Today we will only be talking about the NOUN.
The noun names the person, place, thing, or idea that is either the actor or the focus of attention in your sentence. It can be the subject of your sentence or the object toward which action is directed.
The Compound Noun
When you have a noun that is made up of two or more words, it is called a compound noun. A compound noun can be structured as one word, hyphenated words, or separate words that describe a single thing.
Some of the ways the words forming the compound noun can identified are as follows:
- noun + noun: chalkboard
- noun + verb: haircut
- noun + preposition: check-out
- adjective + noun: capital letter
- verb + noun: knitting needle
- preposition + noun: underhand
- adjective + verb: dry-clean
The Clarifying Noun
As a subject complement in a sentence, a noun completes the meaning of the subject. My mentor is an avid reader.
When a noun is an object complement, it describes or renames the object of the verb in the sentence. Heavy metal music makes me crazy.
Classifying The Noun
Nouns serve a lot of purposes, but they always name something.
- If a noun names a particular person, place, thing, or idea, it is called a proper noun and is capitalized. Proper nouns can be whole names like Dannye Williamsen. They can be titles of books like Second Chances. Therefore, proper nouns are not necessarily one word nouns.
- If the noun does not single out a particular person, place, thing, or idea, it is called a common noun, and it is not capitalized: book, policeman, writer.
- If a noun names a single object that is made up of members or more than one unit of some kind, it is called a collective noun. A collective noun is treated as singular even though it consists of more than one member or unit — family, jury, committee, audience.
We don’t hear about the following categories that often, but I wanted to include them here.
- Concrete nouns name tangible objects, such as door, car, foot. These are all objects that can be sensed through at least one of the five senses.
- Abstract nouns name emotions, qualities, or intangible ideas – all things that you cannot detect with your five senses: happiness, violence, bravery, love, consciousness.
- Count nouns and noncount nouns (sometimes called mass nouns) are another way of categorization. The key, obviously, is whether the object named by the noun can be counted or not.
So, if you can make the word plural or place a quantifier in front of it, such as thirty birds, then it is a count noun. If the noun has no plural form, then it is a noncount noun, such as furniture. There is no plural for furniture. Table is a piece of furniture, but it does have a plural form. Therefore, table is a count noun, but furniture is a noncount noun.
Examples of noncount nouns are abundant: homework, bread, clothing, rain, lumber. The count nouns related to these examples would be assignment, loaf, dress, rainstorm, board. You can have more than one of all the examples of count nouns. With the noncount nouns, there is no legitimate plural form. You can, however, add phrases to them to indicate quantity: tons of homework, loaves of bread.
- The last classification is animate versus inanimate nouns. This one is pretty easy: if the noun refers to something alive, it’s an animate noun; if not, it isn’t.