Noun | Definition, Rules, Examples and List of Nouns in English Grammar

English nouns! What is a noun? Learn noun definition and useful list of nouns in English with different types and examples. One of the most important types of word within any language, is the noun and this is no different in English. But what are nouns and how are they used? In this article, we are going to be taking a closer look at what a noun is, how it is used and the rules surrounding its use. We are also going to be looking at a variety of examples to demonstrate their use and allow us to gain a greater understanding of their function.

What Is A Noun?

Noun Definition

In order to understand what a noun is, the most simple explanation is that a noun is a word which is used to refer to a person, item, thing or place. In every sentence in English, there must be a subject and that subject will always be a noun. However, the noun can also play other parts within a sentence such as the indirect or direct object, object or subject complement, adjective or appositive. This means that every sentence you create will feature a noun, making this one of the most important aspects within English grammar.

What is a noun? Noun is described as words that refer to a personplacethingeventsubstancequalityquantity, etc.

Noun is a part of speech typically denoting a person, place, thing, animal or idea.

There are many different types of nouns in English, each designed to serve a different purpose in an English sentence.

Nouns Can Name All Sorts!

As we mentioned earlier, the noun can be used to name a variety of different things. Let’s take a look a this.

Nouns To Name A Person

  • The prime minister
  • My sister
  • A boy
  • Barack Obama

Nouns To Name A Place

  • The beach
  • Mount Everest
  • My kitchen
  • Australia

Nouns To Name A Thing

  • An idea
  • The dog
  • My plate
  • The movie

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List of Nouns in English with Different Types

Learn a useful list of nouns in English with different types and relevant noun examples. There is more than one type of noun, and this might seem like somewhat of a complicated concept, so we are now going to break it down so that we can get a better grasp on the various types of nouns and how they are used.

Concrete Nouns

What is a Concrete Noun?

A concrete noun is a noun which is real or physical, you might think of it as something which can be perceived by your senses. Look at the following examples and notice how they use a sense to describe the noun, In both examples, the nouns-music and hands are real items which can be sensed.

  • I hear the music.
  • Her hands were wet.

List of Nouns – Concrete Noun Examples

  • Armchair
  • Aunt
  • Ball
  • Bermudas
  • Beans
  • Balloon
  • Bear
  • Blouse
  • Bed
  • Baby
  • Book
  • Blender
  • Bucket
  • Bakery
  • Bow
  • Bridge
  • Boat
  • Car
  • Cow
  • Cap
  • Cooker
  • Cheeks
  • Crest
  • Chest
  • Chair
  • Candy
  • Cabinet
  • Cat
  • Coffee
  • Charlie
  • Dog
  • Deer
  • Donkey
  • Desk
  • Desktop
  • Dentist
  • Drum
  • Dresser
  • Designer
  • Detective
  • Frog
  • Fan
  • Freezer
  • Fish
  • Film
  • Foot
  • Flag
  • Guest
  • Hamburger
  • Jewelry

List of Nouns – Concrete Nouns Image

Concrete Noun ExamplesPin

Common Nouns And Proper Nouns

A common noun is a noun which can refer to a general name of an object. This type of noun does not use a capital letter unless it is appearing at the start of a sentence. The common noun is not used to identify a specific person, thing, or place.

A good example of a common noun is the word ‘man.’ Using this noun does not allow us to determine a specific man. You can see this in the following sentence.

  • The man walked down the street.

When we read this sentence, all we know is that a man is walking down a street (which is also a common noun) but the identity of the street or the man is not revealed.

The other type of noun is a proper noun and this is used to talk about a specific person, item or place. The proper noun always uses a capital letter, whether it appears at the beginning, middle or end of the sentence. A good example of a proper noun would be the name of a person, for example Graham. Look at the following sentence.

  • Graham is walking down the road.

We can see from the use of the proper noun that we are being told about a specific person. Other proper nouns might be the names of towns and countries, for example:

  • Paris is a large city in France.

Both Paris and France are the proper nouns within this sentence.

Abstract Nouns

What Are Abstract Nouns?

The abstract noun is used to refer to something which is not tangible. We are now going to look at some examples of this, as you can see the nouns in the following phrases are not things which can be physically sensed.

