Nouns and How They are Used

Nouns or “naming words” are parts of speech. Look at the following:

  • David was a great ruler.
  • I have bought some pencils.
  • This knife is sharp.
  • Many people were climbing the stairs.
  • We must speak the truth.

“David”, “ruler”, “pencils”, “knife”, “people”, “stairs”, “truth” are kinds of nouns.


Naming words or nouns perform some roles in a sentence:

As Subjects:

A sentence may have a noun which is doing some work.  Look at the following sentence:

  • Anita ate an apple.

Here, the subject is “Anita”. “Anita” answers the question “Who ate an apple?”


As Objects:

A sentence may have an object to a verb.

  • I threw a ball.

Here , “ball” is an object to the verb “threw.”

These objects can be either direct or indirect.

  • Tom gave Rina a rose.

In this sentence, “Rina” is an indirect object and “rose” is a direct object.

Nouns and their uses
Nouns and how they are used

As Subject Complement:

Sometimes a noun is a subject complement as in the following:

  • John is a doctor.

The word “doctor” is a subject complement as it follows a linking verb “is” which is a form of a verb “to be.”


As Object Complement:

The noun may also work as an object complement. Have a look:

  • The teacher made Tim the class monitor.

Here, “class monitor” is the object complement to “Tim” as it follows the verb “made” that means a naming, making or a creating word.


As Appositive:

A noun that follows another is an appositive noun. As in the following:

My sister, Sarah, works as a banker.

Here “Sarah” is an appositive as it follows the noun “sister.”


As Modifiers:

Nouns can be used as a “describing word” or an adjective.

My nephew is a terror machine.

Here “terror machine” describes “my nephew” and is a noun.



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