четвртак, 31. октобар 2013.

NOUNS

A noun is a word that identifies:
  • a person (woman, boy, doctor, neighbour)
  • a thing (dog, building, tree, country)
  • an idea, quality, or state (truth, danger, birth, happiness).

There are several different types of noun, as follows:

Common noun

A common noun is a noun that refers to people or things in general, e.g. boy, country, bridge, city, birth, day, happiness.


Proper noun

A proper noun is a name that identifies a particular person, place, or thing, e.g. Steven, Africa, Tower Bridge, London, Monday. In written English, proper nouns begin with capital letters.


Concrete noun

A concrete noun is a noun which refers to people and to things that exist physically and can be seen, touched, smelled, heard, or tasted. Examples include dog, building, tree, rain, beach, tune, Tower Bridge.


Abstract noun

An abstract noun is a noun which refers to ideas, qualities, and conditions - things that cannot be seen or touched and things which have no physical reality, e.g. truth, danger, happiness, time, friendship, humour.


Collective nouns

Collective nouns refer to groups of people or things, e.g. audience, family, government, team, jury. Collective nouns can usually be treated as singular or plural, with either a singular or plural verb. Both the following sentences are grammatically correct:

The whole family was at the table.
The whole family were at the table.


Most collective nouns can be treated as singular or plural, with either a singular or plural verb:

The whole family was at the table. [singular verb]
The whole family were at the table. [plural verb]

There are a few collective nouns which are always used with a plural verb, the commonest of which are police and people:

She’s happy with the way the police have handled the case.
X She’s happy with the way the police has handled the case.

If you aren’t sure whether to use a singular or a plural verb with a collective noun, look it up. Most dictionaries will tell you which is correct.


A noun may belong to more than one category. For example, happiness is both a common noun and an abstract noun, while Tower Bridge is both a concrete noun and a proper noun.

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