Noun (A Naming Word)
A noun names a person, place, thing, quality, activity or an idea. The word used as the name of any person, place, thing, idea, quality or activity is called a noun. They give titles to people, places, things, qualities or ideas.
Boy, River, Paris, Ali, Table, Pencil, School, Cat, Fish, beauty, etc.
Ali is a good student.
The rose smells sweet.
It was a display of courage.
The Earth revolves around the Sun.
She is a woman of great beauty.
Karachi is a large city.
Functions of Nouns:
Nouns can perform different functions in a sentence. Some nouns function as subjects while others function as objects or complements.
Subject— Ali arrived.
Complement of a verb— Ali is a player.
The object of a verb— I saw Ali.
The object of a preposition— He gave the book to Ali.
Subject complement— The best student is Ali.
A noun phrase is a group of words that acts as a noun. It may be a subject, object, or a complement of a verb.
Playing hockey keeps us active.
He demonstrated how to assemble a computer.
Early to bed is a good habit.
The long and short of discussion is that he is a good boy.
Computer is a part and parcel of a modern life.
I want to learn swimming.
I read an interesting book.
Kinds of Nouns
1 Proper Noun
A proper noun names a particular person, place or thing. They usually begin with a capital letter. Many proper nouns consist of more than one words. A proper nouns usually indicates to something or someone unique, they do not generally take plurals.
Ali, Lahore, Pakistan, New York City, February, Atlantic Ocean, John, Punjab, etc.
Ali reads a book.
March is the third month of the year.
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan.
Atlantic Ocean is the 2nd largest ocean.
2. Common Noun
A common noun is a name which is used for every person, place, or thing of the same class or kind and is not written with a capital letter. In other words, the name that can be applied to all persons, places or things of the same class or kind.
pen, man, book, teacher, school, girl, city, country etc.
He lives in a city.
He goes to school.
London ia a great city.
She is a beautiful girl.
3. Collective Noun
A collective noun is the name of a group or collection of similar persons, animals or things considered as one complete whole. Collective nouns are often countable nouns, therefore, they have plural forms.
Herd, Gang, Bunch, Flock, Class, Army, Team, Family, Committee, jury, Gangs, Bunches,Classes, etc.
The jury found the prisoner guilty.
I saw a flock of birds.
He is an excellent boy of our class.
Our team played well.
4. Material Noun
The name of a substance or material of which something is made is called material noun. It is the name of matter of which other things are made.
Gold, Wood, Cotton, Milk, Iron, Water, sugar, etc.
This ring is made of gold.
We need to buy some new furniture made of wood.
He asked for a drink of water.
I have to buy some sugar.
5. Abstract Noun
The name of a thing which has no physical existence. It denotes the quality, action or state of a noun. It is the name of something we cannot see or touch but only think of. It is the name of an idea or thought.
Truth, beauty, bravery, wisdom, kindness, health, hatred, laughter, love, virtue, truth, honesty, pain, etc.
It was a display of bravery.
It is a work of great virtue.
She is a beautiful girl.
He told the truth.
Another classification of nouns is whether they are “Countable” or “Uncountable”.
I. Countable Nouns
Countable nouns can be counted. They have singular as well as plural forms. They take a/an before them when they are used in singular form..
Pen, Book, Boy, Apple, chair, plate, glass, egg, man, mango, cat, etc.
I have a pen.
He eats two apples daily.
There are thirty students in the classroom.
There are tow chairs in the lawn.
II. Uncountable Nouns
These are the names of things which cannot be counted. They have only a singular form. They do not take a/an before them.
Courage, Happiness, Shame, ink, milk, air, water, oil, sugar, honesty, etc.
He drinks milk.
Put some oil in the car.
Honesty is the best policy.
One mistake brought shame to all his family
Properties of Nouns
Nouns are characterized by Gender, Number and Case.
1. Gender of Noun
Nature has made couples of everything i.e. male and female. Gender refers to the classification of nouns according to sex: Masculine or Feminine. In other words, difference of sex is called gender. Gender expresses the sex of living being.
Kinds of Gender:
Genders are divided into four kinds.
i. Masculine Gender
A noun which is used for the male sex is said to be of the masculine gender.
Boy, Father, Horse, Cock, Brother, etc.
My brother still lives with our parents.
A horse led the town.
His father is a farmer.
The baby is a boy.
ii. Feminine Gender
A noun which is used for the female sex is said to be of the feminine gender.
Girl, Mother, Mare, Hen, Sister, etc.
She is a beautiful girl.
She is a mother of three children.
A mare is the female of the horse.
My sister is a teacher.
iii. Common Gender
A noun which is used for the both male and the female is said to be of the common gender.
Parent, Pupil, Child, Friend, Servant, Thief, Relation, Enemy, Cousin, Person, Student, Baby, etc.
He is still living with his parents.
She held the baby in her arms.
They had three children.
She was my best friend at the university.
iv. Neuter Gender
A noun that is used for lifeless object is said to be of the neuter gender. Neuter means neither male nor female.
Pen, Book, Chair, Table, etc.
This book is very good.
She put her coat over the back of the chair and sat down.
It was a sturdy table.
Here “book, chair, and table are the nouns of the neuter gender because they are neither male nor female.
When an object, quality, etc. is represented as human being in art and literature, it is called personification.
Personified object or objects which express strength are regarded as masculine; objects which express beauty or tenderness are regarded as feminine. Countries when referred to by name are also normally considered feminine. Ships and sometimes cars and other vehicles when regarded with affection or respect are considered feminine. Ship or railway train is generally treated as feminine.
Masculine: Sun, Death, winter, summer, Time, Ocean, Wind, June, War, Majesty.
Feminine: Moon, Earth, spring, Nature, Hope, Justice, Mercy, Peace, Fame, Liberty, Peace.
The sun sheds his beams on rich and poor alike.
The moon has hidden her face behind a cloud.
The ship struck an iceberg, which tore a huge hole in her side.
2. Numbers of Nouns
The number of a noun indicates how many people or objects it refers to. Common nouns have two forms.
i. The Singular Number:
Nouns that refer to just one of anything are singular.
Man, Table, Cat, Apple, etc.
There is a man in the car.
I eat an egg daily.
I reserved a table at my favorite restaurant.
ii. The Plural Number:
Nouns that refer to more than one of anything are plural.
Men, Cats, Tables, Apples, Trees, Birds, Boys, Girls.
There are two men in the car.
I eat two eggs daily.
I reserved two tables at my favorite restaurant.
“Case” is that form of a noun or pronoun which indicates its relation to some other word or words in the sentence.
The Types of Cases: There are four cases in English:
i. The Nominative Case:
A noun or pronoun used as a subject of a verb or preposition is in the nominative case.
Rains fall. (nominative of subject)
Dogs bark. (nominative of subject)
He runs. (nominative of subject)
ii. The Objective Case:
A noun or pronoun used as an object of a verb or preposition is in the objective case. This is also called Accusative or Dative Case.
We eat rice. (objective case)
He likes mangoes. (objective case)
The Accusative is the case of the Direct Object.
He hit me. (direct object)
The Dative is the case of the Indirect Object.
He gave me a book. (indirect object)
iii. The Possessive Case:
A noun or a pronoun that is possessor or owner of something is in the possessive or Genetive case. It shows that something belongs to a person or thing.
This book is mine.
Ali’s shirt is white.
iv. The Vocative Case:
A noun that denotes the person addressed is in the Vocative case.
Look her, Ali.
Ahmad , come here.
Sir , may I come in.