Types of Nouns

There are eight categories of nouns. Often these are paired to show the contrast between the categories. Common nouns refer to general, non-specific nouns while proper nouns refer to specific nouns. Count and noncount nouns refer to countability or the inability to count a noun. Concrete nouns are tangible while abstract nouns represent intangible qualities or ideas. Two words are combined to create a compound noun. Collective nouns refer to a group of two or more things or people.

1. Common Nouns name a general, nonspecific thing, person, place, or idea. These can be singular or plural.

  • Thing: school
  • Person: girl
  • Place: city
  • Event: parade

2. Proper Nouns name a specific thing, person, place, or idea. Proper nouns are always capitalized. These are either singular or plural. (Niagara Falls) 

  • Thing: North Elementary School
  • Person: Ellen Green
  • Place: New York City
  • Event: Thanksgiving Day Parade

3. Concrete Nouns are physical and can be touched, heard, seen, or tasted.

  • Touch: bowl, wall, shirt
  • Hear: water, car, dog
  • See: bird, chair, leaf
  • Taste: pizza. coffee, cupcake

4. Abstract Nouns name a quality, idea or condition. They do not have a physical form.

  • Quality: love, kindness, understanding
  • Idea: truth, freedom, justice
  • Condition: happiness, peace, war

5. Count Nouns can be counted and have singular and plural forms. These can have regular or irregular plural forms.

  • 1 cat - 3 cats
  • 1 table - 12 tables
  • 1 fork - 100 forks
  • 1 man - 10 men
  • 1 fish - 35 fish
  • 1 person - 100 people

      6. Noncount Nouns cannot be counted. They do not have a plural form. They take single verbs. Groups, gases, liquids, languages, studies, abstract ideas, weather, sports and recreational activities, and things with small pieces can all be noncount nouns.

      • The luggage is packed.
      • The smoke drifts slowly into the sky.
      • Coffee is my breakfast drink.
      • Arabic is spoken in many nations.
      • Time passes slowly when you are waiting.

      Noncount Nouns Classroom Poster Chart

        7. Compound Nouns are two words combined to create a noun.

        • snow + man = snowman
        • pop + corn = popcorn
        • hand + shake = handshake

        Compound Words Classroom Poster Chart

        8. Collective Nouns refers to a group of two or more things or people. 

        • a pair of scissors, a pair of pants
        • my English class, our track team 
        • a herd of cows, a flock of birds


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