Nouns in English Grammar

Noun is the most populated country in the world of grammar. It is the first stepping stone of learning any new languages. So without further ado start learning!

12 articles

Compound Nouns

Compound nouns are formed when two or more words are joined together to create a new word that has an entirely new meaning.

Proper and Common Nouns

Did you know there are two kinds of noun: common nouns and proper nouns. Common nouns refer to general nouns and proper nouns refer to specific nouns.

Singular and Plural Nouns

Anything that is just one in quantity is singular. But what if there are more than one? Nouns that are two or more are called plurals! Simple, yes? Let's see!

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

It's important to know if a noun is countable or uncountable, because this is going to tell us if we use or not use words, like 'a' in front of a word.

Collective Nouns

If we want to represent certain individual nouns as one entity we can make use of collective nouns. In this lesson you'll learn about their structure and uses.

Possessive Nouns

Possessive structures have many functions like showing ownership or belonging. With the help of apostrophe 's', we can make a possessive noun. Let's start!

Abstract and Concrete Nouns

Based on what we can or cannot perceive something with our five senses, we can categorize nouns into two groups: abstract and common nouns. Start learning!

Verbal Nouns

Sometimes we can change a verb and make it into a noun. One of the most common ways of doing this is adding the suffix -ing. Let's see what verbal noun are!

Gender Specific Nouns

Legends say that the famous Dracula was not a Count, but actually was a Countess! Shocking? Here we will look at gender specific nouns like Count/Countess!

Plural-Only Nouns

Here, we will discuss some nouns in the English language that are always used as a plural noun, i.e. they don't have a singular form. Let's get to it!

Noun Phrases

When a group of noun come together, they form a noun phrase. To know what is a noun phrase and how short or how long a noun phrase can be start here!

Noun Clauses


Nouns in most languages, including English are the largest class of words. Nouns make up the largest class of words in most languages. A noun is a word that refers to:

  • A Person: Adam, doctor, sister, student
  • A Place: home, New York, office, village
  • An Object: chair, stair, hammer
  • An Animal: snake, mouse, fish, bear
  • An Idea: confusion, kindness, joy
  • A Quality: softness, darkness, roughness
  • An Action: cooking, playing, swimming

Types of Nouns

Nouns form a large proportion of English vocabulary and they come in a wide variety of types.

Common Nouns and Proper Nouns

A noun can be categorized as either a common noun or a proper noun. Common nouns are not capitalized unless they come at the beginning of a sentence. Proper nouns should always be capitalized.

  • A common noun is the word for a person, place, or thing etc. It's the word that appears in the dictionary. For example: person, town, monkey.
  • A proper noun is the given name of a person, place, or thing etc. It's likely to be a personal name or a title. For example: Ben, London.

Attributive Nouns

Attributive noun (also called noun adjunct, , qualifying noun, noun modifier) is a noun that modifies another noun and functions as an adjective.

chicken soup

The noun adjunct 'chicken' modifies the noun 'soup'

Abstract Nouns and Concrete Nouns

Abstract nouns are a type of noun that you can’t see or touch. They may include a concept, idea, experience, state of being, trait, quality, feeling, or other entities that can’t be experienced with the five senses. For example, 'love', 'hate', 'honesty' and 'bravery' are all abstract nouns.
Concrete nouns are a type of noun that can be identified through one of the five senses. For example, 'telephone', 'noise' and 'car' are concrete nouns.

Collective Nouns

A collective noun is a word that represents a collection of things taken as a whole, like the words 'team' or 'group'.

Compound Nouns

Compound nouns are nouns that are made up of more than one word. There are three kinds of compound nouns in English:

  • The closed form (which are written as one word): basketball, wallpaper, grandmother
  • The open form (which are spelled as two separate words): ice cream, field hockey, distance learning
  • The hyphenated form (two or more words are joined by a hyphen): long-term, mother-in-law, check-in

Count and Non-count Nouns

Count nouns (also called countable nouns) are nouns that have plural forms and can be pluralized, or counted with a number, for example, 'one chair', 'three chairs'.
Non-count nouns (also called uncountable or mass nouns) are nouns that cannot be pluralized or counted with a number, for example, 'water', 'sugar' and 'wood'.

Gender-specific Nouns

A gender-specific noun refers only to males or only to females. In many languages, the gender of nouns is divided into three categories; masculine, feminine and neuter. In English, the gender of most nouns is neuter. However, if a noun refers to something obviously male or female, then its gender will be masculine or feminine (as determined by the meaning).
For example: Rooster (Gender-specific masculine), hen (Gender-specific feminine) and chicken (neutral)

Verbal Nouns

Verbal Nouns (also called gerunds) are words that are derived from verbs but act as nouns. All gerunds in English have the suffix '-ing'. For example, 'playing', 'singing' and 'drawing'.

The Function of Nouns

A noun can function as a subject, a direct object, an indirect object, or a complement within a sentence.

Football is a popular sport.

Here, 'football' is the subject of the sentence.

He likes football.

Here, 'football' is the object of the sentence.

She considered football quite boring.

Here, 'football' is the complement of the sentence.

Noun Phrase

In English a noun rarely comes alone. It's always accompanied by another word or articles (a/an or the). A noun with any sort of modifier is called a noun phrase. In other words, a noun phrase is a word or a group of words in a sentence that behaves in the same way as a noun and can function as a subject, an object, a complement, or as the object of a preposition.

She called the driver of the car.

'The driver of the car' is a noun phrase that functions as the object of the sentence.

Noun Clause

A noun clause is a group of words acting together as a noun. The difference between a noun phrase and a noun clause is that unlike noun phrases, noun clauses contain both a subject and a verb. These clauses are always dependent clauses. That is, they do not form a complete sentence.

He can invite whomever he wants.

Whether he invites Jack or not is his business.