Nouns – Definition, Types, and Examples

Definition of Nouns

A noun is a word or part of speech referring to a person, a place, a thing, a quality. We use nouns in our daily life. 

  • You are calling your friend Sam.
  • He is waving his hand to you.
  • You are eating snacks.
  • He is playing the guitar.
  • Sayra is going to Australia.

There are many examples of nouns. Few of them are 

Car, bus, Joh, bike, boy, girl, friend, balloon, boat, cow, horse, actor, hero, governor, etc. If we look around us we get to know that each word is a noun in itself.

Characteristics of nouns

Nouns have these basic characteristics:

  • Nouns are basically either abstract or concrete.
  • Nouns are either proper or common.
  • Some nouns are either singular or plural.
  • Some nouns are collective in nature.

Abstract nouns are those which can not be seen, touched or detected by our senses. Ideas, measurements, emotions, qualities, etc. come into this category.

Concrete nouns are those which can be touched, seen or found by our senses. Animals, places, things, etc. belong to this category. 

A proper noun tells about a particular thing, person, animal, etc. Joseph, Nuh, Noah, bear, zebra, etc. are proper nouns.

A common noun always shows a common category or class of something. A few examples are team, beer, farms, boys, etc.

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Mostly nouns are used in plural form by adding s or es in the last of nouns. For example, class – classes, glass – glasses, image – images, etc. But many nouns follow a different form e.g. man- men, child- children, etc.

Collective nouns mean in a group, e.g. army, committee, etc. 

Types of Nouns

Nouns are differentiated in various ways. But a few are very common and are used everywhere. Various types of nouns are 

  1. Proper Nouns
  2. Common Nouns
  3. Collective Nouns
  4. Abstract Nouns
  5. Material Nouns

Let us have a look at these types of nouns. These will be discussed one by one.

Proper Nouns


A proper noun is the name of a particular person, thing, place, e.g. John, Delhi, New York, Eifel Tower, Emiley, Jeep, United, States, Canada, London, Bridge, etc. These are a few examples of proper nouns. One thing that is to be noted here is that proper nouns are always capitalized i.e. the first letter is always capital regardless of its position in the sentence.


  • James
  • Amazon
  • Adam
  • Fido
  • Atlanta
  • January
  • Monday
  • Chicago
  • Japan
  • Gateway of India
  • White House
  • Iran
  • Israel
  • Earth
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Prospect Park
  • Richard
  • Everest
  • Harry Potter

These are some examples of proper nouns.

Common Nouns


A common noun refers to a whole class or type of a place, thing, or name. It does not tell about a particular thing, place, or name as in proper noun.


Boys, girls, states, universities, schools are some examples of common nouns.

  • Man
  • Ocean
  • Car
  • Singer
  • Drink
  • Bridge
  • Monkey
  • Cat
  • Street
  • Teacher
  • Baseball
  • City
  • Dentist
  • School
  • People
  • House
  • Friend
  • Business
  • Country
  • City
  • Restaurant
  • Movie
  • Day
  • Bank
  • Mountain
  • Shop
  • River
  • School
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Collective Nouns


Collective nouns always refer to a group of people, things, places, etc. Collective noun always talks about things collectively.


Team, band, jury, government, committee, audience, school, class, bunch, etc. are some examples of collective nouns.


  • Crew
  • Staff
  • Mob
  • Herd
  • Group
  • Team
  • Crowd
  • Gaggle
  • Gang
  • Flock
  • Pack
  • Sat
  • Heap
  • Panel
  • Stack
  • Series
  • Board
  • Family
  • Choir
  • Orchestra
  • Pile
  • Bunch
  • Troup
  • Fall
  • Shower
  • Bouquet
  • Rabble
  • Galaxy
  • Library
  • Album
  • Basket

Abstract Nouns


Abstract nouns represent ideas, emotions, thoughts, etc, which can not be seen, hear, taste, or touched by us.


Love, friendship, hate, beauty, mind, etc, are some examples.


  • Growth
  • Happiness
  • Opportunity
  • Confusion
  • Awareness
  • Cleverness
  • Crime
  • Justice
  • Joy
  • Intelligence
  • Dominance
  • Failure
  • Faith
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Satisfaction
  • Sensitivity
  • Thought
  • Knowledge
  • Friendship
  • Energy
  • Wisdom
  • Openness
  • Peace
  • Laughter
  • Maturity
  • Kindness
  • Uck
  • Talent
  • Calm
  • Warmth
  • Sympathy
  • Stress
  • Death
  • Gossip
  • Hurt

Material Nouns


Material nouns are those which refer to the materials from which things are made. 


Gold, silver, platinum, cotton, etc., can be taken as a few examples.


  • Water
  • Honey
  • Salt
  • Iron
  • Diamond
  • Fiber
  • Wool
  • Plastic
  • Marble
  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Honey
  • Silk
  • Oil
  • Brick
  • Coal

Classification of Nouns

Based on Gender

  1. Masculine
  2. Feminine
  3. Neuter
  4. Common

Let us have a detailed look at this classification one by one.

Masculine Nouns


These are the words that are used to show the male gender of a person or an animal.


Actor, hero, man, husband, son, etc.

Feminine Nouns


Words wich are used to show the female gender of an animal or a person.


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Actress, heroine, woman, wife, daughter, etc.

The following are the examples of masculine nouns with there feminine counterparts.

  • Actor – actress
  • Hero – Heroine
  • Boy – Girl
  • Host – Hostess
  • God-Goddess
  • Emperor – Empress
  • Master – Mistress
  • Father-Mother
  • Bull – Cow
  • Nephew – Niece
  • Sir – Madam
  • Brother – Sister
  • King – Queen
  • Horse -Mare
  • Dog – Witch
  • Lion – Lioness
  • Waiter – Waitress
  • Son – Daughter
  • Husband – Wife
  • Tiger – Tigress
  • Fox – Vixon

Neuter Nouns


The words refer to things, ideas, etc. which do not have any specific gender.


Let us have a look at some examples of neuter gender nouns. These nouns are generally used for no living things.

  • Book
  • Table
  • Fan
  • Air
  • Copy
  • Paper
  • Box
  • Room
  • Television

Common Gender Nouns


The words which can be used for either gender, male or female, are common gender nouns.


Spouse, mouse, parent, etc.

Some common examples of common gender nouns are given below.

  • Friend
  • Child
  • Dear
  • Baby
  • Enemy
  • Teacher
  • Student
  • Infant
  • Thief
  • Servant
  • Cousin
  • Neighbour
  • Owner
  • Relative
  • Singer
  • Cattle
  • President
  • Prime Minister
  • Guest
  • Guardian
  • Dancer
  • Artist
  • Passenger
  • Bird

Based on Number

  1. Countable
  2. Uncountable

Countable Nouns


Nouns that can be counted are countable nouns. These nouns can be in both singular and plural forms.


Five dogs, three cats, six rats, etc.

  • Friend
  • Tree
  • House
  • Books
  • Student
  • Customer
  • Apple
  • Orange

Uncountable Nouns


These nouns are present in the form of an amount of something. These can not be counted in numbers like countable nouns.


Milk, water, flour, etc.

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