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I was taught in my high school that a noun can be a person, place, animal or a thing? The word "benchmark" does not qualify to be any one of them yet it is considered as a noun

Can someone please explain me how?

marked as duplicate by sumelic, Kris, k1eran, Community Jan 8 at 9:54

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  • As Araucaria's answer to the linked question says, a noun doesn't have to fall into any of these three categories. However, if you want to, you could consider a benchmark a "thing". – sumelic Jan 8 at 7:45
  • It is a "thing." Look up thing: "an action, event, thought, or utterance" and more. Also @sumelic – Kris Jan 8 at 8:17

A noun can also be an abstract thought, idea, or concept. It doesn't have to be a physical object to be considered a noun.

A good example is that numbers (1, 2, 3...) are also considered nouns.


I used to visit benchmarks (or "bench marks" as we called them) when I worked for the UK Ordnance Survey, the government's mapping agency. They are measuring points, placed on fixed landscape features or buildings, used by surveyors. The noun later came to have a figurative use, and finally to also be a verb.

Here is a picture of an OS bench mark:

enter image description here

  • It was first a noun before it was a verb, then? – Kris Jan 8 at 8:15
  • @Kris Yes. My question might have been .. 'How can benchmark be a verb?' It's one of many examples of nouns 'being transitioned' (yuk) to verbs by Business-English users. – Robin Betts Jan 8 at 10:15
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    @RobinBetts Yuk or not, "verbing" is real and, lately, with no rules. – Kris Jan 10 at 6:57

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