It's not easy to describe a noun. In simple terms, nouns are "things" (and verbs are "actions"). Likefood. Food (noun) is something you eat (verb). Or happiness. Happiness (noun) is something you want (verb). Or human being. A human being (noun) is something you are (verb).

What are Nouns?

The simple definition is: a person, place or thing

teacher, school, book

Countable Nouns, Uncountable Nouns

countable nouns have a singular and a plural form. In plural, these nouns can be used with a number- they can be counted. (That's why they are called "countable nouns").


1 friend, 2 friends, 3 friends...

1 book, 2 books, 3 books...

Countable nouns take many.Example: 

100 friends – many friends

Uncountable nouns (uncount / non-count nouns):

Uncountable nouns can only be used in singular. These nouns cannot be used with a number- they can't be counted. (That's why they are called "uncountable nouns").


I have a lot of money. (Not 1000 money)

You say I drink a lot of milk. (Not 5 milk)

Uncountable nouns take much.


100 money – much money

Note: Of course you can count money, milk, meat; but then you would use the currency, liter, kilo, glass,...and say that you have got:

5 euros or dollars... (but not 5 money).

2 liters, pints, glasses... of milk (but not 2 milk)

3 kilos... of meat (but not 3 meat)

10 bottles of mineral water... (but not 10 mineral water)

Proper Nouns (Names)

A noun belonging to the class of words used as names for unique individuals, events, or places. Contrast with common noun.Most proper nouns (for example, Fred, New York, Mars, Coca Cola) begin with a capital letter. Proper nouns are not usually preceded by articles or other determiners. Most proper nouns are singular.

Do we say "Atlantic Ocean" or "the Atlantic Ocean"? Should I write "february" or "February"?

Shirley, Mr Jeckyll, Thailand, April, Sony

Possessive 's

When we want to show that something belongs to somebody or something, we usually add 's to a singular noun and an apostrophe ' to a plural noun, for example:
  • the boy's ball (one boy)
  • the boys' ball (two or more boys)
Notice that the number of balls does not matter. The structure is influenced by the possessor and not the possessed.
one ballmore than one ball
one boy
the boy's ball

the boy's balls
more than one boy
the boys' ball

the boys' balls

The structure can be used for a whole phrase:
  • the man next door's mother (the mother of the man next door)
  • the Queen of England's poodles (the poodles of the Queen of England)

Noun as Adjective

Sometimes we use a noun to describe another noun. In that case, the first noun is "acting as" an adjective.

love story, tooth-brush, bathroom
As you know, a noun is a person, place or thing, and an adjective is a word that describes a noun:
Sometimes we use a noun to describe another noun. In that case, the first noun "acts as" an adjective.
as adjective

The "noun as adjective" always comes first

If you remember this it will help you to understand what is being talked about:
  • race horse is a horse that runs in races
  • horse race is a race for horses
  • boat race is a race for boats
  • love story is a story about love
  • war story is a story about war
  • tennis ball is a ball for playing tennis
  • tennis shoes are shoes for playing tennis
  • computer exhibition is an exhibition of computers
  • bicycle shop is a shop that sells bicycles

Compound Nouns

A compound noun is a noun that is made up of two or more words. Most compound nouns in English are formed by nouns modified by other nouns or adjectives.
For example:
The words tooth and paste are each nouns in their own right, but if you join them together they form a new word - toothpaste.
The word black is an adjective and board is a noun, but if you join them together they form a new word - blackboard.
In both these example the first word modifies or describes the second word, telling us what kind of object or person it is, or what its purpose is. And the second part identifies the object or person in question.
Compound nouns can also be formed using the following combinations of words:-
Adjective+Nounmonthly ticket
Verb+Nounswimming pool
Noun+Prepositionhanger on

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