  • gym
  • store
  • school
  • Lake Minnetonka
  • Minnesota
  • village
  • Europe

Nouns can name a thing:

  • egg
  • computer
  • pen
  • notebook
  • mailbox
  • bush
  • tree
  • candy
  • cornflakes

Nouns can name ideas:

  • liberty
  • panic
  • attention
  • knowledge
  • compassion
  • worship

Abstract Noun Examples

Here is a list of some abstract noun examples.

Feeling examples

  • pride
  • love
  • hope
  • hate
  •  jealousy
  • anger
  • worry

Attribute examples

  • Flexible
  • beauty
  • brilliance
  • bravery
  • honesty
  • Reliable

Concept examples

  • Comfort
  • faith
  • truth
  • justice
  • liberty
  • energy

Types of Nouns

Nouns have a large proportion of English vocabulary and they come in a lot of types. These include:

  • Concrete Nouns
  • Abstract Nouns
  • Common Nouns
  • Proper Nouns
  • Countable Nouns
  • Uncountable Nouns
  • Collective Nouns
  • Compound Nouns

Concrete Nouns

A concrete noun is a person, place, or thing that we observe in our lives. Nouns that we see, hear, taste, smell, or touch are related to this type of noun. There are further two types of concrete nouns, common nouns, and proper nouns.

Concrete nouns example;

  • He loves the dog.
  • She goes to school.
  • I want cookies.

In the above examples, dog, school, and cookies can be touched, are concrete nouns. Here is a list of some concrete noun examples.

Concrete Noun Examples

  • apple
  • bear
  • box
  • bridge
  • car
  • composer
  • couch
  • dog
  • door
  • egg
  • elephant
  • fish
  • flea
  • giraffe
  • house
  • igloo
  • jaw
  • knife
  • lamb
  • milk
  • notebook
  • ocean
  • pen
  • pin
  • rainbow
  • shark
  • shoulder
  • teen
  • tin
  • tree
  • uncle
  • villa
  • wallet
  • X-ray
  • yacht
  • zebra

Common Nouns

The common or generic noun is the name of a regular thing, place, or person. Common nouns are not capitalized the first letter.

Common Noun Examples:

  • superhero
  • river
  • holiday
  • religion
  • month
  • day
  • city
  • composer
  • boy
  • car
  • language
  • phone

Proper Nouns

A Proper Noun is a very specific, very particular person, place, or thing. proper nouns are capitalized their first letter.

Proper Noun Examples:

  • Batman
  • Mississippi River
  • Buddhism
  • December
  • Monday
  • London
  • Peter
  • Volvo
  • German
  • Samsun

Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns are the opposite of concrete nouns. Abstract nouns are nouns that you cannot see, touch, taste, hear, or smell. Abstract nouns indicate ideas, concepts, qualities, and feelings that are not tangible.

Abstract nouns example sentences;

  • Love is kind.
  • Honesty is the best policy.

In the above examples, love and honesty cannot be touched, are abstract nouns.

Countable Nouns

A countable noun is a noun that can be counted. Countable nouns can be used with the, a/an, any, some, a few, many, etc.

  • Here is a dog.

Cat is singular and countable.

  • Here are a few dogs.

Dogs are plural and countable.

Countable noun examples:

  • dog/dogs
  • cat/cats
  • cow/cows
  • hero/heroes
  • duck/ducks
  • house/houses
  • idea/ideas
  • laptop/laptops
  • shop/shops
  • book/books

Uncountable Nouns

An uncountable noun is a noun that is impossible to count; liquids are uncountable, as are things that act like liquids (sand, air). They are always singular and can be used with any, some, a little, and much.

  • A test measures intelligence.
  • There is no more water in the river.

In the above examples, intelligence and water are not specified, and both are uncountable.

Uncountable noun examples:

  • music
  • tea
  • water
  • fear
  • coffee
  • anger
  • happiness
  • research
  • rice
  • sugar
  • gas

Collective Nouns

Collective Nouns are a group of persons, animals, and things. Generally, collective nouns are used as singular.

Benjamin saw a flock of sheep.

Collective noun examples:

  • band
  • choir
  • committee
  • flock
  • gaggle
  • gang
  • group
  • herd
  • litter
  • school
  • swarm
  • team

Compound Nouns

A compound noun is a noun made up of two or more words.

Amelia has a boyfriend.

Compound noun examples:

  • Noun + noun: boyfriend, football, heartache, hatrack, firefighter, milkman
  • Adjective + noun: blackboard, smartphone, redhead, greenhouse, bluebird
  • Noun + adjective: handful,
  • Verb + noun: dining table, runtime, turntable, sweatshirt
  • Noun + verb: rainfall, sunrise, jailbreak, haircut, buzzkill
  • Verb + preposition: check-out, breakdown
  • Preposition + verb: offshoot, downturn, input, uproar
  • Preposition + noun: overlord,

Noun InfoGraphics

Here are some printable infographics about nouns. Printable infographics are a fantastic way to share a significant amount of details in a short time in a stunning way. The noun infographic can help teachers and students to share their thoughts easily.

A Super Simple Guide to Noun, Abstract nouns, Collective Nouns, Common nouns and proper nouns, Compound Nouns, Concrete Nouns, Countable and uncountable nouns, Different Forms of Nouns, English Grammar, Gender of Nouns, How to Use Noun, Important Noun Rules, Irregular Plural Nouns, List of Nouns, Mastering English Nouns, Noun Definition, Noun Examples, Noun Rules, Nouns Used in Sentences, Nouns with Examples, Parts of Speech, Parts of Speech in English Grammar, Possessive Nouns, Regular Plural Nouns, The Importance of Nouns, Types of Nouns, What is a Noun

My Considerations

With this set of activities and explanations, you will quickly determine whether you are making the most effective use of the noun and how they could be used to enhance English writings.

Since the nouns are the main part of English Grammar, the importance of developing English learning skills cannot be undervalued without nouns.

You can read the above sample sentences about nouns to improve your understanding of English grammar.

Encourage your children to learn these basic but commonly used nouns, by following the simple example sentences given above. Then, save this list of noun sentences, handy for your kids in future.

If you enjoyed a printable infographic about What is a noun?, I’d be very thankful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to your friends or sharing it on Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Thank you!

Also read: Adjectives That Start With Y

Recap of what we just learned

  • What is a Noun?
  • Using a Noun in English Grammar
    • Using nouns as subjects
    • Using nouns as objects
    • Nouns as subject and object complement
    • Using appositive noun
    • Using nouns as adjectives
    • Using a possessive noun
  • Types of nouns
    • Concrete Nouns
    • Abstract Nouns
    • Common Nouns
    • Proper Nouns
    • Countable Nouns
    • Uncountable Nouns
    • Collective Nouns
    • Compound Nouns
  • Noun InfoGraphics

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Also read: Adjectives That Start With Z

Explore the full list of Adjectives to Describe a Person from A to Z!

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