Naming words for people, animals, places, objects, substances, qualities, actions, ideas and measures.
Kinds of Nouns Countable Nouns – can be modified by a and occur in both and form, as well as co-occurring with quantificational determiners like every , each , several , etc. Common Nouns – general names of persons, places or things (e.g., car, man, bridge, town, water, metal, ammonia) Proper Nouns – real names of persons, places or things; always start with capital letter (e.g., Michael, Africa, Peking, Dayton Peace Accord, United Nations, The Tower of London, The Red Lion, Uncle George ("Uncle" is written with a capital letter because it is part of his name)
Uncountable Nouns - cannot be directly modified by “a” without specifying a unit of measurement; cannot combine with an indefinite article (e.g., copper, brightness, oil, air, sugar, Arabic, shopping, beauty, courage, fire, wine) Compound Nouns – made up of two or more words (e.g., mother-in-law, court-martial, forget-me-not, manservant, paper clip, full moon) Collective Nouns – special nouns that stand for a group of people, animals, birds or insects (e.g., army, band, choir, group, jury, team, troop, youth, a flock of birds, a swarm of ants) Verbal Nouns – words based on verbs that can be used as nouns (e.g., Traveling opens the eyes. Traveling is a verb [gerund] used as a noun [subject]) Kinds of Nouns
General Rules on the Use of Countable and Uncountable Nouns Countable Uncountable have singular and plural forms have only one form take singular or plural verbs according to their use as singular or plural take singular verbs can have a , an , or one before them as modifier in the singular cannot have a , an , or one before them as modifier can have many or few before them as modifier in the plural can have much before them as a modifier can have some before them as modifier only in the plural can have some before them as a modifier can have number of before them only in the plural can have amount of before them Note: Many words have both countable and uncountable meanings. Substances, materials, activities and abstract ideas often have countable meanings when one item or one specific example is meant. a bone, bones (piece or pieces) – bone (substance); a history, histories (one or more events) – history (study of the past); a kindness (a good deed) – kindness (abstract)