IELTS |Nouns: Types, Examples and Improve your vocabulary


Nouns are used in IELTS to improve our vocabulary.

Everything around us has names by which we identify them. Every member of our family has names by which we call them. Our relatives also have names, and so do our friends and other things. So we ask! What are these names that everyone has for identification called? These words that help us to name people, places, things and everything around us are called NOUNS!

What Are Nouns?

A noun is a name of a person, place, animals, things and abstract.

We Have Different Types of Nouns

  1. Common Noun
  2. Compound noun
  3. Proper noun
  4. Concrete noun
  5. Collective noun
  6. Countable noun
  7. Uncountable noun


Examples of a noun

  1. Name of a person– John, Peterson, Gabriel, Sandra, Peter, Margaret
  2. Place– Nigeria, Church, Mosque, America, Kitchen, House, Library
  3. Animal – Zebra, Tiger, Chicken, Rat, Dog, Cow, Antelope, Fish
  4. Things – Table, Chair, Laptop, Bag, Clothes, Shoe, Broom, Brush
  5. Abstract– Love, Happiness, Joy, Sadness

So let’s practice!

Identify the NOUNS in these sentences

  1. Cynthia is going to church
  • Cynthia is going to church
  1. She is sad
  • She is sad
  1. My mother bought chicken for Christmas
  • Mymother bought chicken for Christmas
  1. The table is broken
  • The table is broken
  1. My father traveled out of Nigeria
  • My father traveled out of Nigeria
  1. My husband is from America
  • My husband is from America
  1. I love Daniel
  • I loveDaniel
  1. The kitchen is very dirty
  • The kitchen is very dirty
  1. She loves her children
  • She loves her children
  1. I have a laptop
  • I have a laptop

Now Let’s Look Into the Different Types of Nouns and What They Are


Common nouns are words used to name people, things or places in GENERAL without being specific. They are the general names of things, people and places.


Boy, girl, country, animal, food, fruit, house

The above names are in general form… when you say

Boy… you are not being specific about which boy. So it’s generalized

Girl… you are not being specific about which girl. So it’s generalized

Country… you are not being specific about the country. So it’s generalized

Animal… you are not being specific about which animal. So it’s generalized

Food… you are not being specific about the type of food. So it’s generalized

Fruit… you are not being specific about the type of fruit. So it’s generalized

House… you are not being specific about the house. So it’s generalized


Proper nouns are words used to name a specific place, people, and animals. They usually start with a capital letter


Peter, John, Church, America, Table

The above names give the specific names of their places, person, and things bearing them

Peter– is a specific name of a person

John is a specific name of a person

Church is a specific name of a place

America is a specific name of a place

Table is a specific name of a thing


Compound nouns are two or more words that form a noun. They can be in form of or written as one word, joined by a hyphen, or written as separate words


Toothbrush, toothpaste, mother-in-law, bus stop

The above words are written

Toothbrush– in one word

Toothpaste– in one word

Mother-in-law– joined by hyphen

Bus stop– in separate forms

Note: some adjective + noun = compound noun (though not all)

Adjective + noun = compound

Blue print blueprint

Boy friend boyfriend


  1. I printed the paper with a blue print colour

Here the blue is describing the colour of the print

2. My father owns the Blueprint organization

This is one word meaning the name of an organization

3. I have a boy friend

Here the boy is describing the gender of the friend

4. She now has a boyfriend

This is one word meaning a relationship


Concrete nouns are words that refer to people, and things that exist physically and can be detected or felt by at least one of the human senses (things or people you can smell, see, touch, hear and taste)


Dog, mango, dirt, flower

The above words can be seen, perceived (smell), taste

Dog– you can see dog

Mango– you can taste Mango

Dirt – you can smell dirt

Flower– you can touch flower


Collective nouns are words that shows a group of people, animals or things


Flock, bunch, pile, team

The above words shows things, animals or people in group

Flock– birds in group

Bunch– bananas, brooms in group

Pile– books in group

Team– a group of people working together


Abstract nouns are words that don’t exist physically. They show emotions, feelings, ideas and concepts. You cannot see, touch, taste, hear or smell them.


