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A Look at English Nouns and Pronouns

By: Sarah Folega - Updated: 26 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
A Look At English Nouns And Pronouns

Here we will go into some detail about English nouns and pronouns. Knowing what each of them is, makes it easier for you to understand the English language.

What Are English Nouns?

An English noun is what we use to show the name of a thing, a place, an idea or a person. Nouns can show actual objects (concrete objects), and show feelings or concepts (abstract concepts).

Concrete Nouns

  • Dog
  • House
  • Grass
  • Book
  • Chair
  • Lake
  • Cat

Abstract Nouns

  • Anger
  • History
  • Progress
  • Information
  • Difficulty

Basically, a noun is whatever actually exists and can be named.

Proper Nouns

Proper nouns in English are what name a specific thing, person or place. When used in English, they are always started with a capital letter. As they state an actual place or name, proper nouns are not usually plural.

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • England
  • Spain
  • Richard
  • Isabelle

The word ‘the’ is not normally used with a proper noun. For example, if you were naming a country, you wouldn’t say “The England”. Instead, you would just say “England”. However, there is a slight exception to this particular rule. If the country name happens to include the words States or Republic, then you would include the word ‘the’.

  • The French Republic
  • The United States

Common Nouns

Common nouns are the nouns that describe everything else. So, everything that doesn’t fall into the proper noun category belongs in this one.

Making Nouns Plural

In most circumstances, nouns become plural by adding an ‘s’ onto the end of it.

  • Dogs
  • Elephants
  • Chairs

Some nouns that end in ‘y’ can be pluralised by losing the ‘y’ and gaining ‘ies’.

  • Ability – Abilities
  • Party – Parties
  • Country – Countries

However, the nouns that end in a vowel and a ‘y’ can be pluralised by adding an ‘s’ onto the end.

  • Toys
  • Boys

So, what do you do if the noun already ends in ‘s’? In these circumstances, you would just add ‘es’ onto the end to make the noun into a plural one.

  • Cross – Crosses
  • Mass – Masses
  • Loss – Losses

There are a few irregular nouns that have plural forms that seem to break all of the rules above. Some of these irregular nouns can create confusion for people learning English as a second language, and for native speakers.

  • One Mouse – Two Mice
  • One Sheep – Two Sheep
  • One Foot – Two Feet


Pronouns are words that are used to refer to a noun that has already been used. Pronouns are also used instead of nouns already used in a sentence. One of the main reasons why we use pronouns is to avoid using the specific noun too much in any one sentence.

  • We love cats, but we wouldn’t have more than one of them.
  • We liked the look of the house, but we thought it was too close to the main road.

Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns are the words that refer to people. Personal pronouns have an object and also a subject form. So, you could say: “We are going” and “Follow me”. They also have a first, second and third person form.

  • Everybody
  • I
  • Me
  • Himself
  • You
  • They
  • Them
  • Nobody
  • Who
  • Themselves

Nouns and pronouns are an important part of the English language. They allow us to express ourselves and communicate clearly.

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