All words may be classified into groups called parts of speech. There are 8 parts of speech namely: Nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections. We shall now discuss these parts of speech one at a time:


  1. NOUNS

A noun is the part of speech that names a person, a place, a thing or an idea. You use nouns every day when you speak or write.

Every day you probably use thousands of nouns. Because nouns name the objects and people and places around you, it would be very difficult to talk about anything at all without them.

Many nouns name things you can see:


Persons, Places, Things

Boy Lake Boot

Student Country Shadow

John Kamau Nairobi Chair

Stranger Jupiter Sweater

Writer Kenyatta Market Calendar

Barrack Obama Sierra Leone Short story

Note: Nouns can be two or more words e.g. John Kamau, Kenyatta Market and Short story.

They are called compound nouns. We shall learn more about them in coming pages.

Some nouns name things you cannot see such as feelings, ideas and characteristics:

Feelings Ideas Characteristics

Excitement Freedom Curiosity

Fear Justice Cowardice

Anger Fantasy Courage

Happiness Faith Imagination

Surprise Evil Self-confidence


Exercise 1

What words in each sentence below are nouns?

Example: John is a dancer – John, dancer

  1. The students planned a party.
  2. Three boys performed songs.
  3. Excitement filled the air.
  4. Joyce Chepkemoi won a prize.
  5. Otieno lives in a house on my street.


Exercise 2

Copy the nouns below and write whether it names a person, a place, a thing, or an idea.

Example: river – place 1. Candle    2 Guitar    3. Wrestle    4. China  5. Joy   6. Hatred  7. Menengai Crater      8. Masanduku Arap Simiti

Exercise 3

Write down each noun in the following sentences.

Example: Kenya is a beautiful country – Kenya, country

  1. The musicians played drums and trumpets.
  2. Her family lives in a village.
  3. Petronilla enjoyed the trip.
  4. A festival was held in Kenyatta University.
  5. People in costumes filled the streets.
  6. Boys in Scouts uniforms were leading the parade.
  7. The holiday was a great excitement.
  8. A taxi brought the family to the airport.
  9. Maryanne built a huge castle in the wet sand.
  10. Her mother swam in the warm water.


See also






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