Noun rules and uses in English grammar

In this article, we learn how many types of noun, and important rules related to noun. this article is for class, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, or for SSC, for students, for kids, for competitive exams. Lets’s start.

Definition: A noun is a name of any person, animal, place, tangible thing, intangible feeling, etc. In other words, any name given to anybody or anything is a noun.

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Types of Noun

Nouns can be classified into the following types.

Proper Noun: A proper name that is specifically used for a person, place, etc. It is unique in its own meaning and cannot be used commonly for others.

Examples: India, Ganga, Sachin, Gandhi, Himalayas etc.

Common Noun: A common noun can be commonly used for similar kind of people or things or beings.

Examples: girls, boys, tables, chairs, people, students etc.

Collective Noun: A collective noun is a name that is given to a group of other nouns. Any noun that refers to a whole or a herd is called a collective noun.

Examples: group, herd, council, family, bunch, swarm, committee etc.

Abstract noun: Abstract nouns are names given to feelings, emotions, or stages of life. In short, an abstract noun may refer to anything which is intangible, and cannot be seen but felt only.

Examples: love, trust, knowledge, development, beauty, childhood, old age, youth etc.

Material Nouns: A material noun is a name given to any entity or product that can be quantitatively measured.

Examples: milk, water, gold, silver, oxygen, nitrogen, stones, bricks, gems etc.

There are many errors associated with nouns and the most common errors that we come across while solving grammar questions in any aptitude tests are based on the following rules.

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Noun Rules with examples

Here we have 5 rules, with the help of these rules we can understand which type of noun should be used and where we have to use singular or plural form of noun.

Rule 1

Category1

  • Some nouns always remain singular. The verb and pronoun associated with these nouns are also always singular.
  • We don’t use these nouns in the plural form, that is we don’t add ‘s’ with these words and we don’t use plural verbs or plural pronouns with them.

Examples: hair, information, machinery, aircraft, furniture, sheep, fish, bread, advice, money.

Category 2

  • Some nouns are always in the plural form.
  • We attach ‘s’ at the end of these words even if the quantity of them is single.
  • The usage will always be plural.
  • Verb and Pronoun attached with these nouns will also be in the plural form.
  • Normally, these are words with meaning that come in a pair.

Examples:

  1. These scissors are broken
  2. My trousers are torn.
  3. My spectacles are dirty.
  4. Gloves are useful.
  5. Socks are here.

Category 3

  • Some nouns are used in the singular sense but the verb and pronoun attached to them are plural.
  • Normally, these are words that are already the plural of some words.

Examples:

Noun rules

  1. People are standing on the road.
  2. Policemen are running after me.
  3. Children are playing in the park.
  4. Cattle are grazing in the fields.

Category 4

  • Some words end plurally, i.e. with an ‘s’ in the end, but the usage in terms of verb and pronoun is always singular.
  • Normally, we have diseases and subjects in this category.

Examples:

  1. Measles is a deadly disease.
  2. Rickets is spreading, and tuberculosis needs to be cured.
  3. Politics of this state is dirty.
  4. Economics is a tough subject.
  5. Mathematics is important.

Rule 2

If the main topic, jist or crux of the sentence is singular, the verb and pronoun will also be singular.

Examples:

  1. Bread, butter and milk are good for breakfast. (Incorrect)
  2. Bread, butter and milk is good for breakfast. (Correct)
  3. Social, financial, political and infrastructural development are important for India. (Incorrect)
  4. Social, financial, political and infrastructural development is important for India. (Correct)
  5. Knowledge of maths, science, social studies and economics are essential for 10th class students. (Incorrect)
  6. Knowledge of maths, science, social studies and economics is essential for 10th class students. (Correct)

Rule 3

Normally we treat all collective nouns singularly.

Examples:

  1. The group of students has come first.
  2. My team has won the match.
  3. A bunch of keys was found in the trash.
  4. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule.

Exception 1: Whenever we divide or split the collective noun, it becomes plural.

Examples:

  1. My team are split further into 5 small teams.
  2. My class are divided into many sections.

Exception 2:

When the subject of the collective noun comes before the collective noun, its usage will be plural.

Examples:

  1. A band of robbers has attacked the city.
  2. Robbers of a band have attacked the city.

Rule 4

All material nouns are treated singularly.

Examples:

  1. Gold is expensive.
  2. Water is healthy.
  3. Oxygen is important.

Exception: When the material noun is countable, its usage becomes plural too.

  1. Diamonds are a woman’s best friend. (Correct)
  2. Please pick up all bricks and stones from the floor. (Correct, as bricks and stones are countable)
  3. My house is made of bricks and stones. (Incorrect, because bricks and stones of a house cannot be counted)
  4. My house is made of brick and stone. (Correct)

Rule 5

Similar sounding words

  • Practice and Practise
  • Advice and Advise

There are a few pairs of words like above in English vocabulary that have the difference of ‘c’ and ‘s’. We must remember that there is a grammatical difference between these words.

  • Advise is a noun. Example: Thank you for your valuable advice.
  • Advise is a verb. Example: Thank you for advising me.
  • Practise is a noun. Example: How is your football practice going?
  • Practise is a verb.  Example: Are you practising football everyday?

Other such word pair is prophecy and prophesy.

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