Nouns – Kinds of Nouns
Noun is a name of something. Anything which has a name is called a noun. There are different types of nouns which we can classify to make it more easy to understand.
There are five types of nouns. Let’s look at them in the following.
Proper Noun: A proper noun is a particular name of some person or some thing. It is a person’s or a thing’s own name. There can be many proper nouns but each is unique in nature or state and there is no two proper nouns in existence. A proper noun always starts with a capital letter at the beginning. John, Taj Mahal, America, Eiffel Tower are examples of proper nouns.
Common Noun: Common nouns are names of certain objects, places or persons. It can be many and it might imply many as well. We can not distinguish them in general. e.g. John is a football player. Here John is a proper name as it indicates only one John. (there can be many Johns but each John is different from another. Hence, John is a proper noun) and ‘football’ and ‘player’ are common nouns. It can be any ‘football’ amongst many footballs or it can be any ‘player’ amidst many other players in the world. We cannot distinguish them if we use them individually. What shall we understand by ‘football’ or ‘players’ if we put them in different sentences? Do they refer to any particular ball or player? No, hence, they are common nouns which are used in common.
Collective Noun: A collective noun is a group of names (nouns) taken as one unit and spoken as one whole.
- an army- a group of soldiers;
- a crowd – a collection of people;
- a jury – a collection of judges;
Though they are many in them, they are used as a single unit. When we use them in a sentence or speech, we refer to many things in a single word. We need not use ‘many people‘ whereas we can say ‘a crowd‘.
Abstract Noun: An abstract noun is the name of a quality or action or any state which has its own entity and stands on its own. They are formed from other actions or states.
Kindness, honesty, beauty, politeness, love, brightness are all quality of names. Likewise, sorrow, love, seat, childhood, sickness, health, are examples of action and state.
It’s true that we can say a ‘sick child‘ , ‘a polite boy‘ , ‘an honest officer‘, ‘a brave soldier‘ but if you see, we need to use them with reference to another noun. We can also talk of the qualities of those apart from the person or thing it corresponds to. We can say ‘bravery‘, ‘honesty‘, ‘sickness‘, ‘politeness‘. They stand on their own and do not need any support.
His honesty cannot be called in question. Instead we can say, that he is honest cannot be called in question. But in the former sentence, the word honesty is a unit in itself and stands on its own. So, honesty is an abstract noun which has been formed from the adjective honest.
Countable Noun: Another kind of noun is countable noun or uncountable noun. As the name implies, nouns which we can count or cannot count are classified under this noun. There are certain names which we cannot count. e.g milk, gold, sugar, salt . They are all uncountable nouns. They may fall into any category of nouns described above and can be denoted as substances or abstract things.
Countable nouns are the opposite. Names which can be counted are countable nouns. books, train, fan, ball are all we can count. We can say trains but cannot speak of waters.