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Types and forms of nouns



the form of a noun, pronoun, or adjective that you use in some languages when you are talking about who something is done by, what something is done with, or where something comes from

abstract noun


a noun that refers to a quality, idea, or feeling rather than to a person, animal, place, or thing

collective noun


a noun that refers to a group of people and is followed by a singular or plural verb, for example ‘team’ or ‘family’

common noun


a noun that is not the name of a particular person or thing. For example, ‘dog’ and ‘paper’ are common nouns, but ‘Mary’ and ‘New York’ are proper nouns.

concrete noun


a noun that refers to an object that you can see or touch, not to an idea or feeling

count noun


a countable noun

direct object


the noun or pronoun in a sentence that is affected by the action of a transitive verb. In the sentence ‘Harry was reading a book’, the noun phrase ‘a book’ is the direct object of the verb ‘was reading’.



a form of the noun or pronoun in the grammar of some languages, used to show possession. In English, this is shown by adding ‘’s’ at the end of the word, for example ‘Sarah’s birthday’.



a noun formed by adding ‘-ing’ to a verb, that describes an action, such as ‘running’ or ‘believing’

indirect object


the person or thing in a sentence that is indirectly affected by the action of the verb because something is given to them or done for them. For example ‘me’ is the indirect object in ‘He gave me the book.’.

mass noun


a noun such as ‘coffee’ that is usually uncountable but can be used in the plural or with the indefinite article, for example when you are talking about different types of coffee






the form of a noun or pronoun when it is the subject of a verb



a word or group of words used for referring to a person, thing, place, or quality. ‘Mother’, ‘rope’, ‘California’, and ‘peace of mind’ are all nouns.

noun phrase


a phrase that is used in a sentence in the same way that a noun is used. In the sentence ‘Camping in the rain is not my idea of fun’, the phrase ‘Camping in the rain’ is a noun phrase, and so is ‘my idea of fun’.

proper noun


a noun that names a particular person, place, or thing and begins with a capital letter. ‘Jane’, ‘Africa’, and ‘New Year’ are proper nouns.



a noun

uncount noun


a noun that does not have a plural form and cannot be counted. For example, ‘furniture’ and ‘milk’ are uncount nouns.

verbal noun


a noun that is formed from a verb and ends in ‘ing’, for example ‘swimming’ in the sentence ‘Swimming is my favourite sport’



in some languages, the form of a noun that is used for showing that a particular person or thing is being spoken to

food rave

a very large party where people eat, sell or share many different types of food, usually held outside or in a large public building

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threadbare clothing, carpet, or cloth is very thin and almost has holes in it because it has been...

Open Dictionary

dead white (European) male

a man … whose achievements may have been overestimated because he belonged to the gender and ethnic group … that was dominant at the time

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