DEFINITIONS & EXAMPLES
A noun names a person, place, thing or an idea.
Nouns naming persons; Mr. Ngao, boy, student, teacher, etc.
Nouns naming places: Tanzania, USA, Dodoma, Tokyo, Arusha, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park, Katavi, etc.
Nouns naming things: Cup, chair, door, tree, football, snake, etc.
Nouns naming ideas: Friendship, love, fear, bravery, courage, etc
TYPES OF NOUNS& EXAMPLES
There are almost eleven (11) types of nouns. They are:
1. COMMON NOUNS
Common noun refers to the class or type of person, place, or thing without being specific to it.
Town, animal, house, etc. all these are general names of things, not specific names of things.
Examples of sentences: The underlined words are common nouns:
- That tree has many branches
- The dog has caught a mouse.
- Students are in the class.
2. PROPER NOUNS
A proper noun is used to name a specific or individual person, place or thing. These nouns begin with a capital letter.
Examples: Asha, Michael, Arusha, India, Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, Serene Hotel, etc.
Examples of sentences: The underlined words are proper nouns:
- The Serena Hotel is the best hotel.
- Tobi is the name of my dog.
- Asha is the best student in her class.
- Next week I will visit Kenya.
3. SINGULAR NOUNS
These are kinds of nouns that refer to only one person, place or thing.
An orange is one fruit and a goat is one animal. Other examples are: cat, house, room, knife, coat.
Examples of sentences: Underlined words are singular nouns.
- I live in one room.
- My house is very small.
- Tanzania is a beautiful country.
- Please borrow me a knife.
4. PLURAL NOUNS
These are kinds of nouns that refer to more than one person, place or thing.
Oranges means more than one fruit and two goats means two animals. Other examples are: cats, houses, rooms, knives, coats.
Examples of sentences: Underlined words are singular nouns.
- I have two rooms.
- My houses are very small.
- East Africa has beautiful countries.
- Please borrow me your knives.
Kinds of Plural Nouns
There are two kinds of plural nouns:
(i)Regular nouns. These nouns are regularly formed by adding -s or -es to the singular nouns. There are many regular nouns in English language and they are formed differently as well.
Regular nouns can be formed in the following ways:
(a)Singular nouns that end in s, -sh, -ch and x, form their plurals by adding es to the singular.
Box -> boxes
Class -> classes
Branch -> branches
Brush -> brushes
Watch -> watches
(b) Some singular nouns that end in -s, -sh, -ch and x form their plurals by adding -es to the singular nouns.
(c) Most singular nouns that end in o, generally form their plurals by adding es.
Mango -> mangoes
Hero -> heroes
Potato -> potatoes
Volcano -> volcanoes
(d) Some singular nouns that end in o, form their plurals by simply adding s.
Piano -> pianos
Photo -> photos
Stereo -> stereos
Dynamo -> dynamos
(e) Some of the singular nouns that end in -o form their plurals by adding -es to the singular nouns.
Exceptions: Not all nouns ending in -o should end in -es.
(f) Singular nouns that end in a consonant -y, form their plurals by changing that y into i while adding es at the end.
Baby -> babies
Lady -> ladies
City -> cities
Story -> stories
(g) Most singular nouns that end in f or fe have their plurals by changing -f or -fe into v while adding an -es at the end of the word.
Exceptions: Some nouns end in -f but are only formed by adding -s only.
(ii)Irregular nouns. These are kinds of nouns that involve the change of vowels to make the plural forms.
Examples: person = people, man = men.
Examples of sentences. The underlined words are irregular nouns:
- Children are going to school.
- Your feet are so long.
- This house has many mice.
- My teeth are not so clean.
5. COUNTABLE/COUNT NOUNS
These are nouns that you can count. For example, ten cows, people, five students and two rooms.
Examples: Car, boy, horse, village, window, etc. singular noun is the name of one person, place, or thing. Plural noun is the name of more than one person, place or thing.
Examples of sentences: Underlined words are count nouns:
- Two cars were involved in the accident.
- Ten students were expelled for indiscplinary behaviours.
- Teachers are good people.
- Six presidents have ruled Tanzania.
6. UNCOUNTABLE/NON-COUNT/MASS NOUNS
Uncountable noun is a noun that cannot be counted. You cannot count these nouns and they often refer to substances, liquids, and abstract ideas.
Examples: Milk, air, happiness, water. You can say milks or happinesses in English.
Examples of sentence: Underlined words are uncountable nouns:
- I need some water.
- She was filled with happiness.
- Our friendship is everlasting.
- Please I need some air.
7. CONCRETE NOUNS
A concrete noun refers to people or things that exist physically and that at least one of the five human senses can detect. These are nouns which can be perceived by five human senses: that is, these nouns can be tasted, touched, seen, smelled, and heard.
Examples: dog, tree, orange, rocks, sands, school, boy, etc.
Examples of sentences: Underlined words are concrete nouns:
- Sibwesa Secondary School is a beautiful school.
- My dog is very friendly.
- Oranges are my favourite fruits.
- I like eating rice.
8. ABSTRACT NOUNS
An abstract noun is a noun that has no physical existence. These nouns do not physically exist. They also refer to ideas, emotions, and concepts you cannot see, touch, hear, smell or taste.
Examples: love, friendship, fear, arrogance, courage, politics, freedom, time, democracy, creativity.
Examples of sentence: Underlined words are abstract nouns:
- Our country has freedom of expression.
- Friendship is the main source of unity.
- You need to have courage.
- Love is real.
9. COMPOUND NOUNS
Compound nouns involve or combine two or more words into one. They can be written as one word joined by a hyphen or written as separate words.
Examples: rainfall, snowfall, son-in-law, police station, credit card, input, output, toothpaste, ice cream.
Examples of sentence: Underlined words are compound words:
- I will report you to Police Station.
- Keyboard is one of computers input devices.
- Monitor is one of the computers output devices.
- I will go to visit my father-in-law.
- Today there will be a heavy rainfall.
10. COLLECTIVE NOUNS
A collective noun refers to a set or group of people, animals or things that are referred collectively. This kind of noun functions as single noun but it refers to a group of people or things. Some of them are often followed by: .. of+ Plural Noun such bunch of flowers.
Examples: a collection of coins, a pack of cards, an anthology of poems, a basket of fruits, a bundle of sticks, a ream of paper, a reel of film, a swarm of bees, a herd of cattle, etc.
Examples of sentence: Underlined words are collective nouns:
- Our team is going to play today.
- The committee has completed the report.
- Here is a pack of cards.
- Bring that pile of books to me.
- A swarm of bees passed over us and we were frightened.
11. POSSESSIVE NOUNS
A possessive noun is a noun that shows ownership, possession or attachment of one thing to another by using an apostrophe (').
Examples: Jacksons car, Ashas school bag, students book, etc.
Examples of sentence: Underlined words/phrases are possessive nouns:
- John's car is very expensive.
- Students' beds are complete.
- I need one student's book.
- That is our principal's house.
ORDER/POSITIONS OF NOUNS& EXAMPLES
Nouns are very common words in English language, and probably any language. Thus, they can be found in almost every position in a sentence. They can be found in the following parts of a sentence;
- At the beginning as a subject.
- As an object of a sentence.
- As a head of a noun phrase.
- As the object or a preposition phrase.
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