Nouns are divided into two basic categories:
Common Nouns are general people, places, or things. These nouns begin with a lower case letter. For example, book, students, boy, girl, house, and job are all common nouns.
Proper Nouns are words that refer to specific people, places, or things. These nouns begin with a capital letter. For example, Thomas, Obama, Thanksgiving, Tuesday, and United States are all proper nouns.
Common nouns can become proper nouns when they are part of a name or title. Examples include Doctor Phill, President Obama, Nurse Sally, and Governor McPherson.
Example of sentences with proper nouns: (all proper nouns are highlighted)
Examples of similar sentences when turning the proper nouns into common nouns: (all common nouns are highlighted)
Tip to remember:
A noun can be both common and proper depending on how it is used and how specific you are being.
|Common noun||Proper noun|
|high school||Forrest High School|
|credit card||Visa Credit Card|
|magazine||National Geographic Magazine|
|club||Boys and Girls Club|
|gym||Anytime Fitness Gym|
|college||Central Florida Community College|
Can a word be both proper and common?
Yes, it depends on how the noun is used and whether it is a general or specific focus.
When I see a noun that starts with a capital letter.,can I immediately infer that it is a proper noun?
Not always as the first word in a sentence is always Capitalized, but otherwise, yes most capitalized words are Proper Nouns.
When I see a noun that is not capitalized,can I immediately infer that it is a common noun?
The key is to think in terms of whether the noun you are looking at is general or specific. Is it referring to any and all? Then it is a common noun. Is it referring a very specific form of the noun? Then it is a proper name. Also remember that common nouns can become proper nouns when used as part of a name or title (eg. "President Lincoln").
|1. The word "Michael" is a common noun.||True | False|
|2. The word "table" is a proper noun.||True | False|
|3. The word "vehicle" is a common noun.||True | False|
|4. The word “Halloween” is a proper noun.||True | False|
|5. The word “boulevard” is a common noun.||True | False|
|6. The word “dog” is a proper noun.||True | False|
|7. The word “White House” is a proper noun.||True | False|
|8. The word “sled” is a common noun.||True | False|
(Please note: all words are uncapitalized on purpose)1. I am going to the library to check out my favorite book, the canterbury tales.
(Please note: all words are uncapitalized on purpose)1. edna is a cute girl.