2.06 Nouns

Because the noun describes person, place, or thing. You find nouns everywhere. In fact, I am a noun. You sitting there watching this are a noun. Why? Because you are a person.

Any person you can think of from, oh, I, all the way down to anyone who’s ever lived in the history of mankind. So, the very first caveman. He may have not shaven. He may have smelled really bad, but he was a person.

And he was a noun. So that is a noun. A person is a noun. And a place, whether it is the place you’re sitting, your house or a place you will probably never ever go to, Sudan. These are both nouns.

Any place, any physical location, your house, the North Pole, Sudan on a hot August day. Those are places. All places are nouns, just as all people are nouns. And finally, we have things. My dog.

My cat. The money in my pocket. My pocket. Any thing that you could reach out and touch. Any thing Is also a noun, so when you think noun, think person, place, or thing. That is a noun.

But there is more to learn about nouns, so let’s go to the first thing! Which is singular vs plural. What does this mean? Think of singular as one. Think of plural as more than one. So we’ll put plus one, maybe just more than one, could be two, three, four, five or six.

Let’s take our first noun here. Boy. That’s a person. That’s just one person. That is singular. How do we make boy into many, into two or three, four, five, 500? We put the letter S, and that is what makes a word plural.

Boy becomes boys. And below boy, we have cows. Moo. Cows has an s at the end of it. What does that mean? That there are many.

That is at least more than one. They’re plural, cows. And to change cows into singular, we would get rid of the s, and have moo, just one cow. But it’s not all that easy, meaning you can’t always just add an s or take away an s if you wanna make a word singular.

Because sometimes in English words have irregular rules. Or we act a little bit differently such as the word city. When you have a y. At the end of a word to make it plural, such as San Francisco and New York are cities. You would, of course, change that y to an ies.

So when there is a y in a noun, this noun is singular, to make it many, to make it plural, you add ies. And finally cavities, these are the horrible things in your teeth, the holes in your teeth that show that things are rotting, aw, gross, bad. But we here care about grammar not dental work and we have I E S. IES, so we are dealing with plural, many cavities, very bad.

What about just one cavity? Not too bad. What would that be? I already said, simply with a Y at the end. So that’s singular versus plural. The next thing you wanna know about nouns is that there are common and proper nouns. A common noun can describe anyone in general.

My brother, the man, the boy, these are not specific people. You could have many brothers or of course many men, many boys, dogs, I could go on and on. These are very general. They do not refer to a specific person in the way that John does. If I am being specific, so if I say John lives down the road, that is a specific.

It is his name, all names. Whether you know the person or you don’t are proper nouns, common, specific name proper. Therefore we get to Winston Churchill. You may not even know who Winston Churchill is and that’s absolutely fine if I am asking you simply is that common or proper?

Is this a specific person? Yes, you better believe it is. He was the prime minister of England for many, many years. Sir Winston Churchill is definitely a proper noun. And then we have California, a wonderful state where I happen to be sitting right now, a specific place.

Remember, places. Person, place or thing is a noun. And a noun that is specific, you can go there. Hey, I’m hanging out in California. That is proper. What about mountain?

Which mountain? It’s general, just like boy. Which boy? We don’t know, so it is common. But if I said Mount Everest, you can go to Mount Everest just like you could go to California.

Not saying you should try to climb it or you can even climb it, but it is there. It is proper, Mount Everest is proper just like California. Mountain in general is common, just the way boy and dog are. And finally we’re not quite done yet. Probably the trickiest is to know the difference between, a concrete and an abstract noun, what is the difference?

So I want you to close your eyes, in your hand you can hold something, that something is concrete, it could be a rock. It’s probably your cell phone, your smartphone. But if you can physically touch something, wrap your hands around it almost, it is concrete. So, happiness.

Can you touch happiness? Can you imagine happiness in your hands? No. So, therefore, happiness is abstract. It exists in our mind. This idea that we feel a certain way but it is not something you can reach out and touch.

Reow. My cat. Of course you’re not here in California, but if you were, you could very well reach out and touch my cat cuz my cat is concrete. Honesty. Can you touch honesty?

And if so how does it feel? Well, you can’t answer that question, because you can’t touch honesty. Therefore, honesty is abstract, and finally, television. Oo, this one’s easy. I have a TV and I touch it every night when I turn it on, yay. That’s concrete, and I agree.

Television can be concrete, or what if I say television is something that people shouldn’t see too much of. Suddenly, television. This idea of watching TV. Many people watching TV, becomes something that is very abstract. Because it’s now not the specific television in your living room that you could reach out, but television in general, the idea of watching television.

But, this is what we call an oddball, because most nouns are either concrete, reach out and touch, or like happiness or honesty, they are things that exist in abstract worlds. Places where you can not actually touch them. And there you have it. In this video, we have gone over what a noun is, a person, place or thing.

And we’ve gone over different types of nouns, proper and common down to concrete and abstract.