Types of Nouns (Examples and Explanation)

The first of the eight parts of speech is the noun. The noun is used to name things. We call one thing a chair. We call another thing a table. We call another thing a book, and so on. The thing name by the noun can be physical thing or a non-physical thing.

Physical things are thing we can see, hear, feel, taste or smell. Some examples of physical things are car, chair, table, hand, river etc.

Nonphysical things are things we cannot see, hear, feel, taste or smell. Some examples of nonphysical things are wisdom, love, bravery, kindness etc.

From these examples, we may say that a noun is something we can have. We can have a book. We can have love. We can have wisdom.

The Kinds of Nouns

There are following types of nouns.

  1. Proper Noun
  2. Common Noun
    • Count Noun
    • Mass Noun
  3. Collective Noun
  4. Material or Concrete Noun
  5. Abstract Noun

Proper Noun

You might have noticed that some of the nouns start with a capital letter. We use capital letters to begin proper nouns. Proper nouns are nouns that name something proper, particular or specified. Proper means one’s own. London is a proper noun because it is the name of a particular city.

Common Noun

A common noun names any one of a class of persons, places, or things; e.g. man, city, truth etc. The word “common” means ‘shared by all.’

Compare the following list to see the difference between common nouns and proper nouns.

Common NounProper Noun
Boy Williams
Girl Sarah
Country United States
City New York
Day Monday
Language English

Most common nouns may also be classed as count nouns because they can be counted; book, pen, table etc.

On the other hand, some common nouns are not countable. They are called mass nouns; iron, water, sugar, wood etc. Such nouns are not normally used in the plural.

Note: A proper noun becomes a common noun when it denotes a class of persons or things and is used in descriptive sense. For example, Dr. Abdus Salam is the New of the age i.e. the greatest scientist of the age.

Collective Noun

A collective noun is a name applied to a group; class, club, committee, team, family etc. Certain collective nouns, though singular in form, are always used as plurals; people, cattle, gentry etc.

Material or Concrete Noun

A concrete noun refers to a substance that exists in a physical sense and so it can be seen, heard, tasted, smelled or felt by the body; iron, wind, milk etc.

Concrete nouns are not used in the plural.

Abstract Noun

An abstract noun is a name applied to a quality or a general idea; love, beauty, wisdom, hate, etc.

Abstract nouns can also be used with collective nouns to show quality, quantity, measurement and species or type; a piece of advice, a fit of anger, a kind of humor.

Abstract nouns are not used in the plural.

Sometimes, two or more words are combined to form a compound noun, for example, school-teacher, mother-in-law, maid-servant etc.

Common Errors

INCORRECTCORRECT
He gave me many advices. He gave me many pieces of advice.
Your hairs are white. Your hair is white.
The sceneries of mountains are very beautiful. The scenery of mountains is very beautiful.
The sheeps are grazing in the field. The sheep are grazing in the field.
I like to graze cattles in the field. I like to graze cattle in the field.
Mathematics are my favorite subject. Mathematics is my favorite subject.
My scissors are sharp. My scissors is sharp.
Were you glad at these news? Were you glad at this news?
Bread and butter are necessary for life. Bread and butter is necessary for life.
Slow and steady win the race. Slow and steady wins the race.
Riches does many things. Riches do many things.