English Grammar

Gender of nouns examples and Types of Nouns

What are nouns in English?

Nouns in both English are used to refer to people, animals, things or objects , places, or abstract ideas. They are formed without too much complication because they have no gender, with some exceptions. In this post we compile the rules of English grammar regarding the gender of names, the formation of their plural  as well as the formation of new names by prefixes and suffixes . In this article we will explain Gender of nouns examples and Types of Nouns.

examples of nouns

  • Ball 
  • happiness
  • School 
  • Computer
  • Cat
  • woman

gender of nouns in English

In general, in English, nouns do not distinguish between masculine, feminine and neuter. However, sometimes there are specific nouns to form the feminine, the neuter and the masculine of some nouns.

Male Female Neutral
Man Woman Person
Father mother Dad
Boy Girl Little boy
Uncle Aunt
Husband Wife Wife
Actor Actress
Prince Princess
waiter Waitress Server

formation of nouns

In the same way as in Spanish, words can be added with prefixes or suffixes to formulate different words and turn them into verbs, adjectives or other nouns.

prefixes

Many of the  prefixes in English resemble those in Spanish, while others are totally different. The following table shows some of the most commonly used prefixes in English.

Suffix Use Example      
Anti- To expose that is against. anti-hero
Co- It is used to express a union.  Cooperation
Gave- It serves to invert the meaning. Disappointment
inter- It is used to show that it is in the middle.  Interface
Mis- It is used to state that there is an error or something is wrong.  misunderstanding
Pre- To refer to a past time.  Prehistory
Re- To show a replay reappearance 
Trans- To express what crosses or what happens above. transatlantic

suffixes

In English we can also suffix nouns to form other words. Depending on the type of suffix, the meaning of the word changes.  

The suffixes used to determine professions are the suffixes, – “er” , “-or”  or “-eer” .

  • Law: lawyer  → Law: lawyer.
  • Act: actor  → Acting: actor.
  • Engine: engineer → Engine: engineer.

The suffixes used to specify or describe a type of person are the suffixes, – “ist” ,  “-ster”  or  “-ee” . 

  • Journal: journalist →  Newspaper: journalist.
  • Song: singer → Song: singer. 
  • Shelter: refugee  → Shelter: refugee.

Other suffixes that are also used in English.

Suffix Use Example
– age To form abstract names. bondage
-hood To talk about a group.  motherhood
-ism _ Talk about ideological currents, politics, etc. Nationalism
-ship To indicate a skill, state or rank. relationships

Types of Nouns in English

1. Singular and plural nouns

In English, just like in Spanish, we can make singulars plural, although there are some exceptions that need to be taken into account, since we don’t just add one -s in some cases. 

  • Book: books  .
  • Match: matches  (match: matches).
  • Kiss: kisses (kiss: kisses). 

2. Countable and uncountable nouns 

Nouns can also be countable and uncountable, which means that some can be counted and therefore have a plural, while for others there is no plural. 

  • Laptop: laptops (portable: notebooks).
  • Letter: letters .
  • Air (air).
  • Honey (honey).

3. Proper and common nouns in English

In both English and Spanish, some of the nouns are proper and therefore must be capitalized . In other cases, such as with common names, it is not necessary. However, in English there are more cases where capitalization is required. 

  • wednesday _
  • English (English)
  • Pet  (pet)
  • fork _

articles in English

The most used articles in English when we talk about nouns are a and an . However, they cannot always be used, such as with uncountable nouns or when the noun is plural. 

  • There is a bed in the room  –  There is a bed in the room. 
  • I forgot to take an umbrella – I forgot to take my umbrella .  
  • There is no ice in the freezer – There is no ice in the freezer . 
  • There are three apples in the fruit bowl –  There are three apples in the fruit bowl. 

Augmentative and diminutive in English 

Although in general they are not used much and are little known, in English we can also use diminutives and augmentatives with nouns. Some of them are: 

with adjectives

Adjective Translation Example
Little Little

little-girl

Small Little Small chair
Big Great big man

with suffixes

Suffix Example
– Y daddy
-ie

sweeties

-ette kitchenette
-et booklet
-ling Duckling

different words

English Example
dog Puppy
cat Little cat
Rabbit Bunny

We hope that you understood the Gender of nouns with examples and types of nouns.

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