Nouns are words in a sentence used to identify people places, things, action, activity etc. All these types of nouns can be classified into different categories depending on different attributes which they possess. A noun forms a fundamental component of a sentence. For example in the sentence below, where John is the noun.
John is crying.
Nouns can act as a sentence’s adjective, direct or indirect object, adverb, subject etc.
Classification of nouns
Proper nouns; this is one category of nouns. Proper nouns always begin with a capital letter whether at the beginning of a sentence or in a sentence. This is the easiest way to identify a proper noun from other types of nouns. These nouns include name of a person, town, state, city, mountains, rivers, institutions, days of the week, months of the year, streets, churches etc.
Examples of sentences showing the use of proper nouns include:
– James is eating.
– We visited IBM Company
– They swam in the Indian Ocean.
– We visited Italy last week.
The words in bold in the sentences above are examples of proper nouns.
Common nouns; these include name of people, ideas, places and things which are not specific.
Examples include girl, boy, dog, woman, bus etc. Unlike proper nouns, these nouns begin with a small letter unless they are used at the beginning of a sentence.
Collective nouns; these are names given to a group or collection of things which are usually taken as a single entity. Just like the common nouns, these types of nouns begin with a small letter unless they appear at the beginning of a sentence. They include
A fleet of ship and a herd of cows
Abstract nouns; these types of nouns arte used to describe an action, quality or a state which neither be seen or touched. These words include kindness, sleep or generosity.
Examples of sentences in which these types of nouns have been used include
Sleep is part of a healthy life
Generosity saved out of the difficult situation they were in last week.
The two words in bold in these two sentences are examples of abstract nouns.
Verbal nouns; this is a term used to describe nouns formed from various verbs. Although a verb is a doing verb, when placed at s pacific point in a sentence it will always act like a verb. Sometimes it becomes very difficult to identify these types of nouns in a sentence.
Examples of such nouns include:
Maggy loves swimming.
In this sentence, the word swimming which comes from the word swim has been used as a noun.
Compound nouns; whenever to or more words are combined together, they form types of nouns called compound nouns. They are formed using a hyphen which links the two words. For example
My mother-in-law is very arrogant.
My dad bought a paper-clip yesterday
In these two sentences above, the words mother-in-law and paper-clip are examples of compound nouns.
Although nouns forms part of a sentence, at times, they can be replaced with a pronoun.