English Grammar – Nouns

NOUNS

A noun is the name of any person, animal, place, thing, material and even emotions or ideas.

KINDS OF NOUNS

Collective Nouns: Names of a collection or groups of persons, animals or things forming a unit.

Example: army, mob, nation, team, bouquet, class, bunch, crowd.

Common Nouns: General names of persons, places or things.

Example: boys, park, chairs, tent, arms, shoulders, cook, door.

Proper Nouns: Names of particular persons, places and objects.

Example:  John, Delhi, Chennai, Francis, Gujarat, India.

Material Noun: Names of materials or substances used as ingredients for making things.

Example: Water, Iron, Steel, Brass, Cotton, Plastic, Rubber, Sand, Silver.

Abstract Nouns: Names of ideas, thoughts and feelings that a person can feel within himself but cannot experience through his five senses, that is, through sight, smell, hearing, touch or taste.

Example :  friendship, honesty, beauty, triumph, happiness, sorrow, excitement, boredom

We form abstract nouns by adding different suffixes:

FROM VERBS

By adding “ment”

  • Achieve – achievement
  • Enjoy – enjoyment
  • Govern – government
  • Announce – announcement
  • Disappoint – disappointment
  • Punish – punishment
  • Pay – payment
  • Argue – argument
  • Develop – development
  • Entertain – entertainment
  • Invest – investment
  • Advertise – advertisement
  • Agree – agreement
  • Amuse – amusement
  • Employ – employment
  • Excite – excitement
  • Manage – management
  • Treat – treatment

By adding “ance” :

  • Abound – abundance
  • Attend – attendance
  • Enter – entrance
  • Guide – guidance
  • Accept – acceptance
  • Disturb – disturbance
  • Ignore – ignorance
  • Perform – performance
  • Appear – appearance
  • Endure – endurance
  • Insure – insurance
  • Resist – resistance

By adding “ence” :

  • Depend – dependence
  • Interfere – interference
  • Refer – reference
  • Differ – difference
  • Infer – inference
  • Reside – residence
  • Exist – existence
  • Occur – occurrence

By adding “al”:

  • Try – trial
  • Bury – burial
  • Deny – denial
  • Remove – removal
  • Arrive – arrival
  • Dismiss – dismissal
  • Propose – proposal
  • Approve – approval
  • Betray – betrayal
  • Dispose – disposal
  • Refuse – refusal
  • Withdraw – withdrawal

By adding “sion”:

  • Admit – admission
  • Compel – compulsion
  • Decide – decision
  • Provide – provision
  • Succeed –succession
  • Permit – permission
  • Conclude – conclusion
  • Extend – extension
  • Omit – omission
  • Collide – collision
  • Divide – division
  • Explode – explosion
  • Submit – submission

By adding “tion”:

  • Act – action
  • Admire – admiration
  • Collect – collection
  • Correct – correction
  • Describe – description
  • Decorate – decoration
  • Prevent – prevention
  • Elect – election
  • Translate – translation
  • Associate – association
  • Celebrate – celebration
  • Examine – examination
  • Distribute – distribution
  • Construct – construction
  • Add – addition
  • Invent – invention
  • Attract – attraction
  • Exhibit – exhibition
  • Declare – declaration
  • Inspect – inspection
  • Cultivate – cultivation

By adding “y”:

  • Assemble – assembly
  • Discover – discovery
  • Enquire – enquiry
  • Flatter – flattery

By adding “ure”:

  • Depart – departure
  • Proceed – procedure
  • Press – pressure
  • Fail – failure

By adding “age”:

  • Carry – carriage
  • Post – postage
  • Marry – marriage
  • Waste – wastage
  • Pack – package
  • Pass – passage

By adding “t” or “th”:

  • Complain – complaint
  • Weigh – weight
  • Grow – growth
  • Wide – width

FROM ADJECTIVES:

By adding “ness”:

