Waylink English

List of the top English common nouns

These lists show you which words are used most often. They give you examples of their correct use in phrases or sentences. Note that some words may be used as noun, verb, adjective etc. For definitions and more uses and different meanings of these words you should refer to a good online dictionary or printed book dictionary of English.

account

 

act

That film star can act brilliantly.

He was coughing so badly he had to leave the theatre during act three.

The United Nations Security Council condemned the act of war and called for a ceasefire.

action

The police took action to reduce crime.

activity

After the terrorist attack, there was a lot of police activity at the airport.

This learning activity should help you to understand how to calculate the area of a circle.

I cannot see any benefit in allowing this dangerous activity to take place.

age

What age are you? Only people aged 18 and over are allowed in this club.

agreement

The committee members were in agreement about the new policy proposals.

The football club signed an agreement with the city council.

Your agreement is vital. Without it, the plans will not be approved.

air

All animals and plants depend on oxygen usually from the air around them.

Air is about 79% nitrogen and 20% oxygen; the rest is other gases including air pollution.

amount

No amount of pressure will cause me to agree to your proposal.

application

The pharmacist said that daily application of the skin cream was necessary.

approach

His approach to the task is to be patient and persuasive; trying to bully people is not the best approach.

If you approach the airport from the south, you will see a large car park.

The scientific approach is dispassionate and rational.

area

The area of a circle is the radius squared multiplied by pi.

This learning activity should help you to understand how to calculate the area of a circle.

arm

 

art

She loves the world of art and literature.

The art gallery has a fine collection of paintings and statues from all over the world.

authority

The Health Authority gives money to the hospitals.

award

The soldier won a military award for bravery.

He asked the court to award the plaintiff $50000 for the serious injuries he has suffered.

This is the highest academic award that the university can offer.

back

He injured his back in a sports accident.

The two students sat at the back of the class hoping that the teacher would ignore them.

bank

She went to the bank to deposit some cheques and withdraw some cash.

bed

They stayed in bed and breakfast accommodation because it was comfortable and cheap.

The hotel offered us a room with a double bed or two single beds.

bit

That ancient college has a royal charter and coat of arms - a bit like a logo, really!

board

The board of directors ordered all employees to be more efficient and give better service to customers.

body

Her body is healthy but her brain is damaged.

Human communication is affected by body language and tone of voice as well as the actual words spoken.

book

I read the book from cover to cover.

The film is not a patch on the book (colloquial; not as good as).

boy

The boy and his sister played together in the garden.

The boy stood on the burning deck, complaining of the heat. So he stood on his hands and tried to cool his feet.

They have two children - a boy and a girl.

building

 

business

The abolition of restrictions encourages business expansion.

What business is it of yours?

There was a conflict of interest between his business investments and his job as minister.

Money laundering is used to transfer money from drugs, smuggling and other crimes into legitimate business accounts.

She has a good reputation as a business leader.

His business affairs are kept separate from his political position.

The business students argued about the difference in meaning between

Her university degree is in Business Administration.

car

He was injured in a car accident.

My car has broken down so I will have to go by bus.

New car drivers must learn to operate the controls with skill.

The car repair job took 3 days.

The road was wide enough for the car to overtake.

You can use my car to drive to town.

If you approach the airport from the south, you will see a large car park.

The car factory has installed a new assembly line.

I need to insure my car against fire, theft and collision damage risks.

care

The old woman was in need of care due to her illness.

The children played happily without a care in the world.

He needs hospital care to recover from the suregery.

case

I'll wait for you in case you are late.

You travel light; you have only one case and I have several bags.

He always carried his credit card in case of emergency.

centre

The sun is the centre of our universe.

century

The nineteenth century was a very turbulent period in British history.

Robertson scored his first century in yesterday

chance

When you fly there is a chance that the airline will lose your bags at the airport.

Football is a game of skill but there is still an element of chance that produces surprise results.

change

She wished for a change in the weather.

He brought a change of clothes.

I didn't have any small change so gave him paper money.

My decision is final; you will not persuade me to change my opinion.

chapter

When he returned from the war, he started a new chapter in his life.

The Moseley Chapter of the association meets every Friday evening.

child

He was convicted of child abuse.

My child is sick. Her children are 6 and 8 years old.

church

The Catholic Church is a very large organization with hundreds of millions of believers.

This church was built 500 years ago but is still used for worship today.

city

Mr Khan works in a city office.

Which way (direction) is it to the city centre?

The football club signed an agreement with the city council.

The baby was born at 03:30 in the city hospital.

