Nouns are one of the four major word classes, along with verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Nouns are the largest word class.
Types of nouns
A noun refers to a person, animal or thing. Some examples are:
Nouns referring to people
Nouns referring to animals and things
The woman in the picture is my mother.
Her name is Anna. She’s from Manchester.
The diagram shows the different types of nouns and how they relate to one another.
Most nouns are common nouns, referring to classes or categories of people, animals and things.
Proper nouns are the names of specific people, animals and things. They are written with a capital letter at the start.
Concrete nouns refer to material objects which we can see or touch.
Abstract nouns refer to things which are not material objects, such as ideas, feelings and situations.
It is not always possible to identify a noun by its form. However, some word endings can show that the word is probably a noun.
postage, language, sausage
insurance, importance, difference
teacher, driver, actor
childhood, motherhood, fatherhood
socialism, capitalism, nationalism
artist, optimist, pianist
attitude, multitude, solitude
identity, quantity, cruelty
excitement, argument, government
happiness, business, darkness
friendship, championship, relationship
station, nation, extension
The -ing forms of verbs (gerunds) can also act as nouns.
Smoking is forbidden on all flights.
The City Council does its economic planning every September.