GRAMMAR

Noun? Definition, Types, and Examples

A. Noun কাকে বলে ? Noun কত প্রকার ও কি কি ?
Noun ( বিশেষ্য ) : যে Word দ্বারা কোন কিছুর নাম বুঝায় তাকে Noun বলে ।
যথা : Rahim, Man, Ball, Pen, Dog, Hen, Bag ইত্যাদি ।
Noun এর প্রকারভেদ : Noun পাঁচ প্রকার ।
যথা:
i. Proper Noun ( নামবাচক বিশেষ্য )
ii. Common Noun ( জাতিবাচক বিশেষ্য )
iii. Collective Noun ( সমষ্টিবাচক বিশেষ্য )
iv. Material Noun ( বস্তুুবাচক বিশেষ্য )
v. Abstract Noun (গুণবাচক বিশেষ্য)
i. Proper Noun ( নামবাচক বিশেষ্য ) : যে Noun দ্বারা কোন নিদিষ্ট ব্যক্তি, বস্তুু বা স্থানের নাম বুঝায় তাকে Proper Noun বলে ।
যেমন : Akbar, Sylhet, Meghna ইত্যাদি ।
ii. Common Noun ( জাতিবাচক বিশেষ্য ) : যে Noun দ্বারা একই জাতীয় ব্যক্তি, বস্তুু বা প্রাণীকে না বুঝিয়ে সে জাতীয় সকলকে বুঝায় তাকে Common Noun বলে ।
যেমন : Student, Book, Dog, Flower ইত্যাদি ।
iii. Collective Noun ( সমষ্টিবাচক বিশেষ্য ) : যে Noun দ্বারা কোন ব্যক্তি, বস্তুু বা প্রাণীর সমষ্টিকে বুঝায় তাকে Collective Nounবলে । যেমন : Class, Army, Club, Family ইত্যাদি ।
iv. Material Noun ( বস্তুুবাচক বিশেষ্য ) : যে Noun দ্বারা কোন পদার্থের ওজন করা যায় কিন্তুু গণনা করা যায়না তাকে Material Noun বলে ।
যেমন : Oil, Water, Milk, Honey ইত্যাদি ।
v. Abstract Noun (গুণবাচক বিশেষ্য) : যে Noun দ্বারা কোন ব্যক্তি বা বস্তুুর গুণ, অবস্থা বা কাজের নাম প্রকাশ করে তাকে Abstract Noun বলে ।
যেমন : Goodness, Kindness, Happiness, Beauty ইত্যাদি।

Nouns are everywhere in our writing. But what are all the types of nouns you come across, and how do you use them?

A noun is a word that names something, such as a person, place, thing, or idea. In a sentence, nouns can play the role of subjectdirect objectindirect objectsubject complementobject complementappositive, or modifier.

Some noun examples include:

  • cat
  • bicycle
  • Taylor Swift
  • Kuala Lumpur

How are nouns used in sentences?

A complete sentence usually consists of at least a subject and a verb. The subject describes some person or thing, and the verb describes an action carried out by the subject.

In most cases, the subject is a noun or a pronoun. So the most basic role for a noun is to act as the subject for a verb that follows it.

Examples: Nouns as subjects
Birds fly.David went out.

Pizza is delicious.

Nouns and pronouns can also play the role of object in a sentence. An object usually comes after the verb and represents something or someone that is affected by the action described. Objects can be direct or indirect:

  • The direct object is someone or something that is directly acted upon by the verb.
  • The indirect object is someone or something that receives the direct object.

Types of nouns

Nouns form a large proportion of English vocabulary, and they come in a wide variety of types.

Nouns can name a person:

Albert Einstein
the president

my mother

girl

Nouns can name a place:

Mount Vesuvius
Disneyland
my bedroom

Nouns can name things:

Things might include intangible things, such as concepts, activities, or processes. Some might even be hypothetical or imaginary things.

shoe
faucet
freedom
The Elder Wand
basketball

Proper nouns vs. common nouns

One important distinction to be made is whether a noun is a proper noun or a common noun. A proper noun is a specific name of a person, place, or thing and is always capitalized.

Does Tina have much homework to do this evening?

Tina is the name of a specific person.

I would like to visit Old Faithful.

Old Faithful is the specific name of a geological phenomenon.

