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In this blog we will discuss important topic of English Grammar i.e. NOUN.

What are Noun?

Nouns are called naming words. Everything that you can see or can talk about is used by a word which names it, which are called a ‘noun’. 

It is useful because Noun is the building blocks of English Grammar and language learning. Nouns are one of the first things that people study when attempting to learn any new language. Without nouns we will be left with verbs, adverbs and adjectives. The lack of nouns will eradicate any subject or object from your sentence which is as good as communication essentially nothing.

Example: –

When I arrived at their house, the big dog, which was called Rover, was barking loudly because it was lonely.

house = name for a place dog = name for an animal rover is the name for the dog

Nouns form the biggest word class of all. They may be either concrete or abstract

Concrete nouns pick out people or objects and are very easy to recognise

house, dog, Rover.

Abstract nouns refer to unobservable notions, and may be harder to recognize.

success, childhood, route, remark, hour, idea

Singular, Plural and Collective Nouns

When I arrived at their house, the big dog, which was called Rover, was barking loudly because it was lonely.

dog – dogs

tooth – teeth

The contrast between singular and plural is called number. It’s the basis for two important parts of English grammar:

the noun’s morphology

dogs is an inflection of the word dog. Some nouns have irregular plural inflections:

child – children

man – men

the agreement between verbs and their subjects.

The dog is barking. The dogs are barking.

Collective nouns are names for groups.

team          family          committee          herd

This is a concrete noun. This is an abstract noun.

Common and Proper Nouns

When I arrived at their house, the big dog, which was called Rover, was barking loudly because it was lonely.

Dog is a common noun.
Rover is a proper noun.

Proper nouns are names that are always written with an initial capital letter.

Unlike common nouns, they:

are generally singular;

do not normally combine with a determiner:

Correct    The dog is barking.           Not: Dog is barking.

Correct     Rover is barking.              Not: The Rover is barking.


We do say on Wednesdays and the Smiths.

These proper nouns are being used as common nouns, so they can have a determiner or be plural, but they are still written with a capital letter.

Countable and Mass Nouns

Countable nouns name individual people or things:

girl          people          items            eggs

Mass nouns name some kind of concrete or abstract ‘stuff’:

fun         stuff            information          furniture           advice

This contrast is important in grammar for two reasons:
only countable nouns can be either singular or plural.

a girl          two people          several items              some eggs

it affects the choice of determiners: Singular countable nouns must combine with a determiner.

Correct    I learned a wonderful thing.        Wrong  I learned wonderful thing.

The determiners a/an, every, and each are only used with singular countable nouns. 

Correct    a thing          every dog          each person

Wrong     a stuff         a things

Singular mass nouns, and plural countable nouns, may occur without any determiner.

    I learned wonderful stuff.             I learned wonderful things.

The determiner some is mainly used with mass nouns and plural countable nouns.

Correct    some stuff          some nouns.

Wrong     some noun.

But many common nouns can be used either as countable or as mass nouns.

All correct two ice-creams    some ice-cream    a time    some time    a thought     some thought

The distinction alters the meaning.

He had some ice cream on his face. mass

He had an ice cream. countable

More proper nouns

Proper nouns include these categories:

given and family names: Tom Smith, Titles

terms of address: Mrs Brown; Sir Bob; Lady Jones; Uncle Jim

towns, cities, villages; roads: Orchard Close, Brailes, near Banbury

continents, countries, counties, states: Asia, France; Yorkshire; Arizona

institutions, teams, clubs: British Society; Greenpeace; Spurs;

days of the week; months: Wednesday, October

ships, boats: SS Great Britain; Golden Hind; Polly

religions, events, festivals: Buddhism, Olympic Games, New Year

Few or little?

In standard English this is the rule:

Use few or fewer with plural countable nouns.
Use little or less with mass nouns.
But: much and more go with either kind of noun.

few/fewer                          little/less                              more

Few people                         Little food                              More food

Fewer people                      Less food                               More dogs

Fewer bottles                      Less stuff                               More bottles

Fewer plays                         Less drama                             More stuff

Fewer countable nouns         Less grammar                         More nouns

How to use the list on nouns

Us the list as a reference guide for whenever you are unsure about a noun. Each noun listed shows a brief description and examples of each.

 Noun list

Noun Type


Common Nouns name people, places or things that are not specific.

  woman, mountain, city, ocean, country, building, dog, airline

Proper Nouns name specific people, places, or things.  

