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Difference Between Noun and Pronoun

Last Updated : 21 Mar, 2024
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Noun vs. Pronoun

Noun vs. Pronoun

Pronouns and Nouns might seem confusing on the surface, but they both have different functions in English grammar that help to make your writing more precise. Learn what distinguishes them from each other and gain insight into how they are used differently in this article.

Noun vs. Pronoun

What is a Noun?

Nouns are one of the most important parts of the English language. We use them when it comes to naming people, places, things, and ideas.

Nouns can be divided into two categories:

1. Proper nouns and 2. Common nouns

In this article, we will discuss the differences between these two types of nouns and provide examples of each.

Types of Noun

Nominal Nouns refer to people, places, things and things related to such categories. These are the most common and important types of Nouns in the English language.

Proper Noun

Proper nouns tell us about a specific person, place, idea or object. This type of Noun usually starts with a capital letter to draw attention to its importance. 

Common Noun

Common nouns are the generalized version of proper nouns. These are not specific but instead used to describe undefined, generic people, places, ideas or objects.

Singular Noun

As the name suggests, a singular Noun refers to ‘one’ among many. It is used to describe only a single person, place, idea or thing for added emphasis.

Plural Noun

Plural nouns on the other hand are used to describe ‘more than one’. It is usually indicated by adding an ‘s/es/ies’ to the end of the singular Noun to indicate ‘many’. In some cases, the word is also modified making it easy to distinguish.

Possessive Noun

A possessive Noun marks one’s possession over something. It is often indicated by [‘s]. It shows that the object belongs to the Noun.

Collective Noun

A collective noun such as the plural Noun describes ‘many’. However, this is rather used when defining a group of people, ideas, or things rather than just more than one.

Concrete Noun

A concrete noun defines a concrete idea. It is not intangible and one can perceive this with the five human senses.

Abstract Noun

Abstract nouns help us to describe something that cannot be perceived through the five human senses. It is intangible and fluid, such as the abstract attributes of a person.

Compound Noun

Compound nouns are a collection of more than one Noun set together consecutively. Sometimes they are separated by a ‘-‘ and sometimes written one after another.

Countable Noun

A countable Noun, like its name is a noun used to describe countable quantities, such as the number of books on a shelf. 

Uncountable Noun

Uncountable nouns on the other hand are not possible to count. Hence they are immeasurable quantities, such as happiness, sand, salt, etc. Sometimes uncountable nouns can also be abstract.

Material Noun

Material nouns are non-living and substance-oriented nouns that describe things. Most material nouns are common nouns. 

Function of Noun

  • Nouns can be split into two groups: proper and common.
  • Proper nouns are names or titles of living people, places or things.
  • Common nouns are not proper names but refer to people, animals, places and things.
  • A noun may have more than one function in a sentence. For example, the word “dog” can be used as the subject of the sentence: The dog ran into the street, or it can be an object in a prepositional phrase: The dog was too fat to fit through the door.

What is a Pronoun?

A pronoun is a word used to replace a noun or a noun phrase in a sentence. Pronouns can refer to people, places, things, and ideas. Examples of pronouns include he, she, it, them, and us. Pronouns help to make sentences more concise and effective. They are also used to avoid repeating the same noun phrase over and over again.

Types of Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns: these are used to point out or describe something, as in this book or that person.

Relative Pronouns

Sometimes pronouns act as a bridge between the causes in a sentence. Relative pronouns do just that by connecting the clause or a statement in a sentence. 

Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns sometimes act as a direct or indirect object, referring back to the Noun in a sentence.

Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns, whether singular or plural are used to modify or describe people, things or ideas.

Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns are indicative of the items, ideas or anything possessed by the Noun, used both in their singular as well as plural forms.

Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns, unlike personal pronouns describe a general idea rather than addressing a specific thing or person.

Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns are used to substitute people or thing’s names, acting either as a subject or object in a sentence.

