When Is A Noun Not A Noun: How, Why And 5 Facts You Should Know


We all get confused about nouns when we see them in different contexts .Sometimes a noun is not a noun.It can act as a verb.It can act even as an adjective .Let us find out when is a noun not a noun.

Noun which is a part of speech can sometimes be used as a verb and an adjective for different grammatical purposes.

For example,Let us consider the word ‘run’ .It can function as a noun in a sentence.But sometimes this can also be a verb.Look at the sentences given below..

1.I am going for a run.

2.I am about to run the marathon.

  In the first sentence the word ‘run‘ functions as a noun.But in the second sentence the same word is functioning as a verb.

Let us look at another example where the word  ‘influence’ is written as a noun and not a noun.

1.Her grandfather had  a big influence on him

2.Gandhiji’s ideas influenced a group of people in the freedom struggle.

In the first sentence the word ‘influence’ is used as a noun.But when it comes to the second sentence it becomes a verb. 

1.Radha has a black dress.

   Here the word ‘black’ which is usually a noun ,is used as an adjective which modifies another noun.

How do you know a noun is a noun?

  Mostly if a word follows articles like a,an or the and adjectives like some,high probability is there that the word must be a noun.And if the word is the name of a place,a person and an objects,it is definitely a noun.

For example

1.The drama was written by him.

 Here ‘drama’ is a noun.It follows the article ‘the’.

2.Some pages were torn out.

 Here the word ‘pages’ is a noun.It follows the adjective ‘some’

3.Ramanujan was a famous Mathematician.

Here ‘Ramanujan’ is a noun since it is a name of a person.

can a noun not be a noun ?

Nouns other than names of places and persons can sometimes be used as verbs.

Lets us have a look at the word’watch’

1.My father bought me a brand new watch.

2.They watched the movie with me.

    In the first sentence  the word ‘watch’ functions  as  a noun. In the second sentence that noun ‘watch’ is not a noun. It is a verb there.

Let us go through another example when noun cannot be a noun.

1.One has to keep one’s promise.

2.He promised me a gift for my birthday.

     In the first sentence the word ‘promise’ functions as a noun.In the second sentence, the same word is used as a verb. So here the noun became a verb when we changed it into another part of speech.

Where a noun not be a noun?

      Sometimes gerund can act as a noun and a verb.In those situations a noun cannot be used as a noun.

For example:

1. Selling is her nice in marketing

2. She is selling books.  

In the first sentence ‘selling ‘ is a noun.In the second sentence that noun is not a noun. It is a used as a verb .

1.Runnig is a good exercise

2.He is running a marathon.

In the first sentence ‘running’ functions as a noun.In the second sentence ‘running’ is not a noun.It is used as a verb.

Why a noun may not be a noun?

Sometimes a noun can be used two times.In those scenarios a noun may not be a noun.It can be an adjective instead.

For example.

1.Sam is our science teacher.

   Here the word ‘science’ which is a noun is used as an adjective.It modifies another noun ‘teacher’.

2.He is a clever clerk .

   Here the word ‘clever’ is used as an adjective.

Conclusion :Noun which is often used to name a person,place or an object can sometimes be used as another part of speech.It can  be used as verbs and as adjectives depending upon the purpose of the word we use.

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