Nouns can be divided into the following categories:
- Proper Nouns – Canada, Serena, Moncton, September – we don’t usually use articles before these words.
- Common Nouns – horse, tree, house, car, philosophy, democracy
- Compound Nouns – toothpaste, toothbrush. We also refer to nouns that modify other nouns as combining nouns or compound nouns. – credit card, train station
- Gerunds – skating, swimming, walking – they end in “ing” and can be used as nouns, but be careful, they can also be used as verbs in the progressive tenses. I am eating breakfast now. – (“am” is an auxiliary verb, “eating” is the main verb). I enjoy eating. – (“enjoy” is the main verb, “eating” is a gerund taking the place of a noun and acting as object of the sentence
Nouns can also be divided into countable nouns and uncountable nouns. To understand the difference between these, click on the following link. Countable and Uncountable
Capitalization of Nouns
The first word in a sentence is always capitalized regardless of the part of speech.
We capitalize titles when they appear before a name.
· Capitalized – Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Elton John, Doctor, Mr.
I am your Uncle Barry and every Monday I have an appointment to see Doctor Zaki.
· Not Capitalized – When used in a non-specific manner.
Your uncle visits his doctor once a week.
We capitalize specific names of people.
· Capitalized – Tom, Maria, Ahmed
· Not Capitalized – boy, girl, man, father
Mario is my father and Maria is my sister.
We capitalize specific country names, city names, names of provinces and states, ocean names, street names, and languages.
· Capitalized – Germany, Italy, London, Ontario, Florida, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea
· Not Capitalized – General words – river, ocean, street
I have crossed many oceans, but the Atlantic Ocean is my favourite.
I would like to go to Paris, France to learn how to speak French.
We capitalize religions and nationalities.
· Capitalized – Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs
· Not Capitalized – places of worship – church, mosque, synagogue, temple
We capitalize companies, brands, and organizations.
· Capitalized – Ford, General Motors, Apple, Microsoft, United Nations, the Liberal Party of Canada
· Not Capitalized – car, computer, programme, business
My father, Thomas, bought me a used car from Ford, so I bought him a new computer from Apple.
We capitalize days of the week and months
· Capitalized – days of the week, months and Special Occasions – Saturday, January, Christmas
· Not Capitalized – the words: days, weeks, months, holidays, vacations.
Last year, I spent the month of September in Japan.
Making Nouns Plural
Here are the simple rules for making most nouns plural:
For Most Words, Add “s”:
- cat – cats
- dog – dogs
- street – streets
- pen – pens
For Words Ending in “o”, Add “es”:
- potato – potatoes
- hero – heroes
- echo – echoes
- tomato – tomatoes
For Words Ending in “ch”, “sh”, “s”, “ss”, “x”, or “z”, Add “es”:
- church – churches
- arch – arches
- witch – witches
- wish – wishes
- dish – dishes
- bus – busses
- glass – glasses
- box – boxes
- fox – foxes
- blitz – blitzes
- waltz – waltzes
For Some Words there is No Difference between Singular and Plural:
- bison – bison
- deer – deer
- fish – fish
- means – means
- moose – moose
- sheep – sheep
Some Words End in a Vowel + “y”, Add an “s”:
- toy – toys
- boy – boys
- bay – bays
- tray – trays
- attorney – attorneys
For Words that End in a Consonant + “y”, Remove “y” and add “ies”:
- country – countries
- party – parties
- candy – candies
- lady – ladies
- bankruptcy – bankruptcies
- baby – babies
Forget the Rules, The Following Plurals must be memorized: