What is a noun? Definition, Examples, and Explanation

The noun is one of the essential building blocks of language (the other being the verb); you can’t make a sentence without one.

The word noun literally means name; nouns give names to the objects, concepts, people, places, and so on around us.

Random assortment of objects; these are all nouns.

Definition of Noun

Traditionally, we say that a noun is a person, place, thing, or idea. That definition will cover most of the nouns you will encounter, though you will probably at some point realize that there are some nouns that don’t fit neatly into that category.

Examples of Nouns

These words are nouns:

  • book
  • trees
  • independence
  • theory
  • Mom
  • Rosa Parks
  • Paris

Examples of Words that are NOT Nouns

I also like to list words that are not nouns.

  • of
  • the
  • happy
  • quickly
  • walked

Rules for Nouns

In English, most nouns have a singular form and a plural form, for example, one cat, two cats. It is important to use the correct form.

Of course, since it’s English, there are many exceptions and irregular plural nouns! For example, we say one deer but also two deer.

Usually, if a noun is used as a subject, it precedes the verb; if it’s an object, then it follows the verb. However, again, there are some exceptions. (For example, in the sentence Into the room flew a bat, the subject bat comes after the verb.)


  • Tomomi drank water. (Tomomi is the subject; water is the object.)
  • Alec left. (Alec is the subject; there is no object in this sentence.)

We will be adding more information in the future. Please check back!

Updated: 2023-10-12