What is a Noun? Definition, Types and examples of Noun

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What is a Noun? Definition, Types, and Examples of Noun explained.

What is a Noun?

Noun: A Noun is a word used as the name of a person, place or thing(The word thing is used to mean anything that we can think of).

Take a look at the following sentence:

  • Asoka was a wise king.
    • The noun Asoka refers to a particular king, but the noun king might be applied to any other king as well as to Asoka. We call Asoka a Proper Noun, and king a Common Noun.


  • Sita is a Proper Noun, while a girl is a Common Noun.
  • Hart is a Proper Noun, while a boy is a Common Noun.
  • Kolkata is a Proper Noun, while the city is a Common Noun.
  • India is a Proper Noun, while the country is a Common Noun.
    • The word girl is a Common Noun, because it is a name common to all girls, while Sita is a Proper Noun because it is the name of a particular girl.

Types of Noun:

Common Noun: A Common Noun is a name given in common to every person or thing of the same class or kind[Common here means shared by all].

Proper Noun: A Proper Noun is the name of some particular person or place,[Proper means one’s own. Hence a Proper Name is a person’s own name.]

  • Proper Nouns are always written with a capital letter at the beginning.
  • Proper Nouns are sometimes used as Common Nouns; as,
    • He was the Lukman (= the wisest man) of his age.
    • Kalidas is often called the Shakespeare (= the greatest dramatist) of India.

Common Nouns include what are called Collective Nouns and Abstract Nouns.

Collective Noun: A Collective Noun is the name of a number (or collection) of persons or things taken together and spoken of as one whole; as, Crowd, mob, team, flock, herd, army, fleet, jury, family, nation, parliament, committee.

  • A fleet = a collection of ships or vessels.
  • An army = a collection of soldiers.
  • A crowd = a collection of people.
    • The police dispersed the crowd.
    • The French army was defeated at Waterloo.
    • The jury found the prisoner guilty.
    • A herd of cattle is passing.

Abstract Noun: An Abstract Noun is usually the name of a quality, action, or state considered apart from the object to which it belongs; as. Quality – Goodness, kindness, whiteness, darkness, hardness, brightness, honesty, wisdom, bravery.

  • Action – Laughter, theft, movement, judgment, hatred.
  • State – Childhood, boyhood, youth, slavery, sleep, sickness, death, poverty.
  • The names of the Arts and Science (e.g., grammar, music, chemistry, etc.) are also Abstract Nouns.

Abstract Nouns are formed:

  • From Adjectives; as, Kindness from kind; honesty from honest.
  • From Verbs: as, Obedience from obey; growth from grow.
  • From Common Nouns; as, Childhood from child; slavery from slave.

Another classification of nouns is whether they are “countable” or “uncountable”.

Countable Nouns: Countable nouns (or countables) are the names of objects, people, etc. that we can count, e.g., book, pen, apple, boy, sister, doctor, horse.

Uncountable Nouns: Uncountable nouns (or uncountables) are the names of things which we cannot count, e.g., milk, oil, sugar, gold, honesty. They mainly denote substances and abstract things.

Countable nouns have plural forms while uncountable nouns do not. For example, we say “books” but we cannot say “milks”.

Example of Nouns:


  • He is the person to see.
  • John started to run.
  • Plato was an influential Greek philosopher.
  • Sharon admires her grandfather.
  • My mother looks a lot like my grandmother, and I look very much like them.


  • The dog barked at the cat.
  • Elephants never forget.
  • Sophie is my favorite horse.


  • The restaurant is open.
  • Let’s go to the beach.
  • Look over there.
  • Come here.
  • Harvard and Yale are two famous universities.
  • Look! There’s the Eiffel Tower.


  • Throw the ball.
  • Please close the door and lock it.
  • Use words properly to be understood.
  • The lamp sits on a table next to the sofa.
  • Money doesn’t grow on trees.


  • Follow the rules.
  • The theory of relativity is an important concept.
  • Love is a wonderful emotion.

Click here to read next topic: Classification of Nouns

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