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English Grammar


 
 

Parts of Speech: Nouns

Noun: a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea.

 

Types of Nouns

Abstract noun: names an idea or concept.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Concrete noun: names a physical object.

—The brick landed on my head.

Common noun: refers to a person, place, or thing without giving it a specific, capitalized name.

—The man drove the car down the street.

Proper noun: gives the specific, capitalized name of person, place, or thing.

John was proud to be from Iowa, which he considered the best place in the United States.

Countable noun: has both a singular and plural form, and refers to people or objects that can be counted.

—The geese were excited because the boy continued to throw them crumbs.

Noncountable noun: does not have a plural form, and refers to something that cannot be counted.

—Nothing made Curtis happier than bad poetry.

Collective noun: names a group of people or things. A collective noun takes a singular verb even though it names a group of people or things.

—Correct: The class was happy that the test was postponed.

—Incorrect: The class were happy that the test was postponed.

Gendered noun: takes a different form depending on the gender of the person to whom it refers. Gendered nouns usually refer to particular occupations.

—Their usual waiter was sick, but the waitress who replaced him was efficient and friendly.

Appositive: explains the noun or noun phrase that directly precedes it. In the following sentence, the grouch is an appositive describing my father.

My father the grouch hated to be hugged.

Gerund: a noun formed by adding –ing to a verb.

—I love dancing.

Infinitive: a noun formed by a verb and the word to.

To vote is the best way to effect social change.