Nouns

A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing. It is to identify a particular person, place, object, or set of objects. Let’s learn to use Nouns the correct way in English sentences.

Types of Nouns: Abstract nouns and collective nouns with examples

What is a Noun?

A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing. When we specify who or what we are particularly speaking of for the listener to be able to relate to, that’s called a noun.

How can we identify the type of Noun?

There are 4 main types of nouns to identify:

  • Proper Noun: These are names of anybody or of something you specifically imply to or when you are referring to a particular person or place or thing.
    Examples: Wall Street Journal, Albert Einstein, London, Monday, etc
  • Common Noun: It refers to the name of a class or section of people, animals, or things.
    Examples: Teacher, Nurse, Street, Post office, Table, Bench, etc
  • Abstract Noun: They are nouns used to define anything that cannot be seen, touched, or sensed by any of our senses. An idea, a state of being, a feeling, a quality, or a characteristic quality can be termed as abstract nouns.
    For example, you can be sad, and feel the emotion, but not touch it, smell it, taste, or even see it, but you do know it exists within you.
  • Collective Noun: Nouns that are considered to be a group of nouns or a set of things or people. They are a group of common nouns and can be counted. 
    For example, a banana is a common noun, the collective noun for it
    will be a bunch of bananas/hand of bananas.
Read more about Abstract and Collective Nouns

Could vs Can – Ability

“Could” is a Modal Verb. In fact, it acts as the past tense of the Modal Verb can. This Modal Verb refers to the ability to have done something, Don’t worry, this is not as confusing as it seems, here’s a simple dialogue:

Can you pass the test tomorrow? 

I don’t think so.

Could you have passed yesterday’s test? 

Definitely not.

Alternatively, the speaker could’ve said, “Can you pass the test now?”. If they wanted to use the Modal Verb “can” in the present tense. 

Image representation: A boy giving the test
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Could vs Can – Request

Both “can” and “could” are Modal Verbs. Despite this similarity, “can” speaks of present/future actions, and “could” speaks of actions that occurred in the past. Here is an example of dialogue:

Can penguins fly?

No, they cannot. 

Could they fly a long time ago? 

No, they couldn’t. 

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