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A noun is a word used to name something: a person/animal, a place, a thing, or an idea.

Examples of nouns

People: boy, Thomas Jefferson, Michael Jackson, girl
Animals: cat, dog, lion, elephant, leopard, squirrel
Places: Paris, Sierra Leone, Portland, Oregon, Europe, the Gap
Things: pencil, telephone, watch, store, glass
Ideas: Theory of Relativity, The Ten Commandments, The Laws of Thermodynamics


1. Singular nouns name only one person, place, thing or idea.


2. Plural nouns name two or more persons, places, things or ideas. Most singular nouns (Not ALL) are made plural by adding –s.


Exception #1: If a noun ends with the –s, sh, ch, or x like the words, kiss, ash, church, or box, then they are made plural by adding –es: kisses, churches, ashes, and boxes.

Exception #2: There are also irregular nouns that do not follow any rules. For example, the plural form of child, leaf, mouse, and tooth is children and leaves, and mice, and teeth, respectively.

Exception #3: There are nouns that are both singular and plural without modifications. For example, sheep, deer, and moose are both the singular and plural spellings of these words.

3. Proper nouns refer to specific people, places, things and ideas. They are always capitalized!

King Henry
Mrs. Jones
Central Intelligence Agency
New York
Boston Tea Party
People Magazine
George Washington

4. Common nouns are all other nouns. For example:

cat, pencil, paper, etc.

They are not capitalized unless they are the first word in the sentence.

5. Collective nouns are nouns that are grammatically considered singular, but include more than one person, place, thing, or idea in its meaning. Words like

team, group, jury, committee, audience, crowd, class, troop, family, team, couple, band, herd, quartet, and society

are all collective nouns.

Generally, collective nouns are treated as singular because they emphasize the group as one unit.

The band is going to perform at the Troubadour this weekend.

6. Count nouns are nouns that can be counted, such as

people, cars, books, and friends.

7. Non-Count nouns are nouns that cannot be counted such as

air, outside, gas, liquid, water, and food.

8. Concrete nouns are nouns that you can physically touch. They are people, places, and some things. Words like

person, court, pencil, hand, paper, car, and door

are all examples of concrete nouns.

9. Abstract nouns are nouns that cannot be physically held. For example, things like

air, justice, safety, Democracy, faith, religion, etc.

10. Gerund nouns are nouns that become verbs by adding –ing at the end of the word, such as

running, playing, fixing, and sleeping.

11. Possessive nouns convey ownership.

Singular nouns are converted to their possessive forms by adding by adding an apostrophe “s” at the end, such as

John’s book, the wall’s color, and the computer’s screen.

Singular nouns ending in “s” become possessive by adding an apostrophe at the end, such as

the Jones’ car.

Plural nouns ending in “s” are also made possessive by adding an apostrophe at the end, such as

the buildings’ facades.

Irregular plural nouns are made possessive by adding an apostrophe “s” at the end, such as

the mice’s cheese.

12. Nouns with markers. Nouns are often preceded by markers, which are also called determiners and quantifiers. Common markers include

a, an, the, this, that, these, those, each, some, numbers (1,2,3,etc.), several, many, a lot, few, and possessive pronouns (his, her, etc.).

13. Nouns can be adjectives and verbs. Depending on the context and word order of a sentence, nouns can also be adjectives and verbs.

My favorite color is brown. (brown as a noun)
The brown chair will look great in the den. (brown as an adjective)

I went for a run this morning. (run as a noun)
I am going to run to the store. (run as a verb)

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