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What Is Noun?

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What Is Noun?

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It's not easy to describe a Noun. In simple terms, nouns are "things" (and verbs are "actions"). Like food. Food (noun) is something you eat (verb). Or happiness. Happiness (noun) is something you want (verb). Or human being. A human being (noun) is something you are (verb).

The simple definition is: a person, place or thing. Here are some examples:
person: man, woman, teacher, John, Mary
place: home, office, town, countryside, America
thing: table, car, banana, money, music, love, dog, monkey
The problem with this definition is that it does not explain why "love" is a noun but can also be a verb.
Another (more complicated) way of recognizing a noun is by its:
Ending
Position
Function

1. Noun Ending
There are certain word endings that show that a word is a noun, for example:
-ity > nationality
-ment > appointment
-ness > happiness
-ation > relation
-hood > childhood
But this is not true for the word endings of all nouns. For example, the noun "spoonful" ends in -ful, but the adjective "careful" also ends in -ful.

2. Position in Sentence
We can often recognise a noun by its position in the sentence.
Nouns often come after a determiner (a determiner is a word like a, an, the, this, my, such):
a relief
an afternoon
the doctor
this word
my house
such stupidity
Nouns often come after one or more adjectives:
a great relief
a peaceful afternoon
the tall, Indian doctor
this difficult word
my brown and white house
such crass stupidity
3. Function in a Sentence
Nouns have certain functions (jobs) in a sentence, for example:
subject of verb: Doctors work hard.
object of verb: He likes coffee.
subject and object of verb: Teachers teach students.
But the subject or object of a sentence is not always a noun. It could be a pronoun or a phrase. In the sentence "My doctor works hard", the noun is "doctor" but the subject is "My doctor".
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