The English language is comprised of many different components. Each of these is important for communicating with other people, for expressing your thoughts and emotions and for much more. English can seem enormously complicated, but when you take each component separately, it becomes far less daunting. Perhaps the best place to start is with nouns.
What are nouns?
Simply put, nouns are things that exist. A noun is a person, place, thing or idea.There are several different categories of nouns, as well. These include common nouns, proper nouns, noun phrases and compound nouns.
A noun can be extremely simple dog is a noun, as is tree. Freedom, independence and faith are also nouns, though these are not things that can be touched or seen. They are ideas. Common nouns are names for things or ideas, and they are not capitalized the way that proper nouns are.
These nouns are all around you, all the time. Pencils, pens, paper, computers, birds, air theyre all common nouns. Now, if you were to give those common nouns a formal name, or specify one in some way (naming a pet dog, for instance), you would transform it from a common noun to a proper noun.
Proper nouns are a bit different these are actual names of people, places or organizations and must be capitalized. Robert is a proper noun, as is France. Proper names are specific. For instance, rather than person, you might specify John. Rather than car, you might say Mustang. As you can see, when you name a common noun, it can become a proper noun.
Compound nouns are interesting they are the combination of two or more words into a single subject. For instance, the word sister-in-law is a compound noun made up of three different words connected by hyphens, but it is a single noun. Some compound nouns have become single words over time, evolving through different stages. Butterfly and firefly are examples of this. Compound nouns combine more than one concept into a single linguistic entity. For example, father-in-law is a compound noun that names a single person, but it also names that persons relationship to you.
A noun phrase is a group of words including a noun and one or more modifiers for that noun. Those modifiers are most often adjectives that describe the noun in question. In usage, they become part of the noun phrase, though they simultaneously exist as adjectives as well. For instance, the immensely mutated rhinoceros beetle is an example of this.
Plural and Singular Nouns
Some nouns can be pluralized by adding an s to the end dog becomes dogs. However, some nouns cannot be pluralized in this way. Oxygen, for example, is a singular form but there is obviously more than one thing that makes it up. The only way for oxygen to be pluralized is to transform it into an adjective and attach it to another noun oxygen atoms.
As you can see, nouns can seem confusing, but they are relatively simple to understand once you take a little time.