What is Noun? - Lesson and Interactive Exercises

Nouns are words that refer to people, places, or things. They are the very foundation of our spoken and written language. Without nouns there would be no substance and no subject to our sentences.

Nouns are usually the first words spoken by infants - "Bottle", "Cup", "Daddy", “Mommy”, “Play” and so forth. Nouns are usually things you can see and touch. They are real and tangible items.

Examples of nouns as people:

"The President held an urgent meeting."
"Here is Michael Jackson's greatest album."
Billy and Sallyare my best friends.”
“Has anyone seen Mom and Dad?”

Examples of nouns as places:

"Florida usually has much warmer weather than Ohio.”
Tampa is a very busy city with a lot of people.”
“Are you coming with us to Starbucks?”
“Did you go to Westborough High School?”
“The city is much different than the country.”
“We are going to the mall.”
“Dad is at the post office.”

Examples of nouns as things:

Coffee is a wonderful drink!”
“Mary loves cats and dogs.”
“My favorite foods are steak and lobster.”
“Sally has been at this school since first grade.”

A special note to remember is that some nouns are not necessarily ‘real’ or ‘tangible’ things but rather concepts and ideas. These fall into the ‘things’ categories of nouns and include: beauty, love, honor, respect, passion, despair, fear, anger, time, and so on.

Examples of non-tangible nouns:

Fear is a waste of time.”
“Your anger will get the best of you.”
“Could you feel the passion?”

Detecting nouns by asking: what, where or who?

An easy strategy to detect nouns in a sentence is to answer the questions: "What?" or "Where?" or "Who?"

For example, in the sentence:

"The kid played cheerfully on the piano."

If you ask "Who?" you will come to the noun - "Kid".
If you ask "What?" you will come to the noun - "Piano".

“Mary went to the park with Steve.”

Who?- Mary and Steve.
Where?- park.

“Will those boys be back to get their bikes?”

Who?- boys.
What?- bikes.

“The neighbors have a beautiful garden in their backyard.”

Who?- neighbors.
What?– garden.
Where?– backyard.

“We will go tomorrow.”

Who?- we.

“You know who Billy is right?”

Who?- You, Billy.

Questions and answers:

Are nouns always tangible objects?
Not always.

Does every sentence have a noun in it?
Yes 99.9% of the time.

Can there be multiple nouns in a sentence?
Yes.

Are there different types of nouns?
Yes, all nouns are people, places, and things but within these categories we have common, proper, singular, and plural noun types. We will learn about these later.

Can word such as you, me, us, and we be nouns?
Technically they are pronouns but are still in the noun-type family so yes.

To Summarize:

Remember that the best way to find nouns in sentences is to ask who, what, and where- the answers will usually point you towards the nouns. Also keep in mind that the majority of the time nouns are things you can see and touch- car, bike, boy, dog, school, Mom, Sally, and Billy. However, there are also times when intangible things can be nouns- time, love, hate, fear, guilt, passion, wind, air, satisfaction, quality, and so forth.




Interactive Exercises:
Click: True or False
1. The word "ball" is a noun . True | False
2. The word "tall" is a noun. True | False
3. The word fear can be a noun. True | False
4. The word James is a noun. True | False
5. The word run can be a noun. True | False
6. The word boy is a noun. True | False
7. The word time is a noun. True | False
8. The word house can be a noun. True | False
9. The word walk is a noun. True | False
10. The word Washington DC is a noun. True | False
11. The word fish is a noun. True | False
12. The word airport is a noun. True | False

Click the nouns that answer the accompanying questions:
1. "I've been to Florida last summer" - Where?
2. "This pair of jeans looks all worn out" - What?
3. “Mary has been late to school every day this week!” – Who?
4. “Dad went to the store to get mom a present.” – Where?
5. “Those boys left their fishing poles at the creek.” – What?
6. “The neighbors have a beautiful garden in their backyard.” – What?
7. “Will the girls be back to get their bikes?” – Who?
8. “Mary went to the park with Steve.” - Where?
9. "The kid played cheerfully on the piano." – Who?
10. “Kim’s greatest fear is falling.” – What?
11. “Time waits for no man.” – What?
12. “Mother walked into the house with the groceries.” – Where?

Click all nouns inside the following sentences:
(The numbers in parentheses represent the number of nouns in the sentence)

1. “The handsome gentleman was sitting.” (1)
2. “Tampa is a very busy city with a lot of people.” (3)
3. “Are you coming with us to Starbucks?” (3)
4. “Did you go to Westborough High School?” (2)
5. “Why is this dog chasing parked cars?” (2)
6. “Mary loves cats and dogs.” (3)
7. “My favorite foods are steak and lobster.” (3)
8. “Sally has been at this school since first grade.” (3)
9. “Billy and Sally are my best friends.” (3)
10. “Has anyone seen Mom and Dad?” (3)
11. "The way to the store takes us through Downtown Seattle.” (3)
12. “Time slips away when boys and girls are having fun.” (4)



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