What is a Noun?

A noun is a word used to name a person, animal, place, thing, and abstract idea.

Examples:

  1. Mrs. Smith is going to teach the class today.   person
  2. The dog barks all day and night.   animal
  3. Annie suggested that we should go to the park.   place
  4. The little boy was crying because he lost his umbrella.   thing
  5. Love is what makes the world go around.   abstract idea
A noun can function in a sentence as a subject, a direct object, an indirect object, a subject complement, an object complement, an appositive, an adjective or an adverb.

Noun Plurals

Most nouns change their form to indicate number by adding “-s” or “-es“, as illustrated in the following pairs of sentences:

  1. Pink is my favorite color.
  2. Look at the colors of the rainbow!
  1. Our house is on the next block.
  2. Alyssa lives just a few houses away.
  1. That monkey threw a potato at me!
  2. This recipe calls for the need of potatoes.
  1. You can step on that box so you can reach the plates.
  2. We need to move a few boxes so we can get to the other side.

There are other nouns which form the plural by changing the last letter before adding “s”. Some words ending in “f” form the plural by deleting “f” and adding “ves,” and words ending in “y” form the plural by deleting the “y” and adding “ies,” as in the following pairs of sentences:

  1. Please be careful with that knife.
  2. The clown was juggling with knives at the circus.
  1. Can you lend me a penny to buy a candy?
  2. I got a lot of candies from Halloween!
  1. A child was crying because he was lost in the mall.
  2. The children like to play by the lake.
  1. There was a goose in the yard a while ago.
  2. Every year, geese migrate to other parts of the world.
You can also learn how to form the plural of compound nouns in this article.

Possessive Nouns

In the possessive case, a noun or pronoun changes its form to show ownership, attachment or possession. The possessive form of nouns is indicated by a combination of an apostrophe and the letter “s.”

You can form the possessive case of a singular noun that does not end in “s” by adding an apostrophe and “s,” as in the following sentences:

  1. That is Alexandra’s bag.
  2. The dog’s paws are hurt from walking all day.
  3. The computer’s screen is broken.
  4. My mother’s cake is delicious!
  5. I have to fix my car’s engine.

You can form the possessive case of a singular noun that ends in “s” by adding an apostrophe alone or by adding an apostrophe and “s,” as in the following examples:

  1. The bus’s seats are very uncomfortable.
  2. The bus’ seats are very uncomfortable.
  3. The film crew accidentally crushed the platypus’s eggs.
  4. The film crew accidentally crushed the platypus’ eggs.

You can form the possessive case of a plural noun that does not end in “s” by adding an apostrophe and a “s,” as in the following examples:

  1. The children’s clothes are scattered all over the floor.
  2. The oxen’s fence has been destroyed.
  3. The men’s basketball team will be playing as soon as the women’s team is finished.

You can form the possessive case of a plural noun that ends in “s” by adding an apostrophe:

  1. The play was interrupted by the dogs’ barking, the ducks’ quacking, and the babies’ crying.
  2. The boys’ room is upstairs and to the right.

There are different kinds of nouns according to classification. You can read all about them in this next post.

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