Is Common Noun Singular(7 Important Facts)


In this article, with the help of common noun examples and related explanations, we will be finding the answer to the question ‘is common noun singular?’

A common noun is nothing but a noun which is unspecific and not particular. It does not tell the name of a particular person, animal, thing or a place but a generic name by which a common person, place, animal or a thing is referred.

Now go through the common nouns in the following sentences.

  • 1. There is a blue pencil on the table.
  • 2. My bag is under the large tree.
  • 3. Black is my all time favorite color.
  • 4. Shwetha, our neighbor has a cat which is very cute.
  • 5. My friend is writing his first book and will soon become an author.

The words which are italicized in the above sentences are nothing but common nouns as they do not mention anything or anybody in specific. And also, all the italicized words are nouns which are countable, that is countable nouns.

Can common nouns be singular?

Well, the obvious answer to this question is yes. Common nouns can be of singular number.

Example: My cousin is a soldier in the Indian army.

‘Cousin’ and ‘soldier’ are the singular common nouns in this sentence as they refer to only one cousin and one soldier.

Hence, common nouns can definitely be singular.

When common nouns are singular?

Common nouns are singular when the number represented by the common noun is one. That is, when the common noun denotes only one unspecific person, thing, place, animal it is singular.

Example: There is a small park near my house.

‘Park’ and ‘house’ are the common nouns as they refer to common places. ‘Park’ and ‘house’ are singular common nouns as they refer to only one park and one house.

Which common nouns are singular?

Common nouns that represent the grammatical number of one are singular. If the number that the common noun represents or indicates is one, then that common noun is singular and can be called as a singular common noun.

Example: The boy standing in the corner has not completed his project.

‘Boy’, ‘corner’ and ‘project’ are the common nouns utilized in the above sentence as they refer to an unspecific person, place, and thing respectively. ‘Boy’, ‘corner’ and ‘project’ can be regarded as singular common nouns as each of them represents only one person, one place and one thing respectively.

Example: We should at least eat a fruit and a vegetable everyday to stay fit and healthy.

‘Fruit’ and ‘vegetable’ are the common nouns in this sentence as they refer to the enter class of fruits and vegetables (things). Since the particular name of the fruit and vegetable is not mentioned, they are unspecific and can be regarded as common nouns. ‘Fruit’ and ‘vegetable’ indicates only one number and hence they are singular as well.

is common noun singular
Singular Common Noun Examples

Why are common nouns singular?

Common nouns are singular so that they can refer to common and not particular persons, places, things and animals that are singular in number. Only because common nouns are singular, we can name a single unspecific person, animal, place or a thing (noun).

Example: I saw a man and a woman standing there yesterday.

The common nouns utilized in the above sentence are ‘man’ and ‘woman’. Here, both ‘man’ and ‘woman’ are singular common nouns as they refer to only one unspecific person belonging to the masculine gender and one unspecific person belonging to the feminine gender respectively. Thus, in order to represent the singularity (only one) of a person, animal, place or a thing, common nouns are singular.

Which common nouns are always singular?

Some common nouns are always singular as they do not have a plural form at all. Some of the common nouns that are always singular include, rice, information, dirt, knowledge etc.

Example: I got a piece of information which would be extremely useful for us.

‘Information’ is the common noun utilized in this sentence. There is no plural form for the common noun ‘information’. If the common noun ‘information’ has to be counted as singular or plural, it can only be done so using the phrases such as ‘a piece of information’ which indicates singularity and ‘pieces of information’ which indicates plurality. There can be no word such ‘informations’.

Singular common noun examples

Let us now see a few singular common noun examples in the following sentences.

  • 1. I saw this kid at a hotel when I went to Mysore.
  • 2. Ruhan was late to school today as he missed his bus.
  • 3. I want to own a car, while my brother wants to buy a bike.
  • 4. Have you seen the girl who is wearing the bright color dress?
  • 5. Watching television and playing with my dog are my hobbies.
  • 6. The teacher told us a beautiful story in the class.

