Definition: A noun is a word used to refer to people, animals, objects, substances, states, events and feelings. Nouns can be a subject or an object of a verb, can be modified by an adjective and can take an article or determiner.

For example:

  • Table
  • Pencil
  • The dog
  • A white house

Nouns also denote abstract and intangible concepts.

For example:

  • birth
  • happiness
  • evolution
  • technology, etc.

Noun Plurals
We are going to explain some rules that will help you to form the plural forms of the nouns. The general rule is to add "-s" to the noun in singular.

For exaample:

  • Book - Books
  • House - Houses
  • Chair - Chairs

When the singular noun ends in: -sh, -ch, -s, -ss, -x, -o we form their plural form by adding "-es".

For exaample:

  • sandwich - sandwiches
  • brush - brushes
  • bus - buses
  • box - boxes
  • potato - potatoes

When the singular noun ends in "y", we change the "y" for "i" and then add "-es" to form the plural form. But do not change the "y" for "ies" to form the plural when the singular noun ends in "y" preceded by a vowel.

For exaample:

  • nappy - nappies
  • day - days
  • toy - toys

However, there are many Irregular Nouns which do not form the plural in this way:

For exaample:

  • Woman - Women
  • Child - Children
  • Sheep - Sheep

Nouns may take an " 's " ("apostrophe s") or "Genitive marker" to indicate possession. If the noun already has an -s ending to mark the plural, then the genitive marker appears only as an apostrophe after the plural form.

For example:

  • my girlfriend's brother
  • John's house
  • The Browns' house
  • The boys' pens

The genitive marker should not be confused with the " 's " form of contracted verbs, as in John's a good student = John is a good student.

Noun Gender
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".

For example:

  • 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"

Types of Nouns

  • Proper nouns are the names of specific things, people, or places, such as Jhon, France. They usually begin with a capital letter.
  • Common nouns are general names such as person, mansion, and book. They can be either concrete or abstract.
  • Concrete nouns refer to things which you can sense such as clock and telephone.
  • Abstract nouns refer to ideas or qualities such as liberty and truth.
  • Countable nouns refer to things which can be counted (can be singular or plural)
  • Uncountable nouns refer to some groups of countable nouns, substances, feelings and types of activity (can only be singular)

© 2007-2022 - All Rights Reserved