Definition Living beings, things or plants are referred to as nouns. A noun can denote objects and non-objects. This part of speech is capitalized.
Examples of nouns:
Living beings: grandpa, grandma, elephant, bird
Things: bus, statue, chair, bathtub, paper
Plants: ivy, weeping fig
Another interesting term in this context would be the “collective name”. Nouns are grouped together. Clothing would be such a collective name, because clothing is understood to mean pants, tops, jackets, etc. Clothing would be a generic term here. Some more examples of common names would be candy, tools, food, etc.
The articles of nouns, singular and plural
Nouns have a very specific gender (gender). However, one should not confuse this gender with the biological gender. In biology a distinction is made between male and female. However, this is about grammatical gender . In German grammar, a distinction is made between masculine (male), feminine (female) and neuter (neuter). You can see this in the articles of the, die. Here, too, some examples for a better understanding.
Examples of nouns with article:
Male: the mountain, the forest, the enemy
Female: the ceiling, the toilet, the plate
Really: the window, the word, the toilet paper
As you can see in the examples, gender and grammatical gender have nothing to do with each other. An opponent can be male or female. And objects can also receive one or the other, even if they are things.
The number of a noun indicates whether the named thing or living being occurs only once or several times. A distinction is made between singular and plural. This often has an impact on the article.
Examples singular and plural with article:
The car, the cars
The window, the window
The tree, the trees
There are also nouns that only occur in the plural.
Examples of plural forms:
Four cases of the noun
When a noun is used in a sentence, it is used in a specific case – often also called a case. There are four different cases.
In some cases – like coffee – you can tell the case from the noun, articles, pronouns and adjectives. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. And because of this, you need another way to find out. This possibility is called a questionnaire and it has already been indicated in the four cases. Here again in a different representation:
Who? / What? = Nominative (1st case)
Know? = Genitive (2nd case)
Whom? = Dative (3rd case)
Whom? / What? = Accusative (4th case)
The baker gives the customer his rolls.
Who gives the customer their rolls?
1st case (nominative)
Matthias father gives the firefighter a tip.
Whose father is giving the firefighter a tip?
2nd case (genitive)
The father makes his child something to eat.
Whom does the father make something to eat?
3rd case (dative)
The boss gives his employee a document.
What does the boss give his employee?
4th case (accusative)
There is one more catch. After the 1st case and the 4th case – that is, after the nominative and accusative – you can ask with “what”. Therefore we are now introducing the substitute sample. Here you replace the noun with a masculine noun in the singular and the article. Note the underlined parts in the following list:
This PC easily outshines any other model.
This PC easily dwarfs the computer.
Because of “the”, this is the 4th case (accusative).
Read more about 5 types of nouns and example sentences What Is Noun? Many more specific objects and sets of objects.