Classes Of Nouns
We have already learned that such words as Lincoln, Boston, hook, house, crowd, committee, justice, virtue are nouns.
We notice that Lincoln and Boston differ from the other names given by beginning with capitals. This is because these words are the names of individuals, the one of a particular person, the other of a particular place. They are called proper nouns.
A proper noun is an individual name.
All the other names given above are used to represent any of a class of things, and are therefore called common nouns.
A common noun is a name common to all of a class.
When we look again at the list of words given above we notice that the words crowd and committee are names of groups or collections of objects.
A collective noun is a common noun that in the singular names a group, or collection of objects.
Such words as hook and house are the names of objects that can be seen or touched and are sometimes called concrete nouns.
A concrete noun is the name of a material object.
Some nouns like justice, virtue, love, kindness, are the names of qualities shown by persons who possess them; others are the names of qualities that belong to objects, like shape, form, color, hardness, ductility; others are the names of states like, age, youth, health, sickness, torpor, vivacity.
We think of such qualities or states just as we do of objects that appeal to the sight or to the touch.
The love of justice, virtue is its own reward, there's nothing so kingly as kindness, and similar expressions are familiar to all.
Names used to express qualities or states apart from the objects that possess them, are said to be used abstractly.
A common noun that is the name of a quality or a state is an abstract noun.
1. Boston is the largest city in New England.
2. Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest men America has produced.
3. Give me pen, ink, and paper and I'll write you a story or a poem.
4. The crowd that greeted Admiral Dewey was very enthusiastic.
5. What does the Lord require of thee but to love justice and to show mercy?
6. Mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other.