There are four kinds of nouns:
- Common Nouns
- Proper Nouns
- Concrete Nouns
- Abstract Nouns
a) Common Noun
A common noun names a class of similar things (chair, box), and not an individual member of a specified group of people or things. We do not capitalize the first letter of a common noun unless it is the first word in a sentence.
Common nouns are names of people, things, animals and places, etc.
- People – aunt, boy, butcher, carpenter, cousin, father, girl, lady, man, mother, tailor, woman
- Things – bicycle, book, car, computer, dress, hammer, key, pencil, ship, table, vase, wallet
- Animals – armadillo, baboon, bee, caterpillar, cow, dog, eagle, fish, monkey, pig, snake, turkey
- Places – airport, beach, bullring, cemetery, church, country, hospital, library, mall, park, restaurant, zoo
b) Proper Noun
A proper noun is a special name of a person, place, organization, etc. We spell a proper noun with a capital letter. Proper nouns also refer to times or to dates in the calendar.
We can use plurals for proper nouns in exceptional cases.
- There are three Johns in my class.
We can also use the, an, or a for a proper noun in special circumstances.
- This is no longer the London I used to live in.
Proper nouns are names of people, places, organization, etc.
- People – Ali Baba, Barack Obama
- Places – Downing Street, Museum of Modern Art, Sahara Desert
- Things – Financial Times, Eiffel Tower
- Organization – International Labour Organization, Red Brigades, United Nations
- Animals – King Kong, Lassie
- Times and dates – Saturday, April
c) Concrete Noun
A concrete noun is something we see or touch. It is the opposite of an abstract noun. There are countable concrete nouns and uncountable concrete nouns.
- Countable: teacher (people); valley (place); deer (animal); comb (thing)
- Uncountable: water (liquid); steam (gas); copper (substance)
d) Abstract Nouns
An abstract noun is a quality or something that we can only think of rather than as something that we can see or touch, e.g. beauty, courage, friendship, intelligence, truth. We can form abstract nouns from common nouns (child – childhood); from verbs (know – knowledge); and from adjectives (happy – happiness).
List 13 contains abstract nouns formed from common nouns, verbs and adjectives.