Grammar Rules

Types of Nouns

There are several different types of nouns used to name people, animals, places, things, and ideas. Here, we’ll take a quick look at various types of nouns so you can recognize them when you see them and use them appropriately in sentences.

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Types of Nouns in English

Nouns are among the most important words in the English language – without them, we’d have a difficult time speaking and writing about anything. This guide to noun types is intended as a basic overview. Every type of noun comes with its own rules, so be sure to read more in our pages about specific types of nouns.

Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns are those referring to ideas, concepts, emotions, and other “things” you can’t physically interact with. You can’t see, taste, touch, smell, or hear something named with an abstract noun. Some abstract noun examples are included in the following sentences. Success seems to come easily to certain people. His hatred of people smoking indoors is legendary. She has an incredible love for nature. This is of great importance. He received an award for his bravery.

Collective Nouns

When talking about types of noun, it’s important to remember collective nouns. A collective noun is a word that refers to a group. It can be either singular or plural, but is usually used in the singular. Some collective noun examples are included in the following sentences. Our team is enjoying an unbroken winning streak. There’s a pack of hyenas outside. Watch out for that swarm of bees. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a herd of wild horses. Our class graduates two years from now.

Common Nouns

Common nouns are used to refer to general things rather than specific examples. Common nouns are not normally capitalized unless they are used as part of a proper name or are placed at the beginning of a sentence. Some common noun examples are included in the following sentences. Be sure to pick a top university. Stack those boxes carefully. Would you like a cookie with your coffee? People are strange. My dog won’t stop barking.

Concrete Nouns

Concrete nouns are words used for actual things you can touch, see, taste, feel, and hear – things you interact with every day. Notice that concrete nouns can also be countable, uncountable, common, proper, and collective nouns. Some concrete noun examples are included in the following sentences. Please remember to buy oranges. Have a seat in that chair.