IELTS Basic Grammar - Noun
A noun is a word used as the name of a person or a thing.The word 'thing' includes all objects we can see,hear,taste,touch or smell and something that we can think of but can't perceive by senses.
Tony is a brilliant boy. -- Proper Noun.
The cow is a useful animal. -- common Noun.
He is the best boy in the college. -- Collective Noun.
Iron is a useful metal. -- Material Noun.
Honesty is the best policy. -- Abstract Noun.
There are two main types of nouns: common nouns and proper nouns.
Words for people, places and things are called common nouns.
• Example: ruler, chair, hammer, bicycle, truth, pen, table, saw, ship, calculator,book, lamp, ladder, train, cooker, dictionary, carpet, lawnmower, bus, computer, courage, telephone, spade, laziness, printer etc.
These common nouns are words for animals.
• Example: dog, puppy, cat, kitten, cow, calf, horse, foal, sheep, lamb, goat, kid, frog, tadpole etc.
These common nouns are words for places.
• Example: bank airport hotel gas station library park museum farm school post office university police station office restaurant mosque supermarket etc.
These common nouns are words for people who do certain things.
• Example: singer, manager, sailor, gardener, dancer, secretary, pilot, police, officer, artist, teacher, driver, plumber etc.
The names of particular people, places and things are proper nouns. They always begin with a capital letter.
These people’s names are proper nouns.
• Example: Robin Hood, Florence Nightingale, Mom, Miss Park, Aladdin, Muhammad Ali, Dad, Mrs. Taylor,Frankenstein, George Washington, Granny, Mr. Young, Harry Potter, David Beckham, Grandad, Dr. Lee, Santa Claus, Julia Roberts, Uncle, David, Professor, Raj Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Alex Rodriguez etc.
The names of the days of the week and the months of the year are proper nouns.
• Example: Monday, Friday, January, November, July etc.
The names of special days and celebrations are also proper nouns.
• Example: New Year’s Day, Veterans' Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Halloween etc.
The names of famous places, buildings and monuments are proper nouns.
• Example: Big Ben, the Empire State Building, the Sphinx, the Taj Mahal, Graceland, the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge etc.
The names of people who live in a particular country are also proper nouns.
• Example: Afghans, Australians, the British, the Chinese, the French, Germans, Indians, Indonesians, Italians etc.
Singular & Plural Nouns
Nouns can be singular or plural.When you are talking about just one thing or person, use a singular noun.
• Example: a park, an idea, a taxi, a doctor, an oven, a house, a lady, an exercise etc.
Use a plural noun when you are talking about two or more people, places or things.
• Example: computers, chairs, trains, players, teachers, taxis etc.
Words called articles or determiners are used to signal nouns.
• Example: a river, an armchair, three biscuits, a castle an idea, five eggs etc.
The article an is used before nouns that begin with the vowels a, e, i, o and u.
• Example: an artist, an eye, an insect, an oven, an umbrella etc.
The article a is used before nouns that begin with the other letters, called consonants. But some words don’t follow these rules.
• a uniform, a unit, a user: a, not an, is used because the vowel u in these words is pronounced like the word you;
• an hour, an heir, an honor: an, not a, is used because the consonant h in these words is not pronounced.
Nouns that end in s, ss, ch, sh or x, are made plural by adding es.
• Example: sandwich -- sandwiches; witch -- witches; brush -- brushes; flash -- flashes; box -- boxes; fox -- foxes etc.
Most nouns that end in y are made plural by changing the y to i and adding es.
• Example: baby -- babies; family -- families; story -- stories; teddy -- teddies; fairy -- fairies; library -- libraries etc.
Nouns that have a vowel before the y are made plural by simply adding s at the end.
• Example: key -- keys; monkey -- monkeys; donkey -- donkeys; toy -- toys; boy -- boys; cowboy -- cowboys etc.
The plural form of some nouns is the same as the singular form.
• Example: sheep -- sheep; deer -- deer; fish -- fish; aircraft -- aircraft; salmon -- salmon etc.
Some nouns are always plural.
• Example: trousers, glasses, shorts, spectacles, jeans, goggles, pants, scissors, tights, binoculars, pajamas, pliers etc.
Some nouns are usually plural.
• Example: shoes, chopsticks, sandals, gloves, slippers, clogs, boots, socks etc.
Words for groups of people, animals or things are called collective nouns.
Here are some collective nouns for groups of people.
• Example: a family; a crew; a team; a club; a community; a committee; a choir; a company; a band; a gang etc.
Collective nouns may be used with a singular verb or with a plural verb. If the group is acting as a single unit, use a singular verb. If group members are acting as individuals, use a plural verb. For example, The crowd was orderly. or The crowd were clapping, yelling and cheering.
Many groups of animals have their own special collective nouns.
• Example: a herd of cattle; a pack of wolves; a litter of puppies; a flock of birds; a pride of lions; a troop of monkeys etc.
A material noun denotes the matter or substance of which things are made.
• Example: gold, water, etc.
Remember that 'gold' is a material noun but 'ring' is a common noun. Similarly 'sheep' is a common noun but 'mutton' is a material noun.
An abstract noun is usually the name of a quality, action or state considered apart from the object to which it belongs.
" Honesty is the best policy."
" Beauty is adored by all."
" He couldn't but burst into laughter."
" He is very brave since his boyhood."
The underlined words in the above sentences are abstract nouns.
Quality: Kindness, brightness, honesty, bravery, beauty, wisdom, goodness, modesty,boldness etc are Abstract Nouns.
Action : Laughter, movement, judgment etc are Abstract Nouns.
State : Childhood, boyhood, youth, slavery etc are Abstract Nouns.
Masculine & Feminine Nouns
Masculine nouns are words for men, boys and male animals. Example, king, prince, emperor, actor, etc.
Feminine nouns are words for women, girls and female animals.Example: queen, princess, empress, actress, etc.
Many nouns are used for both males and females. They are called common gender nouns.
• Example: teacher, baby, doctor, pupil, parent, astronaut, child, cousin, dancer etc.
The Possessive form Nouns
Use the possessive form of a noun to show ownership.
» To make the possessive form, put an apostrophe and an s ('s) after a singular noun.
" This is my bed and that is Peter’s bed."
" We all like Dad’s cooking."
" It is my job to collect everybody’s plate after the meal."
" The flies are buzzing around the horse’s tail."
" This is Susan and Jenny’s room."
" This is Tom’s hat and that is Tom’s father’s hat."
» After plural nouns that don’t end in s, use an apostrophe and an s ('s) to make the possessive form.
" The children’s room is always messy."
" Some people’s houses are bigger than ours."
" Rats’ tails are longer than mice’s tails."
" Men’s voices are deeper than women’s voices."
» After plural nouns that end in s, just add an apostrophe s’ .
" The pupils’ desks are arranged in rows."
" The boys’ bedroom is bigger than the girls’ bedroom."
" The strong winds destroyed all the farmers’ crops."
" Mice’s tails are shorter than rats’ tails."