Nouns: Uses

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12429

Nouns are subject to many uses, predicated on the type of sentence. We will direct your attention to these uses, if you don't object to such a singular lesson. We are possessive of our great students!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Do you know all the ways that nouns are used in sentences? How many ways were nouns used in that sentence?

The picture above tells you that a noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea.

The first thing you reviewed in this series of lessons was to simply identify words that were nouns. You identified common, proper, concrete, abstract, and collective nouns. You also learned how to take a singular noun and make it a singular possessive and a plural possessive noun.

If you missed or want a refresher on the previous Nouns Related Lessons, head over to the right-hand sidebar.

In this lesson, you will review how nouns are used in sentences. Now, you might be thinking, “I already know this. The noun is the subject of the sentence!” You are right of course — nouns are used as the subject of a sentence.

  • Did you know that nouns are also used as direct objects, indirect objects, predicate nominatives, and objects of the preposition?

Well they are, and in this lesson, you will review all these ways that nouns are used.

Take out a sheet of paper and a pencil and write notes on how you can determine how the noun is used as a direct object, indirect object, and predicate nominative. Watch Nouns as Subjects and Complements:


  • First of all, nouns are used as subjects in a sentence. For example, “The cat ran down the hall." The word "cat" in the sentence is the subject of the sentence.
  • The second way a noun is used is as a predicate noun, or predicate nominative. For example, “Mrs. Thomas is a teacher.” In this sentence, Mrs. Thomas is renamed as a teacher, so "teacher" is a predicate noun.
  • The third way a noun is used in a sentence is as a direct object. A direct object names the receiver of the action of the verb. You take the subject and the verb and ask, "What?" The answer to the question is the direct object. In this sentence, “Janice has eaten the grapes,” Janice is the subject, has eaten is the verb. Janice has eaten what? Janice has eaten the grapes. Grapes is the direct object.
  • The fourth way a noun is used in a sentence is as an indirect object. An indirect object tells to whom or for whom an action is done. Most of the time, an indirect object is between the subject and direct object. In the sentence, “John gave his children good gifts,” John is the subject and gave is the verb. To see if there is a direct object, you ask, “John gave what?”; gifts would be the direct object. Then you ask, “John gave gifts to whom?" Children is the answer and the indirect object.

Remember, nouns are very versatile and can be used in a number of ways in your writing. You need to remember how they are used in order to use them correctly.

Continue to the Got It? section to practice this skill.

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