The definition of a noun is simple: A noun is a person, a place, a thing or an idea. For example:
- Person: boy, girl, doctor, Tom
- Place: city, France, street, home
- Thing: computer, apple, money, glass
- Idea: love, emotion, beauty
The problem is that some words can have the same form for different parts of speech. For example, the word love can be a noun or a verb.
Here are three ways to recognize a noun
1. Word endingThere are some word endings (suffixes) that help show what part of speech a word is
- er - player
- ness - happiness
- ment - government
- dom - freedom
- ship - friendship
2. Position in a sentenceWe often use nouns after determiners. (a determiner is a word such as 'a', 'the' 'this', 'my', 'some' etc. that shows how the noun is being used):
- a book
- the newspaper
- my friend
- that film
- a few photos
- a big house
- red wine
- my small dog
- many difficult exercises
- a beautiful white flower
3. Function in a sentenceNouns can have any of the following three functions.
- Subject of a verb: Doctors work very long hours.
- Object of a verb: I am painting the walls.
- Object of a preposition: They met on a flight.