Parts of Speech
Nouns

Noun

A noun is a person, place, animal, thing or idea.

The mother took her daughter to the park in her stroller to see the squirrels.

The nouns are mother, daughter, park, stroller, and squirrels.

Concrete noun

A concrete noun is something you can see and touch. In the above sentence all the nouns are things that can be seen and touched, so they are concrete nouns.

Abstract noun

An abstract noun is something that you cannot see or touch, such as idea, truth, freedom, democracy, and love.

Because these nouns are abstract and, therefore, more difficult to understand, a writer will sometimes compare an abstract noun to a concrete noun to illustrate his point.

For example, Robert Burns compared love, an abstract noun, to a rose, a concrete noun, in his poem "My Love Is Like a Red Red Rose."

Proper noun

A proper noun is the name of a specific person, place, or thing. It begins with a capital letter.

Richard
Toronto
Mile One Stadium.

Common noun

A common noun is the name of a general person, place or thing. It does not begin with a capital letter.

man
city
stadium

Collective noun

A collective noun is a group of persons, places, animals, or things.

crew
herd
army
class
team

A collective noun can be either singular or plural.

It is singular when the group is considered as a group.

The class is writing its final examination in the gym.

It is plural when the group is considered individually.

The class are meeting with their counselors to discuss their careers.

Note that the pronoun used to refer to the group changes according to the context of the collective noun.

If you are not certain whether the collective noun is singular or plural, you can avoid the use of the collective noun.

The students in the class are writing their final examination in the gym.
The members of the class are meeting with their counselors to discuss their careers.

The subject of each sentence is now plural, so a plural verb is required.

Forming plural nouns

Nouns can be singular or plural.

Singular nouns Plural nouns Singular nouns Plural nouns
job jobs church churches
lady ladies mouse mice
tooth teeth moose moose
sheep sheep datumdata

Some nouns become plural by adding the letter s to the word, such as job, or by adding es to the word, such as church.

Others become plural by changing the y to i and adding es, such as lady.

Others change their form completely, such as mouse and tooth.

Some keep the same form for singular and plural, such as moose and sheep.

Practice

Instructions: Identify the 20 nouns in the following sentences.

  1. On Saturday the family decided to go to the park for a picnic.
  2. For their lunch they packed egg sandwiches and lemonade in a metal cooler.
  3. For recreation they brought a volleyball and a net.
  4. During the day they enjoyed the beauty and the tranquility of the site.
  5. Their dog, Fido, particularly enjoyed chasing the squirrels and other inhabitants of the park.

Return to Parts of Speech