Nouns in English

Noun is the class of words that names beings in general, objects, places, feelings, among others.

Nouns are among the most important words in a language. Even if there is a vast knowledge of a language’s grammar rules, without nouns, communication would be extremely difficult.

Check the examples with translation below, where the nouns are highlighted.

Examples :

  • Some peopledon’t like hot weather . (Some people don’t like warm weather.)
  • My bossasked me to deliver the report tomorrow . (My boss asked me to deliver the report tomorrow.)
  • You should use a rulerto measure the size of the picture . (You should use a ruler to measure the size of the photo.)
  • I bought a new pairof glasses . (I bought a new pair of glasses.)
  • Londonis a beautiful city in England . (London is a beautiful city in England.)
  • The lawyerwill arrive at the office in 5 minutes . (The lawyer will arrive at the office in five minutes.)
  • We have a thirty-year-old friendship. We met when we were 3 . (We have a 30-year friendship. We met when we were 3 years old.)
  • I admire the lovehe has for his country . (I admire the love he has for his country.)

Types of nouns

As in the Portuguese language, the English language subdivides nouns into two main groups and classifies them as proper nouns and common nouns .

Check out the information below and learn about the different types of nouns.

Proper nouns

They name beings in a specific way. Proper nouns are, for example, words that designate names of people, geographical places, days of the week, months, brand names, professional titles, etc.

Examples :

  • Richard
  • Brazil(Brazil)
  • Chicago
  • March(March)
  • Thursday(Thursday)
  • Doctor(Dr.)
  • President(Chairman)

In the case of professional titles, they are only considered proper names when accompanied by a name that identifies them: Doctor Robinson (Doctor Robinson); President Strickland (President Strickland).

Brazil is the most successful country when it comes to soccer . (Brazil is the most successful country when it comes to football.)

Common nouns (common nouns)

They name beings of the same species. They are nouns that refer to things in general

Examples :

  • Bookstore(bookstore)
  • city(city)
  • museum.

The bookstore of Alexandria is one of the most famous in the world . (The Alexandria library is one of the most famous in the world.)

The group of common nouns includes some subtypes of nouns. Check it out below.

Concrete nouns

They name concrete beings, with real or imagined existence.

Examples :

  • employee(employee)
  • Banker(Banker)
  • Hero(Hero)

The boss gave a raise to all of his employees . (The boss gave a raise to all his employees.)

Collective nouns

They name beings belonging to a group of the same species.

Examples :

  • army – of soldiers(army – soldiers)
  • hive – of bees(swarm – of bees)
  • kennel – of dogs(kennel)

She found a big hive in her garden . (She found a large hive in her garden.)

Abstract nouns

They name qualities, feelings.

Examples :

  • peace(peace)
  • height(height)
  • goodness(kindness)
  • anger(anger)

I am greatful for my friends kindness when I needed it the most . (I am grateful for the kindness of my friends when I needed it most.)

Countable nouns

Countable nouns are those that we can count, enumerate.

Examples :

  • car(car)
  • dog(dog)
  • day(day)
  • book.

There are three dogs playing in the yard. (There are three dogs playing in the garden.)

Uncountable nouns

Countless nouns are those that we cannot count. We usually need to use a specific word to quantify these nouns.

Examples :

  • coffee(coffee)
  • money(money)
  • advice(council)
  • information(information)
  • Water(water)

He drank two cups of coffee this morning . (He drank two cups of coffee this morning.)

See also: Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Compound nouns

Compound nouns are those that have more than one word in their formation. These words can be joined together, forming a single term, they can be separated by a hyphen or just separated by space.

Examples :

  • football(soccer)
  • father-in-lawfather-in-law )
  • bus stop.

The bus had already left by the time she got to the bus stop. ( The bus was already gone when she arrived at the bus stop. )

See also: English grammar

Gender of nouns

In many languages, nouns have a gender. This causes other classes of words, such as adjectives, to be inflected according to the gender of the noun used in the sentence.

In Portuguese, for example, if we refer to a girl (female noun), we can say that it is wom the (not wom the ).

In English, nouns have no grammatical gender. However, some nouns traditionally have different forms because they are also associated with the biological gender of the word itself.

This is the case, for example, with the words actor (actor); actress ( waiter ) and waiter (waiter); waitress .

Check out the explanations below

Masculine nouns (masculine nouns)

Nouns that specifically represent the male gender.

