This is Lesson 4 of our Basic English Series

Parts of Speech 1.1 – Nouns

What are NOUNS?

Introduction: For us to understand further the structure of the English Language, we need to learn about the different parts of speech, or categories/groups of words, that are used in a sentence. In this lesson, we will learn what nouns are.

Before we move on, let’s briefly mention the eight main groups of words in English commonly called parts of speech. These are nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.

Now let’s go back to our topic in this lesson, nouns. Here is how nouns are defined by most English Language learning materials and educators:

Nouns are words that identify or name something such as a person, a place, a thing, measure of time, an action, and quantity.

Nouns are found most of the time in the subject of a sentence as the one being described. But nouns can also be found in the predicate. As to how these are used in the sentence, we will soon find out in our succeeding lessons.

Here is a list of some examples of nouns:

  • Persons: Joe, Jack, Jill, driver, boy, girl, friend
  • Nonliving things or objects: computer, picture, phone, book
  • Qualities: beauty, courage, humility, honor
  • Measures: inch, month, year
  • Quantity: one, ten, hundred, thousand

In the above examples, there are two main groups of nouns that are described below.

  • Concrete nouns – Those that we can touch and feel.
  • Abstract nous – Those that we cannot touch and feel as they name ideas and actions.

We also have a secondary group of nouns. Here are the descriptions:

  • Proper nouns – These refer to a particular person, place or thing.
  • Common nouns – This refer to a class of people, places and things.

How can we identify the proper nouns from the common nouns? Take a look at the examples below and see if you can remember one of the most important rule in connection with use of nouns in the English Language.

Proper Nouns

Thomas Edison

Common Nouns


We earlier mentioned the different rules in the English grammar, and we already learned two of them. The third one is also called Noun Rules and it is described below in connection with what we discussed in this lesson. This is the third ELGR and first of the noun rules we will cover in the next lessons.

Here is the rule that we need to remember:
English Language Grammar Rule number 3 (ELGR3): The first letters of proper nouns are always in the upper case (capitals).

You may also jump to the lessons you want to see below.

English for speakers and writers lesson links:

User Avatar