Words are divided into classes, according to the
different purposes which they answer in speech. There
are eight classes of words, or, as they are commonly
called, PARTS of SPEECH. These are-
2. Adjective, to which the Articles belong.
A NOUN is a word which is the name of something.
There are two kinds of nouns: Proper Nouns and Common
PROPER NOUNS are such as denote only one person
or thing of a kind : Adam, Noah, Alexander, William the
Conqueror; Thames, Avon; Victory, City of Glasgow (names
of ships) ; Excalibur (name of the fabulous sword of
Note. 1. The same proper name may be given to a
number of individuals. Thus there are many Johns,
"Williams, &c.; several rivers called Avon; and
more than one town named Boston. Still these names are
strictly Proper Nouns, since they have been in each
case separately given, and do not belong to all
objects of the same kind.
Note. 2. Proper Names are sometimes used to denote a
class or group: as, the Caesars; the family of the
Scipios; the Howards : meaning all those bearing the
same proper name. Or the name of a well-known
individual may be applied to others possessing similar
features: as, the modern Solon; the infant Saphos". In
such cases the Proper Name is used as a Common one.
Many Common Nouns have in this way been formed from
Proper Nouns: epicure from Epicure or Epicurus, the
philosopher; Academy, from a gymnasium at Athens so
COMMON NOUNS: -All nouns which are not Proper
are Common. They denote the same kind of thing under
whatever circumstances it may be found: man, city,
river, ship; air, water, gold, iron; beauty, truth,
Three kinds of Common Nouns require to be specially
noted: Collective Nouns or Nouns of Multitude, Abstract
Nouns, and Names of Materials.
(1) Collective Nouns -A Collective Noun
denotes a number of persons or things forming one body:
a crowd of persons ; a group of states or stars; a
committee, a jury, a parliament; Her Majesty's
Government; the Ministry.
Note. 1. Collective Nouns are sometimes used so as
to refer to the individuals composing the group
rather than to the group itself. Thus we say, the
crowd (that is, (the people in the crowd) were noisy
, the jury (that is, the men. composing the jury)
were not agreed.
Note. 2. Collective Nouns are Neuter, although they
denote an aggregate of persons male or female: army,
(2) Abstract Nouns .-Abstract Nouns are
the names not of objects but of ideas.
The following kinds of Abstract Nouns may be enumerated
1. Names of qualities: whiteness, blackness,
'bitterness, 'height, depth, 'breadth, length, wisdom,
2. Names of states or conditions of things: life, death,
time, space, eternity, sovereignty, reign, regency,
friendship, leadership, orphancy, widowhood,
3. Names of passions and powers of the mind: love,
jealousy, hatred, memory, imagination.
4. Names of actions or processes: reading, writing,
multiplication, justification, punishment, coronation,
5. Names of arts and sciences: poetry, sculpture,
astronomy, chemistry, ecology.
Note. The word abstract is derived from the Latin word
"abstractus" (abstraho), drawn off; implying that a
quality or state is thought of by itself, and detached
from an object. Thus when we speak of the size of a
globe, attention is directed to its size only, without
regard to the colour, weight, or material of the globe.