Can You Tell What Kind of Nouns These Are?



By: Talin Vartanian

6 Min Quiz

Image: Laura Kate Bradley / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Whether you're a science nerd or a math fanatic, it's hard to deny the importance of the English language. Knowing the differences between verbs and adverbs, for instance, can make or break your resume for a future career path. But while many of us grew up learning about the English subject, it's still pretty difficult to master. After all, what the heck is a preposition? Or a conjunction? Well, it would take too long to explain the different "parts of speech," so today, we're going to focus on just one of them: nouns!

Nouns are pretty easy to learn about, right? We were all taught that nouns refer to people, places or things, but there are many different types of nouns. So generally, many nouns can be categorized as common nouns, like states, mountains or dogs. But what if we're talking about California, Mount Everest or a dog named Spunky? Well, then these would all be proper nouns since we're talking about names of specific things. There are also countable, singular, collective, abstract and possessive nouns, and we're going to talk about all of them in this educational quiz. So, we have just one question: Are you ready to get your noun game on?

Take a look at this sentence: "I love Todd with all my heart." What type of noun is "love"?

Love is a pretty "abstract" concept, don't you think? It's also an abstract noun, which means you can't interact with it using your senses. These types of nouns also refer to emotions and feelings.


Can you spot the proper noun in this sentence? "My friend and I are going to the Museum of Modern Art today."

Proper nouns refer to specific people, places or events, some of which are important in our society. The Museum of Modern Art is an example of a proper noun, as is the Sahara Desert.


If I said, "I just bought a brand new hairbrush," what type of noun is "hairbrush"?

A concrete noun refers to something you can physically touch with you hands or perceive with your senses. You can touch a hairbrush and see it with your eyes, so that makes it a concrete noun.


Do you think that the word "country" is an example of a proper or a common noun?

If we were talking about a specific country, like Russia or Armenia, then this would be a proper noun. But since a country refers to a more general concept, it would be a common noun.


What type of noun is "meatball"?

Do you how there's no space in between the two words that make up the word "meatball"? A compound noun combines two words to form a single word.


Can you guess what type of noun is "choir"?

A collective noun refers to a word that signifies a group of things. So in this context, a choir is made up of a group of people, which collectively makes it one whole choir group.


Which of the following is not a proper noun?

"Board of members" is a pretty vague compound noun here. It's not referring to a specific group of "board of members," so it could be anyone. Thus, that's what makes it a common noun and not a proper one.


What type of noun is "paper-clip"?

See that little dash symbol in between the words "paper" and "clip"? That's a hyphen, and it's used to connect two or more words together. Other examples of hyphenated compound nouns are forget-me-not and father-in-law.


Which of the following is not a pronoun?

The word "town" is a common noun, not a pronoun. A pronoun usually refers to someone or something in a sentence, without using its proper noun form. For instance, "James likes ice cream, so he went to buy some." "He" is the pronoun here, and it refers to the proper noun, James.


Is "knowledge" a countable or non-countable noun?

The word "knowledge" is considered to be a non-countable noun. You can't really count knowledge. It can't be measured literally, like having two oranges or three cats.


Can you spot the gender-specific noun here?

The word "actress" is a gender-specific noun because it refers to the female version of "actor." In other words, a woman in the acting industry is called an actress, while a male in the same industry is an actor.


Which of these words is not a verbal noun?

Verbal nouns are formed using verbs. Take "decision," for example. It comes from the verb "to decide," but we could use it in this sentence: "The candidate has not yet made his decision." The word "metal" in this question is a common noun.


What type of noun is "parenthood"?

You can't physically touch or see "parenthood," which makes it an abstract concept (and thus, an abstract noun). Other examples would be the words "bravery," "courage" and "joy."


Which of the following is an example of a gerund?

Gerunds are formed from verbs like start, stop or change. When you add an "-ing" at the end, then it becomes a gerund. For example, "Swimming in the lake today is a great idea" has the gerund "swimming."


Can you match the word "ice cream" to the correct type of noun?

The word "ice cream" is an open compound noun because of that space between "ice" and "cream." We're combining two words — ice and cream — to make one unit.


If I say, "Timmy's cat is so cute," what type of noun are we talking about here?

