Noun: Classification and Formation Of Abstract Nouns

Noun: Classification and Formation Of Abstract Nouns


A Noun is a word used as the name of a person, place or thing. or Naming words are called Noun.

Ram, Mohan, Sita, Gita, Delhi, America, Shakespeare, pen, paper, cigarette, soldier etc.

Classification of Noun

Noun is classified into five groups. They are :

  1. Common Noun
  2. Proper Noun
  3. Collective Noun
  4. Abstract Noun
  5. Material noun

Look at the sentences :

Vikramaditya was a great king.

The Noun Vikramaditya refers to a particular king. but the Noun king might be used with any other king. We call Vikramaditya a Proper Noun and king a Common Noun.


Gauri is a girl.

Here, Gauri is a Proper Noun, while girl is a Common Noun.

Ramesh is a boy.

Here, Ramesh is a Proper Noun, while boy is a Common Noun.

Delhi is a city.

Here, Delhi is a Proper Noun, while city is a Common Noun.

Canada is a country.

Here, Canada is a Proper Noun, while country is a Common Noun.

The words – girl, boy, city, country – in the above examples are all Common Nouns, because they are the names common to all girls, boys, cities and countries; while Gauri, Ramesh, Delhi and Canada are all Proper Nouns because, they are the names of particular girl, boy, city and country.


1. Common Noun

A Common Noun is a name given in common to every person or thing of the same class or kind.

2. Proper Noun

A Proper Noun is the name of some particular per son or place. (Proper means one’s own. Hence, a Proper Noun is a person’s own name.)

Proper Nouns are always written with a capital letter at the beginning.

Proper Nouns are sometimes used as Common Nouns:

Sachin is the Bradman of India.

Kalidas is often called the Shakespeare (the greatest dramatist) of India.

3. Collective Noun

A Collective Noun is the name of a number (or collection) of persons or things taken together and spoken of as one whole.

Crowd, mob, team, flock, herd, army, fleet, family, nation. jury, committee, parliament, troop, navy, library.

  • A fleet= a collection of ships or vessels.
  • An army = a collection of soldiers.
  • A crowd = a collection of people.
  • A herd = a collection of cattle.
  • A library = a collection of books.

Thus, when a name denotes a group of similar individuals, considered as one undivided whole, it is called a Collective Noun.

4. Abstract Noun

An Abstract Noun is usually the name of a quality action or state considered apart from the object to which it belongs.

Quality Action State
Goodness Laughter Childhood
Kindness Theft Boyhood
Whiteness Movement Youth
Darkness Judgement Slavery
Hardness Hatred Sleep
Brightness Heroism Sickness
Honesty Death
Wisdom Poverty

The names of the Arts and Science (e.g., grammar, music, chemistry, physics etc.) are also Abstract Nouns.

(We can speak of a brave soldier, a strong man, a beautiful flower. But we can also think of these qualities apart from any particular person or thing, and speak of bravery, strength, beauty by themselves. So, we can also speak of what persons do or feel apart from the persons themselves, and give it a name. The word abstract means drawn off.)

5. Material noun

1. A Material Noun is the name of a material or a substance or an ingredient of an alloy.

2. A material noun is a word that refers to a type of substance, rather than to individual particles of that substance. In grammatical terms, a material noun is non-count, concrete, and usually common.

Gold, Salt, Iron, Silver, Bronze, Brass, Copper, Steel, Aluminium, Lake, Islands, Planets, Granite, Hills, Star, Clouds, Plants, Tree etc.

  • Cotton dress is cheap.
  • I purchased a gold ring.
  • This is a shop for diamonds.
  • Calcium is good for health.

Compound Nouns: What are Compound Nouns?

Compound Nouns are made up of two or more words.

The teacher wrote the exam notes on the blackboard.

The robber was caught by the police-man.

In the above sentences blackboard and policeman are made of fwo nouns ‘black + board’ and ‘police + man’.

Look at the following compound nouns:

manservant Man + servant
stepson step + son
grandfather grand + father
flowerpot flower + pot
fruit basket fruit + basket
toothpaste tooth + paste
book shelf book + shelf

Formation of Abstract Nouns

Abstract Nouns are generally formed from Common Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives by adding such suffixes as:

_hood, _cy, _ism, _ship, _ment. _ice, _ness, _ter, _ty, _th, etc.

(a) From Common Nouns :

Common Noun Abstract Noun Common Noun Abstract Noun
boy boyhood girl girlhood
infant infancy agent agency
thief theft hero heroism
slave slavery bond bondage
friend friendship leader leadership
Judge judgement coward cowardice

(b) From Verbs :

Verb Abstract Noun Verb Abstract Noun
advise advice practise practice
govern government obey obedience
know knowledge serve service
see sight grow growth
laugh laughter think thought
please pleasure prepare preparation
live life

(c) From Adjectives :

Adjective Abstract Noun Adjective Abstract Noun
brave bravery good goodness
great greatness honest honesty
poor poverty just justice
young youth true truth
wise wisdom broad breadth
long length wide width
deep depth sole solitude
grand grandeur kind kindness

Related Topics from Noun:

  1. Noun: Classification and Formation Of Abstract Nouns
  2. The Noun and Number: Singular and Plural Nouns
  3. The Noun and Case: Possessive Nouns
  4. Gender: Noun and Gender, Types and Examples
  5. Count Nouns vs. Non-Count Nouns

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