The king was the most important person in many Medieval societies.
He also is the most important part of a sentence.
Most grammar textbooks define a noun as a person, place, thing, or idea.
However, the definition isn’t accurate. For example, in the sentence –
She left home to battle dragons
– she is a person. But, for reasons you will learn later, she is not a noun.
We will use a simple test, rather than a definition, to identify nouns.
According to legend, to prove he was king, the boy who became King Arthur had to pass a test. He had to pull a sword out of a stone. Our king also must pass a test.
A noun must pass this test.
The hour The weekend
The girl The attendance
The dog The opinion
Most books say a noun is a person, place, thing, or idea. But is that true?
Use the noun test to see if these persons and things are nouns.
1.he 2. something 3. it 4. they 5. everyone
6. someone 7. anyone 8. her 9. him 10. them
Now let’s add to the test. Change the test to look like this:
The _____________ named _____________
If a word will fit into EITHER slot, then it’s a noun.
TIP: If the word is a name, then it is always a noun.
Test the words below to see if they are nouns.
1. cat 2. Tabitha 3. Thursday 4. drugstore 5. Payless Drugs
6. however 7. Richard 8. bed 9. fireplace 10. global warming
Click on one:
Pythagoras grades 9+
Lascaux Cave grades 4+
What is a Noun? Optional Activity