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Nouns

abstract noun

A noun which refers to an idea, quality, or state (e.g. warmth, liberty, happiness), rather than a
physical thing that can be seen or touched.

concrete noun

A noun which refers to a physical person or thing that can be seen, felt, heard, etc. For example,
child, horse, and house are all concrete nouns.

common noun

Any noun which refers to a person, animal, or thing in general: woman, dog, and bed are all
common nouns. Compare with proper noun.

proper noun

A noun that identifies a particular person or thing (e.g. John, Italy, London, Monday, Windsor
Castle). In written English, proper nouns begin with capital letters. Compare with common noun.

collective noun

A noun which refers to a group of people or things, e.g. team, family, police, committee. Find out
how to match verbs to collective nouns.

mass noun

A noun that refers to something that can’t be counted, and which does not regularly have a plural
form, for example rain, darkness, happiness, or humour. Also called uncountable noun. The
opposite of countable noun. Learn more about countable and uncountable nouns.

Matching verbs to collective nouns

Collective nouns are nouns which stand for a group or collection of people
or things. They include words such as audience, committee, police, crew,
family, government, group, and team.

In American English, most collective nouns are treated as singular, with a


singular verb:
√ The whole family was at the table.

√ The government is doing a good job.

√ He prefers an audience that arrives without expectations.

In British English, most collective nouns can be treated as singular or


plural:

The whole family was at the table.[singular collective noun; singular


verb]

The whole family were at the table.[plural collective noun; plural verb]

The government is doing a good job.[singular collective noun; singular


verb]

The government are doing a good job.[plural collective noun; plural


verb]

There are a few collective nouns (in both British and American English)
that are always used with a plural verb, the most common of which are
police and people:

√ She's happy with the way the police have handled the case.

X She's happy with the way the police has handled the case.

√ It's been my experience that people are generally forgiving.

X It's been my experience that people is generally forgiving.

If you aren't sure whether to use a singular or a plural verb with a collective
noun, look it up. Most dictionaries will tell you which is correct.
Types of nouns
.Nouns
 Noun
 Abstract noun
 Collective noun
 Common noun
 Concrete noun
 Countable noun
 Gerund
 Mass noun
 Proper noun
 Uncountable noun
 Verbal noun

Abstract noun

A noun which refers to an idea, quality, or state (e.g. warmth, liberty, happiness),
rather than a physical thing that can be seen or touched.

Concrete noun

A noun which refers to a physical person or thing that can be seen, felt, heard,
etc. For example, child, horse, and house are all concrete nouns.

Common noun

Any noun which refers to a person, animal, or thing in general: woman, dog, and
bed are all common nouns. Compare with proper noun.

Proper noun

A noun that identifies a particular person or thing (e.g. John, Italy, London,
Monday, Windsor Castle). In written English, proper nouns begin with capital
letters. Compare with common noun.
Pronoun

A word such as I, he, she, it, we, hers, us, your, or they that is used instead of a
noun to indicate someone or something that has already been mentioned, especially
to avoid repeating the noun. For example:

Kate was tired so she went to bed.

Print out the leaflet and pass it round.

Countable noun

Also called count noun. A noun that refers to something that can be counted and
has both singular and plural forms, such as cat/cats, woman/women,
family/families.

Uncountable noun

Another term for mass noun.

Mass noun

A noun that refers to something that can’t be counted, and which does not
regularly have a plural form, for example rain, darkness, happiness, or humour.
Also called uncountable noun.

Collective noun

A noun which refers to a group of people or things, e.g. team, family, police,
committee. Find out how to match verbs to collective nouns.

Verbal noun

Also called gerund.


Collective nouns are nouns which stand for a group or collection of people or
things. They include words such as audience, committee, police, crew, family,
government, group, and team.

In American English, most collective nouns are treated as singular, with a singular
verb:

√ The whole family was at the table.

√ The government is doing a good job.

√ He prefers an audience that arrives without expectations.

In British English, most collective nouns can be treated as singular or plural:

The whole family was at the table.[singular collective noun; singular verb]

The whole family were at the table.[plural collective noun; plural verb]

The government is doing a good job.[singular collective noun; singular verb]

The government are doing a good job.[plural collective noun; plural verb]

There are a few collective nouns (in both British and American English) that are
always used with a plural verb, the most common of which are police and people:

√ She's happy with the way the police have handled the case.

X She's happy with the way the police has handled the case.

√ It's been my experience that people are generally forgiving.

X It's been my experience that people is generally forgiving.

If you aren't sure whether to use a singular or a plural verb with a collective noun,
look it up. Most dictionaries will tell you which is correct.