Simple noun: what is it, example, inflections

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simple noun it's a kind of substantive which presents only one radical and inflection of number, gender and degree. The compound noun, on the other hand, has more than one stem. In addition to these two classifications, the noun can also be classified as: common, proper, primitive, derivative, concrete and/or abstract.

Also know: Collective noun — name given to a set of beings or things

Simple noun summary

  • A simple noun is a term that has only one stem.
  • It features number inflection:
    • singular
    • plural
  • It has gender bending:
    • masculine
    • feminine
  • Also inflects the degree:
    • augmentative
    • diminutive
  • A compound noun is a word that has more than one stem.
  • The noun, in addition to being simple or compound, can be:
    • common: designates beings of the same species
    • proper: designates a particular being
    • primitive: gives rise to other nouns
    • derivative: comes from another noun
    • concrete: indicates a real being or figment of the imagination
    • abstract: indicates quality, feeling, action or state

What is simple noun?

The simple noun is a

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noun consisting of only one root, which is the main part of a word. Thus, the term “certainty”, for example, is a simple noun, as it has only the stem “cert-”.

→ Examples of simple nouns

  • activeage;
  • oxada;
  • cantO;
  • conquestThe;
  • tooththis;
  • educateaction;
  • waithip;
  • screamaria;
  • importaction;
  • insureeza;
  • orangeal;
  • placeI want;
  • badity;
  • stoneThe;
  • portto the.

Video lesson on nouns

Simple noun inflections

The simple noun has three inflections. We will see each of them below.

→ Number inflection




We add “s” to the noun ending in a vowel or diphthong.

bookO, capThe, herHeymmother etc.

Books, covers, heros, mothers etc.

We add “es” to the noun ending in “r” or “z”.

cutr, Gluer, paz, motherz etc.

cutleryit's, necklaceit's, peaceit's, headquartersit's etc.

We change the final “l” to “is” in the noun ending in “al”, “el”, “ol” or “ul”. With these exceptions: “mal” (males) and “consul” (consuls).

codthere, anhe, dohello, azul etc.

codis, babyis, lighthouseis, blueis etc.

We change the final “il” to “is” in the oxytone noun.

funill, anill etc.

funis, anis etc.

We change the final “il” to “eis” in the paroxytone noun.

stencill, fossilill etc.

stencbehold, fossilbehold etc.

We change the final “m” to “ns”.

downm, brownm, cartoonm etc.

downus, brownus, cartoonus etc.

We add “es” to the monosyllabic or oxytone noun ending in “s”. With exception of “pier” and “xis”, which are invariable terms.

Mes, dads, englishs etc.

Monthit's, parentsit's, Englishit's etc.

Paroxytone or proparoxytone noun ending in “s” is invariable.

O oasis, O virus, O bus etc.

You oasis, you virus, you bus etc.

Noun ending in “x” is invariable.

O chest, The phoenix etc.

You chest, at phoenix etc.

We change the final “ão” for “ões”, “ões” or “ães”, according to the usage, that is, there is no specific rule.

balto the, beyondto the, cityto the, forto the etc.

balions, beyondães, cityto the, forães etc.

→ Gender inflection




Same radical: we use the ending "-The".

Boy, singer, teacher, fugitive, etc.

boyThe, singerThe, teacherThe, fugitiveThe etc.

Different radical: there is no specific rule.

Goat, gentleman, man, father, etc.

Goat, lady, woman, mother, etc.

The noun has the same form, and the gender is indicated by the article.

O young, O student, O driver etc.

THE young, The student, The driver etc.

Noun has only one gender.

O spouse, O guide etc.

THE kid, The witness etc.

The gender of the noun is indicated by the adjective "male or female".

the alligator male, the jaguar male etc.

the alligator female, the jaguar female etc.

→ Degree Flexion




Synthetic - use of suffix.

boata CA, balsteel, peoplehey, bottleto the, womanonea etc.

laughthink, newspaperecho, datingico, chairinha, footlittle etc.

Analytical — use of adjective.

Boat great, bullet great, bottle huge, woman immense etc.

River little, newspaper little, chair wee, foot tiny.

What is the difference between a simple noun and a compound noun?

What differentiates the simple noun from the compound noun is the presence of one or more radicals. In this way, we have:

  • simple noun: displays only one radical.
  • compound noun: displays more than one radical.

See these examples of compound nouns:

  • hobby
  • Rainbow
  • skyscraper
  • big shot
  • parachute

classifications of nouns

→ common noun

O common noun is a type of noun that designates beings of the same species:

    • home
    • happiness
    • floor

→ proper noun

The proper noun designates a particular being:

    • mario
    • Curitiba
    • straps

→ Simple noun

The simple noun has only one stem:

    • store
    • dream
    • life

→ Compound noun

The compound noun has more than one root:

    • cauliflower
    • sponge cake
    • Hummingbird

→ Primitive noun

O primitive noun gives rise to other nouns:

    • car
    • stone
    • teeth

→ Derived noun

O derived noun comes from another noun:

    • wagon
    • quarry
    • dentist

→ concrete noun

The concrete noun indicates a real being or a figment of the imagination:

    • werewolf
    • woman
    • pen

→ abstract noun

The abstract noun indicates quality, feeling, action or state:

    • beauty
    • sadness
    • match
    • poverty

See more: Pronoun — class of words that replaces or accompanies the noun

Solved exercises on simple noun

question 1

Analyze the following statements and mark the alternative that does NOT present a simple noun.

a) The lives of those people depended on the good will of the government.

b) No one could imagine that that dream would come true.

c) The hummingbird landed on the parachute, and we flew together happily.

d) We could not find the owner of the car that was parked there.

e) Elderly people should receive all the protection of society.


Alternative C

The nouns “hummingbird” and “parachute” are compound nouns.

question 2

Mark the alternative where all nouns are simple.

a) I bought a new wardrobe, but I only have old clothes to put in it.

b) Irina did not like pé de moleque, she preferred guava paste with Minas cheese.

c) Monday was his last working day before starting his retirement.

d) The children played among the sunflowers under a beautiful and vast blue sky.

e) That Sunday morning, my friends ate Saturday's cold pizza.


Alternative E

They are compound nouns: “wardrobe” (alternative A), “pé de moleque” and “queijo de Minas” (alternative B), “monday” (alternative C) and “sunflowers” ​​(alternative D).

question 3

All the simple nouns of the alternatives below form plural in “-os”, except:

a) handrail.

b) grain.

c) brother.

d) lemon.

e) orphan.


Alternative D

The plural of the simple noun “lemon” is “lemons”.

By Warley Souza
Grammar teacher

Source: Brazil School -

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