Nouns

Nouns are divided into common nouns and proper nouns. Common nouns are words for people, animals, places, or things.

Common Nouns

Words for people: actor, lawyer, aunt, judge, baby, man, baker, nurse, cook, police, officer, dentist, singer, doctor, soldier, giant, teacher, artist, astronaut

Words for animals: cat, goose, cow, hen, dog, horse, dolphin, mouse, duck, parrot, fish, shark, goat, whale, eagle, zebra, deer, bird, crocodile, bear

Words for places: airport, market, cave, mountain, church, playground, farm, restaurant, hill, school, hospital, seashore, hotel, stadium, house, supermarket, island, temple, mall, zoo, beach, park, library, shop

Words for things: bag, kite, box, ladder, bread, lamp, can, picture, chair, radio, cot, television, cup, train, desk, truck, door, watch, egg, window, basket, bed, drum, cake, blanket

Proper Nouns

Proper nouns are names for particular people, places or things. They always begin with a capital letter.

Names of people: Ali Baba, Harry Potter, Robin Hood, Sachin Tendulkar, Santa Claus.

Your own name and the names of your friends are proper nouns too.

The names of countries and their people are also proper nouns. For example, American, Egyptian, Indian, Italian, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Malay.

The names of towns, cities, buildings and landmarks are proper nouns. For example, Bangkok, London, New York, Paris, Beijing, New Delhi, Denver, Central Park, the Eiffel Tower.

The days of the week and months of the year are proper nouns. Days are Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Months are January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.

The names of mountains, seas, rivers and lakes are proper nouns. For example, Lake Michigan, the Alps, the Dead Sea, Mount Fuji, the Himalayas, Mount Everest, the Thames. You often use "the" before names of oceans, rivers, seas and ranges of mountains.

The names of festivals, some special events and holidays are proper nouns. For example, Christmas, Holi, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, Valentine's Day, Father’s Day.

Singular Nouns

Nouns can be singular or plural. When you are talking about one person, animal, place, or thing, use a singular noun. For example, an airplane, a letter, a bicycle, a map, a boy, a photograph, a bus, a refrigerator, a comb, a slide, a girl, a swing, a key, a van, a flower, a woman, a ship, a train.

Use "a" or "an" before singular nouns. 

an

Use "an" before words beginning with vowels (a, e, i, o, u). For example, an axe, an igloo, an egg, an orange, an envelope, an umbrella, an ice cream, an uncle.

But some words don't follow this rule. For example, use "a" (not an) before these words that begin with u. For example, a uniform, a university.

a

Use "a" before words beginning with the other letters of the alphabet, called consonants. For example, a basket, a rainbow, a bowl, a monster, a car, a pillow, a hill, a watch, a house, a zoo.

But some words don't follow this rule. For example, use "an" (not a) before these words that begin with h. For example, an heir, an honor, an hour.

Plural Nouns

When you are talking about two or more people, animals, places, or things, use plural nouns. Most nouns are made plural by adding -s at the end.

Some plural nouns end in -es. When the last letters of singular nouns are ch, sh, s, ss or x, you usually add -es to form the plural.

Some plural nouns end in -ies. Nouns like these are made plural by changing y to i, and adding -es.

If there is a vowel before the y, then add -s to form the plural.

If a noun ends in -f, you often change f to v, and add -es.

With some words that end in -fe, you change f to v, and add -s. But you only add -s to giraffe to form the plural.

If a noun ends in -o, you just add -s to form the plural.

Some plural nouns don't follow the -s rule. They don't end in -s, -es, -ies or -ves. Instead, the word changes form.

Some plural nouns are the same as the singular noun.

Some nouns are always plural.

You can make these plural nouns singular by using "a pair of".

Collective Nouns

Collective nouns are words for groups of people, animals or things. Many collective nouns can be used with a singular or plural verb.

Groups of people: a family, a crew, an orchestra, an audience, a gang, a band, a group, a choir, a team, a class.

Groups of things: a bunch of keys, a collection of books, a deck of cards, a fleet of ships, a set of stamps.

Group of animals: a flock of sheep, a gaggle of geese, a herd of cattle, a pod of whales, a pack of wolves, a pride of lions, a swarm of bees, a school of fish.

Masculine and Feminine Nouns

Masculine nouns are words for men and boys, and male animals. Feminine nouns are words for women and girls, and female animals. Nouns that end in -ess and -ress often belong to the feminine gender.

Many nouns are used for both males and females. We call these nouns common-gender nouns. For example, dancers, doctors, scientists, accountants, parents, artists, managers, designers, pupils, engineers, singers, lawyers, teachers.

Words for things that are neither male nor female are called neuter nouns. For example, ball, forest, building, gymnasium, broom, playground, cake, rock, computer, sky, card, socks, floor, wind, leaves, bench, mirror, fire, waterfall.