What Are Proper and Common Nouns ?
In English, we have two kinds of nouns. One group refers to general things and the other refers to specific things or people. Take a look at the list below:
- Common Nouns
- Proper Nouns
When we want to talk about a general item or thing, we use a common noun. Words such as a cat, dog, chair, desk, computer, pencil, etc are all common nouns. Pay attention to the following examples:
I saw a black
As you can see, the highlighted words refer to general things.
Julia wants to sleep on the
It is useful to know that common nouns are categorized into many different groups but two most useful of these groups are countable and uncountable nouns. Look at the following examples:
As you can see, 'doctor' can be counted and here the sentence is talking about two or more doctors.
I can see five
Here, the sentence is about five fish but the noun 'fish' is not countable.
When we want to talk about specific things, people, animals, or places, we use proper nouns. Names of people, streets and locations, pets, countries, days of the week, and months of the year are all proper nouns. Take a look at the following examples:
As you can see, the sentence is referring to a specific celebrity.
Where will you be on
Please note that whenever we want to address people by their job titles, we can use proper nouns and they must be capitalized. Look at the following examples:
As you can see, the sentence is addressing the person by their job title.
Here, we are talking about a doctor and he/she is not specifically addressed.
Proper Nouns and 'The'
We normally do not use the definite article 'the' with proper nouns except for when it is
As you can see, 'the' is always added to 'United States of America'.