  • He showed a lot of bravery when fighting the lion.
  • Sarah has a lot of intelligence.

List of Nouns – Abstract Noun Examples

  • Awareness
  • Awe
  • Beauty
  • Belief
  • Childhood
  • Clarity
  • Cleverness
  • Confusion
  • Contentment
  • Courage
  • Crime
  • Growth
  • Happiness
  • Hate
  • Hatred
  • Inflation
  • Insanity
  • Intelligence
  • Joy
  • Justice
  • Kindness
  • Laughter
  • Law
  • Liberty
  • Love
  • Luck
  • Luxury
  • Maturity
  • Need
  • Opinion
  • Opportunity
  • Pain
  • Principle
  • Reality
  • Relaxation
  • Sanity
  • Satisfaction
  • Self-control
  • Speed
  • Strenght
  • Strictness
  • Tiredness
  • Tolerance
  • Trend
  • Union
  • Unreality
  • Victory
  • Wariness
  • Warmth
  • Wealth

List of Nouns – Abstract Nouns Image

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Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Countable and Uncountable nouns vary from language to language. In some languages, there are no countable nouns. In addition, some nouns that are uncountable in English may be countable in other languages.

Countable and Uncountable NounsPin

Countable Nouns

Countable nouns are individual objects, people, places, etc. which can be counted.

Countable Noun Examples

  • Apple
  • School
  • Student
  • Picture
  • House
  • Tree
  • Box
  • Book
  • Customer
  • Friend

Uncountable Nouns

Uncountable Nouns Definition

Uncountable Nouns are substances, concepts, materials, information… that we cannot divide into separate elements. They can’t be counted.

List of Nouns – Uncountable Nouns List

  • Access
  • Adulthood
  • Alcohol
  • Business
  • Blood
  • Botany
  • Bacon
  • Chaos
  • Clothing
  • Confidence
  • Compassion
  • Calm
  • Cotton
  • Childhood
  • Coffee
  • Danger
  • Data
  • Dancing
  • Distribution
  • Dirt
  • Duty
  • Education
  • Economics
  • Equipment
  • Fame
  • Freedom
  • Glass
  • Grass
  • Golf
  • Hair
  • Hardware
  • Hydrogen
  • Hatred
  • Hunger
  • Honey
  • Importance
  • Intelligence
  • Industry
  • Jealousy
  • Jam
  • Jewelery
  • Innocence
  • Iron
  • Linguistics
  • Light
  • Loneliness
  • Music
  • Meat
  • Nurture
  • Psychology

NOTE: Some nouns are both countable and uncountable. They have been put in bold.

List of Nouns – Uncountable Noun Examples

Uncountable Noun ExamplesPin

Collective Nouns

What are Collective Nouns?

The collective noun is used to refer to a collection of things or people. They are used to refer to a singular verb and make it as though it were one entity. Let’s take a look at some examples of collective nouns.

  • The pack of dogs ran wild through the town.
  • The choir sang loudly in the church.

Collective Noun Examples

  • Herd
  • Pack
  • Flock
  • Swarm
  • Shoal
  • Group
  • Crowd
  • Gang
  • Mob
  • Staff
  • Crew
  • Choir
  • Orchestra
  • Panel
  • Board
  • Troupe
  • Bunch
  • Pile
  • Heap
  • Set
  • Stack
  • Series
  • Shower
  • Fall

List of Nouns – Collective Nouns Image

Collective Noun ExamplesPin

Compound Nouns

Compound Nouns Definition

Compound nouns are words for people, animals, places, things, or ideas, made up of two or more words. Most compound nouns are made with nouns that have been modified by adjectives or other nouns.

