Types of Nouns With Examples

Types of Nouns With Examples

Can you imagine language without nouns? Like every other language, English relies on nouns as a primary feature of sentences and it is almost impossible to communicate without them. They form a large portion of the vocabulary of a language and are indispensable.


So, what is a noun? It is a part of grammar used to name a person, place, thing, quality, or action. Nouns may function in a sentence as subject, direct object, indirect object, complement, appositive, or object of a preposition. As such, they are very adaptable, but they are generally at the heart of any grammatical construction.


Most commonly, nouns can also name things, even though those things might be intangible items, such as activities, processes, or concepts.

In some case, they may be used to name things which do not even exist since they are fictional, imaginary, or unproven.

Proper Nouns vs. Common Nouns

Nouns are commonly distinguished between whether they are a proper noun or a common noun. A proper noun refers to a specific name of a person, place, or thing. These are easily recognizable because they are always capitalized.

Proper Nouns vs. Common Nouns

On the other hand, a common noun is more generic in its application because it refers to a group of items. Common nouns are not capitalized in the English language (unless, for example, they are used in a title or at the start of a sentence).

Types of Nouns

Common (or generic) nouns can be broken down into three categories: concrete nouns, abstract nouns, and collective nouns. We discuss each of these below with some examples.


1 - A concrete noun is one that is real and physically existent, that is, it can be perceived by the senses.

2 - Conversely, an abstract noun cannot be perceived by the senses and is more conceptual in nature.

3 - A collective noun refers to a group or collection of people or things (in the singular).

Nouns as Objects

Nouns can additionally serve in a sentence as objects of a verb. These can be either a direct object (a noun that receives the action performed by the subject) or an indirect object (a noun that is the recipient of a direct object)

Nouns as subject and object complements

Sometimes nouns can serve as subject complement, following linking verbs like to be, become, or seem. In this example, the noun diplomat is used as a subject complement.

Plural vs Singular Nouns

Nouns can be singular or plural, and typically (although not always!) the plural is formed by adding -s or -es at the end of the noun.


Singular Plural
Tooth Teeth
Foot Feet
Mouse Mice
Fish Fish
Child Children
Loaf Loaves
Cactus Cacti
Man Men
Woman Women
Wife Wives


NeedgrammarDiscover Related Grammar