The Building Blocks of a Sentence: Nouns

A noun may be defined as anything that is a thing, name, animal, place, emotion or an idea. It can be said to the basic buildings blocks of any sentence. There are several types of nouns that are present in the English language,


  • Common Nouns: These nouns are the ones that refer to the most common things around us. They represent the generic items present around us. Examples of common nouns are lunch, country, cup, etc.
  • Proper Nouns: These nouns refer to someone or something that is it identifies a person or a place. It can be called the opposite of the common noun as it is very specific to the person or thing. The examples are John, Mary, London, etc.
  • Concrete Nouns: These nouns represent things that are real. They can be called the nouns that can be perceived with our senses. The example of concrete nouns is smoke, love, trust, etc.
  • Abstract Nouns: These are usually used to represent a concept or an idea. These are the opposite of the concrete nouns since it cannot be preserved by senses, quality or feelings. The example of abstract nouns is democracy, beauty, knowledge, etc.


These above-mentioned categories of nouns tend to overlap with each other. The next categories of the nouns include,


  • Countable: they represent the things that can be counted. The examples are balloon, balls, cats which can be counted as one balloon, five balls, three cats, etc.
  • Uncountable Nouns: These nouns are the ones whose quantity cannot be measured or counted. They are limitless and are referred to as mass nouns. The examples are water, air, etc.
  • Collective Noun: It represents a group of things or people. The examples are family, team, herd, etc.


Forms of nouns:

A noun employed in a sentence may act as a subject, direct or indirect object, an adjective or even an adverb. Thus noun may have different forms,


  • A countable noun may be singular or plural. Example: one cat, three cats.
  • An uncountable noun is always considered to be singular. Example: knowledge is power.
  • There are nouns that indicate ownership. This noun form is called the possessive noun. Example: this is Priya’s book. The ‘Priya’s’ is the possessive noun form.
  • A noun can be a subject as well as an object. Example: the cat is on the wall, here the cat is a subject. I saw a cat, here cat is an object.