Kinds of Nouns
There are four kinds of nouns:
- Proper Nouns
- Common Nouns
- Abstract Nouns
- Collective Nouns
Notice the difference between these two lists of nouns:
- Jack Mary London India The White House Alice in Wonderland
- Boy girl city country building book
The nouns in list 1. are special names of persons, places and things. They begin with a capital letter. They are called Proper Nouns.
The nouns in list 2. are Common Nouns, as they are not special names. They can be used for any person, place or thing. ‘Boy’ can be any boy –Alec, Bob, George, John, William etc.
A noun which names a particular person, place or thing is called a Proper Noun.
Proper Nouns include the names of persons, cities, towns, villages, countries, parks, libraries, historical buildings, streets, schools, colleges, universities, hills, mountains, days of the week, months of the year, books, festivals, newspapers, etc.
A proper noun always begins with a capital letter.
A noun that gives a common name to persons, places, or things of the same kind is called a Common Noun.
The words city, country, school, river, mountain, book, boy, girl, woman, man, bird, animal, are all common nouns. England, France, India, China, Japan are the names of countries. The word country is a common noun. It is common to all the five named here. But the words England, France, India, China, and Japan are particular names. They are Proper Nouns.
Now look at the following sentences:
- Honesty is the best policy.
- Laughter is the best medicine.
- Poverty is a great curse.
- The soldiers were awarded for their bravery.
The words in bold italics name Quality (honesty, bravery), Action (laughter), and State (poverty). Such a name given to some state, quality, feeling, or action that we can only think of is called an Abstract Noun.
Abstract Nouns are formed:
- From Adjectives, as Kindness from kind, Bravery from brave.(Most abstract nouns are formed thus.)
- From Verbs, as Obedience from obey, Laughter from laugh, Growth from grow.
- From Common Nouns, as Childhood from child, Slavery from slave.
Now read the following sentences:
- Our team won the match.
- The army fought bravely.
- Our class consists of fifty students.
- A flock of sheep was grazing in the field.
- She gave me the bunch of keys.
The words team, army, class, flock and bunch are used for a collection of persons or things. Such a name given to a collection of things taken as a whole/ group is called a Collective Noun.
Crowd, mob, team, army, family, committee, flock, herd, swarm, fleet, jury etc are some Collective Nouns.