List of Nouns – Compound Noun Examples

  • Airline
  • Airport
  • Aircraft
  • Armchair
  • Boyfriend
  • Battlefield
  • Briefcase
  • Butterfly
  • Countdown
  • Comeback
  • Background
  • Cupboard
  • Chopstick
  • Classmate
  • Daredevil
  • Daydream
  • Dragonfly
  • Everybody
  • Everything
  • Fireworks
  • Football
  • Footprint
  • Greenhouse
  • Hallway
  • Handcuff
  • Haircut
  • Homework
  • Horsefly
  • Houseboat
  • Inside
  • Moonlight
  • Myself
  • Notebook
  • Overdue
  • Pancake
  • Partnership
  • Photocopy
  • Raincoat
  • Rattlesnake
  • Ringworm
  • Skyscraper
  • Sandcastle
  • Snowboard
  • Sunshine
  • Teardrop
  • Teacup
  • Teapot
  • Thunderstorm
  • Timetable
  • Yourself

Compound Nouns List

Compound Noun ExamplesPin

Possessive Nouns

Possessive Nouns Definition

Possessive nouns are nouns that show ownership or possession. Normally these words would be a singular or plural noun, but in the possessive form they are used as adjectives to modify another a noun or pronoun.

Possessive Noun Examples

  • Cat’s toy
  • Charles’s car
  • Chris’s exam
  • Children’s clothes
  • Men’s shoes
  • Babies’ shoes
  • Lemons’ acidity
  • Owls’ eyes
  • Sister’s room
  • Jim’s pen
  • My mom’s bag

Possessive Noun Examples

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Regular Plural Nouns

Forming Regular Plural Nouns

How to form regular plural nouns in English.

  • Most singular nouns are made plural by adding -s to the end of the singular form.
  • When a noun ends in a sibilant sound – /s/, /z/, /ʃ/, /ʒ/, /tʃ/ or /dʒ/ – the plural is formed by adding -es, or -s if the singular already ends in -e.
  • The plural form of some nouns that end in ‘f’ or ‘fe’ is made by changing the ending to -V(es).
  • When a noun ends in “o” preceded by a consonant, the plural in many cases is spelled by adding -es.
  • Nouns that end in ‘o’ preceded by a vowel are made plural by adding -s.
  • When the ‘y’ follows a consonant, changing ‘y’ to ‘i’ and adding -es.
  • When the ‘y’ follows a vowel, the plural is formed by retaining the ‘y’ and adding -s.

Regular Plural Noun Examples

  • car – cars
  • bag – bags
  • table – tables
  • house – houses
  • dog – dogs
  • kiss – kisses
  • dish – dishes
  • witch – witches
  • judge – judges
  • half – halves
  • hoof – hooves
  • calf – calves
  • elf – elves
  • shelf – shelves
  • leaf – leaves
  • loaf – loaves
  • thief – thieves
  • wolf – wolves
  • life – lives
  • knife – knives
  • scarf – scarves
  • wife – wives
  • cuff – cuffs
  • knockoff – knockoffs
  • chef – chefs
  • belief – beliefs
  • roof – roofs
  • chief – chiefs
  • potato – potatoes
  • tomato – tomatoes
  • hero – heroes
  • echo – echoes
  • veto – vetoes
  • domino – dominoes
  • mosquito – mosquitoes
  • volcano – volcanoes
  • piano – pianos
  • photo – photos
  • halo – halos
  • soprano – sopranos
  • radio – radios
  • stereo – stereos
  • video – videos
  • country – countries
  • family – families
  • cherry – cherries
  • lady – ladies
  • puppy – puppies
  • party – parties
  • holiday – holidays

Irregular Plural Nouns

Irregular Plural Nouns Definition

Irregular plural nouns are nouns that do not become plural by adding -s or -es, as most nouns in the English language do. For example, the plural form of man is men, not mans. The plural form of woman is women, not womans.

Irregular Plural Noun Examples

  • Aircraft – aircraft
  • Barracks – barracks
  • Deer – deer
  • Gallows – gallows
  • Moose – moose
  • Salmon – salmon
  • Hovercraft – hovercraft
  • Spacecraft – spacecraft
  • Series – series
  • Species – species
  • Means – means
  • Offspring – offspring
  • Deer – deer
  • Fish – fish
  • Sheep – sheep
  • Offspring – offspring
  • Trout – trout
  • Swine – swine
  • Person – people
  • Ox – oxen
  • Man – men
  • Woman – women
  • Caveman – cavemen
  • Policeman – policemen
  • Child – children
  • Tooth – teeth
  • Foot – feet
  • Goose – geese
  • Mouse – mice
  • Louse – lice
  • Penny – pence
  • Index – indices /indexes
  • Matrix – matrices
  • Vertex – vertices
  • Appendix – appendices
  • Alumnus – alumni
  • Corpus – corpora
  • Census – censuses
  • Focus – foci
  • Genus – genera
  • Prospectus – prospectuses
  • Radius – radii
  • Campus – campuses
  • Succubus – succubi