Singular common noun examples with detailed explanations

Now let us identify the singular common nouns in each sentence, understand and analyze each of them in detail.

1. I saw this kid at a hotel when I went to Mysore.

‘Kid’ and ‘hotel’ are the singular common nouns utilized in this sentence as they refer to one small kid (person) who is not particular and one unspecific and unnamed hotel (place) respectively. Since the particular name of the kid and hotel are not mentioned and since both of them are singular in number they are called as singular common nouns.

2. Ruhan was late to school today as he missed his bus.

‘School’ and ‘bus’ are the two singular common nouns in the above sentence. ‘School’ here indicates to one random school (place) and ‘bus’ refers to a common unspecified vehicle (thing). Since the specific name of the school and bus are not mentioned and since both of them are singular in number they are called as singular common nouns.

3. I want to own a car, while my brother wants to buy a bike.

‘Car’, ‘brother’ and ‘bike’ are the singular common nouns utilized in this sentence. ‘Car’ indicates to one not particular vehicle (thing), ‘brother’ refers to an unspecific person and ‘bike’ again denotes one common vehicle (thing). Since the particular name of the car, brother, and bike are not mentioned and since all are singular in number they are called as singular common nouns.

4. Have you seen the girl who is wearing the bright color dress?

‘Girl’, ‘color’ and ‘dress’ are the singular common nouns utilized in this sentence. ‘Girl’ refers to one unspecific girl (person), ‘color’ refers to a not particular thing and ‘dress’ again denotes one common dress (thing). Since the particular name of the girl, color and dress are not specified and since all of them have a singular number they are known as singular common nouns.

5. Watching television and playing with my dog are my hobbies.

‘Television’ and ‘dog’ are the two singular common nouns utilized in the above sentence. ‘Television’ here refers to one object (thing) and ‘dog’ refers to a common unspecified animal. As the specific name of the dog and television are not said and since both are singular in number they are called as singular common nouns.

6. The teacher told us a beautiful story in the class.

‘Teacher’, ‘story’ and ‘class’ are the singular common nouns utilized in this sentence. ‘Teacher’ refers to one unspecific person who teaches, ‘story’ refers to no story in particular (thing) and ‘class’ again indicates one unspecific room (place). Since the particular name of the teacher, story and class are not specified and since all of them have a singular number they are known as singular common nouns.

Which common noun can be either singular or plural?

Some common nouns have plural form, but remain the same as in singular. These are the common nouns which can either be singular or plural. Some of such common nouns which can be both singular and plural are fish, deer, sheep, moose, aircraft etc.

Example: I saw a golden fish in the lotus ponds yesterday.

Example: I saw many golden fish in the lotus ponds yesterday.

In both the sentences, the common noun ‘fish’ is used.But in the first example ‘fish’ is a singular common noun and in the second example, ‘fish’ is a plural common noun. The form of the common noun ‘fish’ remains the same in both the sentences, which means, the common noun ‘fish’ can either be singular or plural based on where and why it is utilized.

If there is one fish, the word form is ‘fish’ and even if there are many fish, the word form remains ‘fish’ and does not change to ‘fishes’. With such common nouns which either can be singular or plural the number of the noun can be identified by the words preceding them such as ‘a’, ‘one’, ‘some’, ‘many’ etc.

Conclusion

Thus from this article we came to know about singularity of the common nouns with appropriate examples and explanation. Common nouns are singular when they are naming an (one) unspecified person, animal, place or a thing.

Sowndharya Jagadeeswaran

Hi... I am Sowndharya Jagadeeswaran, a university rank holder in M.A. English Literature. I have also done my master's in Business Administration. Inquisitive as I am, my interest in action-oriented research helped me publish research papers in reputed journals. Now, as a career, I am an instructor where I teach young and adorable students the intricate technicalities of Public Speaking and Creative Writing. I also enjoy writing articles on topics I specialize and research in. You can connect with me through LinkedIn.-https://www.linkedin.com/in/sowndharya-j-972378233

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