The Noun

Five classes of Nouns

1. A Proper Noun is the name of a particular person, thing etc.; viz. –

(a) Person – Nanak, Chaitanya, Valmiki
(b) Places – Tajmahal, Delhi, buildings
(c) Branches of knowledge – Arithmetic, Botany
(d) Days, Months, Festivals – Wednesday, August, Diwali, Christmas, Id
(e) Diseases – Catarrh, Diarrhoea, Dyspepsia
(f) Languages – Hindi, Sanskrit, Engsish, Urdu
(g) Oceans, Seas, Lakes, Rivers, Mountains etc. – the Arctic, the Baltic, the Baikal, the Ganges, the Himalayas

2. A Common Noun is the name which can be given to each individual in the same class of things.

Examples – Man, horse; “Man” is the name which can be applied to every one of the class of men; so “man” is a Common Noun; “horse” is a Common Noun because it can be applied to any and every horse.

3. A Collective Noun is the name of a number or collection of persons or things of the same class considered as a whole and spoken of as one object.

Examples – Flock, army, party; “flock” is a collection of sheep, “army” is a collection of soldiers and “party” is of men; they cannot be used for one sheep, one soldier or one man. Hence they are Collective Nouns. So ‘the crowd was large’; ‘the army has started’; ‘the jury finds the prisoner guilty’.

4. A Material Noun denotes a substance or material considered as a single collection.

Examples – ‘Gold is precious’; here “gold” is the name for the entire collection of gold existing everywhere; hence “gold” is a Material Noun. So also silver, mud, tea, water, sugar, paper, cloud, salt, bread, soap, rice, dew, mist, butter, cotton, sand.

5. An Abstract Noun is the name of a quality, action or state of an object considered apart from the object itself; as goodness, health.

Examples – Every object has some qualities; thus ‘a man is honest and wise’; ‘a ball is round and hard’. If we separate or draw off thise qualities, viz. “honesty”, “wisdom”, “roundness” and “hardness”, and think of them apart from the objects themselves, the names of these qualities are Abstract Nouns.

(Courtsey: Grammar by Shri D.N. Basu)