Nouns and Their Functions

Contributor: Linda Price. Lesson ID: 10090

Have you ever heard the saying, "What's in a name?" What exactly IS a name? Use online resources and your own creativity to learn how nouns are used to name people, places, things, animals, and ideas!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Books, librarians, ski slopes, Einstein's theory of relativity . . .

  • What are these words used for?
  • How many different types of things do these words name?

In this lesson, you will learn about the different types of nouns and how they function in your writing and speaking.

A noun is a part of speech that denotes a person, animal, place, thing, or idea. The English word noun comes from the Latin word nomen, which means name.

Look at the following examples of nouns.

  • Sigmund Freud
  • teacher
  • Mrs. Smith
  • grandparents
  • Fido
  • elephants
  • goose
  • gander
  • pets
  • New York City
  • beach
  • here
  • ball
  • party
  • childhood
  • Newton's theory of gravity
  • trust


Give it a try!

Drag and drop each noun below into the proper column.

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  • Could you add at least three nouns to each column?

Now that you are familiar with nouns, you need to know how to use them in sentences. Nouns have many functions in your writing.

Nouns can be the following.

  Subject of a Sentence
  • Freud was a famous psychologist.
  Direct Objects
  • We didn't catch many fish when we went fishing at the lake.
  Indirect Objects
  • My teacher gave Mary a poor grade on her essay.
  Object of Prepositions
  • We went to the beach on our vacation.
  Predicate Nominatives or Nouns
  • New York City is a vibrant city.
  Object Complement
  • My favorite movie is a comedy, Ghostbusters.


These are just some of the primary uses of nouns. Check out What is a Noun? for a more complete list.

As you read a book or article, try to identify the nouns in your reading.

Now, you are ready to identify nouns in the Got It? section.

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