Look around you. What do you see? You see persons, places, animals, birds, fishes, things, etc. Everything you see has a name. In grammar, this name is called nouns. 

What is a noun?

A noun is the name of a person, place, animal, or thing.

  • Ricky and his dog are playing football in the garden.

Types of Nouns

There are two main types of nouns in English. They are Proper Nouns and Common Nouns.

1. Proper Nouns:

Proper nouns are special names given to specific persons, places, pet animals, or things. Proper nouns always begin with capital letters

  • He lives in the USA.
  • The Himalayas are in Tibet.

2. Common Nouns: 

Common nouns are general names given to all persons, places, animals, or things. Common nouns do not begin with capital letters unless they are at the beginning of a sentence. 

  • Patrick is a teacher.

Other Types of Nouns

There are many types of nouns in English. You need to learn them if you are planning to study medicine or engineering in any reputed university. You will also need to learn them when you will sit for a competitive exam like job interview or varsity admission.

3. Collective Nouns:

A proper noun or a common noun which is the name of set or a group people, animals, or things is called a collective noun.

  • Our team is playing well.
  • The teacher told the class to stop writing.
  • Take this bunch of flowers.

Collective nouns are usually singular because they focus on the individual elements acting together as one unit. So, we use a singular verb after a collective noun to match the singular subject.

  • The class is planning a study tour. (Class is seen as one unit.)
  • The herd is following the shepherd. (Herd is seen as one unit.

But collective nouns can also be plural. When the sentence is highlighting the individuals among the group, the noun is plural. In these cases, we use a plural verb to match the plural subject.

  • The class are unable to agree on the place of the tour. (Class is seen as many individuals.)
  • The herd are running in all different directions! (Herd is seen as many individuals.)

4. Material Nouns: 

Look at the following example:

  • Moti makes cakes with flour, sugar, and milk

What materials are used to make the cake? 

Answer: floursugar, and milk.

Floursugar, and milk are material nouns. 

What is a material noun? 

A material noun is a common noun which is the name of things which we cannot count. 

Some more material nouns:

 iron, gold, platinum, tea, sugar, rice, wheat, mud, sand, granite, rock, stone, rain, dew, cloud, frost, mist, cloth, soap, rubber, paint, etc.

5. Abstract Nouns:

An abstract noun is a common noun which is the name of things which we cannot see, or touch. 

  • Honesty is the best policy. 
  • Truthfulness is a great virtue. 

    6. Concrete Nouns:

    A concrete noun is a common noun which is the name of things which we can see, or touch.

    • Water is life. 
    • The book reads well. 

    7. Compound Nouns:

    Some common and proper nouns are made up of more than one word. They are known as compound nouns, or simply compounds.

    • newspaper (news + paper)
    • ashtray (ash + tray)
    • air conditioner
    • Taj Mahal
    • mother-in-law

    8. Occupation Nouns:

    Sometimes we can add -er or -or to a verb to make a noun. This noun is the occupation related to the verb.

    • She sings.
    • She is a singer. (sing + -er)
    • He acts.
    • He is an actor. (act + -or)

    Free Online Test

    Below is a set of 15 online MCQ questions to test your learning of nouns, their positions, functions, and types. Login to take the test.