He said that Vancouver is the best city bar none. (

London is the capital city of England.

Land is very expensive - especially in city centres and crowded countries.

class

My school class is learning English. .

High class restaurants are usually expensive.

The two students sat at the back of the class hoping that the teacher would ignore them.

club

The student joined a sports club and a musical society.

The football club signed an agreement with the city council.

Manchester United football club has bought a new player - he cost over a million Euro.

committee

The committee members were in agreement about the new policy proposals.

I hope the report is on the agenda of the committee meeting.

community

There is a public party tonight in the community hall.

company

The accountant produced the company accounts for the tax inspector.

Don't keep company with bad people.

The company went into administration and eventually closed down.

The labour union leaders and the company management reached a pay deal and averted a strike.

The company has advertised a new post - Chief Accounting Officer.

computer

Searching and sorting are very demanding computer applications.

The computer system failed to work properly.

condition

 

contract

They met to sign the contract of cooperation between the parties.

control

The government has no control over the weather.

cost

The cost of raw materials has increased by 12% since last year.

His drunken driving cost him his life.

Manchester United football club has bought a new player - he cost over a million Euro.

council

The local council looks after street cleaning.

She was elected to the Council of Ministers.

The United Nations Security Council condemned the act of war and called for a ceasefire.

They applied to the local council for planning approval to build a new office block.

country

We visited a country park.

France is a large country in Europe.

It is your duty to be loyal to your country and be a good citizen.

course

The course of history is complex and erratic.

The race course was very crowded with spectators.

court

The court of King Rascali was corrupt.

The judge sits in court and hears criminal cases.

The court is very busy - the judge has to hear several cases this week.

The lawyer submitted a detailed argument to the court claiming that the defendant had an alibi.

He asked the court to award the plaintiff $50000 for the serious injuries he has suffered.

The decison of the district court was overturned by the higher court of appeal.

data

The word data was originally the plural of datum.

Nowadays, the word data is generally used as an uncountable (mass) noun.

The lack of data makes it difficult to decide.

The Data Protection Officer refused to allow disclosure of private information.

date

What date is it today?

day

The day after tomorrow is Thursday.

The unnecessary movement of vehicles every day is a major cause of pollution.

death

 

decision

My decision is final; you will not persuade me to change my opinion.

department

Which department do you work in?

detail

Attention to detail is vital in forensic science.

development

Educational development is very important for the nation.

Foreign governments give development aid to poorer countries.

The Expressionist movement was an important stage in the development of modern art.

difference

The business students argued about the difference in meaning between

director

She is the director responsible for the new department.

door

Please close the door when you go out.

education

 

effect

What effect will this have on my salary?

end

At the end of the day.

The far end of the road.

At the end of the meeting, there was a collection to raise money for the project.

event

 

evidence

 

example

He tries to be a role model and set a good example to all the young people.

experience

He has three years job experience in this industry.

eye

He has an eye for fine art.

Keep an eye on the children.

My left eye is hurting.

face

The face of modern Britain.

He washed his face and brushed his hair.

fact

Is this fact or fiction?

The fact is, I overslept.

family

This family of plants is nearing extinction.

My family consists of my mother, my father and me.

The family is on benefit; they depend on welfare benefits because there are so few jobs available.

father

My family consists of my mother, my father and me.

My mother and father have two children: a daughter and a son.

He became lord of the manor when his father died.

field

The farmer planted rice in his field and hopes to harvest it in a few months

Many students find physics to be a difficult field of study.

The football field was so muddy the team could not play in their usual style.

figure

Look at the map in figure 8.

firm

The firm will enter a new market next year.

The firm needed to raise more capital to finance new investment in export markets.

His firm had great difficulty in obtaining finance to buy the expensive new machine.

food

The food shortages led to civil unrest.

foot

In Imperial measurements, the foot is a unit of length; a metric metre is about three feet.

force

This experiment demonstrates the force fields around a magnet.

You will need a lot of force to break down that security door.

The police force hopes to recruit women trainees.

The force of Earth

form

The footballer was in good form and scored two goals.

Fill in the form using a ballpoint pen.

friend

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

My friend John lives nearby.

game

Football is a game of skill but there is still an element of chance that produces surprise results.

girl

This girl is going to be a star. Her singing voice is amazing!

government

The government has no control over the weather.

The government increase security controls due to the bomb scare.

The government is in charge of the army, education, health and trade.

He tried to gain an unfair advantage by bribing the government official.

ground

The football ground was very crowded with supporters of both teams.

