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THE NOUN A noun is the name of a person, a creature, a place, or a thing. All nouns are divided into two basic kinds. 1   Abstract no...

03.English Grammar for GRE, GMAT and Bank Tests - The Noun and Kinds of Nouns - Correct Use of Nouns

A noun is the name of a person, a creature, a place, or a thing. All nouns are divided into two basic kinds.
1   Abstract nouns.
2   Concrete nouns.
1)   Abstract Noun:  The names of qualities and states, where the object named cannot be touched or seen.
Ex: Wisdom, death, movement, pleasure, etc
2)   Concrete Noun: The names of things which normally can see and touched; and are the names of things which really exits.
Ex: Book, silver, table, etc.

Concrete nouns are subdivided into four groups.
1)   Proper Noun: It names one particular person or thing. This noun is written with a capital letter.
Ex: Ravi, India, Latha, etc.
2)   Common Noun: A common noun names persons and things of a kind.
Ex: River, women, village, etc
3)    Material Noun:  A material noun names some particular kind of substance.
Ex: Water, wood, salt, etc.
4)  Collective Noun: A collective noun names a collection of people, animals, things considered as a complete whole.
Ex: A flock, a forest, etc.

Rules on Nouns:
1)     Some nouns are always used in the plural form only.
Example: Cattle/police/clergy/trousers/scissors/spectacles/crackers/swine/people/electorate/poultry/mankind.

2)  Some nouns have the same form for the singular as for the plural.
Example: Deer, sheep, swine, series, species, means, service, fish, apparatus

3)  Some nouns are used in the plural only.
(i)    Articles of dress
Trousers, drawers, pants, pajamas
(ii)   Tools consisting of two parts
Scissors, pliers, forceps, spectacles
(iii)    Parts of the body
Vitals, bowels, intestines
(iv)   Names of diseases
Measles, mumps, rickets
(v)    Names of some games
Billiards, cards, Cricket.
(vi)  Various other words.
Environs, nuptials, annals, obsequies, statistics, tidings, auspices, ethics, mathematics, physics, phonetics.

4)   In compound nouns, the plural sign is generally added to the principal component.
Example:  Maidservant- Maid Servants, Father-in-law  - Father’s in law,
 Stepson –stepson,
Looker on - Lookers on

5)  The possessive case of a compound noun is formed by adding ‘s’ to the last word.
Example:       Mother-in-law                Mother-in-law's house
Brother-in-law                 Brother-in-law’s son

6)      Some nouns are apparently plural in form but are singular in use.
Example: Physics, measles, ethics, news, mumps

7)      The following words are uncountable and are normally used in the singular form only. The indefinite article ‘A’ or ‘An’ should not be used with them. They have no plural forms.
Example: Luggage, baggage, breakage, advice, furniture, information, scenery, poetry, work, soap, food, bread, fish and paper, etc.

8)      After collective nouns, either the singular or the plural form of the verb is used.
Example: The team is strong.
The jury was divided in this case.

9)      Don’t say, family members/ cousin brother, sister but say, the member of the family.
Example: He is my cousin.

10)   The names of many sciences and disciplines ending in ‘ics’ take a singular word.
Example: Ethics, mathematics, phonetics, physics.

11)   After the phrases one of/some of/each of/either of/neither of/ any of/ none of, a plural form of a noun is used.
Example: Either of the teachers
One of my best friends.

12)   When two nouns are connected by ‘and’, and are closely related add an apostrophe and ‘s’ to the last noun.
Example: Radha and Krishna's car.

13)   An apostrophe and ‘s’ should be used with living being only to show possession.
Example: The legs of the table were broken.

14)   When a plural noun denotes a specific amount of quantities, weight, length, etc. Considered as a whole the verb must be in the singular form.
Example: Five hundred people,
 Three thousand and ten pounds.

15)   An abstract noun can also be used as a common noun by placing an article before it.
 Example: Lakshmi is a beauty.