Chapter 3: Nouns
Words, unlike sentences, are repeatable units. We classify them according to how they are
used. There are nine different types of words. They are often called parts of speech. This
chapter is about nouns.
Please read the following paragraph.
The cat had been pretending to sleep, but had heard every word. Then suddenly, without
moving a muscle or twitching a hair, the cat began to speak.
A noun is a word that can be used to talk about something. Look at the first sentence. Can
you use the word the to talk about something? No. Can you talk about something using the
word cat? Yes. Cat is therefore a noun. Can you talk about had or been or pretending or to?
No, so they’re not nouns. Can you talk about sleep? Yes, if you say something like, “I had a
good sleep.” Some words can be either a noun or a verb. Here, the word sleep is a verb.
Go through the rest of the paragraph and find the nouns. They are: word, muscle, hair and
The subject of a sentence always contains a noun or a pronoun. The only parts of speech
that can be used to talk about something are nouns and pronouns.
Identify the nouns in the following sentences.
1. “Take that ham, and then go straight to Dead Man’s Hall.”
2. “A promise is a promise,” said the other, and took the ham and set off on his way.
3. He traveled all day long and then at night he came to a place that was brightly lit.
4. “This must be the place,” he thought to himself.
5. An old, old man with a long white beard was standing on the veranda chopping wood.
6. “Good evening,” said the penniless brother.
7. “Good evening to you as well,” said the man. “And where are you going at such a late hour?”