Classification of Noun-Collective Noun, Material Noun And Abstract Noun [Part-2] : Expand Your Knowledge

Dear learners, welcome to the ongoing series on the classification of nouns. From our previous article, we have already learned about common noun and proper noun and now we will learn about collective noun, material noun and abstract noun here in this article.

So, let’s get started.

Collective Noun

Definition of Collective Noun

The very word ‘collective’ refers to a collection of things or individuals, taken as a whole.  So, the noun which suggests the name of a group or the collection of things or individuals, that is taken as a whole, is called Collective Noun.

Examples of Collective Nouns with Explanations

i) Example: Class

Explanation: When I say ‘a class’, what picture does appear in your mind? Okay, let me guess. Probably you are visualizing a large classroom with a large number of students sitting at their desks, taking notes in their notebooks while their class teacher is delivering lectures on the Classification of Noun using chalk and blackboard from time to time to make.

So, what did we get from this scene? We got a classroom, a large number of students with their study materials, and a class teacher who is using teaching aids such as chalk, blackboard etc. Now, if put all these entities together, it forms a single entity i.e. a class.

Now, we can say that a class is a combination of a classroom, students, study materials, a class teacher, teaching aids etc. Hence, ‘a class‘ is an example of a Collective Noun.

  • Common Expression– A class of students.

ii) Example: Team

Explanation: When I say ‘a team’, simply I can visualize the cricket team of our country i.e Team India. It is because of my love for cricket. Now, if you are a football lover, in your case, it may be the Brazilian football team or the football team of Argentina or simply It can be the team of your local club of which you are a member.

Now, the point is that no team can be formed with a single individual. If it is a cricket team or a football team, there are eleven chosen players from a single team, whom we call the playing eleven.

So, ‘a team’ is a group of players or individuals that are taken as a whole or a single entity. Hence, it is an example of a Collective Noun

  • Common Expression– A team of players.

iii) Example: Army

Explanation: In a similar way, when I say ‘an army’, it refers to a group of individuals, specifically soldiers, who work together as a single unit to achieve a common goal or objective.

  • Common Expression– An army of soldiers.

iv) Example: Library

Explanation: A library is a place where a group of items e.g. books, journals, magazines, audiovisual materials, etc. are collected, organized, kept and made available for public use.

  • Common Expression– A library of books.

v) Example: Album

Explanation: ‘An album’ refers to a group of related songs, or a collection of stamps or coins, or a compilation of artworks or photographs treated as a single entity.

  • Common Expression– An album of photographs.

vi) Example: Band

Explanation: The word ‘band‘ refers to a group of individuals, specifically musicians who perform together by playing different musical instruments such as guitar, drums, flute, trumpet, saxophone, piano etc. to create music or songs.

  • Common Expression– A band of musicians.

vii) Example: Crowd

Explanation: The word ‘crowd’ is an example of a collective noun as it refers to a large group of people who gather together in a particular place to share a common purpose or interest, such as attending a concert or a sporting event, or participating in a protest or demonstration etc.

  • Common Expression– A crowd of people.

Some Other Examples of Collective Nouns

This is not the end. There are so so many other examples of Collective Nouns. I am writing down a few others as well to give you a clear picture.

  1. A bundle of sticks.
  2. A bunch of flowers.
  3. A shoal of fishes.
  4. A swarm of bees.
  5. A pack of lions.
  6. A gang of robbers.
  7. A herd of cattle etc.
collective noun, group noun
Collective Noun with Examples

I assume that you are enjoying this blog post and if my assumption is correct, please don’t forget to share your valuable feedback in the comment section. So, now let’s proceed to Material Noun.

Material Noun

Definition of Material Noun

Before we learn about Material Nouns, let’s try to figure out first what a material is and what is the use of a material. Okay. In simple words, a material is a stuff or a substance of which things are made.

Let’s take ‘a cotton shirt’ as an example. So, which material is used in making a cotton shirt? The answer is very simple. It is cotton and this cotton is an example of Material noun.

So, the noun which refers to a stuff or material or substance is called a Material Noun.

Examples of Material Nouns with Explanations

i) Example: Textile Materials (These types of materials are used to make fabrics, clothing and other textile products such as shirt, shawl, bag, jacket etc.)