I felt a movement in the ground and feared that it was an earthquake.

group

A group of students were chatting.

On the basis of 5 litres per person, he calculated the group would need 50 litres of water per day.

hand

He lost his right hand in an industrial accident.

head

They were at the head of the race.

She is the head of marketing.

health

The Health Authority gives money to the hospitals.

The government is in charge of the army, education, health and trade.

history

The course of history is complex and erratic.

home

He lives at home with his parents.

England was the home of the industrial revolution.

hospital

He needs hospital care to recover from the suregery.

The accident victim was treated by a hospital doctor and nurses.

hour

An hour has 60 minutes.

house

My house is on this street.

Part of the house fell down.

The house was in a poor state (condition).

One of the rooms in his house is used as a study.

The British House of Lords is unelected and some say undemocratic - but it works quite well most of the time.

hundred

One hundred metres is often written as 100m.

idea

He has no idea about cooking.

I have an idea for a new book.

industry

 

information

He gave false information to the police.

interest

He paid 12% interest on his loan.

Did he show any interest in her painting?

There was a conflict of interest between his business investments and his job as minister.

He earned 8% interest on the money in his savings account.

issue

Government issue clothing for soldiers is usually very strong and hardwearing.

job

Have you posted your job application?

He has three years job experience in this industry.

There was a conflict of interest between his business investments and his job as minister.

It's quite a job to climb that steep hill.

My job is well-paid and I I hope for another salary increase soon.

The car repair job took 3 days.

kind

What kind of fruit is this?

She is very kind and generous to everyone.

king

The court of King Rascali was corrupt.

He played the part of King Lear in the play.

land

I bought some land so that I can build a new house.

language

Human communication is affected by body language and tone of voice as well as the actual words spoken.

law

The new law was passed in parliament and enforced by the courts.

The law of nature says that all living things must eventually die.

leader

 

letter

The applicant received his letter of acceptance from the university.

I wrote the letter and then put it in the post today so you should receive it by tomorrow.

level

The builder used a spirit-level to check whether the wall was level and true.

life

My aim in life is to work hard and to play hard.

light

 

line

The line of shoppers grew longer and longer.

lord

He became lord of the manor when his father died.

lot

There is a lot of crime in this area.

A lot of people were at the market.

After the terrorist attack, there was a lot of police activity at the airport.

She works in administration and has to do a lot of paperwork.

You will need a lot of force to break down that security door.

man

This man works hard in the factory all day.

The police arrested the man and accused him of murder.

The old man was born a very long time ago.

If a dog bites a man, that is not news but if a man bites a dog, the newspapers will be interested.

management

The labour union leaders and the company management reached a pay deal and averted a strike.

manager

She is manager of the advice centre.

market

The firm will enter a new market next year.

material

She bought some material to make a new dress.

Building material is very expensive but usually lasts a long time.

matter

 

meeting

The meeting discussed every item on the agenda.

The chairman called the meeting to order so that they could begin formal discussions.

member

Are you a member of this club?

She is a respected member of the community.

method

 

million

Manchester United football club has bought a new player - he cost over a million Euro.

mind

She has a brilliant mind - extremely intelligent and well-educated.

Do you mind if I sit here? No, I don

minister

The minister was accountable to parliament.

He was a minister in the Blair government.

She trained as minister of religion.

Mr Trasker is the Minister of Defence in the Social Democratic government.

minute

The forensic scientist found minute particles on his clothing. They were so tiny you could not see them with the naked eye.

model

The model aircraft is operated by radio control.

He tries to be a role model and set a good example to all the young people.

moment

Wait a moment! This is not the right moment to go away. At moments like this, we need to be careful.

money

The Health Authority gives money to the hospitals.

Do you have any money to hand?

I have no money so I cannot buy a new car.

Money laundering is used to transfer money from drugs, smuggling and other crimes into legitimate business accounts.

He earned 8% interest on the money in his savings account.

OXFAM and other charities launched an appeal to raise money for poor people.

At the end of the meeting, there was a collection to raise money for the project.

month

February is the only calendar month with 28 days.

morning

In the morning I go to school, in the afternoon I play sport and in the evening I read books.

mother

The mother fed her children.

The mother ship was escorted into harbour.

Her choice of clothes surprised her mother. Her mother wanted her to choose different clothes.

My mother and father have two children: a daughter and a son.

movement

I felt a movement in the ground and feared that it was an earthquake.

The unnecessary movement of vehicles every day is a major cause of pollution.

The Expressionist movement was an important stage in the development of modern art.

