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Classification of nouns

Kurapati M.
19/12/2016 0 0

 

Classifications of Types of Nouns

Proper Nouns

Proper nouns are nouns that refer to specific entities. Writers of English capitalize proper nouns like Nebraska, Steve, Harvard, or White House to show their distinction from common nouns.

Common Nouns

Common nouns refer to general, unspecific categories of entities. Whereas Nebraska is a proper noun because it signifies a specific state, the word state itself is a common noun because it can refer to any of the 50 states in the United States. Harvard refers to a particular institution of higher learning, while the common noun university can refer to any such institution.

Countable Nouns

To linguists, these count nouns can occur in both single and plural forms, can be modified by numerals, and can co-occur with quantificational determiners like many, most, more, several, etc.

For example, the noun bike is countable noun. Consider the following sentence:

There is a bike in that garage.

In this example, the word bike is singular as it refers to one bike that is presently residing in a particular garage.

However, bike can also occur in the plural form.

There are six broken bikes in that garage.

In this example, the noun bikes refers to more than one bike as it is being modified by the numeral six.

In addition, countable nouns can co-occur with quantificational determiners.

In that garage, several bikes are broken.

This sentence is grammatical, as the noun bike can take the modification of the quantificational determiner several.

Uncountable Nouns or Mass Nouns

Conversely, some nouns are not countable and are called uncountable nouns or mass nouns. For example, the word clutter is a mass noun.

That garage is full of clutter.

This sentence makes grammatical sense. However, the following example does not.

That garage is full of clutters.

Mass nouns can not take plural forms, and therefore a sentence containing the word clutters is ungrammatical.

Substances, liquids, and powders are entities that are often signified by mass nouns such as wood, sand, water, and flour. Other examples would be milk, air, furniture, freedom, rice, and intelligence.

Collective Nouns

In general, collective nouns are nouns that refer to a group of something in a specific manner. Often, collective nouns are used to refer to groups of animals. Consider the following sentences.

Look at the gaggle of geese. There used to be herds of wild buffalo on the prairie. A bevy of swans is swimming in the pond. A colony of ants live in the anthill.

In the above examples, gaggle, herds, bevy, and colony are collective nouns.

Concrete Nouns

Concrete nouns are nouns that can be touched, smelled, seen, felt, or tasted. Steak, table, dog, Maria, salt, and wool are all examples of concrete nouns.

Can I pet your dog? Please pass the salt. Your sweater is made of fine wool.

Concrete nouns can be perceived by at least one of our senses.

Abstract Nouns

More ethereal, theoretical concepts use abstract nouns to refer to them. Concepts like freedom, love, power, and redemption are all examples of abstract nouns.

They hate us for our freedom. All you need is love. We must fight the power.

In these sentences, the abstract nouns refer to concepts, ideas, philosophies, and other entities that cannot be concretely perceived.

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