The Noun

The Noun

The Noun

A noun is a word used to name a person, a place, a thing, or an idea.

PERSONS carpenter, tourists, team, cousins. Faith Ringgold
PLACES cities, theater, forest, neighborhood, Santa Fe
THINGS telescope, bricks, birds, horseshoe, Liberty Bell
IDEAS justice, creativity, power, opinions. Buddhism

Common Nouns and Proper Nouns

A common noun names any one of a group of persons, places, things, or ideas. A proper noun names a particular person, place, thing, or idea. Common nouns aren't capitalized (except when they begin a sentence or are part of a title); proper nouns, however, always are.

woman Queen Isabella, Wilma Mankiller, Judith Baca
nation Egypt, Mexico, Vietnam, New Zealand
event Pan American Games, French Revolution, Academy Awards, Boston Tea Party
holiday Patriots' Day, Fourth of July, Potlatch, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day
language Hebrew, Spanish, Bantu, Thai

Concrete and Abstract Nouns

A concrete noun names an object or event that can be perceived by the senses. An abstract noun names a quality, a characteristic, or an idea.

CONCRETE NOUNS sneeze, star, gravel, cinnamon, Beijing, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Nolan Ryan
ABSTRACT NOUNS peace, civilization, honor, courage. Romanticism, Manifest Destiny

Collective Nouns

A collective noun names a group.

COLLECTIVE NOUNS jury, band, family, class, flock, committee

Compound Nouns

A compound noun consists of two or more words used together as one noun. Some compound nouns are written as a single word, some as separate words, and others as hyphenated words.

ONE WORD stairway, bookcase, Newfoundland
SEPARATE WORDS lieutenant governor, ceiling fan. Golden Gate Bridge
HYPHENATED WORD sister-in-law, jack-of-all-trades, stick-in-the-mud 


Compound Nouns Note

When you're not sure how a compound noun is written, look it up in a dictionary.

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