Mr

 

Mrs

 

name

My name is Peter.

What's the name of your hotel?

Can you name the 27 countries of the European Union?

I wrote his name and address in my notebook.

nature

The law of nature says that all living things must eventually die.

need

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

I need a new part for my car.

The old woman was in need of care due to her illness.

On the basis of 5 litres per person, he calculated the group would need 50 litres of water per day.

We need to budget for further expansion and increased advetising expenditure.

Students need careful advice about making wise career choices.

You will need a lot of force to break down that security door.

Wait a moment! This is not the right moment to go away. At moments like this, we need to be careful.

I need to insure my car against fire, theft and collision damage risks.

night

I have to work the night shift on alternate weeks.

north

The division of Korea into north and south many years ago still has serious consequences today.

number

This number is greater than ten.

office

I work in an office building.

The office of President is extremely powerful.

I asked at the theatre box office but they said that no seats were available.

They applied to the local council for planning approval to build a new office block.

officer

The Data Protection Officer refused to allow disclosure of private information.

operation

She is revcovering from an operation in hospital.

The operation of this laboratory equipment is quite difficult.

opportunity

 

order

The chairman called the meeting to order so that they could begin formal discussions.

other

Money laundering is used to transfer money from drugs, smuggling and other crimes into legitimate business accounts.

The other side of the moon.

Air is about 79% nitrogen and 20% oxygen; the rest is other gases including air pollution.

OXFAM and other charities launched an appeal to raise money for poor people.

paper

I didn't have any small change so gave him paper money.

You should draw the picture on very thick paper or card.

parent

 

part

I need a new part for my car.

He played the part of King Lear in the play.

I take part in sports.

Google Earth lets you zoom in on photographs of any part of the world.

party

It was no accident that they left the party at the same time.

We had a birthday party on Friday.

The Labour Party candidate was successful in the election.

There is a public party tonight in the community hall.

patient

His approach to the task is to be patient and persuasive; trying to bully people is not the best approach.

people

Some English people find strong Scottish accents difficult to understand.

With the arrival of foreign soldiers, the people were anxious.

Other people were present.

Some people eat pork and some don't.

A lot of people were at the market.

What age are you? Only people aged 18 and over are allowed in this club.

His approach to the task is to be patient and persuasive; trying to bully people is not the best approach.

Most people have two arms and two legs. He has a tatoo on his right arm.

This baby submarine can carry two people to depths of 500 metres.

The MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) said it would bring about improvements in the lives of ordinary people in Zimbabwe.

per cent (%)

Inflation increased to 5 per cent (%) last year.

period

He was absent for a period of three weeks.

The period from June to August is a very busy time.

Her period was overdue.

The nineteenth century was a very turbulent period in British history.

person

He is a person of integrity.

She was acting like a very upset person but I

picture

You should draw the picture on very thick paper or card.

place

This is the place to be.

plan

We asked the architect to draw a plan of the proposed new house.

When do you plan to get married?

point

What is the point of doing that?

What is your point of view?

police

The police took action to reduce crime.

The protesters could not cross the police line.

The police arrested the man and accused him of murder.

After the terrorist attack, there was a lot of police activity at the airport.

The police became suspicious of his association with known terrorists and they brought him in for questioning.

The police force hopes to recruit women trainees.

After the fight, the police charged the suspect with assault.

policy

It is our policy to look after all our customers.

The committee members were in agreement about the new policy proposals.

position

 

pound

 

power

Electric power is used for lighting, cooking and heating.

Political power corrupts many leaders.

practice

 

president

The office of President is extremely powerful.

The soldiers stood to attention and saluted when the president drove past.

price

The price of freedom is obedience to the law.

The price of bread has increased greatly.

We will not refund the ticket price under any circumstances.

problem

I have a problem with my car.

process

 

product

 

production

Component shortages delayed production of the new cars.

programme

 

project

The New Deal was a major project aimed at creating jobs and reducing poverty in America.

property

 

quality

 

question

It's a question of common sense.

I asked a question and he gave me an answer.

range

 

rate

What rate do you charge?

reason

He asked for the reason I was late.

Logic and reason can solve many problems but not all.

record

 

relationship

 

report

I was shocked by the report on global warming.

Jane's school report was excellent.

I hope the report is on the agenda of the committee meeting.

research

He spent five years at the university doing research for a doctor of philosophy degree.

result

The result of his negligence was severe injury.

What was the result of the test?

right

He lost his right hand in an industrial accident.

She is right to complain about the poor working conditions.

We have the right to vote.

