Nouns can be singular, plural or possessive.

desk, desks, desk’s contents

Although most plurals are formed by adding ‘s’ or ‘es’, a few words are the same in the singular and plural (deer), while some words have no plural (species).

Some Latin words still take Latin plurals (alumnus becomes alumni), but over time, some take on English endings (forums instead of fora).

Proper and common nouns

Proper nouns begin with a capital letter and name specific people, places or things. Common nouns name general places, people or things.

Proper nouns   
Prime Minister Joe Smith

Common nouns
prime minister

Count and noncount nouns

Count nouns, also known as countable nouns, represent individual items that can be counted and made plural.

Noncount nouns, also known as mass nouns, noncountable nouns or uncountable nouns, cannot be counted or made plural.

The light (noncount noun) was fading as we finished the project (count noun).
The manager (count noun) attributed his promotion to luck (noncount noun).

Abstract and concrete nouns

Abstract nouns describe an idea or concept. Concrete nouns name things we can see and touch.

We debated democracy (abstract noun) at the workshop (concrete noun).
My managers (concrete noun) have taught me patience (abstract noun).

Collective nouns

Collective nouns refer to a group of people or things. They take a singular verb if they refer to a singular entity and a plural verb if they represent a number of individuals or things.

The company is revising its policies.
The staff are enjoying working from home.

Leave a Reply