The opposite of a proper noun is a common noun, sometimes known as a generic noun. A common noun is the generic name of an item in a class or group and is not capitalized unless appearing at the beginning of a sentence or in a title.

The girl crossed the river.

Girl is a common noun; we do not learn the identity of the girl by reading this sentence, though we know the action she takes. River is also a common noun in this sentence.

Types of common nouns

Common or generic nouns can be broken down into three subtypes: concrete nounsabstract nouns, and collective nouns. A concrete noun is something that is perceived by the senses; something that is physical or real.

I heard the doorbell.
My keyboard is sticky.

Doorbell and keyboard name real things that can be sensed.

Conversely, an abstract noun is something that cannot be perceived by the senses.

We can’t imagine the courage it took to do that.

Courage is an abstract noun. Courage can’t be seen, heard, or sensed in any other way, but we know it exists.

A collective noun denotes a group or collection of people or things.

That pack of lies is disgraceful.

Pack as used here is a collective noun. Collective nouns take a singular verb, as they refer to the collection of people or things they identify as one entity—in this case, the singular verb is.

pride of lions roamed the savanna.

Pride is also a collective noun.

Nouns and number

All nouns are either singular or plural in number. A singular noun refers to one person, place, thing, or idea and requires a singular verb, while a plural noun refers to more than one person, place, thing, or idea and requires a plural verb.

Forming plural nouns

Many English plural nouns can be formed by adding -s or -es to the singular form, although there are also many exceptions.

cat→cats
These two cats are both black.

Note the plural verb are.

tax→taxes

house→houses

Countable nouns vs. uncountable nouns

Concrete and abstract common nouns can be further classified as either countable or uncountable. Countable nouns are nouns that can be counted, even if the resulting number would be extraordinarily high (like the number of humans in the world). Countable nouns can be singular or plural and can be used with numbers and modifiers like a/anthesomeanya few, and many.

Here is a cat.
Here are a few cats.
Here are eight cats.

Uncountable nouns, or mass nouns, are nouns that are impossible to count, whether because they name intangible concepts (e.g., informationanimal husbandrywealth), collections of things that are considered as wholes (e.g., jewelryequipment, the working class), or homogeneous physical substances (e.g., milksand, air). Although most of these nouns are singular in form, because they refer to things that can’t be isolated and counted on their own, they are never used with the singular indefinite article a or an. Singular concrete uncountable nouns can often be expressed in countable units by adding a countable noun like piece (with of). On their own, uncountable nouns can be modified by the definite article, the, or indefinite adjectives like some.

They’d love to rent some property around here.
They’d love to rent a piece of property around here.

Students don’t seem to have much homework these days.

Could you help me move the furniture into the other room?

Nouns and the possessive case

The possessive case shows the relationship of a noun to other words in a sentence. That relationship can be ownership, possession, occupancy, a personal relationship, or another kind of association. The possessive of a singular noun is formed by adding an apostrophe and the letter s.

The cat’s toy was missing.

The cat possesses the toy, and we denote this by use of -’s at the end of cat.

Casey’s sister is a geologist.

Here, the possessive case indicates the relationship between Casey and their sister.

The novel’s release made quite a splash.

In the above example, the possessive case is denoting that novel is in the role of object in relationship to release; someone released the novel.

The possessive of a plural noun that ends in –s or –es is formed by adding just an apostrophe.

My nieces’ prom outfits were exquisite.

The possessive of an irregular plural noun is formed by adding –’s.

The children’s drawings were hung on the walls.

When a singular noun ends in the letter s or z, the general rule of adding –’s often applies.

I have been invited to my boss’s house for dinner.
Ms. Sanchez’s coat is still hanging on the back of her chair.

This is a matter of a style, however, and some style guides call for leaving off the after the apostrophe.

Brussels’ cathedrals attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Whichever style an organization or writer chooses should be used consistently.

Functions of nouns

Nouns take on different roles based on their relationships to the rest of the words in a sentence.

Nouns as subjects

Every sentence must have a subject, and that subject will always be a noun or pronoun. The subject of a sentence is the person, place, or thing that is doing or being or experiencing whatever is described by the verb of the sentence.

Maria played the piece beautifully.

The noun Maria is the subject of this sentence; it tells us who is performing the action described by the sentence’s verb (played).

Nouns as objects

Nouns can also be objects of a transitive verb in a sentence. An object can be either a direct object (a noun that receives the action described by the verb) or an indirect object (a noun that receives direct object).

