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A noun is a part of speech used to identify a person, place, thing or activity. 

Term Definition
Abstract Noun

Abstract nouns are nouns that refer to things that aren’t tangible, however, they allow us to express important meaning. These are nouns that your five senses cannot pick up, such as feelings, concepts and ideals. 

Animate Noun

An animate noun refers to a thing that is alive and sentient. For example, the noun "human" would be an animate noun, since people are clearly alive. On the other hand, the noun "time" would be an inanimate noun, since time is an abstract concept and not some kind of living creature.  

Appositive Noun

An appositive noun essentially provides another way of describing the subject of a sentence, and thereby adds richness to the description provided by a given sentence. It is usually a word or phrase that is set off by commas within a sentence. For example, you might say "my friend", and then add the description, "a brilliant man". Either phrase could be the main subject, and either one an appositive noun; you just have two ways of talking about the same subject.

Collective Noun

The definition of a collective noun is a noun that refers to a group of people or things as one unit. An example of a collective noun is organization.

Common Noun

A noun is a word that names a person, animal, place, thing, or idea. All nouns can be further classified as proper or common. Common nouns are words used to name general items rather than specific ones.

Compound Noun

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.

Concrete Noun

A concrete noun is the name of an object which may be perceived by one or more of the five senses. These nouns are derived from the concrete noun which is the name of the person or thing which is in the condition.

Countable Noun

A countable noun is a noun that has both a singular and a plural form. The plural is normally made by the addition of '-s,' e.g. a horse, two horses. Nouns that do not have plural forms are called uncountable nouns or mass noun.


A gerund is a term for a verb form that functions as a noun. In English, the term has been applied to -ing forms in certain uses. Traditional grammar made a distinction within -ing forms between present participles and gerunds, a distinction that is not observed in such modern linguistically-informed grammars.

Inanimate Noun

Inanimate nouns refer to things that are not alive. In contrast, animate nouns indicate living people, animals, and other organisms such as "woman," "boy," and "cat


To sneeze, to smash, to cry, to shriek, to jump, to dunk, to read, to eat, to slurp—all of these are infinitives. An infinitive will almost always begin with to followed by the simple form of the verb. An infinitive will almost always begin with "to." Exceptions do occur, however. An infinitive will lose its "to" when it follows certain verbs. These verbs are feel, hear, help, let, make, see, and watch.

Mass Noun

A mass noun is a noun denoting something that cannot be counted (e.g., a substance or quality), in English usually a noun that lacks a plural in ordinary usage and is not used with the indefinite article.

Possessive Noun

Nouns are usually made possessive by adding an apostrophe and s: “The bicycle is Sue's, not Mark's.” Possessive pronouns can take the place of possessive nouns: “The bicycle is hers, not his.” 

Proper Noun

A proper noun is a name used for an individual person, place, or organization, and spelled with initial capital letters. Learn more about other nouns.

Singular Noun

Plural Nouns. You may know that a noun identifies a person, place, thing, or idea. A singular noun names one person, place, thing, or idea, while a plural noun names more than one person, place, thing, or idea.

Substantive Noun

A substantive noun pertains to substantives and is used in a sentence like a noun: including some adjectives and verbs.

Uncountable Noun

The uncountable noun refers to any object that cannot be quantified or broken down into discrete units.

Verbal Noun

A verbal noun is a noun formed from or otherwise corresponding to a verb. Different languages have different types of verbal noun and different ways of forming and using them. An example of a verbal noun in English is the word singing in the sentence "Singing is fun" (this is a noun formed from the verb sing).

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