This cat belongs to Timmy, which makes this noun possessive. A possessive noun shows that someone owns something. For example, "Mary's jacket is red" or "Beth's water bottle is small."


What type of noun is "pencil"?

The word "pencil" is a countable noun because you can literally count how many you have, such as one or two pencils. Other examples of countable nouns include "cup," "phone" and "pen."


Can you spot the singular noun from this list?

All the words in this list are plural nouns, except for cactus. Its plural form is actually cacti, though some people also say cactuses. And believe it or not, "oxen" is the plural form of "ox!"


Which of these is an uncountable noun?

All of these words are considered to be uncountable nouns because you can't count them physically. But if you have lots of time on your hands, then maybe you could count some rice.


One of these words is matched to the wrong type of noun, but can you spot it?

Walt Disney was known for many classics, such as "Dumbo" and "Fantasia," but he's also a proper noun. This is because proper nouns signify specific people, places and things — and we don't mean just important ones like Walt Disney!


True or false? "Moose" is both a singular and a plural noun.

The word "moose" is one of those rare exceptions in the English language where it doesn't have a set plural form. Some people use the word "meese," but that's more of a slang word.


How many nouns are in the following sentence? "The lady held the necklace close to her heart."

There are three nouns in this sentence, which are "lady," "necklace" and "heart." They are all common nouns because they don't refer to specific people or things.


Which of the following is not a compound noun?

Crisis is not a compound noun because it's not a combination of two or more words. "Anymore," for instance, contains the words "any" and "more," and "nobody" is a combination of "no" and "body."


Can you spot the concrete noun in this sentence? "Love is a funny aspect of the dating realm."

There are actually no concrete nouns in this sentence. A concrete noun is a word that involves one or more of your five senses. Since you can't literally perceive the nouns in this sentence, none of them are concrete.


How would you categorize the word "history"?

We may have documents and textbooks about history, but we can't perceive the actual word using sight, hearing or touch. It's an abstract concept, which means that it's an abstract noun.


Out of these words, which one is a demonstrative pronoun?

This type of pronoun is used to demonstrate something in a sentence. For example, "This shirt is blue," or "These oranges are organic." You could also say "Are those necklaces yours?"


Can you spot the plural indefinite pronoun from this list?

"Several" is an indefinite pronoun because it doesn't involve specific people, places or things. It's also plural because singular pronouns end in "thing," "one" or "body," such as "anything" or "everybody."


Which of the following matches to the word "faith"?

If a specific person was named "Faith," then this would be a proper noun. But in this context, we're talking about "faith" as an idea. It's also not really a "thing," since you can't physically touch it.


Where is the noun in this sentence? "Hey, did you go to the store yet?"

The word "store" is the noun in this sentence because it's referring to a place (specifically, it's a common noun). "Yet" is an adverb, "you" is a pronoun, "go" is a verb and "hey" is an interjection.


True or false? "Blonde" is a gender-specific noun.

Generally, people use the word "blonde" to describe yellow hair on either a man or a woman. But "blonde" actually refers to a woman with this type of hair, while "blond" denotes a male.


What is the plural form of "axis"?

The word "axis" is a singular noun that describes imaginary lines in astronomy or fixed lines in mathematics (among several other definitions, depending on the educational context). Its proper plural form would be "axes."


What type of noun is "village"?

You've probably heard the term, "It takes a village ..." The word "village" in this context is a collective noun because it refers to a group or a collection of something. In this case, it would be a group of people. Other collective nouns include "family" and "band."


Which of the following is not true about compound nouns?

Two verbs don't make a specific type of noun, but if you combine a certain verb with a noun, then it becomes a compound noun. Examples of this include haircut and sunrise.


Is the word "paying" a verbal noun or a gerund?

Verbal nouns and gerunds are pretty similar, but there's a key difference, and that has to do with the word's verbal properties. Verbal nouns have none while gerunds have some,. The word "paying" is derived from a verb.


Is the word "luggage" a countable or an uncountable noun?

The word "luggage" is actually considered to be an uncountable noun. Here's a trick: If a word has no plural version of it, then it's considered to be uncountable. For example, you can't say "luggages" when referring to multiple pieces of luggage.


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