GURUKUL INFORMATICS

The Nouns


Definition:

                  Noun = Name

                  Noun means Name or Name means the Noun. In other words, we can say that Nouns are the naming words. The highlighted words in   the following sentences are all nouns:

Late last year our neighbours bought a car.
Sonu Nigam is a singer.
The bus inspector looked at all the passengers' passes.

Functions:

A noun can function in a sentence as a subject, a direct object, an indirect object, a subject complement, an object complement, an appositive.

 

Kinds of Nouns:

There are five kinds of nouns.

1. Proper Noun

2. Common Noun

3. Material Noun

4. Collective Noun

5. Abstract Noun


Proper Noun:

                      Proper Noun = Particular Name

The names of Person, Place, days of the week, months, historical documents, institutions, organisations, religions, their holy texts and their adherents are proper nouns. Proper noun are always written in a capital letter.

 

Examples:

  • Names of people

          Sangita, Raj, Albert Einstein, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie

  • Pet names of animals

          Rocky, Rover, Spot

  • Religions, scriptures, deities

          Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhism, Christianity, the Bible, Buddha

  • Geographical and astronomical names

          the Universe, Uranus, the Pacific Ocean, Mount Everest

  • Months, days of the week, holidays

          January, Monday, New Years

  • Historical events

          the Industrial Revolution, the Civil War

  • Country names and words derived from those names

          India, America, Americans, England, English, Japan, Japanese

  • City names

          Delhi, New York, London, Paris

  • Monuments, buildings, rooms

          Washington Monument, Taj Mahal, Room 248

  • The names of companies, organizations, trade marks, brand names

          Microsoft, NAFTA, Coca Cola, Infosys, TCS

  • Vehicle names

          Toyota, Toyota 4Runner, Chevrolet, Tata, Mahindra

  • Awards

          the Nobel Peace Prize, the Lombardi Trophy

  • Note: some words can be used as both common nouns and proper nouns
  • The Internet is a proper noun when it refers to the specific global information network.
  • The internet is a common noun when it refers to "internet technologies" such as TCP/IP, DNS, HTTP.

Common Noun:

                      Common Noun = Same (in some way) Name

A common noun is a word that names people, places, things, or ideas. They are not the names of a single person, place or thing.

A common noun begins with a lowercase letter unless it is at the beginning of a sentence.

For example:-

  • People

          man, girl, boy, mother, father, child, person, teacher, student

  • Animals:-

          cat, dog, fish, ant, snake

  • Things:-

          book, table, chair, phone

  • Places:-

          school, city, building, shop

  • Ideas:-

          love, hate, idea, pride


Sometimes you will make proper nouns out of common nouns, as in the following examples:

  • The tenants in the Gajanan Apartments are appealing the large and sudden increase in their rent.
  • The meals in the Golden Restaurant are less expensive than meals in ordinary restaurants.
  • The Diary of Anne Frank is often a child's first introduction to the history of the Holocaust.

 

 

Note: To request for worksheet on 'Common Nouns' Click here...

 


Concrete Nouns

A concrete noun is a noun which names anything (or anyone) that you can perceive through your physical senses: touch, sight, taste, hearing, or smell. A concrete noun is the opposite of a abstract noun.

The highlighted words in the following sentences are all concrete nouns:

The judge handed the files to the clerk.
Whenever they take the dog to the beach, it spends hours chasing waves.
The real estate agent urged the couple to buy the second house because it had new shingles.
As the car drove past the park, the thump of a disco tune overwhelmed the string quartet's rendition of a minuet.
The book binder replaced the flimsy paper cover with a sturdy, cloth-covered board.

Abstract Nouns

An abstract noun is a noun which names anything which you can not perceive through your five physical senses, and is the opposite of a concrete noun. The highlighted words in the following sentences are all abstract nouns:

Buying the fire extinguisher was an afterthought.
Tillie is amused by people who are nostalgic about childhood.
Justice often seems to slip out of our grasp.
Some scientists believe that schizophrenia is transmitted genetically.

 

Noun Gender

 

The Noun Gender tells us about the sex of the noun.

In English Grammar, there are FOUR GENDERS.

1. Masculine gender:

A noun is said to be in the Masculine gender if it refers to a male character or member of a species.

Man, lion, hero, boy, king, horse and actor are nouns of masculine gender.

Example:

• A boy is playing in the play-ground.

• Hero of the movie is not a native of this country.

 

2. Feminine gender:

A noun is said to be in the feminine gender if it refers to a female member of a species.

Woman, lioness, heroine, girl, mare, niece, empress, cow and actress are the feminine gender.

Example:

• A girl is playing in the play-ground.

• Heroine of the movie is not a native of this country.


3. Common gender:

A noun is said to be in Common gender if it refers to a member of species which can be a male or a female.

