Nouns are naming words. But for all, proper nouns you can easily tell if a word is a noun by putting the word “the” in front of the word: the piano, the girl. You cannot do this with people or places.
Nouns can be put into the following categories: proper nouns, common nouns, abstract nouns, collective nouns.
Nouns have number, gender and case:
- If a noun is a single thing, its number is singular; if it indicates more than one, it is plural.
- In gender (a term used to classify nouns according to sex or absence of sex) a noun may be masculine, feminine, neuter or common ( of either sex ).
- A noun may be in the nominative case (the subject of the verb), the objective case (the object of verb or preposition), or possesive case (the case denoting ownership).
Proper nouns name people, places, days, months and things. Always use with a capital letters for these words.
One of Australia’s most famous cricketers is Donald Bradman.
Queensland is where I live.
Melbourne stands on the Yarra River.
Thirty days hath September, April, June and November.
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are the best days at school.
A common noun refers to anything we can see, hear or touch. Common nouns do not need capital letters.
He is a boy who likes sport.
The meow of a cat rose above the noise of the wind.
The beach is very peaceful late at night.
An abstract noun refers to a state, quality or feeling—something we cannot see, hear or touch.
Her hunger drove her to search for food.
His illness was caused by a virus.
They say it is love that makes the world go round, but a good sence of humour helps.
A collective noun is the name given to a number of persons or things considered as a group or one entity.
The mob rioted during the illegal march.
The audience was held spellbound throughout the concert.
The congregation always stood to sing a hymn.
Other examples of collective nouns are:
Bunch, crowd, gang, group, pack, clump, tribe, team.
Collective noun phrases
|(1)||Reffering to animals:||(2)||Others:|
|A flock of sheep
A herd of cattle
A litter of puppies
A flight of birds
A nest of ants
A pack of wolves
A swarm of bees
A shoal of fish
A school of whales
A gaggle of geese
A colony of ants
A brood of chickens
A nest of rabbits
A plague of locusts
A stud of horses
A pride of lions
A troop of monkeys
|A bunch of grapes
A bouquet of flowers
A chain of mountains
A cluster of stars
A flight of stairs
A gang of thieves
A pair of shoes
A library of books
A series of events
A suit of clothes
An army of soldiers
A choir of singers
A clutch of eggs
A set of golf clubs
A suite of furniture
A team of players
A fleet of ships
A board of directors
A hand of bananas
A sheaf of arrows
A skein of wool
A field of runners
NOUNS FORMING PEOPLE
By changing the ending of particular words, you can make nouns forming people.
|Motor – motorist
City – citizen
Cycle – cyclist
Football – footballer
Direct – director
Police– policeman, policewoman
|Act – actor, actress
Reside – resident
Team – teamster
Cow – cowherd, cowboy
Sport– sportsman, sportswoman
Piano – pianist
NUMBER (SINGULAR AND PLURAL NOUNS)
Nouns can be either singular (woman, dog, match) or plural (women, dogs, matches). Here are some rules for writing plurals correctly:
(1) Most noun add s to form plurals (more than one): girl-girls; queen-queens; judge-judges; window-windows; house-houses; chance-chances.
Note the placing of the ‘s’ in the following: sisters-in-law; mothers-in-law; daughters-in-law; passers-by.
(2) Nouns ending in –x, -s, -th, -ss, -ch, add es: tax – taxes; bus – buses; bush – bushes; pass – passes; lunch – lunches.
(3) For nouns ending in –f, and –fe, change –f to –v and add es: calf – calves; knife – knives; leaf – leaves; life – lives; loaf –loaves; half – halves.
Note : there are some exceptions: proof – proofs; and some where either is correct: hoof – hoofs, or hooves.
(4) For nouns ending in –o (with some common exceptions), add es: tomato – tomatoes; potato – potatoes; volcano – volcanoes; echo – echoes.
Exceptions: radio – radios; piano – pianos; solo – solos; photo – photos.
(5) For nouns that end in a consonant plus y,change the –y to –ies: baby – babies; lady – ladies; army – armies; worry – worries.
(6) For a few nouns- change the vowel/s: foot – feet; goose – geese; man – men; woman – women; mouse – mice.
(7) A few nouns have –en plurals: child – children; 0x – oxen.
(8) Some nouns remain the same: cod, deer, fowl, gallows, herring, mackarel, salmon, sheep, scissors, trousers.
A noun may be masculine, feminine, neuter or common (either masculine or feminine).
|Masculine||Reffering to male creatures: man, boy, son, brother-in-law, uncle, nephew, king, ram, drake, rooster.|
|Feminine||Reffering to female creatures: woman, girl, daughter, sister-in-law, aunt, niece, queen, ewe, duck, hen.|
|Neuter||Reffering to things that have no sex: mountain, river, state, flock, school.|
|Common||Reffering to either sex: child, horse, sheep, kitten, duckling, gosling, student, scholar, teacher.|
Some words can be either masculine or feminine by changing the ending of the word:
The term case indicates the relation in which a noun stands to other words in the sentence.
|The nominative case||A noun is said to be in the nominative case when it is the subject of a verb. (the subject is what is being spoken about in any statement).
Jamie was wearing shorts and tee-shirt.
In this sentence, Jamie is said to be in the nominative case.
|The objective case||A noun is said to be in the objective case when it is the direct object of a verb or preposition.
The dog chased the cat.
In this sentence, the object, the cat, is said to be in the objective case.
The sick cat is covered with rugs.
In this sentence, rugs is in the objective case governed by the preposition “with”.
|The dative case||When a sentence has an indirect object, it is said to be in the dative case.
John gave jane his textbook.
In this sentence, textbook is the object, and Jane the indirect object, so Jane is a noun in the dative case.
|The possesive case||A noun is said to be in the possesive case when it indicates the possessor or owner of something. It is the only case that is indicated by changing the form of the word.
These are Judith’s clothes.
Judith’s is in the possesive case since it indicates that Judith is the owner of the clothes.
When a noun denotes ownership, an apostrophe is used to change the form of the word. (see above and recheck the use of the apostrophe ‘).
The girl’s dress
The baby’s bonnet
The woman’s handbag
The man’s football club
A day’s work
The boy’s pen
The girls’ dresses
The babies’ bonnets
The women’s handbags
The men’s football clubs
Five days’ work
The boys’ pens
If a name or a title consists of two or more nouns very closely connected, the possesive is indicated only on the last one:
Victoria and Albert’s reign
However, if separate people are acting quite independently of each other, the possesive case is indicated on each noun:
Mother’s and Father’s rules are quite different.
CHANGING WORDS TO FORM NOUNS
When required to change words to form nouns, use your dictionary, the best resource. However, the following are some common noun endings to help you:
-ment, tion, ness, ice, ence, ent, ance, ion, ure, or, ity, ty.