English Grammar : Noun
03-01-2018    180 times


A noun is the name of anything. In other words, a noun is a word for a person, place, thing, or idea. Noun is perhaps the most important of all the parts of speech. It can play in different roles in a sentence. It can be used as a subject, direct or indirect object, subject or object complement, object of a preposition or adjective.  

There are several different types of noun, as follows:

Types of Noun
Types of Noun

Proper noun

A proper noun is a name that denotes a particular person, place, or thing, e.g. Indra, India, Kolkata, Sunday, In written English, proper nouns are always capitalized.  

Common noun

Common nouns are words used to name general items rather than specific ones. It is the generic name of an item in a class or a group. Words like cat, boy or ocean are examples of common nouns. These words are non-specific nouns and can be referring to any cat, any boy, or any ocean.

Unlike proper nouns, common nouns are not capitalized, unless appearing at the beginning of a sentence or in a title. Sometimes a common noun ia also known as a generic noun.

Collective noun

Collective nouns are names for a collection or a number of people or things. Words like team, group, herd, or  jury are examples of collective noun. In other words, a noun that appears singular in formal shape, but denotes a group of persons or objects is categorized as a collective noun.

Verbal noun

A noun derived from a verb, is known as a verbal noun.. It exhibits all of the properties of ordinary nouns and none of the properties of verbs. Arrive, decide, destroy, etc. are examples of the verbal noun.

It should be kept in mind that, like verbal nouns, ‘gerunds’ are also derived from verbs. However, all gerunds end with ‘ing,’, whereas verbal nouns can have different endings.   In other words, a verbal noun is a noun that has no verb-like properties, despite being derived from a verb. Example – A brilliant reading of the poem won the competition. On the other hand, a gerund is a noun, derived from a verb and retains some verb-like properties. Example – Brilliantly reading the poem won the competition. 

Compound noun

Nouns created by combining two words together, are called compound nouns. The most common way to make a compound noun is to put two nouns together. Other common types are adjective combined with a noun and verb with a noun. Compound nouns normally have two parts. The first part tells us what kind of object or person it is, or what its purpose is, while the other part denotes the object or the person. Compound nouns often have a special meaning which is different, or more specific, other than the two separate words. Policeman, boyfriend, dining table are examples of compound noun. A compound noun can be written either as a single word, as a word with a hyphen, or as two words. 

Abstract noun

An abstract noun is a type of noun, which is an intangible concept, which a person cannot physically interact. It is an abstract form of noun, which refers to ideas, qualities, and conditions, which cannot be seen or touched and have no physical reality. Emotions and feelings like love, hate, anger : states and attributes like honesty, charity, skill, beauty : ideas and concepts like truth, faith, liberty : movements and events like education, friendship, relaxation et al are examples of abstract noun.

Concrete noun

Contrary to abstract nouns, concrete nouns are things which can be experienced through our senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. The vast majority of nouns are concrete nouns. All animals and people, plants and flowers, sunrise and rain – all are just a few concrete nouns.

Countable noun

Some nouns refer to things, which can be counted. They have both singular and plural forms. In singular, they can be preceded by ‘a’ or ‘an’ and in plural, they can be used with a number. Most of the nouns come under this category.

Uncountable noun

Unlike countable nouns, uncountable nouns cannot be counted. They may be the names for abstract ideas or qualities or for physical objects. These types of nouns are used with a singular verb. They usually do not have a plural form. As for example, we cannot tea, sugar, water, beauty or anger.

    Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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