What are Nouns?The simple definition is: a person, place or thing. Here are some examples:
- person: man, woman, teacher, John, Mary
- place: home, office, town, countryside, America
- thing: table, car, banana, money, music, love, dog, monkey
Another (more complicated) way of recognizing a noun is by its:
There are certain word endings that show that a word is a noun, for example:
- -ity > nationality
- -ment > appointment
- -ness > happiness
- -ation > relation
- -hood > childhood
2. Position in Sentence
We can often recognise a noun by its position in the sentence.
Nouns often come after a determiner (a determiner is a word like a, an, the, this, my, such):
- a relief
- an afternoon
- the doctor
- this word
- my house
- such stupidity
- a great relief
- a peaceful afternoon
- the tall, Indian doctor
- this difficult word
- my brown and white house
- such crass stupidity
Nouns have certain functions (jobs) in a sentence, for example:
- subject of verb: Doctors work hard.
- object of verb: He likes coffee.
- subject and object of verb: Teachers teach students.
Countable and Uncountable NounsEnglish nouns are often described as "countable" or "uncountable".
Countable NounsCountable nouns are easy to recognize. They are things that we can count. For example: "pen". We can count pens. We can have one, two, three or more pens. Here are some more countable nouns:
- dog, cat, animal, man, person
- bottle, box, litre
- coin, note, dollar
- cup, plate, fork
- table, chair, suitcase, bag
- My dog is playing.
- My dogs are hungry.
- A dog is an animal.
- I want an orange. (not I want orange.)
- Where is my bottle? (not Where is bottle?)
- I like oranges.
- Bottles can break.
- I've got some dollars.
- Have you got any pens?
- I've got a few dollars.
- I haven't got many pens.