The noun is a word which names a person, a place or a thing etc....
Person:- John, man, doctor, child, friend, girl, teacher etc....
Place:- New York, hospital, room, Paris, School, Karachi, garden, University etc....
Thing:- chair, table, pen, book, computer, cup, boy, camera, car etc....
Types of Noun
There are two main types of noun.
- Common Noun
- Proper Noun
Name of a non-specific or non-particular thing, place, or person is called common noun.
For example book, pen, room, garden, man, girl, road, camera, month, day, chair, school, boy, car are common nouns because each of these nouns refers to a common thing, place or person.
Name of a particular or a specific thing, place or person is called proper Noun.
For example, BMW Car, April, Monday, Oxford University, New York, America, Karachi, John, Newton, Einstein are proper nouns because each of these nouns refers to a particular thing, place or person.
If a common noun is specified it becomes a proper noun. For example, the day is a common noun but if it is specified like Friday or Sunday, it becomes proper noun. Similarly, the car is a common noun but if it is specified like Mercedes Car, it becomes proper noun.
Note:- The first letter of a proper noun is always written in capital letter.
He lives in Karachi.
She studies at Oxford University.
The writer of this book is John Stephen.
Laws of motion were presented by Newton
The richest person in the world is Bill Gates.
Use of “THE” for proper noun
- The article “the” is used before some proper nouns. Here are some rules for the use of the article “the” before proper nouns.
- Article “the” is not used before the name of countries, cities, for example, New York, Mexico, Canada, Toronto, London, Paris, America. But if the name of country or city or place expresses a group of places or lands or states, then article “the” will be used before it. For example, the Philippines, the Netherlands, the United States.
- Article “the” is not used before the name of universities, for example, Oxford University, Karachi University, or Columbia University. But if the name of the university is written in an order that it includes the word “of” then article “the” will be used before it, for example, the University of British Colombia, the University of Oxford, the University of Karachi.
- Article “the” is used before names composed of both common noun and proper noun, for example, the New York City, the Dominion of Canada, the River Nile.
- “The” is used before the names of laws, principles, theories or devices, for example, the Pythagorean Theorem, the Fahrenheit Scale, the Law of Newton, the Allais effect. But if the proper noun is used in the possessive form, no article will be used, for example, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Hooke’s Law of Elasticity, Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressures.
- “The” used by the name of ocean, sea, river, dessert or forest (except lakes and fall) for example the Pacific Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Sahara, the Black Forests.
- “The” is used before the names of buildings, hotels, libraries having particular names, for example, the Brunel Hotel, the Lahore Museum, the Library of Congress,
- “The” is used before the name of a geographical region and points on the globe, for example, the Middle East, the West, the Equator, the North Pole.
- “The” is usually used before the names of organizations, for example, the Association of Chartered Accountants, the World Health Organization.
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
A noun which can be counted is called a countable noun.
Pen, chair, cup, room, man, baby, bottle, dog, cat, car are countable nouns.
- There are four rooms in my flat.
- I have got two babies.
- She has got one car.
Singular and Plural noun (Countable Noun)
A countable noun can be singular as well as plural. Article “a” or “an” is used before a singular noun but not before plural noun.
If a singular noun starts with consonant letter, “a” is used before it, i.e. a chair, a cat, a pen. If a singular noun starts with a vowel or with a consonant which sounds like the vowel in that word, “an” is used before it i.e. an apple, an umbrella, an onion, an hour.
Plural noun (Countable Noun)
Plural noun means more than one person, place or thing. Word “bottle” is a singular noun but word “bottles” is a plural noun.
- Plurals are usually formed by adding –s or –es to the singular noun for example book–books, cat–cats, box–boxes, tax–taxes. If a word ends with “y”, the “y” is changed to “I” then –es is added to make it plural, for example, baby–babies, lady–ladies. There may be some exceptions.
- Some plurals are formed in different was, for example, man–men, child–children, leaf–leaves, wife–wives, foot–feet, toot–teeth, datum–data, basis–bases, woman-women. Such plurals are called an irregular noun.
- Some nouns have the same plural and singular form, for example, sheep–sheep, deer–deer, swine–swine.
There are some nouns which cannot be count in numbers.
For example: water is an uncountable noun because we cannot count it. We cannot say, one water or two water.
Examples: Water, milk, bread, honey, rain, furniture, news, information, pleasure, honesty, courage, weather, music, preparation, warmth, wheat, salt, sugar, money are uncountable nouns.
Use of Uncountable Nouns
Uncountable nouns are usually treated as a singular noun for auxiliary verbs in the sentence but articles “a or an” are usually not used before uncountable nouns.
Water is the name of life.
Necessity is the mother of invention
His preparation was not well.
The Weather is very hot today.
This information is very helpful in solving the problem.
The warmth of the sun causes evaporation of water.
Uncountable nouns may be used as countable noun when it refers to an individual thing. For example, life is an uncountable noun but it can be used as a countable noun if refers to individual, lives.
It was feared that two lives had been lost.
We can also use the word like “some, any, no, little, more etc” before uncountable nouns if needed in the sentence.
- They have no information about the accused.
- There is little milk in the glass
- I don't have any money in my pocket.
Changing Uncountable nouns into countable nouns
We can change an uncountable noun into countable noun if we specify a unit or measuring standard for it. For example “water” is an uncountable noun but we can make it countable by saying one glass of water or two glasses of water etc. In this example, we selected a unit that is glass. We can also say one liter of water or one cup of water etc. By selecting such units or measuring standards we can change uncountable noun in to countable which can be counted in terms of numbers.
Uncountable – countable
- Bread – a piece of bread.
- Wheat – a grain of wheat.
- Milk – a glass of milk.
- Information – a piece of information
- Sugar - a sack of sugar.