The kinds of nouns are differentiated according to their use in the context of the sentence. There are several kinds.
Names that denote any place, person or thing are designated as common nouns. These kinds of nouns are not capitalized as they don’t refer to a particular person, place or thing. Some examples of common nouns are: bag, town, village, boy, girl, mother. We don’t capitalize these words when used within a sentence, except when they are the first word.
Specific names of people, places or things are called proper nouns. Some common nouns become proper nouns when used to denote a rank of a specific person, like Colonel Smith or Lieutenant Dan. Names of books, titles of songs and names of places are also proper nouns. Proper nouns are capitalized whether they start a sentence or not.
The kinds of nouns can also be distinguished according to their tangibility.
Abstract nouns are names of ideas or thoughts that cannot be directly described by the five sentence. Some of these nouns are associated with strong emotions, such as love, anger, gratefulness or hate. Many of these nouns require special explanation, especially when their meanings are being explained to children. These nouns are abstract because there is no exact way to explain or define them.
In creative writing, authors use abstract nouns frequently. Some abstract nouns like peace and prosperity have been given bodily representations, such as a dove holding an olive branch and a leprechaun carrying a pot of gold, respectively. Lady Luck is also an example of such representation, as luck is an abstract idea. This does not apply to Santa or Father Christmas, because this is an imaginary person that is perceived to be real by some people, especially kids.
Concrete nouns are names for the things that are tangible, in that they can be perceived by the five senses. Most nouns in English are this type. Examples of these nouns are dress, table, chair, flower and stove.
Nouns are said to be possessive when they refer to items that are owned by particular persons or ideas. Usually, an apostrophe plus S is used to denote the idea of ownership. Some examples include: Lorenzo’s oil, Pie’s crust, etc.
The different kinds of nouns can also be categorized according to their form, whether they refer to a single thing, place or person, of if they refer to many. A noun is said to be in singular form when it refers to one person, thing or place. On the other hand, plural nouns are names given to more than one. Most nouns have a singular form and a plural form. Nouns are collective when they are names used for groups of people, places or things. Examples of this kinds of nouns are a pot of daisies, a bouquet of flowers, a team of football players and a line of houses. Some nouns are compound because they are made of several words, and they include a hyphen. Examples of these kinds of nouns are father-in-law and an eight-pack.