  Walt Disney, Mount Everest, Minnesota, North Sea, England, London Tower Bridge, Fluffy, Sun Country

Abstract Nouns name nouns that you can’t perceive with your five senses.

  love, wealth, happiness, pride, fear, religion, belief, history, communication

Concrete Nouns name nouns that you can perceive with your five senses.

  house, ocean, Uncle Mike, bird, photograph, banana, eyes, light,   sun, dog, suitcase, flowers

Countable Nouns name nouns that you can count.                                         

  bed, cat, movie, train, country, book, phone, match, speaker, clock,   pen, David, violin

Uncountable Nouns name nouns that you can’t count.

  milk, rice, snow, rain, water, food, music

Compound Nouns are made up of two or more words.

  tablecloth, eyeglasses, New York, photograph, daughter-in-law, pigtails, sunlight, snowflake

Collective Nouns refer to things or people as a unit.

  bunch, audience, flock, team, group, family, band, village

Singular Nouns name one person, place, thing, or idea.

  cat, sock, ship, hero, monkey, baby, match

Plural Nouns name more than one person, place, thing, or idea.

  cats, socks, ships, heroes, monkeys, babies, matches

Types of Nouns:

  1. Common noun – it is a name given in common to every person or thing of the same class or kind (common here means shared by all.) 
  1. Proper noun – it is the name of some particular person or place (proper means one’s own name.)
  • Sita is a good girl
  • Kolkata is a city.

Here Sita is proper noun while girl is a common noun similarly, Kolkata is a proper noun while city is common noun.

[Note: Proper nouns are always written with a capital letter at the beginning and sometimes proper noun is used as common nouns.]

  1. Collective noun – it is the name of a number (collections) of persons or things taken together and spoken of as one whole.

For eg: The jury found the prisoners guilty.

  1. Abstract noun – it is usually the name of the quality, action or state considered apart from the object to which it belongs; as.

Quality includes darkness, hardness, honesty, bravery.

Action includes laughter, theft, and movement.

State includes childhood, boyhood, sleep, sickness.

Abstract nouns are formed-

  1. From adjectives; as. Kindness from kind; honesty from honest.
  2. From verbs; as. Obedience from obey; growth from grow.
  3. From common nouns; as. Childhood from child, slavery from slave.

Gender of Nouns:

Gender comes from Latin “genus”, kind or sort.

We all know that living things are of either male or the female sex. Now let’s compare some words in the following pairs:

Boy           Lion          Hero

Girl        Lioness      Heroine

What do you notice?

The first word of each pair is the male and the second word of each pair is female.

  • A noun that denotes a male gender is known as Masculine.
  • A noun that denotes a female gender is known as Feminine.
  • A noun that denotes either a male or a female is known Common gender.( parent, child, servant)
  • A noun that denotes a thing that is neither male nor female (i.e. things without life) is said to be of the Neuter gender. (book, tree)

Numbers of Noun:

  • A noun that denotes one person or thing, is said to be in the Singular number; as, Boy, girl, cow, and tree.
  • A noun that denotes more than one person or thing, is said to be in the Plural Number; as boys, girls, cows, trees.

How Plurals are formed:

  1. The plural of nouns is generally formed by adding –s to the singular; as,

Boy, boys; girl, girls; book, books;

  1. But noun ending in –s, -sh, -ch, or –x form the plural by adding –es to the singular; as,

Class, classes; kiss, kisses; dish, dishes;

  1. Most nouns ending in –o also form the plural by adding –es to the singular; as,

Buffalo, buffaloes; cargo, cargoes; hero, heroes;

  1. A few nouns form their plural by changing the inside vowel of the singular; as,

Man, men; woman, women; tooth, teeth;

  1. Some nouns originally singular are now generally used in the plural; as,

Alms, riches.

Now let’s have a look to some of the rules you need to keep in mind while doing nouns questions in exam.

Rule -1:

  • With Collective noun, we generally use singular verb and substitute it with singular pronouns.

For e.g. the committee has submitted its report.

In the above example we can see the whole committee is working together to give one report so we use singular verb to substitute it with singular pronouns.

  • But when member of group acting as individual, we use plural verb and substitute it with plural pronouns.

For e.g. the committee were allowed to go home to their families.

Here we can everyone is doing their own role so we used plural verb and substitute it with plural pronouns.


  • With Material nounwe generally do not use any article (a, an, the)before material noun.

For e.g. this is a gold, not a silver.

Here we can see that these both words are material nouns and the rule says we can’t use articles before material objects. So the above e.g. is wrong.

So the correct statement is this is gold, not silver.


  • If Collective nouns, even though refer to living beings are used as neuter gender.

This rule explains whether there are masculine, feminine or common gender in a group, there we consider them as neuter gender.

For e.g. the army is doing its work.


