Phenomenal English

Solution Destination to your Problems

What is Noun its Definition Types and Examples

What is Noun and Its Importance

Nouns are an important part of vocabulary and they comprise of a large part of every language. Without nouns it is difficult for any language to work and they come in a wide range of types and functions like number and gender are rendered by them. Same is the case with English, they also grasp a large proportion of English vocabulary.

Definition of Noun

A noun is name of a person, place, thing, animal, feeling, object (Which exists or does not exist), location, concept, idea, event, beliefs etc.

  • Person - name of a person can be: Hussey, Mike, Simpson, Norma
  • Place - name of a place can be: London, Paris, Moscow, New York
  • Thing - name of a thing can be: pen, chair, car, bed, computer, book
  • Animal - name of a animal can be: goat, hen, peacock, cat, lion, dog
  • Feelings, Ideas, Qualities - name of feelings, ideas and qualities: happiness, beauty, wisdom,
  • Location - name of a location can be: Time's Square, Burn's Street, Kimsom Park
  • Concept - name of a concept can be: concept of class and object, loops, arrays etc in computer languages
  • Events - name of an event can be: birthday, christmas, marriage
  • beliefs - name of a belief can be: Judaism, Hinduism, Escapism

Functions, Characteristics and Place of a Noun in a Sentence

A noun can be placed at the position of or perform a function of

  • Subject
  • Direct object
  • Indirect object
  • Complement of a subject
  • Complement of an object
  • In apposition with another noun
  • Before or after an adjective in a sentence
  • An object of a preposition
  • Appositive

Along with all these functions a noun has three characteristics

  • Case (Subjective, Genitive, Dative etc )
  • Gender (Masculine, Feminine etc)
  • Number (Singular, Plural)

Types of Noun

These are different common Kinds of noun

  • Common Noun
  • Proper Noun
  • Collective Noun
  • Concrete Noun or Material Noun
  • Abstract Noun
  • Possessive Noun
  • Compound Noun
  • Countable Noun
  • Uncountable Noun

Common Noun

Common nouns are name of common person, place, thing, animal etc. In simple words all persons, places, things which have common qualities and features are called common nouns. For example book is similar with all other books in the world until unless they are not distinguished by their particular qualities they are common nouns. They are always written with small letter at the beginning and written with capital letter when they start a new sentence.


book, cat, car, bat, tree

Proper Noun

Proper nouns are name of particular person, place, thing, animal etc. In simple words all person, places, things which do not have common qualities and features are called proper nouns. For example London is only city in the world it does not have another city with the same name and qualities in the world. They are always written with Capital letter whether they occur at the beginning, middle or end of the sentence.


Shakespeare, Norway, Taj Mahal, Big Ben

Collective Noun

Collective nouns are used to name a group of persons, places, things etc. They represent a whole lot of things which are referred to. Generally they are singular like team, army, family and take singular subjects but some of them are used as plural like poeple, gentry, folk, police etc.


  • Heard - A mob of sheep
  • Pack - A band of wolves
  • Crew - A group of sailors
  • Penal - A group of judges
  • Archipelago - A group of islands
  • Clump - A cluster of trees

Concrete Noun

Concrete nouns are name of things which have material existance or bodily form. They represent physical objects rather than abstract. All the nouns like common nouns, proper nouns, collective nouns etc except abstract nouns are Concrete Nouns.


book, house, tree, jacket

Abstract Noun

Abstract nouns are name of ideas, actions, qualities, states, beliefs and other such things which do not have material existance or bodily form. In other words things which can not be touched, seen, felt or do not have physical existance.


wisdom, noise, excitement, confidence, knowledge

Possessive Noun

Possessive nouns show their own possession i.e something which they have or own. In most cases, they are formed by adding an apostrophe plus s like 's at the end of possessive noun. But if a noun showing possession ends in 's' or 'z' or sound of 's' (hissing sound) then only apostrophe (comma) is added. In some cases 'of' is used to show the possession of a noun. Sometimes possessive noun requires no apostrophe plus 's' or of to show its possession like hall door, shoe polish etc.


  • Bob's car - Here Bob a noun shows his possession over other noun that he has a car.
  • Cat's tail - Here cat a noun shows its possession over other noun that it has a tail.
  • Legs of chair - Here chair shows its possession over the noun legs via of not apostrophe.
  • New York Cathedral - Here New York shows its possession over cathedral without apostrophe or of.
  • Keats' poetry - Here Keats shows his possession over poetry with only apostrophe because Keats ends in 's'
  • Obedience' sake - Here obedience a noun shows its possession over the word sake but due to the hissing sound of 'ce' only apostrophe (comma) is added to show possession.

Compound Noun

Compound noun is name of person, place, thing etc which is made of two or more words. For example toothpaste, haircut, battle-field, winter sports etc. Sometimes these words are written one word like toothpaste, bathroom and sometimes they are written separately like kitchen sink, football ground etc.


bedroom, birthday, winter sports, haircut

Countable Noun

Countable noun also called count noun is one which can be counted. Countable noun can also be modified by determiners like each, every, several etc, adjectives like many, much, such and articles like a, an, the. They can be in both singular and plural forms.


boys, book, bench, cars,

Uncountable Noun

Uncountable noun also called non-count noun is one which cannot be counted.. They also can be in both singular and plural forms and only article 'the' is used with them. Article 'a, an' cannot be used with them.


water, milk, sugar, happiness, tea, oil

The Noun: Cases

Cases of a noun show its relationship with other words, its place and functions in a sentence. There are five noun cases which show how a noun relates to the other words in a sentence. They are

  • Nominative or Subjective case
  • Accusative or Objective case
  • Dative case
  • Genitive or Possessive case
  • Vocative case

The Noun: Gender

Gender of a noun tells us about sex group of a noun. There are four gender groups of nouns. They are

  • Masculine Gender
  • Feminie Gender
  • Common Gender
  • Neuter Gender
  • Vocative case

The Noun: Number

Number of a noun tells us about count, figure or quantity of a noun. The number of noun has two groups. They are

  • Singular
  • Plural