English Grammar Nouns - Types & Rules

Understanding the types of Noun, its rules in English Grammar is essential for the Verbal Ability section of various competitive exams. 

Aspirants of different Government exams like SSC, RRB, Bank, LIC, etc. must also be updated with the English Grammar Noun Rules and Types as English constitutes a separate part of the syllabus in all these examinations. 

Candidates preparing for Government Exams can check the linked page for relevant information on different exams. 

The aim of this article is to explain the types and rules of Nouns in English Grammar. It will help candidates not only in fetching good marks but also in improving their English in day to day communication.  

Candidates can check out a few links given below for assistance in improving their English-

After going through the article, candidates can attempt questions based on Nouns in English Grammar, without committing any mistakes. For convenient preparation, candidates can download the types and rules of Nouns in English Grammar PDF, provided in the article. 

Rules & Types of Noun in English PDF:-Download PDF Here

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Types Of Nouns In English

What is a Noun?

A noun is the name of a person, place, animal, thing, idea, etc. 

Examples of Nouns

  • Name of a Person – Zuker, Max, Xavier, Joseph, etc
  • Name of an Animalkangaroo, dolphin, jackal, etc.
  • Name of a Place Bostan, Australia, India, etc.
  • Name of a Thingtable, computer, chair, etc.
  • Name of an Idea –  happiness, superstitions, excitement, etc. 

What are the different types of Nouns?

Nouns in English are broadly classified into 8 types – 

  1. Common Noun – the name given in common to every place, thing or person belonging to the same class or kind, like a boy, girl, teacher, doctor, country, etc.
  2. Proper Noun – the name given to a particular person or a place, such as Rita, Ria, Russia, Rome, etc.
  3. Collective Nouns – a name used for a group of people, animals, or things. Example, cattle, family, herd, team, etc.
  4. Concrete Nouns – are the names used for the things that have physical existence and we can see, such as a table, chair, mobile phones, etc.
  5. Abstract Nouns – are the exact opposite of concrete nouns. These are the names given to an idea, conditions, or quality. Basically, the name is used to refer to something that cannot be seen but is there, it does not exist physically. For example, Truth, Patriotism, Sorrow, Friendship, etc.
  6. Material Nouns – these are the names used to refer to substances, materials or things that are made up of an alloy. Examples, silver, gold, metal, cotton, etc. 
  7. Countable Nouns – that can be counted like one pen, two ladies, one chair, etc. These nouns take articles (a, an, the) with them. Candidates can check Rules Of Articles in English on the linked page for conceptual knowledge on the same.
  8. Uncountable Nouns – the nouns that cannot be counted. For example, water, soil, sugar, salt, etc. Abstract nouns and Proper Noun are always uncountable while Common and Concrete nouns can be both countable and well as uncountable nouns.

Nouns in English can further be classified on the basis of Number, Gender, Cases and Apposition. Read ahead to understand better-

Number Nouns

  • Singular Nouns – when one person or a thing is denoted then it is a Singular noun, such as pen, cow, boy, chairs, etc
  • Plural Nouns when a noun denotes more than one person or a thing it is a plural noun, for example – pens, cows, boys, chairs, etc.

Noun Genders

  • Masculine – nouns that refer to the male classification of a person, animal or thing example, man, lion, moon, etc
  • Feminine – nouns denoting a female class of a person, animal or thing like nature, tigress, woman, etc.
  • Neuter – nouns that denote a thing without life, either female or male, example, pen, room, book, etc.

Noun Cases

Nouns classified on the basis of cases tells us the position of the noun in a sentence. There are five cases of nouns in English.

  1. Possessive Case – when a noun denotes ownership or possession, example – That is my dress. ‘My’ is in the possessive case.
  2. Vocative case – A noun is in the vocative case when it is used to call (to get attention). Example, Ms Ria, teachers are waiting for you in the staffroom. (Ms Ria is in a vocative case).
  3. Dative Case – when a noun is in the indirect object of a verb it is in the Dative case, like, Rohan brought me chocolates, (‘Me’ is in the dative case)
  4. Nominative Case – if a noun is the subject of a verb it is said to be in Nominative case. Example – Radha is an intelligent girl.
  5. Objective Case – when the noun is the direct object of the verb or the preposition, they are in the objective case. Example – Please give the fruits.

Aspirants of various Government exams can go through the following links for preparation of other sections of the examination.

Rules Of Nouns in English

Now that you are well versed with the nouns and its types, let us move ahead to the rules associated with Nouns in English Grammar. Rules of Nouns are important to know if you want to ace the verbal ability section of competitive exams.

Rules of Nouns

Rule 1. Some Nouns are Singular in their meaning but are used as Plural nouns and also take plural verbs always, such as people, cattle, police.

Examples – 

The cattle are grazing the field.

People are indifferent to you in new cities.

Rule 2. Some nouns are always used in Plural Form and always take Plural Verb. Like, Scissors, Premises, Thanks, Spectacles, etc.

Examples-

‘I cannot find my Trousers, where are they?’

She ordered a pair Spectacles online, they are classy.