Most people have two arms and two legs. He has a tatoo on his right arm.

The right to bear arms is enshrined in the US constitution. Firearms are dangerous.

Wait a moment! This is not the right moment to go away. At moments like this, we need to be careful.

road

Hard work is the road to success.

The road was wide enough for the car to overtake.

role

He tries to be a role model and set a good example to all the young people.

room

It looks so crowded; is there any room (space) to sit down?

This room is used for storing boxes.

The hotel offered us a room with a double bed or two single beds.

rule

 

scheme

 

school

The alterations to the school rules were among many proposed changes.

My school class is learning English. .

Jane's school report was excellent.

The school of fish swam away.

He liked the school teacher because she was knowledgeable and entertaining.

The school year has three terms or trimesters.

I like my new school - it's a friendly but hard-working environment.

She wrote an interesting article for the school magazine.

Secretary

 

section

 

sense

 

service

What time does the bus service start?

The religious service began at 10:00.

The service is very fast in this restaurant.

The board of directors ordered all employees to be more efficient and give better service to customers.

share

 

side

The other side of the moon.

This side of summer.

This side of the road.

A side of beef.

sir

 

situation

 

society

 

son

 

sort

 

south

The division of Korea into north and south many years ago still has serious consequences today.

staff

 

stage

The Expressionist movement was an important stage in the development of modern art.

state

The house was in a poor state (condition).

story

 

street

The local council looks after street cleaning.

structure

 

student

The student joined a sports club and a musical society.

study

Conscientious study (process of learning) is the key to examination success.

The professor published his study of AIDS.

Psychologists study human behaviour and make associations between stimuli and responses.

subject

 

support

 

system

The computer system failed to work properly.

table

 

tax

The accountant produced the company accounts for the tax inspector.

teacher

He liked the school teacher because she was knowledgeable and entertaining.

The two students sat at the back of the class hoping that the teacher would ignore them.

The teacher told the students to pay attention to the explanations.

The mathematics teacher wrote the equation on the board.

The science teacher explained the danger of acid being spilled in the laboratory.

team

You hope your team will win but you can

The football field was so muddy the team could not play in their usual style.

term

The criminal was sentenced to a term of 10 years in jail.

What does the scientific term 'relativity' mean?

test

 

theory

 

thing

What is this thing lying on the floor?

time

What time does the bus service start?

What time is it?

The old man was born a very long time ago.

town

Our town is too small to be a city.

The hotel is in the town centre.

trade

 

training

 

type

 

union

The labour union leaders and the company management reached a pay deal and averted a strike.

unit

In Imperial measurements, the foot is a unit of length; a metric metre is about three feet.

university

This is the highest academic award that the university can offer.

He spent five years at the university doing research for a doctor of philosophy degree.

Her university degree is in Business Administration.

use

What use are tea leaves if you have no hot water?

You can use my car to drive to town.

The FBI use secret agents to smash drugs cartels.

value

What is the value of this gold chain?

view

The view from Cape Town

voice

Human communication is affected by body language and tone of voice as well as the actual words spoken.

This girl is going to be a star. Her singing voice is amazing!

wall

The builder used a spirit-level to check whether the wall was level and true.

war

The war on poverty is urgent.

There is a war of words between the politicians.

The United Nations Security Council condemned the act of war and called for a ceasefire.

water

There is a shortage of water in the desert.

She drinks two litres of water every day.

The laboratory analysis showed that the water was dangerously polluted.

On the basis of 5 litres per person, he calculated the group would need 50 litres of water per day.

way

I enjoy this way (method) of learning.

Which way (direction) is it to the city centre?

week

 

wife

 

window

 

woman

She was the first woman to be become president.

The old woman was in need of care due to her illness.

word

The word 'book' can be used as a noun, as an adjective and as a verb.

They got word of his death.

I found the word in the dictionary.

The word data was originally the plural of datum.

Nowadays, the word data is generally used as an uncountable (mass) noun.

work

I work in an office building.

Hard work is the road to success.

The computer system failed to work properly.

I enjoy my work as a teacher.

Now that the boss is back, we had better work faster.

I have to work the night shift on alternate weeks.

My aim in life is to work hard and to play hard.

What percentage of students work hard for their examinations?

Which department do you work in?

worker

 

world

She loves the world of art and literature.

He flew around the world in 3 days.

year

The school year has three terms or trimesters.

Last year I went to Spain.

A year has 12 months.

We pay our taxes year after year.

zzz

 


 

Learning resources, notes and exercises for international students and teachers of English





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