Grammar: Articles and Nouns

What is a Noun?

Nouns is a naming word. There are various types of nouns such as: Common, Proper, Abstract, Material, Count and Uncount. Only countable nouns require Articles. Articles are A, AN, THE which generalize or particularize nouns. It means Articles give nouns a common or special status. AN is used before a noun starting a vowel sound and A is used before a consonant sound.

Look at the paragraph below and note that most nouns have been highlighted.

Francis Macomber had, half an hour before, been carried to his tent from the edge of the camp in triumph on the arms and shoulders of the cook, the personal boys, the skinner and the porters. The gun-bearers had taken no part in the demonstration. When the native boys put him down at the door of his tent, he had shaken all their hands, received their congratulations, and then gone into the tent and sat on the bed until his wife came in. She did not speak to him when she came in, and he left the tent at once to wash his face and hands in the portable brick wash basin outside and go over to the dining tent to sit in a comfortable canvas chair in the breeze and the shade eating bread.
By Earnest Hemingway

Defining Different Types of Nouns

  1. PROPER NOUNS: A noun that is the name of a particular person, place or time and
    starts with a capital letter is called a Proper Noun e.g. John, London, Monday is called a PROPER NOUN.
  2. COMMON NOUNS: The majority of nouns. All nouns that are not the name of a particular person, place, day etc. and do not start with a capital letter such as Pen, Town, Chair are called COMMON NOUNS.
  3. MATERIAL NOUN: A noun that describes a thing that can be seen or touched such as Iron, Wood, Steel is called a MATERIAL NOUN.
  4. ABSTRACT NOUN: A noun that describes an entity or feeling that cannot be seen or touched such as Beauty, Honesty, Idea is called ABSTRACT NOUN.
  5. UNCOUNT NOUN: A noun that is not a separate entity and it cannot be counted e.g. furniture, wealth, rice. It is not used in the plural or with a/an is called an UNCOUNT NOUN.
  6. COUNT NOUN: A separate noun which can be counted, add plural s’, and be used with a/an e.g. car is called a COUNT NOUN.
  7. COMPOUND NOUN: A noun which consists of two or more words used together, e.g. a teapot, a boarding school is called a COMPOUND NOUN.
  8. GERUND NOUNS: A noun formed from a verb by adding -ing’ to the stem. e.g. ‘Typing is fun’ is called GERUND NOUN.

Using Articles: A, An, The

THE gives a special status, and A and An give a common status to nouns. THE is not used before Proper and Abstract nouns. A, An are not used before Uncount nouns. Articles are connected to nouns as fingers to the palm. Articles play no part without nouns.

Read the explanation below why the article is/isn’t used.

There was an old man [An Old man = introducing the old man, mentioned first time] who had a small shack [A small shack = introducing the shack, mentioned first time].

One day, the old man [The old man already introduced, mentioned second time] called Tom went to have a walk. He had eaten bread and drunk some juice.

But still, Tom was hungry. He went to the river [The river = nearest river or the river that he always goes to] and caught a fish [A fish = any fish, not particular] which he ate raw. Tom felt happy.

In the above example, the correct sentence is B because we can say The University but An university is incorrect. ‘University’ does not start with a vowel sound, so the correct expressions is ‘A university’.


1. Correct the following sentences! (Articles)

1. She has very good house. 2. I live in the Township.
3. The mankind has made much progress.
4. Where is car, which is on sale?
5. That was easiest question.
6. Philippines is very beautiful country.
7. Sun is rising let’s go to park.
8. The India is killing people in the Gujarat.
9. Can you speak the English?
10. We should love the poors.
11. The student and teacher are coming home.
12. Good Muslims always recite Holy Qur’an.
13. Very few know art of living.
14. The Dawn is a very good newspaper.
15. Dog is a very faithful animal.
16. Pakistanis speak the Urdu.

2. Correct the following sentences! (Nouns)

1. The team were fighting against the enemy.
2. Where is your family nowaday?
3. The children saw many deers in the zoo.
4. She is a teachress.
5. The cattle is walking after the shepherd.
6. I sent him doll yesterday.
7. If you lose the honesty, you lose every thing.
8. The jury was divided on the matter.
9. She bought seven dozens apples.
10. Their teacher takes much pain in teaching.
11. There are many sceneries in our area.
12. The leg of Ali was broken in the accident.
13. The parent’s decisions are important.
14. His weight is ten stones. 15. There are hundred of peoples in the meeting.
16. His trouser is messing.
17. Linguistics are a very important subject.
18. I have got only six pences in my pocket.
19. The news he gave me were false.
20. The principal sanctioned the order for a lab.

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