Rule 3. There are some nouns that always take Singular Verb such as news, ethics, machinery, advice, stationery, physics, mathematics, etc.

Examples –

Mathematics is my favourite subject.

The news of his suicide is not true. 

Rule 4 – Some nouns indicate the number, measure, money, length, weight, etc. They remain unchanged when any definite numeral precedes these nouns.

Example – 

She bought 2 dozen eggs from the shop. (not dozens)

My office is 5 kilometres from my house. (not kilometre)

Rule 5 – Collective nouns are used both in singular and plural form. 

  1. The Government is a great achievement of Civilization.
  2. The Jury were divided in their opinions.

Rule 6 – There are nouns that give different meanings when used as a singular and other meaning when used as a plural noun. Such as –

  • Good means wise and goods mean property
  • Authority is command while authorities mean people in power
  • Force means strength while forces is an army
  • Wages in singular form is punishment while wages are daily labour charges when used in the plural form
  • Content means satisfaction and contents is things contained
  • Iron is metal while irons mean chains or fetters

Candidates can also check out articles on basic concepts, important rules and lists, etc. given below-

Visit the General English For Competitive exams page for more such articles on basic English grammar rules. 

Rule 7 – Material Nouns generally do not take any article (a, an or the) before them.

Example 

Incorrect – My mother likes a gold and not a silver.

Correct  – My Mother likes gold and not silver.

Incorrect – Cooking food on a cast iron pan is healthy.

Correct – Cooking food on cast iron pan is healthy.

Rule 8 – To personify a Neuter Gender Noun, we use – 

Masculine gender to personify the strength or power, and 

Feminine Gender to personify beauty and grace.

Examples- 

  • The Moon was shining on the sea with all his might
  • It is our duty to protect Mother Earth. 

Rule 9 – the work of art, the title of books, etc. even if they sound plural are always considered singular. 

Examples-

‘The Palace of Illusions’ is an incredible narration of the Mahabharata.

‘The Game of Thrones’ is my favourite drama series

Rule 10 – (a) for small creatures, insects or very young children neuter gender is used.

Examples- 

  • The baby wants food every hour or it starts crying.
  • I could see the butterfly moving its wings. 

(b) Collective nouns are used as neuter gender even if they are used to refer to living beings.

Examples-

  • The team gave its best performance.
  • The army is at its best to protect the country.

Refer the links given below to practise the Question and Answers on important English topics and prepare well for the exam-

For more practice exercise and Questions & Answers on different topics of English, visit the Verbal Ability page. 

Nouns in English Grammar – Sample Questions

To understand the types of questions asked in competitive exams based on the Nouns in English, given below are a few sample questions for your reference –

Directions for Question 1 to 5 – Given below are the sentences divided into parts. You are required to find out the part with error and select the answer from the given options.

Q.1. The majority of the woman (1)/ teachers are persuading (2)/ the principal to consider (3)/ their demands. (4)/ No Error (5)

  1. 1 has error
  2. 2 has error
  3. 3 has error
  4. 4 has error
  5. No error

Answer (1) 

Solution – replace Woman with Women.

Q.2. The mother-in-laws (1)/ gathered together(2)/ to discuss family issues(3)/ that need to be sorted out (4)/ No error (5)

  1. 1 has error
  2. 2 has error
  3. 3 has error
  4. 4 has error
  5. No error

Answer (1)

Solution – the plural form of a noun will be Mothers-in-law.

Q.3. In comparison()1 to Darjeeling (2)/ the sceneries of Kashmir(3)/ is more beautiful (4)/ No Error (5)

  1. 1 has error
  2. 2 has error
  3. 3 has error
  4. 4 has error
  5. No error

Answer (3)

Solution – Scenery is the correct noun as it can be used both as a singular and plural form.

Q.4. It is scientifically (1)/ accepted fact that (2)/ laugh is the best (3)/ medicine to cure stress(4)/ No error (5)

  1. 1 has error
  2. 2 has error
  3. 3 has error
  4. 4 has error
  5. No error

Answer (3)

Solution – a laugh is a verb, Laughter is a noun. 

Q.5. He does not (1)/ cut paper with (2)/ blade, but (3)/ with a scissor. (4)/ No Error (5)

  1. 1 has error
  2. 2 has error
  3. 3 has error
  4. 4 has error
  5. No error

Answer (4)

Solution – replace scissor with scissors. Scissors is a noun always used in the plural form.

The sample questions given above on Nouns in English are based on Error Spotting type of questions. Candidates can check out more questions on Spotting the Error page linked here.  

Different varieties of questions can be formed on the Nouns in English, candidates can take Free Online Quiz to check the scope of questions. 

For assistance in your English Language preparation, given below are a few often mistaken words or confusing words in English that candidates come across in the examination in numerous forms. Check out the links and clear your concepts-

For more such Difference Between Articles for Revision based on concepts and subjects, visit the given link. 

Given below is the syllabus for various Government exams which candidates can refer to for preparation:

Candidates preparing for the verbal ability section or any other section, which is a part of the upcoming Government exams, can turn to BYJU’S for assistance regarding the study material, syllabus, preparation tips and exam information.

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