English Nouns: An Introduction for English Language Learners

This course is designed to be simple to learn English for Chinese students.

This is the first of the articles that explain a part of speech in English that includes verbs, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections and determiners.

We start learning English parts of speech with nouns.

Nouns Worksheets. Improve your English skills with:

Nouns Explained

A noun is a word used as the name of a person, place, thing or idea.

  • Jon is smiling
  • Jon is a good person
  • Jon is on holiday
  • A noun can be a person like a boy or a girl
  • A noun can be a place like a school or a home
  • A noun can be a thing like a book or a table
  • A noun can be an idea like love or fear
common nouns
array of images of nouns like animals and objects

people

  • mother
  • father
  • baby
  • child
  • toddler
  • teenager
  • grandmother
  • woman
  • man
  • student
  • teacher
  • minister
  • business person
  • sales clerk
animals - things - places - ideas
  • lion
  • tiger
  • bear
  • dog
  • cat
  • alligator
  • cricket
  • bird
  • wolf
  • table
  • truck
  • book
  • pencil
  • computer
  • coat
  • boots
  • city
  • state
  • country
  • continent
  • coffee shop
  • restaurant
  • park
  • zoo
  • envy
  • love
  • hate
  • respect
  • patriotism
  • pride

Proper Nouns and Common Nouns

  • A common noun names a person, place, thing or idea. These are general like city or sister.
  • A proper noun is a specific person or place like their actual name, such as Jon or China. The proper nouns start with a capital letter (J-Jon, C-China).
Common Nouns

city, country, frog, river and mountain

Proper Nouns

Chiang Mai, Thailand, Kermit, Amazon and Everest

Family

family tree

Source: Image by brgfx on Freepik

family tree with Chinese family

Source: https://www.chineseclass101.com/blog/2019/12/06/chinese-family-words/

Common Nouns
  • family
  • mother
  • father
  • sister
  • brother
  • grandmother (nan)
  • grandfather (granddad)
Proper Nouns
  • Lyons
  • Pearl
  • Jim
  • Marie
  • Dan
  • Lily / Laura
  • Jack / Basil

Countries and Nationalities

  • China
  • Japan
  • Portugal
  • Ireland
  • Spain
  • Poland
  • America (USA)
  • Germany
  • Russia
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Egypt
  • Thailand
  • France
  • Netherlands (Holland)
-ese
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Portuguese
-ish
  • Irish
  • Spanish
  • Polish
-an
  • American
  • German
  • Russian
-ian
  • Canadian
  • Brazilian
  • Egyptian
irregular
  • Thai (Thailand)
  • French (France)
  • Dutch (Netherlands)

play games on countries – vocabulary

Jobs and Professions

  • teacher
  • doctor
  • nurse
  • farmer
  • driver
  • lawyer
  • vet
  • police officer
  • firefighter
  • builder
  • plumber
  • chef
  • hairdresser
  • electrician

play games on jobs- vocabulary

Concrete and Abstract nouns

  • Concrete nouns -a physical thing, e.g. dog, ball, cliff
  • Abstract nouns – not a physical thing, e.g. freedom, happiness, sadness – can you see or touch sadness?

Single and Plural Nouns

If you want to figure out if a noun is singular or plural, then a

  • singular noun talks about only one thing like saying “one cat” or “a book”, whereas the
  • plural noun talks about more than one thing like saying “many cats” or “some books”.

Regular and Irregular Nouns

Plural Nouns

When there is more than one of an item, a noun, then there is a plural form of the nouns. Here are some examples:

  1. Flower
  2. Boat
  3. Woman
  4. City
  5. Umbrella
  6. Address
  7. Knife
  8. Sandwich
  9. Family
  10. Foot
  11. Potato
  12. Holiday
  1. Flowers
  2. Boats
  3. Women
  4. Cities
  5. Umbrellas
  6. Addresses
  7. Knifes
  8. Sandwiches
  9. Families
  10. Feet
  11. Potatoes
  12. Holidays

Regular Nouns

Most nouns add –s when there is  more than one, e.g. one elephant, two elephants

  • one flower, two flowers
  • one week, two weeks
  • one place, two places
  • one pot, two pots

Irregular Nouns

  • Single:  leaf, child, fungus, mouse, sheep
  • Plural:  leaves, children, fungi, mice, sheep 

Irregular nouns do not just add -s, and there are several, irregular forms of the plural nouns.

  • one person, two people
  • one sheep – two sheep
  • one deer – two deer
  • one fish – two fish
  • one dozen – two dozen
  • one series – two series
  • one species – two species
  • one headquarters – two headquarters
  • one crossroads – two crossroads
  • A man – men
  • A woman – women
  • A child – children
  • An ox – oxen
  • A mouse – mice
  • A louse – lice
  • A foot – feet
  • A tooth – teeth
  • A goose – geese
–f to-ves
  • leaf, loaf, calf -> leaves, loaves, calves

–en
  • child, ox -> children, oxen

base plurals
  • sheep, fish, bison -> sheep, fish, bison

vowel changes
  • foot, woman, man, tooth, goose, mouse, louse

  • feet, women, men, teeth, geese, mice, lice

foreign plurals

Greek

  • is->es,   thesis – > theses
  • on->a,   criterion, criteria

Latin – fungus, cactus -> fungi, cacti 

  • a->ae,   larva-> larvae (larvas)
  • us–> I,   fungus-> fungi (funguses)
  • um->a,   datum-> data
  • ex->ices,   index-> indices (indexes)

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

countable and uncountable nouns

Source: https://thisbugslife.com/2015/08/30/countable-and-uncountable/

More practice? Return to the main page of parts of speech to find out about other exercises ans worksheets.