  • Cotton, Wool, Silk, Jute, Leather (Material Noun)
  •  Shirt (A cotton shirt), Wool (A woolen shawl), Bag (A jute bag), Jacket (A leather jacket) etc. (Common Noun)

Explanation:- When I say a cotton shirt, here ‘shirt’ is an example of a Common Noun whereas ‘cotton’ of which the shirt is made of, is an example of a Material Noun.

ii) Example: Building Materials (The materials that are commonly used in the construction of buildings, bridges, roads etc.)

  • Bricks, Tiles, Glass, Steel (Material Noun)
  • Wall (A brick wall), Roof (A roof made of tiles) Door (A glass door), Columns (Columns made of steel) etc. (Common Noun)

Explanation:- When I say a brick wall, here ‘wall’ is an example of a Common Noun where as the ‘bricks’ of which the wall is made of, is an example of a Material Noun.

iii) Example: Furniture Materials (The materials that are used to make furniture such as chairs, tables,  etc.)

  • Plastic, Wood (Material Noun)
  •  Chair (A plastic chair), Table (A wooden table) etc. (Common Noun)

Explanation:- When I say a plastic chair, here ‘chair’ is an example of a Common Noun whereas ‘plastic’ which is used to make the chair, is an example of a Material Noun.

iv) Example: Education & Art Materials (The materials that are used in the field of education such as books or in the production of artworks such as paintings, sculptures, drawings etc.)

  • Paper, Stone, Clay (Material Noun)
  •  Book (A book), Sculpture (A stone sculpture), Pot (Clay pots) etc. (Common Noun)

Explanation:- When I say a book, here ‘book’ is an example of a Common Noun whereas ‘paper’ which is used to make the book as the core material, is an example of a Material Noun.

v) Example: Electronic Materials (The materials that are used in the production of electronic devices like computers, smartphones, televisions  etc.)

  • Copper, Silicon (Material Noun)
  •  Wire (Copper wire), Tube (Silicon tube), etc. (Common Noun)

Explanation:- When I say a wire, here ‘wire’ is an example of a Common Noun whereas ‘copper’, the material which is used to make the wire, is an example of a Material Noun.

vi) Example: Packaging Materials (The materials that are used in packaging products or used as containers to keep the products jars, boxes, bags, ropes etc.)

  • Cardboard, Plastic, Glass, Nylon (Material Noun)
  • Jar (Glass jar), Box (Cardboard box), Bag (Plastic bag), Rope (Nylon rope) etc. (Common Noun)

Explanation:- When I say a glass jar, here ‘jar’ is an example of a Common Noun but ‘glass’ of which the jar is made, is an example of Material Noun.

vii) Example: Food Materials (The materials that are used to produce food products such as bread, cake, delicious dishes etc.)

  • Milk, Wheat, Chicken Meat, Atta (Material Noun)
  •  Cakes (milk cakes), Bread (Wheat bread), Biryani (Chicken biryani), Noodles (Atta noodles), etc. (Common Noun)

Explanation:- When I say milk cake, here ‘cake’ is an example of a Common Noun whereas ‘milk’ that is used to make the cake is an example of a Material Noun.

viii) Example: Fashion Materials (The materials that are used to produce fashion products or ornaments like necklaces, rings, earrings etc.)

  • Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Silver  (Material Noun)
  •  Necklace (Golden necklace), Ring (Platinum ring), Earring (Diamond Earring), Chain (Silver Chain), etc. (Common Noun)

Explanation:- When I say a golden necklace, here ‘necklace’ is an example of a Common Noun whereas ‘gold’ of which the necklace is made, is an example of a Material Noun.

material noun, material noun example
Material Noun with Examples

Abstract Noun

Abstract Noun is just the opposite of what Concrete Noun is and when I say Concrete Noun, I actually mean to say the noun that has its physical existence or that can be perceived through our senses as for example persons, animals places, objects etc.

The nouns which fall under this broader category i.e. Concrete Noun are- Common Noun, Proper Noun, Collective Noun & Material Noun. These nouns can be seen, heard, smelt, tasted or touched.

But the abstract nouns don’t qualify our five senses and hence they can’t be seen, heard, smelt, tasted or touched like the previous one. These nouns can only be felt. These nouns generally refer to some ideas, concepts, emotions, or qualities.

