The different types of nouns.|
There are several different types of nouns. These include: common nouns (e.g., abstract nouns, collective nouns, compound nouns, concrete nouns, non-countable nouns, gender-specific nouns, verbal nouns), proper nouns, and pronouns (despite pronouns being classified as a different part of speech).
As covered in the lesson nouns, nouns are naming words. There are several different kinds of nouns. This page describes the most common types.
Common NounsA common noun is the word used for a class of person, place or thing.
Proper NounsA proper noun is the name of a person, place or thing (i.e., its own name). A proper noun always starts with a capital letter.
Collective NounsA collective noun is the word used for a group of people or things.
PronounsA pronoun is a word used to replace a noun.
Pronouns are one of the eight parts of speech which are: adjectives, adverbs
conjunctions, interjections, nouns, prepositions, pronouns and verbs.
Even though they are classified as a different part of speech to nouns, pronouns are nouns. They always play the role of a noun in a sentence.
(It is a pronoun. Here, it replaces the common noun post.)
Verbal NounsVerbal nouns (also called gerunds) are formed from verbs. They end -ing. They are a type of common noun.
Compound NounsCompound nouns are nouns made up of two or more words. Some compound nouns are hyphenated. Some are not, and some combine their words to form a single word. (This is covered in the lesson Hyphens in Compound Nouns.)
Below are some common errors related to nouns:
NO CAPITAL LETTERS FOR COMMON NOUNS
Common nouns do not start with capital letters (unless they start a sentence or are part of a title). It is a common mistake to capitalize a common noun that is an important word in a sentence.
This is covered more in the lesson Capital Letters for Proper Nouns but Not Common Nouns.
ONLY CAPITALIZE THE PRINCIPAL WORDS IN TITLES
When names contain words such as the, of, an or in, these words are not usually given capital letters.
This is called Title Case and is covered more in Capital Letters - Title Case.
SINGULAR OR PLURAL?
Writers are sometimes unsure whether to treat a collective noun as singular or plural. In fact, a collective noun can be singular or plural depending on the sense of the sentence.
When the group is considered as one unit, it is singular. When the individuals of the group are considered, it is plural.
This is covered in the lesson Collective Nouns - Singular or Plural?.
FORMING THE PLURAL OF COMPOUND NOUNS
To form the plural of a compound noun, pluralize the principal word in the compound. When there is no obvious principal word, add s (or es) to the end of the compound.
Words like spoonful, plateful and cupful are exceptions to this rule. They form their plurals by adding an s to the end, even though the principal words are spoon, plate, and cup.
This is covered more in the lesson Compound Nouns - Forming Plurals.
What are adjectives?|
What are adverbs?
What are conjunctions?
What are interjections?
What are nouns?
What are prepositions?
What are verbs?
What are pronouns?
The different types of pronouns
Non-countable nouns (mass nouns)
Verbal nouns (gerunds)