  • Bitter – bitterness
  • Eager – eagerness
  • Wicked – wickedness
  • Heavy – heaviness
  • Busy – business
  • Lonely – loneliness
  • Aware – awareness
  • Good – goodness
  • Happy – happiness
  • Selfish – selfishness
  • Empty – emptiness
  • Great – greatness

By adding “ity”:

  • Active – activity
  • Generous – generosity
  • Moral – morality
  • Grave – gravity
  • Similar – similarity
  • Curious – curiosity
  • Real – reality
  • Rigid – rigidity
  • Punctual – punctuality
  • Visible – visibility
  • Equal – equality
  • Infirm – infirmity
  • Human – humanity
  • Special – speciality
  • Probable – probability

By adding “ty”:

  • Certain – certainty
  • Cruel – cruelty
  • Loyal – loyalty
  • Royal – royalty

By adding “ance” or “ence” :

  • Absent – absence
  • Ignorant – ignorance
  • Abundant – abundance
  • Patient – patience
  • Diligent – diligence
  • Brilliant – brilliance
  • Important – importance
  • Obedient – obedience
  • Resident – residence
  • Convenient – convenience
  • Confident – confidence
  • Excellent – excellence
  • Silent – silence
  • Present – presence

By adding “cy”, “ry”, “ty”:

  • Accurate – accuracy
  • Frequent – frequency
  • Urgent – urgency
  • Rival – rivalry
  • Poor – poverty
  • Decent – decency
  • Private – privacy
  • Vacant – vacancy
  • Supreme – supremacy
  • Humble – humility
  • Efficient – efficiency
  • Secret – secrecy
  • Brave – bravery
  • Necessary – necessity

From Nouns:

By adding hood:

  • Boy – boyhood
  • Brother – brotherhood
  • Man – manhood
  • Girl – girlhood
  • Mother – motherhood
  • Woman – womanhood
  • Child – childhood
  • Father – fatherhood

By adding ship :

  • Friend – friendship
  • Dictator – dictatorship
  • Member – membership
  • Owner – ownership
  • Partner – partnership
  • King – kingship

By adding age :

  • Bond – bondage
  • Parent – parentage
  • Pilgrim – pilgrimage
  • Use – usage

::SOME EXAMPLES OF COLLECTIVE NOUNS::

  • A herd of buffaloes.
  • A flight of geese
  • A pride of lions.
  • A gang of thieves.
  • A pack of wolves.
  • A swarm of bees.
  • A bunch of keys.
  • A regiment of soldiers.
  • A squadron of policemen.
  • A trope of dancers.
  • A horde of savages.
  • A litter of puppies.
  • A bench of judges.
  • A fleet of ships.
  • A choir of singers.
  • A brood of chicks.
  • A crowd of people.
  • A box of tools.
  • A constellation of stars.
  • A bouquet of flowers.
  • A sheaf of arrows.
  • A grove of trees.
  • A shoal of fish.
  • An orchestra of musicians.
  • A congregation of people.
  • A board of directors.
  • A suite of rooms.
  • A column of ants.
  • A bundle of sticks.
  • A chest of drawers.
  • A group of people watching a match – Spectators.
  • A group of people at a religious meeting – Congregation.
  • A group of people listening to a concert or lecture – Audience.
  • A group of people gathered for a specific, common purpose – Assembly.
  • A group of people without any particular purpose – Crowd.
  • A group of people gathered for some destructive purpose – Mob.
  • A group of people of savage people – Horde.

NOUNS – COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE

Nouns can also be countable or uncountable.

Countable nouns are those that can be counted – nouns like fingers, flowers, desks, children, can be counted whereas nouns like water, milk, rice, sugar cannot be counted. We can use numbers for countable nouns.

For example, we can say five fingers, two flowers, twenty desks, one child and fourteen children.

We use quantity for uncountable nouns.

For example, we say, a little water, a lot of milk, too much sugar, very less rice.

We can also use groups of words like ‘cup of’, ‘slice of’, and ‘cakes of’

NOUNS – NUMBERS

Nouns can be singular or plural.

Only countable nouns have plural form.