Cleo passed the salt.
Cleo passed Otto the salt.

In both of the above sentences, the noun salt is the direct object of the verb passed; the salt is what Cleo passed. In the second sentence, there is also an indirect object: the noun Otto. Otto is the person to whom Cleo passed the salt; Otto is the recipient of the salt. A good way to identify an indirect object in a sentence is to ask yourself to whom/what or for whom/what something is being done.

Nouns as subject and object complements

Another role nouns sometimes perform in a sentence is that of a subject complement. A subject complement normally follows a linking verb such as bebecome, or seem and gives more information about the subject of the sentence.

Mary is a teacher.

In this sentence, the noun teacher is being used as a subject complement. A teacher is what Mary is.

A related function of nouns is to act as an object complement, which provides more information about the direct object of a sentence with a transitive verb.

I now pronounce you husbands.

Husbands is a noun used as an object complement in this sentence. Verbs that denote making, naming, or creating are often followed by nouns behaving as object complements.

Nouns as appositives

A noun used as an appositive immediately follows another noun in order to further define or identify it. You can also say that the second noun is in apposition to the first noun.

My brother, Michael, is six years old.

Michael is an appositive here, further identifying the noun phrase my brother. Appositives can be restrictive or nonrestrictive; in the above example, we can see from the fact that it is set off between commas that Michael is nonrestrictive—that is, it could be left out of the sentence without leaving out essential information about who is six years old. In other words, we can surmise that Michael is the writer’s only brother; telling us his name is extra information about him. Here is a version of the same sentence where the appositive is used restrictively, without being set off by commas:

My brother Michael is six years old.

In this case, the appositive Michael is providing information that is essential for narrowing down which brother the writer is telling us about. We can infer that they have multiple brothers, and understand that it is the one named Michael who is six years old.

Nouns as modifiers

Sometimes, nouns can be used to modify other nouns, functioning like adjectives. When they do this, they are often called attributive nouns. .

He is a speed demon.

Speed is normally a noun, but here it is acting as an adjective to modify demon.

Other types of nouns

There are many nouns in English (more than any other part of speech), and accordingly many ways of forming nouns and using them. Some other important types of nouns are:

  • Possessive nouns
  • Gerunds
  • Attributive nouns
  • Appositive nouns
  • Generic nouns

Possessive nouns

possessive noun is a noun that’s followed by an apostrophe (’) and the letter “s” to indicate possession (e.g., “my father’s house”).

To indicate possession with a plural noun that ends in “s,” you just add the apostrophe after the “s,” and don’t add an extra “s” (e.g., “my parents’ house”).

Gerunds

gerund is a noun that is identical to the present participle (the “-ing” form) of a verb. These are typically nouns that describe the same activity as the verb they were formed from, such as “driving,” formed from the present participle of “drive.”

Example: Gerunds in a sentence
When I’m on vacation, sunbathing and reading are my favorite activities.

Attributive nouns

Attributive nouns are nouns that are used like adjectives, to modify another noun. For example, “company” is an attributive noun in the phrase “company policy.”

Even though attributive nouns work similarly to adjectives, they’re still classed as nouns. This is because they don’t fulfill all the grammatical requirements of adjectives. For example, they have to appear before the noun—it wouldn’t make sense to say “a policy that is company.”

Example: Attributive noun in a sentence
I’m a big fan of carrot cake, but ice cream is my favorite dessert.

Appositive nouns

An appositive noun (or appositive noun phrase) is a noun that comes after another noun to provide additional information about it.

If the appositive provides essential information (i.e., it wouldn’t be clear who or what you are referring to without it), it’s written without any extra punctuation. If it provides extra information that is not essential, it’s surrounded by commas.

Examples: Appositive nouns in a sentence
My colleague Adam has really bad breath.
My car, a Ford Focus, broke down yesterday.

Generic nouns

generic noun is a noun that is used to refer to a whole class of things (or people, places, etc.). They can be plural or singular, and they may appear with a definite article, an indefinite article, or no article.

The same noun may be used generically in some contexts and not others. For example, it would be equally possible to use the nouns in the sentences below in a non-generic way (e.g., “the people I know best are my brothers”; “my father operated a printing press”).

Examples: Generic nouns in a sentence
People are resourceful.
The printing press revolutionized European society.