When a neuter gender noun is personified, we use-

Masculine gender to objects remarkable for their strength.

  • Ex- Sun, time, Death.

Feminine gender to objects remarkable for their beauty and gracefulness.

  • Ex- Earth, Moon, Nature.

 Ex-   1. The sun was shining on the sea. Shining with all his might.

  1. Mother Earth.


The titles of books or other works of arts are always considered singular even if the title sounds plural.

Ex- “A Thousand Splendid Suns” is an incredible chronicle of thirty years of afghan history.

Before concluding I would like to discuss a question with you all of SBIPO exam from 2016.

In this you need to find whether there is an error or not, and if yes, then how will you correct it. And I think this will also help you and you can get an idea how the questions come in the exam.

  1. Only the problem was that (1)/ she has submitted a(2)/ photocopy of the document (3)/ instead of original(4)/ No error (5).

In this I know many of you think that there is no error. Nut here the error is in the (1) point and i.e.

Here we can see that Problem is a noun and we know that article comes before the adjective/adverb and that come the noun.

So the correct statement will be (1) the only problem was that.

As in previous blog we learn about Noun, its kinds, gender, and some rules too. So, today in this blog we will learn some other topics of nouns which usually come in exams in the error format questions. In this blog we also learn about Noun in Apposition and Possessive case with some rules how to use what and when.

Usually candidates get confused in 2 main topics i.e. Noun in Apposition and Possessive Case.

Let’s we what is Possessive case?

By hearing we can get an idea that possessive means something which is your own or we can say something on which we have a right.

Similarly, in noun, possessive case denotes possession, ownership, authorship or origin. In English we show possession by adding an apostrophe (‘) + “s” to a noun. (Indefinite pronouns)

There is some common point or we can say practices about how is possessive case is formed?

Let’s check the out:

  • We can make a singular noun in possessive case just by adding an apostrophe (‘) and “s” at the end.

    Ex- Ram’s, Mohan’s, etc.

  • If a proper nounwhich is singularis ending in “s” then you can just add an apostrophe (‘) to show possession but it is also true if you are adding an apostrophe and “s” it will not be wrong. (Generally, we ignore adding “s” just to avoid too much hissing.)

Ex- James’ pen or James’s pen.

Note: this point is used for singular noun whether it is proper noun or not.

  • But if a plural noun or proper plural nounis ending in “s” then there we will only use an apostrophe (‘) to show possession.

Ex- Boys’, Girls’, Indians’.

  • If there is a plural nounthat does not ends in “s” then we use an apostrophe (‘) + “s” to show possession.

Ex- This is not children’s play.

 These are some of the points you need to keep in mind in the possession case. Now let’s discuss Noun in Apposition.

While solving the error questions there you can find it as noun in apposition errors. So usually candidates got confused here.

In simple words we can say that where two nouns or nouns phrases (N1, N2) are place side by side and one noun describes about another (means that they refer to the same person, place or thing) then we call this Apposition.

Ex- Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first president of India died in 1964.

Here in this ex. We can see how N1 is representing another noun that is N2. So this what Noun in Apposition

Let’s have a look to some of the rules regarding this:


  • When two or more nouns showing joint possession/ownership then we should use possessive sign (apostrophe) to the latter noun only.

Ex- I want to read APJ Abdul Kalam’s, the scientist’s Autobiography.

Here you can see that this is the case of noun in Apposition, and you also know that this both the nouns belong to one person, so in this the possessive sign will be added to the latter noun only. So the correct statement will be;

I want to read APJ Abdul Kalam, the scientist’s Autobiography.


  • Vice-versaof the first rule. Which says that if two or more nouns showing separate possession/ownershipthen we should use possession sign (apostrophe) to each noun.

Ex- in this Exhibition we will see Picasso’s and Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings.

Here both of the nouns are different so rule no 2 is applied


We use possessive case with the name of living things and generally we don’t use it with non- living things (we can only use possessive sign until and unless they are personified)

  • When it denotes Time, Space or Weight/Value.

Ex- I have to go Delhi for a day’s work.

      Four month’s wages.

And if the non- living thing is not personified, we will use “of” with it.

Ex- The leg of table is broken.

Note- Usually in banking exam this type of questions are mostly asked.


  • We use apostrophe (possessive sign) to the last wordwhen the noun consists of many words or it is plural compound noun.

Plural compound nouns mean includes son-in-law, daughter-in-law etc.

Ex. The Prime Minister of India’s consent is important in this partnership.

In the example we have seen that we have used the possessive sign at the last word of the sentence.

Similarly, in the plural compound noun we use the apostrophe in the end of the noun.

Ex. This is my son-in-law’s house.

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