A noun (from Latin “nōmen” meaning “name”) is a member of parts of speech whose members can appear as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition.
Generally, there are two types of nouns.
- Concrete noun
- Abstract noun
Concrete: It refers to a physical object in the real world. So, if I can interact with a noun with any of the five senses as listed below, it’s a concrete noun.
Abstract: It refers to an idea or concept that does not exist in the real world.
Some examples of Concrete and Abstract nouns.
Further, we elaborate concrete nouns as:
|Proper||It is a name of a particular person, place, animal, and thing. (John, Delhi, India, Taj Mahal)|
|Common||It is the name of a group of similar things. (boy, city, country, player)|
|Material||It refers to a material from which things are made. (gold, silver, wood, iron, cloth)|
|Collective||It is a collection of things taken as a whole. (class of students, a herd of animals, a gang of thieves)|
- It doesn’t take articles. Because we use article to make something definite, but proper noun already has their uniqueness and unique identities. Hence, it doesn’t need articles.
- It starts with a capital letter.
- It is always singular.
If a proper noun is used as a common noun, the article is used.
- Kalidas is the Shakespeare (common noun) of India.
- Prabhudeva is the Michael Jackson (common noun) of India.
- Kashmir is the Switzerland (common noun) of India.
- Arjun is the Sachin Tendulkar (common noun) of my team.
Note: All these four sentences, which have articles before a proper noun, are not the proper noun. These are used as common nouns. Below is the meaning of these proper nouns as a common noun.
- Shakespeare —>Knowledge/dramatist/novelist
- Michael Jackson —> Dancer
- Switzerland —> Beauty
- Sachin Tendulkar —>Player
- A common noun in the singular number always requires an article before it.
- Generally, no article is used before a plural common noun, but it can have the article “the” if we want to specify that noun.
- I saw a monkey. (refers to a random monkey).
- He saw monkeys in a zoo. (no article is required).
- I have seen the monkey again. (specifying to the monkey I have already seen).
A collective noun can be sub-classed under two main categories:
- Societal: society, family, board, committee, team, are societal or official names.
- Of-collective: the prepositional phrase with “-of-“. A band of musicians, a gang of thieves, a pride of lions etc.
Formation of the collective nouns: A + collective word + of + noun (plural) + verb (singular)
- A swarm of insects
- A Galaxy of stars
- A gang of bandits
- A fleet of ships
- A pride of lions.
Note:- If collection of things, people’s actions or opinion are united or same. It follows singular, else plural.
- Normally, no article is used before a material noun.
- Material noun is used as singular and takes singular verb.
A noun can be:
- Milk is high in calcium —> common
- A liter of milk —> material
- A milkman milks the cow —> verb
- This table is make of wood —> material
- Wood is useful —> common
- This ring is made of silver —> material
- Silver is white —> common
Generally, no article is used before it.
- Friendship is precious.
- Life is beautiful.
- Silence is golden.
We use an article when we specify it.
- The life of wise people is beautiful.
- The friendship between those two children is precious.
- The silence around us is golden.