Nouns are naming words for people, places, things and animals.  
  Nouns can be grouped as common nouns and proper nouns.  

a. Common Nouns

Definition: Words for people, places, things and animals in general.

For example: 

- girl (people)

- cat (animal)

- mountain (place)

- computer (thing)


b. Proper Nouns

Definition: A special name for a person, an animal, a place or a thing.

For example:

- Sarah (people)

- Angel (animal)

- Mount Everest (place)

- Macbook (thing)

  Tip! Proper nouns must begin with capital letters.  
  a. Countable nouns are nouns that can be counted.  

i. Singular Nouns

Definition: Nouns with one object.

For example:

- One cup

- A bicycle

An apple


ii. Plural Nouns

Definition: Nouns with more than one object.

For example:

- Six cups

- Two bicycles

- Four books


Add '-s' to singular nouns to change them into plural forms.

For example:

i. boy - boys

ii. tree - trees

iii. house - houses

iv. car - cars


Add '-es' to words that end in '-s', '-x', '-sh', '-ss' or '-ch'.

For example:

i. glass - glasses

ii. box - boxes

iii. brush - brushes

iv. dress - dresses

v. match - matches


By changing '-y' to '-ies'

For example:

i. Fly = Flies

ii. Cry = Cries


By changing '-f' or '-fe' to '-ves'

For example:

- Knife = Knives

- Wife = Wives


- Roofs

- Hoofs


By changing the vowels (a, e, i, o, u) in the middle

For example:

- Foot = Feet

- Man = Men


Some nouns are the same in both singular and plural forms

For example:

- Deer = Deer

- Cattle = Cattle


A number of nouns only appear as plurals

For example:

- Clothes

- Glasses

- Scissors


Irregular nouns have different spelling.

For example:

- Cactus -> Cacti

- Ox -> Oxen

- Mouse -> Mice


Do not use 'a' or 'an' with some plural nouns for clothes and tools such as binoculars, glasses, tweezers, shorts, trousers. You must use plural verbs with these words.

For example:

- He is wearing shorts. The shorts are expensive. (CORRECT)

- He is wearing a shorts. The shorts is expensive. (WRONG)


b. Uncountable nouns are nouns that cannot be counted.

For example:

- Flour, hair, milk, rice, etc.

  We use certain words or phrases before countable nouns and uncountable nouns.  

a. For countable nouns

 ♦ one, two

 ♦ many

 ♦ a few

 ♦ several

 ♦ a number of

For example: 

- I have several cookies


b. For uncountable nouns

 ♦ a little

 ♦ much

 ♦ a bit of

 ♦ a large amount of

 ♦ a great deal of

For example:

- How much broccoli did you have? I had a little broccoli.


c. For both countable and uncountable nouns

 ♦ some

 ♦ any

 ♦ a lot of

 ♦ plenty of

For example:

- I did not have any broccoli.

1.3    GENDER
  Gender is a category of noun. There are four types of genders.  

a. Masculine Gender

- The names of all male persons or animals are said to be of the Masculine Gender.

For example:

- Man, actor, uncle, hero, king, lion etc.


b. Feminine Gender

- The names of all female persons or animals are said to be of the Feminine Gender.

For example:

- Woman, aunt, daughter, actress, queen, lioness etc.


c. Neuter Gender

- Things without life cannot be distinguished either as male or female; hence the names of such things are said to be of the Neuter Gender.

For example:

- House, knife, tree, chair, table, book, ball etc.


d. Common Gender

- Names that can be used for both males and females are said to be of the Common Gender.

For example:

- Child, parent, student etc.


a. Though Collective Nouns refer to living-beings but are used as Neuter-Noun.

For example:

The army is called to tackle the situation.

  b. Objects known for their power, strength, and violence are used as Masculine Gender Noun

For example:

The death is cruel. He is as certain as tomorrow.


c. Objects known for their beauty, gentleness and grace are used as Feminine Gender Noun.

For example:

The earth is a unique planet. Her beauty is adorable.


d. We refer to an animal as it when we are unsure of its gender.

For example:

It is a crocodile.


e. We refer to our pets as she or he because we love our pets.

For example:

Sammy is my dog. He is a great companion.


A collective noun is a word or phrase that represents a group of people, animals or things but is treated as a singular entity. Collective noun is also known as denoting group.

For example:

a. Army of soldiers

b. Bunch of bananas

c. A pair of shoes

d. A fleet of ships

e. A herd of cattle

  Even though you can count the individual members of the group, you usually think of the individuals as a group, a whole, or as one unit. Try to memorise as many collective nouns as possible.   
  Compound nouns are words that are made up of two nouns. Compound nouns usually mean a different thing from the nouns they were made of. They can be put together in three ways.  

a. Closed form compound nouns - two words joined together.

Noun 1 + Noun 2 = Compound noun

For example:

i. Butter + Fly = Butterfly

ii. Back + Bone = Backbone


b. Hyphenated compound nouns - two words joined with a hyphen.

Noun 1 + hyphen (-) + Noun 2 = Compound noun

For example:

i. High + hyphen (-)Flyer = High-flyer

ii. Halfhyphen (-)Moon = Half-moon


c. Open form compound nouns - two separate words.

Noun 1 + Noun 2 = Compound noun

For example:

i. Book + Cover = Book cover

ii. Film + Star = Film star


When pronouncing a compound noun, place the stress on the first noun.

For example:

a. Ice cream

b. Classroom

c. Moonlight

d. Notebook.

  Abstract nouns are words that express qualities, feelings, ideas and thoughts.  
  Concrete nouns are words that express what we can see, feel, hear and touch. These nouns are also known as sense nouns. They are about places, animals, people and things.  

Abstract Nouns and Concrete Nouns

  Abstract Nouns     Concrete Nouns  

Cannot be experienced with our five senses.

Can be experienced with our five senses.

For example:

- Beauty

- Freedom

- Sorrow

- Joy

- Trust

- Admiration

For example:

- Song

- Elephant

- Tree

- Teacher

- Cinema

- Mother