The Noun: Kinds of Nouns

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A ‘Noun’ names a person, place, or thing. ‘Thing’ refers to anything that can be thought of.

In the following sentence:
Solomon was a wise king.

The noun Solomon refers to a particular king, while the noun king could refer to any other king besides Solomon. Solomon is called a ‘Proper Noun’, while ‘king’ is called a ‘Common Noun’. Hence,

Cindy is a Proper Noun, while girl is a Common Noun.
Andrew is a Proper Noun, while boy is a Common Noun.
London is a Proper Noun, while city is a Common Noun.
Sweden is a Proper Noun, while country is a Common Noun.

A ‘Common Noun’ is a name given to a word that is common to every person or thing belonging to the same class or kind, i.e. characteristics shared by all belonging to that class or kind.

A ‘Proper Noun’ is a name given to a particular person or place.

It is important to note that Proper Nouns always begin with a capital letter.

Sometimes, Proper Nouns are used as Common Nouns:
1. He was the Lukman (=the wisest man) of his age.
2. Kalidas is often called the Shakespeare (=the greatest dramatist) of India.

Common Nouns include ‘Collective Nouns’ and ‘Abstract Nouns’.

A ‘Collective Noun’ is the name that is given to a collection of persons or things regarded as a whole and referred to as one body; as,
Crowd = a collection of people
Mob = a collection of rioters
Team = a collection of players representing one side of a game or match
Flock = a collection of sheep, or a number of birds of a specific kind
Herd = a collection of cattle
Army = a collection of soldiers
Fleet = a collection of ships
Jury = a collection of judges
Family = a group composed of parents and children
Nation = a large group of people living in a particular country that are united by a common culture, language, descent or history
Parliament = a group of elected representatives of the citizens of a particular country who have the authority to make laws for their country
Committee = a group of people who are appointed to perform a specific function

For e.g.,
1. The police dispersed the mob.
2. The army was defeated by the natives.
3. The jury needs a break.
4. I saw a herd of cattle in the hills.

An ‘Abstract Noun’ is the name that is given to a quality, action, or state taken from the object it belongs to; as,
I] Quality
Adjective                                                   Abstract Noun
Good                                                           Goodness
Kind                                                             Kindness
White                                                          Whiteness
Dark                                                            Darkness
Hard                                                            Hardness
Bright                                                          Brightness
Honest                                                         Honesty
Wise                                                            Wisdom
Brave                                                           Bravery

II] Action
Verb                                                          Abstract Noun
Laugh                                                           Laughter
Thieve                                                            Theft
Move                                                           Movement
Judge                                                          Judgement
Hate                                                              Hatred

III] State
Common Noun/Adjective                        Abstract Noun
Child                                                          Childhood
Boy                                                             Boyhood
Young                                                           Youth
Slave                                                           Slavery
Sleepy                                                          Sleep
Sick                                                             Sickness
Dead                                                             Death
Poor                                                             Poverty

Academic disciplines, such as those of the Arts and Sciences, e.g., grammar, physics, music, biology, etc., are also Abstract Nouns.

Nouns are also classified as ‘Countable Nouns’ and ‘Uncountable Nouns’:

Countable Nouns are names of persons and objects that can be counted; as, apple, book, boy, doctor, horse, sister, etc..

Uncountable Nouns are names of things that cannot be counted; as, sugar, modesty, silver, juice, oil, etc..

Countable Nouns have plural forms, but uncountable nouns do not; as, ‘doors’; not ‘milks’.






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