I know "parts of speech" is used to mean nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc., but is there a word or phrase for "types of nouns" that would include subject, direct object, indirect object, etc.?

  • Noun is a word classification. I am not aware of nouns that can only be used as a subject vs. nouns that can only be used as an object (other than certain pronouns).
    – jxh
    Dec 10, 2014 at 20:53
  • Are nouns used as anything else besides subjects, direct objects, and indirect objects? For example, in the sentence "Katie gave John a present at her house," Katie is the subject, John is the indirect object, and present is the direct object. What classification is the noun house?
    – Nicole
    Dec 10, 2014 at 20:56
  • At her house is a prepositional phrase, where her house is the complement (object of) the preposition at. Her house is called a noun phrase, and her is a determiner for the noun house.
    – jxh
    Dec 10, 2014 at 21:10
  • Okay, thank you. I wasn't sure of the exact terminology.
    – Nicole
    Dec 10, 2014 at 21:16
  • 1
    I think those are called 'functions' of the noun.
    – Mitch
    Dec 10, 2014 at 22:18

2 Answers 2


There are various terms for the parts of a sentence (Oxford Guide to English Grammar: subject, verb, object, complement, adverbial): sentence parts, sentence elements, constituents.

By the way "verb" is a word class, so it is no good and precise term for the SE (sentence element). Verb part or verb element would be better. Likewise, adverbial is used as word class for adverb groups. So, in order to have a precise term for the SE adverbial part/element would be better.


After some more research, it seems like noun functions is commonly used to include all the things a noun can be, including subject, direct object, indirect object, prepositional object, etc.

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