Examples :

  • uncle(uncle)
  • man(man)
  • cock(cock)

Uncle Ben and my brother are fishing. (Uncle Ben and my brother are fishing.)

Feminine nouns (feminine nouns)

Nouns that are specifically used to represent the female gender.

Examples :

  • aunt(aunt)
  • woman(woman)
  • Chicken(Chicken)

Aunt Rose and my sister are repairing the computer . (Aunt Rose and my sister are repairing the computer.)

Neutral gender nouns

With regard to people, the neutral noun can be used to refer to both genders (male and female), that is, they are nouns that in Portuguese we classify as common to two genders.

Examples :

  • lawyer(lawyer or lawyer)
  • teacher(professor or professor)
  • doctor(doctor / doctor / doctor)

My doctor is a really kind person . (My doctor is a very kind person or My doctor is a very kind person.)

In some cases, the English language has three terms.

Example :

  • policewoman(female police officer)
  • policemen(male police officer)
  • police officer(police officer)

Note that the term police officer is a gender-neutral noun.

The police officer arrested the thief . (The police officer arrested the thief or The police officer arrested the thief.)

In English, gender neutral also refers to words considered genderless in English. These are the words that, when in the singular, can be replaced by the personal pronoun it (used for objects, animals and things).

Example :

  • fork(fork)
  • spoon(spoon)
  • car(car)

Although in Portuguese fork is a masculine noun, picks a feminine noun and car a masculine noun, the translation of these words into English is not gendered.

plural of nouns

To form the plural of English nouns, we need to follow certain rules that are directly related to the endings of those words.

Check below the rules of plural formation of English.

Just add the –s

To form the plural of some words, it is not necessary to make any changes to its spelling, other than the addition of the letter –s.

Examples :

  • computer computers(computer: computers)
  • day: days(day: days)
  • Animal: animals(animals: Animals)
  • book: books(book: books)

Words ending in y preceded by consonant

When an English noun ends with y and before that y there is a consonant, we must remove the y , replace it with i and add –ies.

Examples :

  • baby: babies(baby: babies)
  • body: bodies(body: bodies)
  • city: cities(city: cities)
  • Battery: batteries(battery pack batteries)

Words ending with –s, –ss, –ch, –sh, –x, –ze –o

To form the plural of words ending in –s, –ss, –ch, –sh, –x, –ze –o, just add –es.

Examples :

  • tomato: Tomatoes(tomatoes: tomatoes)
  • hero: heroes(Hero: Heroes)
  • box: boxes(box: boxes)
  • watch: watches(watch: watches)

Words ending with –ch with / k / sound

To form the plural of words ending in –ch with the sound of / k /, just add –s.

Examples :

  • stomachstomachs (stomach: stomach)
  • monarch: monarchs(monarch: monarchs)
  • conch: conchs(shell: shell)
  • patricarch: patricarchs(patriarch: patriarchs)

Words ending with –o preceded by vowel

If a word ends in o and before o there is a vowel, just add s to form the plural of that word.

Examples :

  • zoo: zoos(zoo: zoos)
  • radio: radios(radio: radios)
  • studio: studios(studio: studios)

IMPORTANT: some words ending with –o admit two forms of plural: one ending –if the other ending –es.

Examples :

  • mango: mangos / mangoes(mango: mangoes – fruit)
  • flamingo: flamingos, flamingoes(flamingo: flamingos)
  • volcano: volcanos / volcanoes(volcano: volcanoes)

Words ending with –f or –fe

To form the plural of words ending in f or fe , simply remove the f or the fe and replace with –ves.

Examples :

  • Wolf: wolves(Wolf: wolves)
  • life: lives(life: lives)
  • leaf: leaves(leaf: leaves)
  • yourself: yourselves(yourself; alone: ​​yourselves; alone)

Nouns whose plural is irregular

Although the formation of the plural in most words is guided by certain rules, in the case of some words, the plural is irregular, that is, it has its own form that does not depend on rules.

Examples :

  • man: men(man: men)
  • woman: women(women: women)
  • Fish: fish(fish: fish)
  • child: children(child: children)

See also: Plural of nouns in English (plural of nouns)

List of nouns

Below is a list of the most common nouns in English.

The words were published on the Dolch word list , a list of frequently used words in English, compiled by Edward William Dolch

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