Understanding Noun - English Grammar Concepts with Examples

What is Noun?

  • The noun is a word which denotes a person, any living being, a place, a thing and an idea.
  • Noun answer the questions "What is it?" and "Who is it?"
  • They give names to things, people and qualities.


Singular and Plural Forms of Nouns

1. Most of the Noun of singular form change to plural forms by adding the letter 's'.


  • Mother – Mothers
  • Girl – girls
  • Pen – pens
  • Book – books
  • Hand – hands
  • Peak – peaks
  • School – schools
  • Road - roads
  • Car – cars
  • Cycle - cycles

2. Nouns ending in s, sh, ch, x, z get the plural forms by adding 'es' at the end of the words.


  • Bus - Buses
  • Bush - Bushes
  • Branch – Branches
  • Box - Boxes
  • Topaz - Topazes

3. For singular nouns ending with 'y', if the preceding letter of the 'y is Consonant, then replace '-ies' instead of 'y'.

For singular nouns ending with 'Y', if the preceding letter of the 'y is Vowel, then replace '-s' instead of 'y'.


  • City – Cities
  • Body – Bodies
  • Boy – Boys
  • Toy – Toys

4. (a) If a singular noun ends in 'o' preceded by a vowel, add 's' at the end of the words.


  • Radio – Radios
  • Studio – Studios
  • Bamboo – bamboos
  • Cuckoo - cuckoos

4. (b) If a singular noun ends in 'o' preceded by a consonant, add 'es' at the end of the words.


  • Potato – Potatoes
  • Echo – Echoes
  • Tomato – Tomatoes

4. (c) Exceptions: Some technical and scientific words even if the ending letter 'o' is preceded by a consonant, 's' only added in the plural form.


  • Dynamo – Dynamos
  • Piano - pianos
  • Memento – mementos

4. (d) The following words are rather typical and they do not fall under any of the rules detailed above.


  • Son-in-law : Sons-in-law
  • Brother-in-law : Brothers-in-law
  • Mouse – Mice
  • Foot – Feet
  • Man – Men
  • Tooth – Teeth
  • Cattle – Cattle
  • Sheep – Sheep


Gender of Noun

In general there is no distinction between masculine, feminine and neuter in English nouns. However, gender is sometimes shown by different forms or different words.


  • Different words:













  • Different forms:













Some nouns can be used for either a masculine or a feminine subject:


Cousin, teenager, teacher, doctor, cook, student, parent, friend, relation, colleague, partner, leader

  • Mary is a doctor. She is a doctor
  • Peter is a doctor. He is a doctor.
  • Arthur is my cousin. He is my cousin.

It is possible to make the distinction by adding the words 'male' or 'female'.

  • a female student; a male cousin

For professions, we can add the word 'woman'.

  • a woman doctor; a woman journalist.

In some cases nouns describing things are given gender.

  • I love my car. She (the car) is my greatest passion.
  • France is popular with her (France's) neighbours at the moment.
  • I travelled from England to New York on the Queen Elizabeth, she (the Queen Elizabeth) is a great ship.


The Plural form of Nouns

1. Most nouns form the plural by adding -S or -es.


  • boat – boats
  • hat - hats
  • house – houses
  • river - rivers

2. Words that end in -Ch, X, S or s-like sounds, however, will require an -es for the plural:


  • witch – witches
  • box – boxes
  • gas – gases
  • bus – buses
  • kiss - kisses

Note: There's one exception to this rule. If the -ch ending is pronounced with a 'k' sound, you add -s rather than –es.








3. A noun ending in -y preceded by a consonant makes the plural with -ies.


  • a cry – cries
  • a fly – flies
  • a nappy – nappies
  • a poppy – poppies
  • a city - cities

4. Nouns ending in -f or –fe

With nouns that end in a consonant or a single vowel plus-for-fe, change the -f or -fe to –ves.


  • Knife – knives
  • half – halves
  • scarf - scarves

5. Nouns which end in two vowels p us -f usually form plurals in the normal way, with just an –s.


  • chief – chiefs
  • spoof - spoofs

6. There are some irregular formations for noun plurals. Some of the most common ones are listed below.

Examples of irregular plurals:

  • woman – women
  • man – men
  • child – children
  • tooth – teeth
  • foot – feet
  • leaf – leaves
  • nucleus – nuclei
  • oasis - oases

7. Some nouns have the same form in the singular and the plural.


  • sheep – sheep
  • fish – fish
  • species – species
  • aircraft - aircraft

8. Some nouns have a plural form but take a singular verb.


  • News: The news is on at 6.30 p.m.
  • Athletics: Athletics is good for young people.
  • Linguistics: Linguistics is the study of language.
  • Billiards: Billiards is played all over the world.

9. Some nouns have a plural form and take a plural verb.


  • Trousers: My trousers are too tight.
  • Jeans: Her jeans are black.
  • Glasses: Those glasses are his.

Types of Nouns

  1. Common Noun
  2. Proper Noun
  3. Abstract Noun
  4. Collective Noun
  5. Compound Noun
  6. Countable Noun
  7. Uncountable Noun
  8. Material Noun

1. Common Noun: A word of Noun, which denotes in common to every person or every thing of the same kind or class is defined as a common noun.


  • Asia is a continent.
    Continent is a common noun. Continent is a word applicable to any other Continent.
  • London is the capital of England.
    Capital is applicable to any other capital. So capital is a common Noun.


2. Proper Noun: A proper noun is the name of a particular person, place or thing. A word of proper noun is always written with a capital letter as the first letter of the word.


  • Asia is a continent.
    Asia is a proper noun. Asia represents a particular continent.
  • London is the capital of England.
    These words are applicable only to a particular city and a country respectively. So London and England are proper nouns.

3. Abstract Noun: An abstract noun is a Noun which usually denotes a quality, actions or state without reference to the object to which it pertains.


Kindness, Hatred, Honesty, Bravery, Laughter, Childhood, Youth, Music, Obedience, Growth


4. Collective Noun: A word denoting a number of persons or things taken together but spoken of as one is a Collective Noun.


  • Every Nation maintain its own ARMY.
  • My uncle in the village owns a HERD of sheep.
  • Durin Sundays we see a big CROWD on the Marina beach.
Army means a number of soldiers.
Herd means a number of sheep.
Crowd means a number of people.

So these words in CAPITAL LETTERS are called Collective Nouns.


5. Compound Noun: Two or more nouns combine to form a single noun and functions as a single noun. Such a noun is called a compound noun.


  • The Bus Driver drives carefully.
  • A school teacher resides in our apartment.
  • Mango fruit juice is very tasty.
  • The bus conductor is cordial to the passengers.


6. Countable Noun: Countable nouns are the names of people, objects etc., that we can count. We can count what or whom the said words denote.

Example: Book, Friend, Brother, teacher, Doctor, Cow, Tree, Mango


7. Uncountable Noun: Uncountable Nouns are the things that we cannot count.

Examples: stars, water, soil, sunshine, snow


8. Material Noun: Material Noun refers to a material or substance from which things are made.

Examples: silver, gold, iron, cotton, diamond and plastic

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