In this particular article on nouns, we are going to help students understand what is the meaning of a noun, when are nouns used, when should a noun not be used, what are the different types of nouns, what is the difference between proper nouns and common nouns and what is the difference between a noun and a verb.
This article is helpful not just students of the English subject, but anybody in general who wants to improve their knowledge in English, both written and verbal, and want to have an edge over others in the competitive world. By now, it must be pretty clear to all of us the importance of English, both professionally and personally.
CAT aspirants and other MBA competitive examinations aspirants can refer to this article for basic and fundamental aspects of nouns and it’s uses.
What are nouns?
Simply put, nouns are those set of words in the English language which refer to a thing, a person or a place. Nouns refer to a generic explanation of things. For example, a “mountain” is a noun, a “country” is a noun or “Boys” is a noun.
A crystal clear understanding of what a noun is will help students clear the English comprehension parts of any competitive examinations with ease, other than becoming fluent in spoken English.
The below are the examples of common nouns:
Basically, anything that describes a set of generic words can be called nouns. Nouns are very important for proper and effective communication, whether it’s written or oral. The use of nouns properly at the right time in the right sentence makes the communication clear and gives the required clarity for the reader or the listener.
What are the different types of nouns?
The most common types of nouns are:
1. Common nouns
2. Proper nouns
There are other lesser-known types of nouns such as concrete nouns, collective nouns, abstract nouns, count nouns and mass nouns. While we shall talk in detail about the common noun and proper noun, we will discuss in brief the other nouns so that the reader will have just the basic understanding of these, which is more than enough.
What are Common nouns?
Common nouns are used to describe a set of words in their extreme generic sense. Proper nouns can be called as a subset of common nouns, in a sense. We say this because all common nouns are used to describe proper nouns and all the proper nouns are indicative of the common noun.
A mountain is a common noun while the mountain of Himalaya is grouped under proper nouns. In the same way, fingers are common nouns but a thumb or ring finger is categorized under proper nouns.
In our day to day spoken English, we get confused between proper nouns and common nouns, which can make sense while talking, but can be termed as the wrong usage of English if dug into. For example, the “search engine” is a common noun while “Google” is a proper noun. The same goes with “photocopier” and “Xerox”. In many such instances, we wrongly use a proper noun as a common noun. Well, these examples are more of advertising achievements by the concerned companies than English factual.
What are proper nouns?
A proper noun is a category of words in the English language which is used to describe specific names, places and things. Unlike common nouns which are generic in nature, proper nouns, as the name suggests is proper or specific in nature.
Some of the examples of proper nouns are:
1. Albert Einstein
2. Sachin Tendulkar
3. Jawaharlal Nehru
9. Samsung Mobile
10. Dell laptop
11. Maruti Suzuki 800
By now, we must have a rudimentary understanding of what a proper noun and a common noun is.
Let us not understand a bit about other types of nouns.
1. Concrete nouns: A healthy human being has 5 senses, which are, the sense of smell, sense of taste, sense of touch, sense of sight and sense of sound. Any word or group of words that is perceived by any one or more of the 5 senses of the human body is called a concrete noun. A bell is a concert noun as it can be perceived by the sense of sound. Food is a concrete noun that can be perceived by the sense of smell or sense of taste and so on and so forth.
2. Collective nouns: Collective nouns are somewhere between a proper noun and a common noun. They refer to a subset of words that are generic in the particular group and specific in a broader sense within that group. For example, school is a collective noun. For this example, building is a common noun and school is a collective noun.
3. Abstract noun: Any group of words that describes the non-tangible aspects of things can get categorized under abstract nouns. Anger, danger, fire or cold can be called as an abstract noun.
What is the difference between a noun and a verb?
A noun is referred to that category of words that describes a place, person or thing while a verb is a set of words in English that refers to a condition, an action or an experience.
For example, take the below sentence
“Usain Bolt is the fastest runner in the world”
In the above sentence, fastest refers to a verb, Usain Bolt refers to a proper noun while world refers to a common noun.
Understanding the rudimentary of both a verb and a noun can help one to form a clear sentence in the English language.