The plural form of the nouns can be formed in various ways:

By adding ‘s’ :

  • Car – cars
  • Window – windows
  • Dog – dogs
  • Umbrella – umbrellas
  • Nail – nails
  • Hat – hats

For nouns ending in s, ss, sh, ch, o and x – by adding es :

  • Box – boxes
  • Match – matches
  • Bus – buses
  • Mosquito – mosquitoes
  • Bush – bushes
  • Dress – dresses

Some nouns that end in o take s in the plural form:

  • Cuckoo – cuckoos
  • Stereo – stereos
  • Piano – pianos
  • Photo – photos
  • Radio – radios

For nouns ending in f or fe – by removing the f or fe and adding ves :

  • Knife – knives
  • Leaf – leaves
  • Thief – thieves
  • Wife – wives
  • Hoof – hooves

Some nouns ending in f take s in the plural form :

  • Chief – chiefs
  • Gulf – gulfs
  • Proof – proofs
  • Roof – roofs

For nouns ending in y – by removing the y and adding ies :

  • Baby – babies
  • Lady – ladies
  • Pony – ponies

Some words take s in the plural form :

  • Boy – boys
  • Day – days
  • Key – keys
  • Donkey – donkeys
  • Monkey – monkeys

Some nouns change their complete form in the plural :

  • Child – children
  • Woman – women
  • Foot – feet
  • Louse – lice
  • Tooth – teeth
  • Goose – geese
  • Mouse – mice
  • Man – men

In compound nouns or nouns that are made up of two words, the main word changes to the plural :

  • Fountain pen – fountain pens
  • Water bottle – water bottles
  • Daughter-in-law – daughters-in-law
  • Commander-in-chief – commanders-in-chief
  • Passer-by – passers-by
  • Grown –up – grown-ups
  • Runner-up – runners-up

Some nouns remain the same in the plural :

  • Sheep – sheep
  • Shoes – shoes
  • Socks – socks
  • Jeans – jeans
  • Trousers – trousers
  • Scissors – scissors
  • Tongs – tongs
  • Pliers – pliers
  • Civics – civics
  • Mathematics – mathematics
  • Physics – physics
  • Economics – economics
  • Accounts – accounts
  • Mumps – mumps
  • Measles – measles
  • Billiards – billiards
  • Athletics – athletics
  • Gymnastics – gymnastics
  • Innings – innings
  • Wages – wages
  • News – news
  • Spectacles – spectacles

NOUNS – GENDER

 Nouns can be classified into four genders:

  • MASCULINE: boy, man, lion, ox, peacock, drake
  • FEMININE: girl, woman, lioness, cow, peahen, duck
  • COMMON: Nouns that can belong to either masculine or feminine or both – baby, doctor, teacher, driver, animal, writer, pilot
  • NEUTER: Nouns that do not have a gender – table, chair, tree, car, pen, lamp.

We can form the feminine of the following nouns :

By adding ess :

  • Actor – actress
  • Tiger – tigress
  • God – goddess
  • Author – authoress
  • Host – hostess
  • Seamster – seamstress
  • Heir – heiress
  • Priest – priestess
  • Lion – lioness
  • Prince – princess

By adding she/girl/woman :

  • He-goat – she-goat
  • Godfather – godmother
  • Washerman – washerwoman
  • Fisherman – fisherwoman
  • Salesman – saleswoman]
  • Businessman – businesswoman
  • Man-servant – maid-servant
  • Businessman – businesswoman

By using a totally different word :

  • Boy – girl
  • Nephew – niece
  • Lord – lady
  • Buck – doe
  • Gander – goose
  • Father – mother
  • Husband – wife
  • King – queen
  • Bull/ox – cow
  • Horse – mare
  • Drake – duck
  • Son – daughter
  • Gentleman – lady
  • Bridegroom – bride
  • Cock – hen
  • Colt – filly
  • Uncle – aunt
  • Hero – heroine
  • Peacock – peahen
  • Fox – vixen

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