Child, student, friend, applicant, candidate, servant, member,

parliamentarian and leader are the common-gender nouns.

Example:

• A child is playing in the play-ground.

• A Parliamentarian should have command over his language.


4. Neuter gender:

A noun is said to be in the neuter gender if it refers to a member of a species which is neither a male nor a female.

Normally nouns referring to lifeless objects are in neuter nouns.

Chair, table, tree, star, mountain, street, book, car, school,
paper, pencil and computer are few of the neuter nouns which We use regularly.

Example:

• Computer has brought about drastic changes in our lives.
• Tree is cleansing the air.
• Stars are not visible in the day-time.
• Books are our best friends.


NOTE:

a. Collective nouns, even if they refer to living-beings, are used as neuter-nouns.

Example:

i. The army is doing its task.

ii. The police are called to manage the situation.

In these sentences the nouns (army and police) refer to only living-beings. But they are used only as neuter-nouns.


b.Objects noted for their power, strength, and violence are used as Masculine gender nouns.

The sun, summer, time, death etc… are masculine-gender nouns.

Example:

i. The sun is so scorching now that we can not go out now to face him without an umbrella.

ii. The death is cruel. He is as certain as tomorrow.

In these sentences the words “sun” and “death” have been used as Masculine-gender nouns.

 

c. Objects noted for their beauty, gentleness and grace are used as feminine-gender nouns.

The moon, the earth, spring, charity etc… are feminine-gender nouns.

Example:

i. The moon is so bright at this time that she induces romantic mood in us.

ii. The earth is patient. Her beauty is spoiled day-by-day.

The masculine-genders and their respective feminine-genders have been given below for your reference.

 

Masculine genders-----Feminine genders

1. Bachelor----- Spinster

2. Bachelor----- Maid

3. Bullock----- Heifer

4. Dog----- Bitch

5. Drone------ Bee

6. Horse----- Mare

7. Nephew----- Niece

8. Jew----- Jewess

9. Wizard----- Witch

10. Heir----- Heiress

11. Manager----- Manageress

12. Poet----- Poetess

13. Shepherd----- Shepherdess

14. Benefactor----- Benefactress

15. Hunter----- Huntress

16. Negro----- Negress

17. Emperor----- Empress

18. Traitor----- Traitress

19. Prince----- Princess

20. Lion----- Lioness

21. Bull----- Cow

22. Ox----- Cow

23. Mayor----- Mayoress

24. Tiger----- Tigress

25. Actor----- Actress

26. Host----- Hostress

27. Uncle----- Aunt

28. Monk----- Nun

29. Gentleman----- Lady

30. Duck----- Duchess

 

Many common nouns, like "engineer" or "teacher," can refer to men or women. Once, many English nouns would change form depending on their gender -- for example, a man was called an "author" while a woman was called an "authoress" -- but this use of gender-specific nouns is very rare today. Those that are still used occasionally tend to refer to occupational categories, as in the following sentences.

  • David Garrick was a very prominent eighteenth-century actor.
  • Sarah Siddons was at the height of her career as an actress in the 1780s.
  • The manager was trying to write a want ad, but he couldn't decide whether he was advertising for a "waiter" or a "waitress"

 

Noun Plurals

Most nouns change their form to indicate number by adding "-s" or "-es", as illustrated in the following pairs of sentences:

When Matthew was small he rarely told the truth if he thought he was going to be punished.
Many people do not believe that truths are self-evident.
As they walked through the silent house, they were startled by an unexpected echo.
I like to shout into the quarry and listen to the echoes that return.
He tripped over a box left carelessly in the hallway.
Since we are moving, we will need many boxes.

There are other nouns which form the plural by changing the last letter before adding "s". Some words ending in "f" form the plural by deleting "f" and adding "ves," and words ending in "y" form the plural by deleting the "y" and adding "ies," as in the following pairs of sentences:

The harbour at Marble Mountain has one wharf.
There are several wharves in Halifax Harbour.
Warsaw is their favourite city because it reminds them of their courtship.
The vacation my grandparents won includes trips to twelve European cities.
The children circled around the headmaster and shouted, "Are you a mouse or a man?"
The audience was shocked when all five men admitted that they were afraid of mice.

Other nouns form the plural irregularly. If English is your first language, you probably know most of these already: when in doubt, consult a good dictionary.

Possessive Nouns

In the possessive case, a noun or pronoun changes its form to show that it owns or is closely related to something else. Usually, nouns become possessive by adding a combination of an apostrophe and the letter "s."

You can form the possessive case of a singular noun that does not end in "s" by adding an apostrophe and "s," as in the following sentences:

The red suitcase is Cassandra's.
The only luggage that was lost was the prime minister's.
The exhausted recruits were woken before dawn by the drill sergeant's screams.
The miner's face was covered in coal dust.

