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
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,
Adjective Abstract Noun
Verb Abstract Noun
Common Noun/Adjective Abstract Noun
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’.