Concrete nouns can be identified by using one of the five senses (sight, smell, touch, taste, and/or hearing).
Examples include clouds, grass, water, bagels, and music:
- There are several large clouds in the sky.
- I love the smell of freshly mowed grass.
- The water was still too cold for swimming.
- There are a dozen bagels in the box.
- Let’s go out this evening and listen to some local music.
Abstract nouns cannot be perceived through use of the senses.
Examples include clarity, wisdom, and happiness:
- His writing shows clarity and wisdom.
- Money cannot buy happiness.
Collective nouns refer to a group of people, animals, things, etc.
Examples include staff, committee, and family:
- The restaurant staff gathered in the dining room.
- There are several committees holding meetings today.
- My family vacations at the beach every summer.
A proper noun refers to a specific (instead of general) person, place, or thing.
Examples include Americans, Hawaii, and Tesla:
- Many Americans travel during the summer.
- I have always wanted to visit Hawaii.
- His Tesla has solar panels on the roof.
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Countable nouns refer to things that we can count. Such nouns can take either singular or plural form. (Purdue Writing Lab)
Examples include pencil, ant, and tree:
- May I please have a new pencil?
- Why are there so many ants this time of year?
- I enjoy seeing the cherry trees bloom during spring.
Uncountable nouns refer to things that we cannot count. Such nouns take only singular form.
Examples include information, furniture, and research:
- She provided more information than I needed.
- The antique furniture is especially heavy and difficult to move.
- The research included in the paper appears sufficient.
Using Articles with Countable and Uncountable Nouns
A countable noun takes either a definite (the) or an indefinite (a, an) article when it is singular.
- The dog chased the cat up a tree.
- A person should always be truthful.
When a countable noun is plural, it will either take a definite article (if it refers to a specific group) or no article (if it is used in the general sense).
- The dogs at the shelter were barking loudly.
- Dogs are always welcome in the outdoor seating area.
Below are examples of uncountable nouns with and without articles:
- Work should be something you do, but it should not define you. (general)
- The work Sandra did on this piece is impressive. (specific)
- Furniture can be expensive. (general)
- The furniture at Edna’s Antiques is very affordable. (specific)
Categories of Uncountable Nouns
|Abstract||Concrete||Generic||Non-Plurals with -s|
Adjectives that denote quantity with countable and uncountable nouns
- “Count, Noncount Nouns with Articles, Adjectives // Purdue Writing Lab.” Purdue Writing Lab.