Irregular Plural Noun Examples

Irregular Plural Noun ExamplesPin

Using A Noun in English Grammar

Using A Noun As A Subject Or An Object

Each sentence that we speak or write must feature a subject and this will always be a noun. When we talk about the subject, we are referring to the place, person or thing which is completing the action (verb) within the sentence. Look at the following examples:

  • John is tall.
  • The ball bounced.

John and the ball are the subjects of these sentences and are both nouns.

However, the noun can also be used as the object of a sentence. This can be either as a direct object, which is the noun that is on the receiving end of the action that was performed by the subject, or as an indirect object which is a noun that is a recipient of the direct object. Let’s take a look at some examples of this.

  • Hand the bags to him.
  • Move the plate towards the baby.

In this case, the words him and baby are both nouns being used as the object of the sentence.

Nouns Used As Object And Subject Complements

A noun can be used as a subject complement and this usually occurs when using a linking verb such as seem, to be or become. An example of this is the sentence “John is a builder.” The noun builder is the subject complement as it is detailed what John is.

Further Uses Of Nouns

There are many more ways in which a noun can function, let’s take a look at some of these now.

  • When serving as an appositive noun, the noun will come directly after another noun as a way of defining it further. An example of this can be seen in this sentence, “My mother, Angela, is a nurse.” The noun Angela is the appositive noun as it gives us further information on the first noun, mother.
  • A noun may also be used as an adjective in some cases as well. Consider the word ‘light.’ This is a noun when talking about the light or a light, however it can become an adjective, as seen in this sentence, “The house has a light kitchen.”
  • When using a possessive noun, in other words, a noun which is used to denote possession of something, an apostrophe should be used. For example, “These are the baby’s things.”

Gender of Nouns in English

Learn the Gender of Nouns and List of Masculine and Feminine Words in English:

  • Masculine – Feminine
  • Sir – Madam
  • Uncle – Aunt
  • Nephew – Niece
  • Wizard – Witch
  • Hart – Roe
  • Drake – Duck
  • Lion – Lioness
  • Priest – Priestess
  • Prophet – Prophetess
  • Patron – Patroness
  • Host – Hostess
  • Viscount – Viscountess
  • Shepherd – Shepherdess
  • Steward – Stewardess
  • Heir – Heiress
  • Baron – Baroness
  • Peer – Peeress
  • Abbot – Abbess
  • Emperor – Empress
  • Traitor – Traitress
  • Actor – Actress
  • Benefactor – Benefactress
  • Hunter – Huntress
  • Tempter – Temptress
  • Master – Mistress
  • Tiger – Tigress
  • Duke – Duchess
  • Enchanter – Enchantress
  • Songster – Songstress
  • Hero – Heroine
  • Sultan – Sultana
  • Czar – Czarina
  • Signor – Signora
  • Manservant – Maidservant
  • He-goat – She-goat
  • Cock-sparrow – Hen-sparrow
  • Bull-calf – Cow-calf
  • Grandfather – Grandmother
  • Landlord – Landlady
  • Milkman – Milkmaid
  • Peacock – Peahen
  • Giant – Giantess
  • Count – Countess

Gender of Nouns

Gender of NounsPin


The noun is an integral part of the English language, in fact, you cannot make a sentence without one. By understanding their use and the rules surrounding them, you will be able to form grammatically correct sentences.

English Nouns

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Alma R Baez
Alma R Baez
1 year ago

Loved your picturez. I use them in my TESOL class. Great for lesson planing.

1 year ago

million thanx

Ramandeep Singh
Ramandeep Singh
1 year ago

Can we use the pictures in our ESL classes for free ?

1 year ago


11 months ago

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Ella Biraza
Ella Biraza
7 months ago

thank you for the kindness you have shown

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