You can form the possessive case of a singular noun that ends in "s" by adding an apostrophe alone or by adding an apostrophe and "s," as in the following examples:

The bus's seats are very uncomfortable.
The bus' seats are very uncomfortable.
The film crew accidentally crushed the platypus's eggs.
The film crew accidentally crushed the platypus' eggs.
Felicia Hemans's poetry was once more popular than Lord Byron's.
Felicia Hemans' poetry was once more popular than Lord Byron's.

You can form the possessive case of a plural noun that does not end in "s" by adding an apostrophe and a "s," as in the following examples:

The children's mittens were scattered on the floor of the porch.
The sheep's pen was mucked out every day.
Since we have a complex appeal process, a jury's verdict is not always final.
The men's hockey team will be playing as soon as the women's team is finished.
The hunter followed the moose's trail all morning but lost it in the afternoon.

You can form the possessive case of a plural noun that does end in "s" by adding an apostrophe:

The concert was interrupted by the dogs' barking, the ducks' quacking, and the babies' squalling.
The janitors' room is downstairs and to the left.
My uncle spent many hours trying to locate the squirrels' nest.
The archivist quickly finished repairing the diaries' bindings.
Religion is usually the subject of the roommates' many late night debates.

Using Possessive Nouns

When you read the following sentences, you will notice that a noun in the possessive case frequently functions as an adjective modifying another noun:

The miner's face was covered in coal dust.

Here the possessive noun "miner's" is used to modify the noun "face" and together with the article "the," they make up the noun phrase that is the sentence's subject.

The concert was interrupted by the dogs' barking, the ducks' quacking, and the babies' squalling.

In this sentence, each possessive noun modifies a gerund. The possessive noun "dogs" modifies "barking," "ducks" modifies "quacking," and "babies" modifies "squalling."

The film crew accidentally crushed the platypus's eggs.

In this example the possessive noun "platypus's" modifies the noun "eggs" and the noun phrase "the platypus's eggs" is the direct object of the verb "crushed."

My uncle spent many hours trying to locate the squirrels' nest.

In this sentence the possessive noun "squirrels" is used to modify the noun "nest" and the noun phrase "the squirrels' nest" is the object of the infinitive phrase "to locate."

 

Countable Nouns

A countable noun (or count noun) is a noun with both a singular and a plural form, and it names anything (or anyone) that you can count. You can make a countable noun plural and attach it to a plural verb in a sentence. Countable nouns are the opposite of non-countable nouns and collective nouns.

In each of the following sentences, the highlighted words are countable nouns:

We painted the table red and the chairs blue.
Since he inherited his aunt's library, Jerome spends every weekend indexing his books.
Miriam found six silver dollars in the toe of a sock.
The oak tree lost three branches in the hurricane.
Over the course of twenty-seven years, Martha Ballad delivered just over eight hundred babies.

Non-Countable Nouns

A non-countable noun (or mass noun) is a noun which does not have a plural form, and which refers to something that you could (or would) not usually count. A non-countable noun always takes a singular verb in a sentence. Non-countable nouns are similar to collective nouns, and are the opposite of countable nouns.

The highlighted words in the following sentences are non-countable nouns:

Joseph Priestly discovered oxygen.

The word "oxygen" cannot normally be made plural.

Oxygen is essential to human life.

Since "oxygen" is a non-countable noun, it takes the singular verb "is" rather than the plural verb "are."

We decided to sell the furniture rather than take it with us when we moved.

You cannot make the noun "furniture" plural.

The furniture is heaped in the middle of the room.

Since "furniture" is a non-countable noun, it takes a singular verb, "is heaped."

The crew spread the gravel over the roadbed.

You cannot make the non-countable noun "gravel" plural.

Gravel is more expensive than I thought.

Since "gravel" is a non-countable noun, it takes the singular verb form "is."

Collective Nouns

A collective noun is a noun naming a group of things, animals, or persons. You could count the individual members of the group, but you usually think of the group as a whole is generally as one unit. You need to be able to recognise collective nouns in order to maintain subject-verb agreement. A collective noun is similar to a non-countable noun, and is roughly the opposite of a countable noun.

In each of the following sentences, the highlighted word is a collective noun:

The flock of geese spends most of its time in the pasture.

The collective noun "flock" takes the singular verb "spends."

The jury is dining on take-out chicken tonight.

In this example the collective noun "jury" is the subject of the singular compound verb "is dining."

The steering committee meets every Wednesday afternoon.

Here the collective noun "committee" takes a singular verb, "meets."

The class was startled by the bursting light bulb.

In this sentence the word "class" is a collective noun and takes the singular compound verb "was startled."