Noun and Its Kinds

We will discuss here about noun and its kinds with examples.

What is a Noun?

Noun means a name. It is a nominal object. A noun represents a person, a thing, etc. Noun denotes a naming word; as, Mumbai, horse, beauty, goodness, iron, table, etc.

What are the different kinds of noun?

Nouns are of five different kinds. They are:

Proper nouns

Common noun

Collective noun

Material noun

Abstract noun

Proper noun

Proper noun refers to people and things by name. It clarifies one particular person or thing detaching from any one.

For example:

1. Sam is a person.

2. Mumbai is a big city.

3. The Ramayana is our sacred scripture.

4. The Telegraph is a newspaper.

In these sentences Sam is a particular name. Mumbai is a certain place. Ramayana is a sacred book. These all are examples of proper nouns.

Likewise cholera is name of disease. Monday is a name of a day. Kali puja is a name of festival. Juma masque is an example of good architect. Yamuna is a name of river. Kurmi is a name of a tribe. Indian Ocean is a name of a sea. Saturn is a planet. Sun and moon are star and satellite respectively.

So it is clear that proper noun transforms from a simple name into a different particular name or being.

Proper noun denotes originality and oneness. Proper noun’s first letter is always capital. Except some exceptions there is no use of article before any proper noun.

Common noun

Common noun represents a class or a community. It is common .It is general. It is equal to all kinds. We can use a general determiner before a common noun. Several time there is a use of ‘a’.

For example: A girl, a boy, a man, a cow, a bird.

It never denotes any particular being. Common noun denotes a general name of a same category person or thing. In common noun there is no use of capital letter.

Collective noun

It means a collection. It has a relation with number. It means multiple things. It’s about the whole. It always suggests a group; as crowd, flock, fleet, herd, committee, family, nation, team, parliament, mob, regiment, assembly.

For example:

1. The class has no discipline.

2. The gathering is very anxious.

3. An audience is always charming.

4. The people are very peaceful.

5. A bunch of roses is needed for the guest.

6. A board of directors has organized to complete the recruitment procedure.

In these sentences class, gathering, audience, people, bunch of roses, a board of director - these are all examples of collective nouns.

A distinction is generally made between a Collective Noun and a Noun of Multitude.

(i) A Collective Noun denotes one individual whole; and hence the verb is singular.

For example:

The Committee consists of twelve members.

(ii) A Noun of Multitude denotes one individuals of the group; and hence the verb is plural, although the Noun is singular.

For example:

The Committee are quarrelling among themselves.

Material noun

A material noun is a noun which refers a matter or substance used to make things. A thing’s content is a material noun; as gold, silver, iron, copper, cotton wool, clay, glass, steel, stone, etc.

For example:

1. The ring is made of gold.

2. The window is made of glass.

3. The chair is made of iron.

4. The bag is made of leather.

5. The paper is made from bamboo.

In these sentences gold, glass, iron, leather, bamboo are examples of material nouns. But the things made from the content are common noun.

Abstract noun

Abstract noun refers any quality. It specifies virtue or vice, state or action, etc. There is no use of article before abstract noun. It is apart from the object to which it belongs. It denotes our hidden and invisible qualities.

For example: loyalty, brightness, goodness, wisdom, cleverness, kindness (quality)

Childhood, boyhood, rich, old, bondage, poverty, youth, manhood, death, sickness, slavery (state)

Punishment, laughter, movement recognition, separation, revenge, solution, theft, flight (action)


Abstract nouns are generally constructed from adjective, verb and common noun.

For example: adj.-good-goodness (noun)

Child (common noun) - childhood (noun)

Bear (verb) - birth (noun)


There are some other types of nouns. These are -

Gerund/verbal noun

A gerund is made from a verb + ing

For example: run - running.

Countable and Uncountable noun

The nouns which are countable are countable nouns.

For example: book, house, pen etc.

The nouns which are uncountable are uncountable nouns.

For example: sugar, rice, sand etc.

According to number nouns are of two types. These are -

Singular form/number - girl.

Plural form - Wives

English Grammar and Composition

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