11/8/08

Noun Classification

Noun Classification

Common Nouns

A common noun is a noun referring to a person, place or thing. You should not write it with an initial capital letter unless it is the first word of a sentence. A common noun is the opposite of a proper noun.

Examples of common nouns: cat, couch, man, car, glass, water, floor.

Examples of how to use common nouns:

The cat is sleeping on a couch.
A man is driving a car.
A glass of water fell on the floor.

Countable Nouns

In English, just like in all languages, nouns can either be countable or uncountable. In this article, I'm going to take a look at countable nouns.

When talking about countable nouns we can use both singular and plural verbs.

Where is my car? (singular verb)
Where are my cars? (plural verb)
We can also use numbers when talking about countable nouns:

He is very rich. He has two cars. (A car is a countable noun. That's why we can say two cars.)

Uncountable Nouns
In English, just like in all languages, nouns can either be countable or uncountable. In this article, I'm going to take a look at uncountable nouns.

When talking about uncountable nouns we can only use singular verbs. Also, the noun itself is never plural.

Water here is cheap.
The money is the only thing that matters to him.
Never use plural verbs when talking about uncountable nouns:

Waters here are cheap.
Never use numbers when talking about uncountable nouns:

I want two waters. (Water is uncountable so we can only say "I want two bottles of water")
Water is a good examples of an uncountable noun. But how do I know if a noun is countable or not? The best way is just to memorise the most tricky ones! Click here to see a list of uncountable nouns.


Proper Nouns

A proper noun is a noun which represents the name of specific person, place, thing or organization. Proper nouns are the opposite of common nouns. Proper nouns always start with a capital letter.

Examples:

1. We met in May. (Names of the month)

2. Yesterday was Friday. (Days of the week)

3.They went to the City Hall building. (Names of places)

4. The Times is my favourite newspaper. (Name of books, magazines, newspapers, etc.)

5. President Clinton visited our country last month. (Titles of people)

6. I think Brazil will be the next Football World Champion! (Names of countries as well as nationalities)

Concrete Nouns
A concrete noun is a noun which we use to name things that we can perceive through our five senses: smell, sight, hearing, taste or touch. Concrete nouns are the opposite of abstract nouns.

Examples:

The horses were restless.
We are waiting for the bus.
He boasted that he lives in a big mansion with a swimming pool.

Abstract Nouns
An abstract noun is a noun which we use to name things that we can not perceive through our five senses: smell, sight, hear, taste or touch. Abstract nouns are the opposite of concrete nouns.

Examples:

Sadly, freedom is not something everyone in the World enjoys.
He gained our sympathy.
I think this footballer lacks the necessary skill to become a professional.
These people need hope!

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