Subject Pronouns

Subject pronouns define the Noun or replace it. It is usually present at the start of the sentence and performs the grammatical roles.

Object Pronouns

Whenever there is no definite noun in a sentence, an object pronoun is present, it is usually the part of the sentence that shows receiving an action.

Interrogative Pronouns

An interrogative pronoun asks a question to the Noun. The primary interrogative pronouns are: who, what, whose, which, and whom.

Reciprocal Pronouns

Reciprocal pronouns are used to define a complementary relationship that works both ways. 

Intensive Pronouns

Intensive pronouns add stress to the Noun, indicating authority in a sentence.

Distributive Pronouns

Distributive pronouns emphasize a word separately from the others present in a sentence. It refers to a group separately rather than individually pointing out to them. 

Function of Pronoun

  • The functions of pronouns are:
  • To replace nouns that cannot be replaced by other words that refer to the same thing (eg ‘it’).
  • To substitute for nouns that sound strange in English (eg ‘one’).
  • To avoid repetition (eg ‘I, we and you’).

Difference Between Noun and Pronoun

Noun: A noun is a word in English that we use when it comes to naming (identifying) a person, place, or thing.

Pronoun: A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun or noun phrase (a group of words that acts as a single unit). A pronoun can be used with any other part of speech, including an adjective and a verb.

The difference between Nouns and Pronouns is that pronouns take the place of nouns in sentences. If you write: “I saw her yesterday,” then you are using the word “her” as a pronoun instead of the word “she.”

Examples of Noun in English

When it comes to naming a person, place, thing, or idea- we use Nouns. In English, nouns can be further broken down into multiple categories, such as common nouns and proper nouns. Examples of common nouns include animal, table, tree, sky, and chair. Proper nouns refer to specific individuals and places and are always capitalized. Examples of proper nouns include John, Paris, Mount Everest, and the Pacific Ocean.

Examples of Pronouns in English

Whenever we need to replace nouns in a sentence, we use Pronouns. They are used to make sentences clearer and more concise. Examples of pronouns in English include I, me, he, she, it, we, they, him, her, them, anybody, somebody, nobody, everyone, anyone, and many more. Pronouns are an important part of the English language and are used often in spoken and written communication.

Practice Questions on Nouns & Pronouns

Que 1. “The dog barked loudly.” Find out the Noun in this sentence.

Ans: In this sentence, “dog” is a noun, as it is referring to a specific object.  

Que 2. “It barked loudly.” Find out the Pronoun in this sentence.

Ans: In this sentence, “it” is a pronoun, as it is replacing the noun “dog”.

Que 3. “That dog barked loudly.” What kind of pronoun is “that”?

Ans: In this sentence, “that” is a demonstrative pronoun, as it is pointing out a specific noun.

Conclusion – Noun and Pronoun

Knowing the difference between a noun and a pronoun can help you better construct sentences. Nouns refer to people, animals, places, ideas or things while pronouns are used to replace specific nouns when talking about them. Understanding how these two parts of speech work together can help you become a more confident writer.

Nouns and Pronouns – FAQs

What is the difference between a Noun and a Pronoun?

A noun is a word that identifies a person, place, thing, or idea. A pronoun, on the other hand, is a word that takes the place of a noun.

How are Nouns used in sentences?

Nouns can be used as the subject of a sentence, the object of a sentence, or as an object complement. Nouns can also be used with adjectives and adverbs to modify their meanings.

How are Pronouns used in sentences?

Pronouns are versatile and widely used in the English language. They are used to replace nouns, which helps make sentences less repetitive.

Write some examples of Nouns & Pronouns in sentences.

Nouns and pronouns are two of the most fundamental components of grammar. 
A noun is a word that is used to name a person, place, thing, or idea. For example: “John is a teacher.” In this sentence, “John” is a noun. Similarly, a pronoun is a word used in place of a noun. For example: “He is a teacher.” Here, the pronoun “he” stands in for the noun “John”.

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