Noun

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A noun is a word that means a thing, either concrete or abstract. A noun can be the subject or the object of a sentence in English. Coursebook, computer, and website are all nouns.

While it is known that children learn nouns faster than verbs and that adults "usually perform better for nouns than verbs", research published in February 2010 suggested that nouns are processed in a different part of the brain from verbs.[1]

Compound noun[edit]

See main article compound noun.

A compound noun is a noun phrase made up of two nouns, e.g. bus driver, in which the first noun acts a sort of adjective for the second one.

Proper noun[edit]

See main article Proper noun.

A noun that is the name of a person or a place. Despite far-reaching attempts by the worlds of advertising and publishing to prove otherwise, we use capital letters at the beginning of proper nouns in English.

Gerunds[edit]

See main article gerund.

Many nouns, especially for activities, are formed by adding -ing to a verb: cooking, diving, driving, learning, meeting, running, shooting, swimming, etc.;

Science[edit]

Many (scientific) disciplines end in -ics: astrophysics; economics, geophysics; linguistics, mathematics, physics, statistics, etc.:

  • Such words are grammatically singular when they refer to the discipline: Statistics is an essential area of knowledge for psychologists (as a science);
  • When they refer to them as numbers or a quality, they are plural: These statistics are surprising (as numbers);

Two or more meanings[edit]

Don’t forget that over 80% of words in English have two or more meanings, and obviously a large number are nouns: hearing = a sense and a court session; fine – noun + verb + adjective

Many nouns correspond to the verb, often, but not always with a similar meaning:

Same/similar meaning[edit]

attack; brush, guarantee; programme; protest; regret; slice; smoke, water; etc.;

Different meaning[edit]

back; book; chair, face; ring; sign; table; trip; etc.;

Suffixes[edit]

  • There are 10 typical suffixes for nouns formed from verbs, adjectives or even other nouns:

–ness[edit]

For nouns formed from adjectives, referring to their state or quality: badness; brightness; darkness; goodness; happiness; heaviness; lightness; mildness; ripeness; rudeness; usefulness; uselessness; whiteness;

note that adjectives ending in –y change to -i – happy - happiness; ready – readiness;

–ity[edit]

–ship[edit]

championship; citizenship; friendship; marksmanship; membership; relationship;

–tion[edit]

reject – rejection; object - objection; there are many other nouns with the same ending but that are not suffixes derived from verbs: action; friction; motion; option; ration; section; station;

–sion[edit]

inclusion; adhesion; conclusion;

–ation[edit]

adapt - adaptation; associate – association; determine – determination; elevate – elevation; evaluate – evaluation; organise – organisation; recommend – recommendation; relate – relation; reserve – reservation; resign – resignation;

note: where the verb has a final e, it is suppressed in the noun;

–ment[edit]

for nouns formed from verbs: assess - assessment; govern - government; involve – involvement; manage - management; measure - measurement; move – movement; resent - resentment;

note: where the verb has a final e, it is kept in the noun: move- movement;

-ance/ence[edit]

accept – acceptance; assist - assistance; depend – dependence;

–xion/ction[edit]

Connect – connection/connexion; Inflect - inflection/inflexion

-al[edit]

approve - approval; arrive – arrival; refuse – refusal; remove - removal; revive – revival; survive – survival.

References[edit]

  1. NeuroImage Volume 49, Issue 3, 1 February 2010, Pages 2826-2835

See also[edit]