As mentioned, all nouns are either common or proper nouns. However, we can use two other terms to categorize nouns. Nouns can also be classified as concrete or abstract. A concrete noun is something you can easily experience using your senses. You can see your friend, you can stand on a hill, and you can hear an airplane.
Yet a noun doesn’t have to be just a person, place, or thing. It can also be something that resembles a quality, an idea, or an action. These nouns are more abstract in nature. Here are some examples:
|Quality, Concept, Idea||Action|
The most confusing here are the action words. Aren’t they supposed to be verbs? The answer is that not every action is automatically a verb. For example, any word that looks like a verb and ends in –ing is a present participle, and present participles are not verbs (they’re called verbals). In fact, sometimes a verbal (e.g., sewing) can be a noun. It all depends on how the word is used in the sentence.
In the next section we will review some of the main uses of nouns. Context will tell you a lot about whether a word is a noun.