Nouns for Kids

by Craig Shrives

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What Are Nouns?

Nouns are the words we use to name people, places, or things.

Examples of Nouns

  • People: girl, pirate, criminal
  • Places: city, continent, planet
  • Things. This includes:
    • Objects: apple, book, table
    • Animals: aardvark, rat, elephant
    • Ideas: happiness, bravery, secrecy

Useful Fact about the Word "Noun"

nouns mon nom
("Mon nom" means my name. It is a palindrome.)
The word "noun" comes from "non," which is the old French word for name. (In modern French, the word for name is "nom.")

Nouns are often called "naming words," which makes sense because the word "noun" means name.

Nouns Can Be Plural

Most nouns can be singular or plural.
nouns can be singular or plural (one pirate) nouns can be singular or plural (two pirates)
  • People: girl, pirate, criminalgirls, pirates, criminals
  • Places: city, continent, planetcities, continents, planets
  • Things. This includes:
    • Objects: apple, book, tableapples, books, tables
    • Animals: aardvark, rat, elephantaardvarks, rats, elephants
    • Ideas: happiness, bravery, secrecyhappiness, bravery, secrecy

Common Nouns and Proper Nouns

There are lots of different types of noun, but there are only two noun categories. Every noun can be categorized as either a common noun or a proper noun.
  • Common Noun. A common noun is the word you will find in the dictionary.
common nouns for kids
  • Proper Noun. A proper noun is the name or title for someone or something. (Notice that proper nouns have capital letters.)
common nouns for kids
common nouns proper nouns

Top Tip for Spotting a Noun

check for a noun
Pick any word. Your word is a noun if it sounds okay after any one of the following:
  • "a" or "an"
  • "the"
  • "some"
Here is a video summarizing this lesson on nouns:
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See Also

common nouns proper nouns nouns for adult learners the different types of nouns

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