Unfortunately for writers who chafe at rules and those attempting to unravel the structure of the sentence, nouns can show up almost anywhere in a sentence.
To determine whether a word is acting as a noun, first remember the tried and true wisdom that a noun is a person, a place, a thing or an idea.
Second, and perhaps a little trickier, a noun can be an action. Let’s be clear here: A noun cannot be an action in the same way a verb can. A verb has a subject doing an action.
- Bill ran.
BILL is the subject and RAN is the verb. An action acting as a noun is the THING that is doing (the SUBJECT) or being done to (the OBJECT).
- Running seems fun.
RUNNING is the subject; SEEMS is the verb.
- Bill enjoys running
BILL is the subject. ENJOYS is a transitive verb and RUNNING is the direct object.
There are six types of nouns to consider:
(1) The subject: the person, place, thing or idea that is doing or being something in the clause or sentence
(3) the indirect object: the noun or pronoun that receives the direct object
(4) the predicate nominative: the noun following a linking verb that restates or stands for the subject
(5)the object of the preposition: the noun that follows the preposition
(6) the object of the verbal: the noun that follows the verbal and “receives” it.