There are two general types of nouns: concrete and abstract. A noun is concrete when it describes something definite, like a person, place, or thing. Ideas and emotions are also nouns, but these are considered abstract.
There are a number of ways to use nouns in a sentence. They can appear as the subject of a verb, performing the action described in the sentence, or they can appear as the object and receive the action of the sentence, either directly or indirectly. Note how
Subject: The girl is walking.
Direct object: I found the girl.
Indirect object: I gave the puppy to the girl.
The same noun can be used to convey a variety of different meanings. French, like English, relies on word order and auxiliary words to show how the noun is affected by the sentence.
There are other kinds of nouns, too. Pronouns are words that replace nouns, such as “him” or “her.” Pronouns are used in place of a noun; in the first of the preceding examples, the word “she” could replace “the girl,” and the word “her” could be used instead as the direct object or indirect object.