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Everything Has A Name: The Noun

What is a Noun? Simply put, it is a naming word. In fact, its very definition means “name.”

Here are some of the things that you can name with nouns, plus some examples.

  • You can name people like teenagers, boys, or Albert Einstein.
  • You can discuss animals like dogs and cats.
  • Use them to talk about places like your school or the store.
  • Have a conversation about things like a table or a cup.

But that’s not all! You can also use them to name:

  • Qualities like creativity or calmness.
  • Ideas like love and excitement.
  • Finally, you can talk about actions like growing or believing.

In most cases, naming words are made up of a single word. However, there are also compound naming words like “natural disaster,” which names an event.

Relatedly, also read up on what a pronoun is. Already have naming words down? Learn how to cite your writing resources using APA, MLA, and more styles on BibMe.

Varieties of Naming Words

There are many rules to remember about naming words. Here are some easy ones to start with.

Naming words can be singular or plural. For instance, you can talk about both a river and rivers. There are even masculine and feminine varieties of naming words like in actor and actress. Naming words often need the articles a, an, or the as in the sentence, “I want a dog.” But sometimes, they don’t need an article, like in the sentence, “I like dogs.

As you can tell, this is a large class of words. In fact, it’s probably one of the most important parts of speech in the English language.

Now that you know a few naming words, why not become a stronger writer by learning about APA format?

The Proper Noun

A proper noun names specific people, places or things. It always requires capital letters. In some cases, you need to capitalize two or more words.

My father Ned is an honorable man.

The Eiffel Tower is the most popular monument in *France.

The proper noun includes all names, towns, cities, states, countries, continents, days of the week and months of the year.

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A common noun names general people or things in a common class. It does not require capitalization unless it is at the beginning of a sentence. The three subcategories are concrete, abstract, and collective.

Concrete words, on the other hand, name things that you perceive with your senses. These words name things you can see, touch, taste, feel and hear.

My computer just froze.

Abstract words name ideas, concepts, emotions and other things that cannot be perceived by your senses.

It took a lot of courage to speak in front of the class.

Collective words name groups of people or things.

Hurray! Our team won the basketball game.

FYI, ‘Hurray” is considered to be an interjection in this sentence.

Quick tip - Before you continue, learn about MLA format to cite your work properly!

Other Classifications

Be careful when using countable and uncountable words because they require different verb and determiner words.

Countable words are things that we can count, so they will have both a singular and plural form. The singular countable word must be accompanied by an indefinite article like a or an. The plural countable word does not need an article.

She wants an apple.

They want seven apples instead of six.

Uncountable words are names of things that we cannot count. They do not have a plural form and are not used with indefinite articles.

I would like some rice.

We all ate ice cream.

Common uncountable words are rice, water, advice, information, and health. The most commonly confused uncountable words are research, evidence, equipment, work, and chocolate. Want to know more about countable and uncountable words? Learn more here.

Compound words are formed by one noun and either a preposition, adjective, or verb. These words can be written together, written separately in open form, or hyphenated.

There is a full moon tonight.

Other compound words include mother-in-law, pickpocket and paper-clip.

What is a Noun That’s Possessive?

It is a word that shows the ownership of a thing. You form this type of word by adding an apostrophe plus the letter s to a noun.

That is John’s sword.

Now you understand the basics of naming words! If you need a longer lesson, then look at this further reading.

If you’re still thirsty for grammar knowledge, read on about how to spot an adverb and what is a conjunction.