Common Nouns :
Nouns may be broadly divided into (a) Common Nouns and (b) Proper Nouns.
Common nouns are the names given in common to all persons, places or things of the same class.
Proper nouns are the names of particular person, places or things.
For example, compare the nouns MAN and MOHAN. The noun MAN is the name that one shares with a whole class of men. But the noun MOHAN is the name of a particular man. So we call MAN a common noun and MOHAN a proper noun.
Similarly, girl, month, city, country are common nouns, while May, April, Madras, India are proper nouns. Note that proper nouns begin with a capital letter.
Common nouns include another clsss known as Collective Nouns.
A COLLECTIVE NOUN names a group (or collection) of people, animals or things regarded as a whole.
Crowd - a group of people
Army - a group of soldiers
Flock - a group of sheep
Fleet - a group of ships
Some grammarians treat collective nouns as a separate class from common nouns.
Nouns can also be divided into Concrete Nouns and Abstract Nouns.
Look at the following.
A : Table, house, lion, man
B : Beauty, darkness, bravery, fredom
Nouns under A are concrete nouns, while those unders B are abstract nouns.
We can touch and see a tabel, a house, a lion, a man. They are concrete things.
We cannot touch or see beauty, darkness, bravery, freedom. Abstract nouns refer to feelings, ideas or qualities.
Concrete nouns and abstract nouns may be treated as subdivisions of common nouns. In some grammars they are referred to as separate classes.
The most usedul calssification of nouns is whether they are countable nouns or uncountable nouns. Compare the nouns cup, bag, pan, house with the ones millk, sugar, ink and gold.
We can count pens cups, bags, pens, houses. We say ONE CUP, TWO BAGS, FIVE PENS, MANY HOUSES.
But, we cannot count milk, sugar, ink, gold.
We do NOT say ONE MILK, TWO MILKS, TEN SUGARS and FIVE GOLDS.
Nound like bag, pen and house are Countable Nouns (or countables).
Nouns like milk, sugar, ink and gold are Uncountable Nouns (or uncountables).
Here is a summary of the kinds of nouns.
1. Common Nouns
2. Proper Nouns
3. Collective Nouns
4. Concrete Nouns
5. Abstract Nouns
Business English Index
Business English Exercises Index
to HOME PAGE