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What Is a Noun?

A noun is one of the fundamental parts of speech. In its simplest explanation, a noun is a word that describes a person, place or thing. This definition is seen as not very representative of what a noun represents. There are some people who also consider a noun as signifier of an idea or event.

There are various types of nouns used in language. A proper noun refers to a particular person, place or thing and in the English language it begins with a capital letter. Concrete nouns are nouns that are used in describing an object or person that is tangible or can be seen and felt. Abstract nouns, on the other hand, are used for describing ideas and other concepts that cannot be described by any of the five senses. Countable nouns are nouns that can be turned into the plural form. Non-countable nouns, on the other hand are nouns that do not have a plural form. Collective nouns are used in describing a group consisting of other nouns.

Nouns often assume any of two roles in a sentence. It can either be the subject or the object of a sentence. The subject is seen as the “doer” in the sentence, or the noun that makes an action. The object is the noun the subjects acts upon. An object is an optional part of a sentence. It is not necessarily required.

Usually, people who are still learning the parts of a speech will often have difficulty in differentiating between a noun and an adjective. The easy way of identifying the noun is by considering the roles of words used in the sentence.

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