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Introduction to nouns

A noun is a word that describes a person, place, thing, or idea. Examples of nouns include names, locations, objects in the physical world, or objects and concepts that do not exist in the physical world; for example, a dream or a theory.

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  • blobby green style avatar for user nzingah jones
    what is a pharse how is it a noun?
    (23 votes)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      A phrase is a group of words that is less than a clause (or a sentence), but which functions in a sentence as if it were a single word. There are noun phrases, verb phrases, adjective phrases and adverb phrases. So, let's try a few (though, I warn you, for all the work I'm about to do I'm hoping for both a thank you and an upvote).

      Noun phrase: "In 1935, the running of the bulls was cancelled in Pamplona." ('the running of the bulls' is a noun phrase.)
      Verb phrase: "Her charming 3-year-old cockatoo was eaten by her cat." ('was eaten' is a verb phrase).
      Adjective phrase: "The big zucchini in the freezer will be shredded for bread." ('in the freezer' is an adjective phrase).
      Adverb phrase: "Due to conditions,the Michigan team lost the citrus bowl to Alabama." ('due to donditions' is an adverb phrase).
      (5 votes)
  • marcimus pink style avatar for user Mariam Nissar
    At , how is size an idea? I thought idea meant a thought or a suggestion. Answers will be appreciated. Thank you! :)
    (11 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Claire
    Can't a noun also be an activity?
    (7 votes)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Alexander
      Hmm... Great Question! I just finished the entire grammar course right now, and to be honest, I was thinking of that exact thing! I don't think that is actually could be an activity, because that is what a verb does. I did some research, and came up with the same answer. Even though there might be one or two words in the English language that aren't a verb, but somehow make it in the noun category, I do not think that it is possible for a noun to be an activity. Unless, you were saying, I am going to work out on the TREADMILL. The treadmill would be the object you are using to work out on, but you are RUNNING on the treadmill, which is a verb. Let me know what you think of this response.
      (13 votes)
  • female robot grace style avatar for user Harmony Shakir
    Isn't nouns something kids learn when there in kindergarten or pre-school?
    (3 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user kimathimercy80
    can you say a Samsung tv or just a tv
    (7 votes)
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    • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Harini
      Samsung is not an adjective, it is a noun because it is the name of a company. You could say, "The TV..." or "The Samsung TV..." and they would both be nouns. The latter just provides more details.
      (7 votes)
  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user iceeagle
    Isn't creepy a Noun because it is an idea?
    (3 votes)
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    • sneak peak green style avatar for user nini
      Hi ice eagle!
      Nope, creepy isn't a noun because it's describing something (which makes it an adjective). Disgust, however, is an abstract noun, because it's a thing that you can't recognize with your five senses.
      Hope this helps!
      (7 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user philkamsy999
    I don't still understand how an idea can be a noun because it doesn't name anything like a person, thing, food etc
    (2 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user stoicovysa
    how is a pharse a noun
    (3 votes)
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  • female robot ada style avatar for user ashley.acord
    The line between things and ideas is pretty fuzzy; that's more of a philosophy question than a grammar question. What is the divide between thing-ness and idea-ness? I don't think there's a right answer, but it's useful to think about.

    I think a good way to think about your example with 'running' is anything that follows the phrase "I like" BEHAVES like a noun. For example, I could say, "Oh, I like them." "Them" is a pronoun, not a noun. And I could also say, "I like to cook." "To cook" is a verb -- in fact, it's a kind of verb form called an infinitive.

    The weird thing about a word like "running" is that it is a verb acting as a noun -- it's called a "gerund". It's like a verb wearing a noun hat: sometimes it behaves like a verb, and sometimes it doesn't. If we use "to run" in the present continuous tense, as in "The wombat is running," it's a verb; if we use it as a gerund, as in, "The wombat's running woke the wallaby," it's a noun.

    Does that help, or have I missed the point?
    (4 votes)
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    • orange juice squid orange style avatar for user Mane04
      Very good ashley.acord! I have already ended grammar here, but sometimes is something new to learn.
      With what you say about the infinitive verb it is called infinitive because like running you couldn't say if it was done yet or will be done or it is being done. For example "I run" is a "normal" verb; it doesn't says if you're doing it or will do it. I know, I know. That's another part of this course but if someone was a bit confused I hope this will help. ;)
      (1 vote)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Isaac
    Wouldn't the word big in Raul has big dreams. also be considered a noun since it is an idea?
    (3 votes)
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Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Hello grammarians. Welcome to the English parts of speech. We're gonna begin with the noun, the lovely wonderful noun, your friend and mine. They're mostly what you're gonna encounter in sentences. Most sentences in English contain at least one noun or a pronoun, but we'll get to pronouns later. A noun is basically anything. And I know that's not an especially helpful definition, but we'll get more specific in a minute. A noun is basically anything at all. Now the way this is taught in traditional grammar is to say that a noun is a person, place or thing, which is fine, I think we can make that a little bit sharper and expand that out by saying that they are, that nouns are people or living things, places, things, or ideas. I think ideas is the one that usually gets left out. So nouns can be people, places, things and ideas. Let's put that in action. So, this is Raul. He is from Argentina. He is a penguin. Raul has big dreams. Now, okay. So, I wanna take these three sentences and find the noun in them using the test. So the test is, is it a person or a living thing, a place, a thing, or an idea? And if it's any of those things, then it falls into the category of words in English which we call nouns. So, sentence number one. This is Raul. What is Raul? Well, Raul is a person or a living thing so we're just gonna say person so noun. Next sentence. He is from Argentina. Now Argentina happens to be a place so therefore, it is also a noun. It's a kind of noun called a proper noun, just like Raul is but we'll get to that later. So, Argentina is a noun. Argentina incidentally is a country and the word country is also a noun because it is a thing. So, sentence the third. He is a penguin. Now, a penguin is a living being or a thing so we can say oh yes, penguin, that is a noun as well. So, you've noticed I'm not circling he or this. These words are pronouns, relative pronouns, and they can sometimes behave like nouns, but I wouldn't call them nouns. That'll just get confusing. So, these are pronouns and we'll get to them later. Sentence number four. Raul has big dreams. So, here we have Raul again. We know from the first sentence that it's a person's name. So, we're just gonna say this is also a noun again. And dreams. Now, dreams isn't a person, a place. It's a thing, sure. The reason I put in idea as a fourth category is to get it stuff that you can't pick up. Like for example, so dream, yes, dream is a noun. Dream is maybe a little tangible 'cause it's something you can imagine, but the idea of like a word like bigness. Or if you prefer, you know, size. The size of Raul's plumage was astonishing. Look at that gorgeous plumage. It's a little penguin mohawk. (high-pitched murmurs) The size of Raul's plumage was astounding. Now in that sentence, size is a noun, but it's not a physical thing, it's not a person, it's not a place, it's not something you can pick up. It's an idea. So, that's why I include this fourth category. So, if you're trying to figure out whether or not a word is a noun, just apply this test. Ask yourself, is it a person, a place, a thing, or an idea? And you, my friend, will be golden. You can learn anything. David out.