Alright, so I think it’s safe to assume most of us know that a noun is a person, place, or a thing. But, do you know how to make the best use of nouns in your writing?
The basic structure of a sentence is a noun + a verb. This allows only two words to make up a complete sentence – ‘He is.’
As writers, we want to make the most of our word choices. Along with strong verbs and descriptive adjectives, we want our nouns to have power.
After all, it’s the nouns that do all the work. (Well, once you add a verb to your sentence.)
It is also the nouns that make up your characters, where they live, and what they have.
When you write something, make EVERY noun count.
Let’s look at the four different types of nouns.
There are the Common Nouns – Common nouns are names given to ordinary objects. The accompany an article –
Examples: the shoe, a kitchen, an apple.
Next, we have the Proper Nouns
Proper nouns are names given to people, places, days, months, ideologies, subjects or titles.
They always begin with capital letters.
Examples: July, China, Friday.
We probably use this next group the most:
Pronouns are substitutes for nouns, taking the place of nouns that precede or follow them.
Examples: I, hers, myself, who.
It is also important to note that we have four types of pronouns:
They are personal pronouns which indicate a person or group; examples include: he, she, they.
Possessive pronouns which indicate ownership; examples include his, hers, theirs.
Next, we have Relative pronouns. These introduce dependent clauses in sentences, and the examples are: who, whoever, that, which, when, and where.
Last, we have the Reflexive pronouns which refer back to the subject of the sentence. Examples are himself, herself, and myself.
The last group of nouns are the Abstract Nouns. These refer to something that cannot be seen, touched or measured, such as a feeling or emotion.
Examples are anger, happiness, romance.
I hope this primer on nouns helps a bit. If you wish to explore the importance of nouns further, please refer to a good style guide, such as The Chicago Manual of Style, Elements of Style, and The APA Style Guide.