‘N’ is for nouns

412688-old-english-letter-nProbably one of the first things you learn in English grammar at school is about those ‘naming words’ called nouns. A noun can be the name of a person, thing, emotion, idea, group … anything that you can name. And the noun family has a number of different forms. Let’s have a look at them:

  1. Common nouns — refer to any member of a type or class, e.g. city, woman, car
  2. Proper nouns — These could be considered as specific members of a class, and usually are capitalised, e.g. Paris, Sophia Loren, Volkswagen
  3. Abstract nouns  — Intangible things without physical properties, such as emotions, concepts etc. Examples include anger, capitalism, luck
  4. Concrete nouns — Things with physical properties such as paper, sun, air
  5. Count nouns — These are nouns for objects that can be considered as existing in numbers  so that groups of the object can be counted, e.g. banana/s, strawberry/ies
  6. Mass nouns — Unlike count nouns, mass noun objects exist in a bulk form, such as butter, milk and wheat
  7. Collective nouns — These nouns are fun to know as they refer to a collection of similar things. Common examples include flock and herd, but have you heard of a murder of crows?

Now you can boast about the different types of nouns, but it’s not important to know the forms as long as you recognise what constitutes a noun and how to use it.

This blog post takes its information from the Macquarie Encyclopedic Dictionary (The Signature Edition), second edition published in 2010.