What is A Noun?

By Your Teacher Loving Beast


I always like to start at the basics with students, as so many students seem to forget what a noun is. The noun is the most fundamental word in english and all of english is based on the noun. To memorize the definition of the noun is probably the most important thing to do. For my students I teach this:


A noun is a word that stands for a life form, place, thing, idea, or concept, not necessarily an emotion. This definition defines english at its core and does not leave much room for error and not understanding. We understand that life forms cover any form of life, as this is important because many forms of life have a gender and should be identified as he or she later on once the gender is known. We know that places are unmovable objects that are not alive. (although some places actually could be moved but it would require a great effort.) We can realize that objects then are physical non alive things that can easily be picked up an moved.

Ideas seem to be a bit trickier though, as they are not tangible and are only thoughts in our heads like dreams or certain mental pictures of something. They do not have to have a physical reality, but do have to have a sort of mental reality which students really have a tough time with at first, but later on get the idea through practice.
Finally we come to concepts which are groups of either life forms, places, things, or ideas. This in many respects offer us a glimpse of the grouped nouns usually so difficultly taught in schools as concepts are not found in most definitions that I've reviewed.

Of course when I say "not necessarily an emotion" this starts to block the idea that emotions are nouns all the time. As the students might think that since an emotion is a form of an idea or a concept, they would naturally not use the emotion in a proper way.

This paves the way for the understanding of other types of nouns and of course understanding what types of nouns are there. Next time I'll try to share some more about nouns and their ideas of usages in the near future. So untill next time, please take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Bye for now..

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