Usage of Nouns

A noun is the name for a person, thing, emotion, idea, group etc.

Types of Nouns:

I.   Proper nouns:  A proper noun is the name for one particular member of a class, and usually has a Capital Letter
Examples: Rama, John, Madras, New york

II.  Common noun: Names that can be applied to any one class of persons or places or things.
Examples: river, cottage, car, child
They are of two types:
  • Countable Nouns: Which can be counted.  one boy, two boys etc.  Countable nouns which used singularly should be an article.**  Eg:  Boy is tall ✘.  The boy is tall 
  • Uncountable Nouns: Which cannot be counted. 
Uncountable nouns fall into the following groups:
(a) Things which are considered in mass or quantity and not in numbers: sugar, sand, dust etc.
(b) Materials : paper, wood, cloth, silver, gold, iron, etc.
(c) Liquids: water, milk, oil, ink, honey, etc.
(d) Gases : steam, mist, nitrogen, air, etc.
(e) Natural phenomena: heat, cold, electricity, lightning, etc.
(f) Branches of learning: Economics, Mathematics, Politics etc.

Note: There are some uncountable nouns which we refer to in parts. When we do so, we use them with expressions such as piece of, a kilo of, etc. Here is a list of such expression:
a piece of chalk, a piece of information, a cake of soap, a piece of furniture, a block of ice, a loaf of bread, a piece of advice, a log of wood,    etc.
These expressions have their plural forms: pieces of chalk, cakes of soap, etc.

III .  Abstract noun: An abstract noun refers to an intangible thing, without physical properties, such as an emotion, concept, etc;
Examples: love, nationalism, lust, character etc.

IV. Concrete noun:  A concrete noun refers to things with physical properties.  This nouns can be sensed using one of our five senses.  sight, hear, touch, smell, taste.
Examples: paper, sun, light, chair, people

Correct usage of Nouns:
Rule 1:  Some nouns are used only in the singular form.  No plural form exists.  But They may take a plural verb.
Eg: advice, audience, furniture, justice, clothing, information, poetry, pains, scenery, machinery, majority, hair etc.

They bought some new furnitures for the office  
They bought some new furniture for the office  

Poetries are read by the people  
Poetry is read by by the people  

The sceneries of the mountains are splendid  
The scenery of the mountains are splendid  

We have received no informations  
We have received no information  

Her hairs are grey  
Her hair is grey  

Rule 2:  When a plural noun denotes a specific amount, length, weight quantity, etc. considered as a whole the verb must be in the singular form.
Three liters of water are too much for me to drink  
Three liters of water is too much for me to drink  

Five kilometers are not a long distance for a runner like you.  
Five kilometers is not a long distance for a runner like you.  

Thousand crore rupees are a big amount 
Thousand crore rupees is a big amount 

Rule 3:  There are some nouns which are used only in the plural form and take only plural verb.
alms, billiards, gymnastics, premises, proceeds, scissors, tongs, forceps, spectacles, trousers, pantaloons, socks, shorts, bowels, intestines, biceps, genitals, riches, thanks, nuptials, outskirts, gallows, innings, doldrums, earnings etc.
The scissors has two parts  
The scissors have two parts  

His spectacles was broken  
His spectacles were broken  

His trousers is short  
His trousers are short  

The beggars were given alm  
The beggars were given alms  

Rule 4:  Some nouns have the same form for the plural as well as for the singular.
aircraft, fruit, fish, sheep, species, deer, offspring, yoke etc.
A large number of the fishes died due to the pollution of water  
A large number of the fish died due to the pollution of water  

The sheeps are grazing  
The sheep are grazing  

The wage of the worker is being paid  
The wages of the worker is being paid  

Rule 5:  Some nouns which have got 's' at their end, but these are used as singular.
Examples:  news, statistics, mathematics, economics, physics, measles, mumps, ethics

Physics are very difficult to understand  
Physics is very difficult to understand  

The news of his death were received calmly  
The news of his death was received calmly  

Rule 6:  The following nouns are always used in plural.
Examples: cattle, public, police, people
The police is moving fast 
The police are moving fast 

Rule 7: Material nouns are not used in plural forms
Ornaments are made of golds  
Ornaments are made of gold   

Rules Related to Possession:

Rule 8:  Apostrophe (') is never used with lifeless objects.
What is your book's price?  
What is the price of your book?  

Rule 9:  We use ( 's) with certain dignified objects and abstract nouns
The duty's call, The sun's rays,  the soul's delight, the river's bank, the earth's beauty, nature's bounty, the court's judgement, Heaven's will, truth's of triumph, fortune's favorite, day's journey
We give you back money for honesty sake  
We give you back money for honesty's sake  

Rule 11:  When two or more nouns are joined by and,  and a joint possession is meant, the possessive case will be formed by adding (‘s) to the last word.
Krishna and Kumar’s house is really beautiful.
Note: This sentence denotes that one house belongs to both Krishna and Kumar.

Rule 12:
When there are two nouns in apposition, the possessive case will be formed by adding (‘s) to the second noun.
1. Einstein, the scientist’s equation changed theoretical physics
2.   Kumar, the professor’s son, is very intelligent.

Rule 13: 
The possessive case of a compound noun will be formed by adding (‘s) to the last word.
Mother-in-law’s house
Commander-in-chief’s office