Definition of Abstract Noun

The noun which suggests a quality, an aspect, a situation, a state or an emotion or a concept or an idea that can not be perceived through our senses but can only be felt, is called Abstract Noun.

Examples of Abstract Noun with Explanations

i) Example- Quality: Honesty, Bravery, Courage etc.

Explanation:- Well, Honesty is a good quality, the presence of which in a person makes him beautiful from within as no one likes a dishonest person. We may or may not have come across some honest persons in our life and we know who they are as we rarely forget their impact on our lives.

But, wait. Did we see honesty? No. But we saw an honest person as honesty can not be seen, heard, tasted, smelt or touched it can only be felt and hence it is an example of an Abstract Noun.

ii) Example- Aspect: Charity, Liberty, Generosity etc.

Explanation:- Similarly, when I say charity it does not represent a physical figure as it is merely an aspect. We may have seen a charitable person but obviously not charity.

iii) Example- Situation: Poverty, Slavery, Freedom etc.

Explanation:- Sometimes, we may have heard someone saying- ‘I have seen poverty in my early days’. But this is just an expression and if we delve deep into the literal meaning, we understand that the person has referred to the situation when he was poor as poverty can not be seen.

iv) Example- State/Emotion: Fear, Anger, Joy, Excitement etc.

Explanation:- The words mentioned in the above line are examples of emotions that we experience or feel from time to time as human beings.

iv) Example- Concept/Idea: Love, Friendship etc.

Explanation:- ‘Love’ is an idea or a concept. We may have seen a couple who are in love and may see them taking care of each other but no such instrument has been discovered through which we can see the love that they share as Love can only be felt and the couple in love experience it.

Abstract Noun
Abstract Noun

Certain Things To Keep In Mind About These Nouns

Here are a few things that we have to keep in mind.

  • A Collective Nou is always taken as Neuter Gender even if it refers to persons or people.
  • At the time of forming a Collective Noun, if there are two nouns in a sentence, the last one will always be in plural form. [Example:- A bundle of sticks, A bunch of flowers, A gang of robbers etc.
  • The material or the stuff from which the things are made, is called Material Noun but not the thing itself. [Example:- ‘wood’ is Material Noun but ‘bench’. It is a Common Noun. Similarly, ‘cotton’ is a Material noun but not ‘shirt’. It is a Common Noun.]
  • An abstract noun can never be touched but it can be felt.

YouTube Video (Bengali) On The Current Topic

Here is a youtube video in Bengali related to the current topic. So, if you know or understand Bengali, I suggest you to watch the video. It will bring some clarity to your understanding of the present subject matter.

Wrapping Up

We have made efforts to give you a clear picture of the above-mentioned three nouns (collective, material and abstract nouns) throughout this article. I hope you have learned something new and enjoyed this article.

Now, show me your presence in the comment section if you have liked this article. Please, don’t hesitate to share this post with your friends and family as ‘sharing is caring’. If you want to get such articles in the near future, please consider following this blog.

Thank you all. Stay cool and stay happy. See you next time.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Now here is a FAQ section with some chosen questions related to the present topic that people often ask online. Go through them and see whether you already know the answers or not.

Q 1: What is the collective noun for “moles”?

Ans: We use the word “labour” as the collective noun for moles. So, the expression will be ‘a labour of moles’.

Q 2: What is the collective noun for “bears”?

Ans: The collective noun for bears might differ based on the species. For example:

For polar bears: a “celebration” of polar bears.
For grizzly bears: a “sleuth” of grizzly bears.
For black bears: a “cinnamon” of black bears.

Q 3: Is “paper” a material noun?

Ans: Yes, “paper” is a material noun. But, a book which is made of paper, is an example of a common noun.

Q 4: Is “friendship” an abstract noun?

Ans: Yes, “friendship” is considered an abstract noun. It refers to an intangible concept or relationship which can not be perceived by our senses.

Q 5:Is “happy” an abstract noun?

Ans: No, “happy” is not an abstract noun. “Happy” is an adjective that describes a state or feeling of joy or contentment. But if we take the word “Happiness”, it is an example of an abstract noun.

About Captain Som

Avatar of Captain SomHi! This is Captain Som, a Teacher by profession and a Blogger by passion. I run this blog "Lighthouse Edulight".

I also own a Youtube Channel named "Lighthouse Edulearn", one of the best platforms to learn English for the students from Bengali Medium.

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