What is Noun? – Definition, Example and Classification – first parts of speech



what is a noun

What is Noun?

The noun is the first parts of speech in English grammar. Words that represent any name are nouns. A noun is a word that functions as the name of some specific thing or set of things, such as living creatures, objects, places, actions, qualities, the state of existence or ideas.

For example;

  • Mahendra is a good batsman. (name of living creatures)
  • The ball is in the box. (name of an object)
  • Kolkata is a beautiful place. (name of a place)
  • The patriotism of Netaji inspired us. (name of an action)
  • Honesty is the best policy. (name of a quality)
  • Ramesh is my childhood friend. (name of state of existence)


Classification of Noun:

There are six types of nouns, and they are-

  • Common Noun
  • Proper Noun
  • Collective Noun
  • Abstract Noun
  • Material Noun
  • Gerund/Verbal Noun


1. Common Noun:

A noun that represents any member or all members of a class is a common noun. It is a name given in common to every person or thing of the same kind.what is noun-common noun

For example;

  • The cow is a domestic animal.
  • Birds lay eggs in their nest.
  •  He is a brave man.


2. Proper Noun:

A Proper noun is the name of some particular person or place.

what is noun-proper nounFor example;

  • Sachin Tendulkar is a great batsman.
  • Jaipur is called the pink city.


NOTE: A proper noun is often used as a common noun.

Let’s understand this with the following example.

  • Sachin (1st noun) is the Bradman (2nd noun) of India.

Sachin Tendulkar is a proper noun which defines a particular person. But in this example, ‘Bradman’ does not represent any particular person. It defines those players who played like Sir Don Bradman. So. in this example ‘Bradman’ represents a class, not a person.


3. Collective Noun:

Name of a number (or collection) of persons or things taken together and spoken of as one whole.what is noun-collective noun

For example; (list of collective nouns)

  • A fleet – a collection of ships or vessel
  • An army – a group of soldiers
  • A crowd – a group of people
  • A library – a collection of books, etc


4. Abstract Noun:

The word ‘Abstract’ means theoretical. Abstract nouns are usually the name of a quality, action or state. 

what is noun-abstract noun

For example;

what is noun-abstract noun


5. Material Noun:

Material nouns are usually the name of materials.

what is noun-material noun

For example;

  • Gold is a very precious metal.
  • We cannot live without water.


6. Gerund or Verbal Noun:

A verbal noun is a noun formed from or otherwise corresponding to a verb.

what is noun-verbal noun

For example;

  • Swimming is a good exercise.
  • That was an awful decision by the coach.


The perfect one-liner for what is noun is that a noun is a word that functions as the name of living creatures, objects, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas. Everything that refers a name is a noun.


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