There are many different types of nouns. In fact, an entire universe of nouns exists, ranging from abstract nouns to mass nouns.
Each serves its own unique purpose in our communications, but the type of noun you're most likely to come across every day is the common noun - the most basic noun classification. Let's take an in-depth exploration into common nouns.
The standard definition of a noun is that it names a person, place, thing, or idea. But that's not all there is to a noun.
A noun can refer to anything that is living or non-living, animate or inanimate.
It can also name a place or an abstract idea or concept.
A common noun is your everyday noun, such as aunt or state. They are not capitalized unless they start a sentence or are part of a name, like Aunt Dorothy or Colorado.
A common noun is a more generalized version of a proper noun, which names a specific living or non-living thing, place, or idea. Proper nouns include the names of the months, the days of the week, organizations, people and their titles, places, books, plays, movies, newspapers, and more.
There are five general classifications of common nouns: countable, uncountable, collective, concrete, and abstract. We will look at each one of these and explain the rules of usage.
Countable nouns can be both singular and plural and can be represented by a number, like five cats or a hundred miles. A singular countable noun must be preceded by a determiner. These are words that clarify, such as: a, an, the, that, this, one, our, my, and which.
Us a countable noun in a sentence like this:
The dolphin is friendly.
My car is red.
I bought six dresses in the sale.
Uncountable nouns are only used in the singular tense and you cannot use "a" or "an" with them. Certain quantifiers may be used such as: a lot, any, some, and too much.
There is too much furniture in here.
I need a lot of love.
Do you have any sugar?
Collective nouns represent a group of things. The singular form refers to one unit or group and the plural form refers to more than one unit. Examples include:
Concrete nouns represent something physical that can be experienced through the senses. They can be common, proper, singular, plural, countable, uncountable, or collective. Examples include:
Abstract nouns refer to things that aren't concrete. They cannot be seen, felt, heard, smelled, or tasted. They refer to emotions, ideas, concepts, traits, experiences, or a state of being. Examples include:
No sentence can exist without at least one noun. If nouns weren't around, all our favorite novels, poems, movies, and plays wouldn't exist.
Now that you understand what a common noun is, it would be a good idea to continue your noun studies with a review of proper nouns. And, when you're ready, draw back the curtains and experience the many other different types of nouns out the littering the English language.