English/Parts of Speech/Nouns

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English Wikibook (edit)
General: Introduction - Grammar
Parts of speech: Nouns - Verbs - Adjectives - Adverbs - Pronouns - Conjunctions - Prepositions - Interjections
Parts of the sentence: Subjects - Predicates
Word functions: Subjects - Predicates - Direct Objects - Indirect Objects - Objects of the Preposition
Types of sentences: Simple Sentences - Complex Sentences
Types of Phrases: Adjective - Adverb - Noun
Types of Clauses: Adjective - Adverb - Noun
Other English topics: Gerunds - Idiomatic Phrases - Spelling - Vocabulary - Punctuation - Syntax - Appositives - Phonics - Pronunciation

A noun is a part of speech. It names or identifies four things:

  • people
  • places
  • things
  • ideas

Nouns can be categorized in many ways.

  • They may be singular (like "son") or plural (like "sons"). This is called number.
  • They may be common (like "house") or proper (like "Thomas House"). All nouns that are not proper are common.
  • They may be concrete (like "street") or abstract (like "love"). All nouns that are not concrete are abstract.
  • They may be count (like "piece"), non-count or mass (like "information") or collective (like "group"). This is called countability.
  • Some nouns may be masculine (like "postman") or feminine (like "stewardess"), but most nouns do not have gender. Nouns that are masculine or feminine are said to have noun gender.

You may learn about these aspects of nouns or go to the next section about verbs.

There are five properties of a noun or a noun phrase or noun clause. They are:

  1. A noun can be the subject of a finite verb.
    The boy threw the ball. - here "boy" is a Noun, acting as the subject to the verb "threw".
  2. A noun can be the object of a transitive verb.
    He ate his food. - here "food" is a Noun, object of the verb "ate".
  3. A noun can be the object of a preposition.
    He dived into the pool. - here "pool" is a Noun, acting as the Object of the preposition "into"
  4. A noun can be the complement of a verb of incomplete predication.
    He is a good man. - here "man", a Noun is the Complement to the verb of incomplete predication "is".
  5. A noun can be used in Apposition to a noun or pronoun.
    It is funny that he said that to her. - Here, the Noun clause "that he said that to her" is used in Apposition to the pronoun "It" in the Main Clause.