Love, time, joy, happiness, fear, luck

Love- you can only feel love

Time- it’s a concept

Joy- it’s an emotion

Happiness- it’s an emotion

Fear- it’s a feeling

Luck- it’s an feeling


Countable nouns are things we can count. They tell us what we can and cannot count.

Countable nouns usually have a, an or a number in front of them. They also have a singular and plural form


A dog- 1 dog

An eagle- 1eagle

Goat- 1goat, 2goats

Cup- 3 cups, 4cups

Book- 1book, 2books, 3books

Countable nouns also make use of singular or plural verbs


  1. A treeis over there
  2. The treesare over there

Nouns that starts with vowel sounds such as “a, e, i, o, u” use “an”


Eagle- an eagle

Ant- an ant

Ink- anink

Orange- anOrange

Umbrella- anUmbrella

When you have more than one countable noun, you need to add “s” after the word


Book- 2books

Table- 3tables

Chair- 6chairs


Uncountable nouns are nouns you cannot count. You don’t use “a, an, or a number” in front of them and you don’t also need to add “s” or “es”.

Joy– you can’t say “Joys”

Stress– you can’t say “Stresses”

Water – you can’t say “a water, 10 waters”. It’s wrong

Air – you can’t say “a air, an air, or 3 air”

Uncountable nouns always use a singular verb

  1. The riceis delicious
  2. The wateris cold

A lot of uncountable nouns are in category form but those within the category, are countable






Some of those categories that are countable are:

Category within the category

Money coins

Furniture chairs, tables

News sports news, entertainment news

Note: You don’t use plural forms when using uncountable nouns, you only measure uncountable nouns (you measure the quantity, you can touch them but you can’t them)

LiquidPowdersFoodsAbstract ideasMaterials


  1. Liquids

You can’t say milks or waters

You say- A glass of milk

2 glasses of milk

A cup of water

Bottles of juice

2. Foods

You can’t say breads or cakes when it’s coming from one source

You say- 2 pieces of bread/ 2 slices of bread

3 Pieces of cake

3. Materials

You can’t say golds

You say- Some gold

Some ice

Here we only count the container for measurement

Let’s practice this!

Identify the countable and uncountable nouns in these sentences

  • Countable nouns
  • Uncountable nouns
  1. I put six cubes of magi in the food
  2. I told her to bring seven chairs from the room
  3. The three cakes has five candles on each of them
  4. Please get me some water to drink
  5. Fill the seven containers with three buckets of water
  6. I need some gold on my two chairs
  7. I need a bucket of sugar now
  8. My mother bought two chicken from the market
  9. My father gave me some chicken from his food
  10. She has ten bags
  11. I gave him two cups of milk and he gave me a piece of cake

Some words are always in their plural forms and are never singular


Pants, socks, scissors

When you have consonant Y in a word, the “y” becomes “ies”. Most words with vowel “e” before “y”, you will need to add just “s”


Lady ladies

Consonant + y= ies

Donkey donkeys

Vowels + y = s

Okay! Let’s do some practice to test our knowledge so far.

Identify and mention the different types of nouns in these sentences

  1. The boy is singing
  2. My name is John
  3. I am in the bedroom
  4. I love singing
  5. He led a group of players into the field
  6. My teeth cant bite the apple
  7. The dirt is smelling
  8. Her mother-in-law is caring
  9. My husband traveled to London
  10. The animal is wild

Wow…do you think you did well? Let’s check the answers


  1. Common noun
  2. Proper
  3. Compound noun
  4. Abstract noun
  5. Collective noun
  6. Common noun
  7. Concrete noun
  8. Compound noun
  9. Proper noun
  10. Common noun

Now do this… I know you can

Identify the different types of nouns in the following sentences

  1. The boy was chasing Paul
  2. My house is very close to the Church
  3. My colleagues and I are a team
  4. Give me those bunch of keys
  5. There are group of girls in the room

Good luck in your IELTS!!!

Please if you think this was helpful; let me know your thoughts in the comment box below…Thanks

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