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Singular Noun

Term Definition
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.

Understanding singular nouns

The singular noun just refers to any noun that signifies one single object, and not multiple objects of the same kind. So, the opposite of the singular noun would be the plural noun. 

Really, every noun is essentially singular, unless it is changed in order to be made plural. The singular noun is the base form of the noun. 

Using singular nouns in a sentence

Here is an example of the singular noun being used correctly in a sentence. 

"The newlywed couple decided that they would have a child, despite their own reservations about the future of society."

In this sentence, "child" is a singular noun that has been correctly formed. 

Now, here is an example for you of the incorrect use of the singular noun. 

"According to city officials, there were over a hundred fire over the summer, due to unprecedented levels of dryness in the air."

Fire here should not be in the singular noun form; there should in -s at the end of the word. 

Just in case there is still any confusion left, here are a couple rules you can follow in order to make sure you understand the nature of the singular noun. 

  1. The singular noun always refers to just one object. Likewise, any pronouns used in connection with the singular noun must also be in the singular form. Essentially, if a noun isn't a plural noun, then it is a singular noun. The matter is really as simple as that. 
  2. The concept of the singular noun can overlap with other concepts, such as the mass noun or the collective noun. For example, the term "population" is a singular and not a plural noun: even though it refers to an aggregate of more than one person, there is only one discrete group, as such. 

Additional rules and usage

In truth, there is relatively little to say about the singular noun: it is an extremely straightforward concept. One of the simplest parts of grammar there is, the singular noun simply identifies one single object out in the world. One potential complexity, though, has to do with the multiple categories according to which nouns are classified.

For example, a singular noun could also potentially be a common noun or a proper noun; and it could also be a countable noun or a mass noun. These are different axes, as it were, along which a noun can be classified; singular noun versus plural noun is just one axis of classification. 

Related to this, it is worth bearing in mind that the singular noun sometimes refers more to a conceptual reality than to a concrete or existential one. For example, the word "society" is in the singular noun form, even though society is actually composed of myriad individual persons. This is because conceptually, "society" is meant to signify one single structural entity, and the word is meant to signify that entity.

Likewise, you talk about having "some wine", the wine is primarily in the singular noun form simply because it does not qualify as a plural: there are are not at least two discrete units, because there are no discrete units at all. 

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Synonyms: singular-noun

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