The Noun : Kind of Nouns

A Noun is a word used as the name of a person, place or thing.

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.

  1. Sita is a Proper Noun, while girl is a Common Noun.
  2. Kamal is a Proper Noun, while boy is a Common Noun.
  3. Kolkata is a Proper Noun, while city is a Common Noun.
  4. India is a Proper Noun, while 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.

Def. - A Common Noun is a name given in common to every person or thing of the same
class or kind.

Def. - A Proper Noun is the name of some particular person or place,

Note 1 - Proper Nouns are always written with a capital letter at the beginning.
Note 2 - Proper Nouns are sometimes used as Common Nouns; as,
1. He was the Lukman (= the wisest man) of his age.
2. 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.

  1. A fleet = a collection of ships or vessels.
  2. An army = a collection of soldiers.
  3. 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

 Another classification of nouns is whether they are 'countable' or 'uncountable'.
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 (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'.

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