All nouns can be described as either common or proper. When you talk or write about a person, a place, a thing, or an idea in general, you use a common noun.
Example: Doctors work hard. They treat many patients.
A proper noun is the name of a particular person, place, thing, or idea. Proper nouns always begin with capital letters.
Example: Johnson Peters is a doctor. He comes from New York.
Note: When a proper noun is made up of more than one word, only the important words in the noun will begin with a capital letter. Do not capitalize words such as the, of, or for.
Example: Gulf of Mexico, State of Liberty, the Commander – in – Chief.
Common and Proper Nouns
Common nouns Proper nouns Common nouns Proper nouns
Street Kerugoya city Raila Odinga
Author South Africa ocean Wanjohi wa Kigogo-ini
Policeman Asia bed Moi Avenue
Country Indian Ocean wardrobe Lake Victoria
Mountain England continent Dr. Frank Njenga
Lake Nelson Mandela assistant Professor Saitoti
Proper nouns are important to good writing.
They make your writing more specific, and therefore clearer.
Which words are proper nouns and should be capitalised? Which words are common nouns? Example: Togo Proper: Togo
- july 6. student 11. america
- book 7. kendu bay 12. business
- face 8. john hopkins 13. day
- england 9. life 14. east africa
- crocodiles 10. johannesburg 15. Calendar
List the common nouns and the proper nouns in each of the following sentences.
Example: Nancy welcomed the guests.
Proper: Nancy common: guests
- Lucky Dube was a famous singer.
- This dancer has performed in London and Paris.
- His last fight was over the Mediterranean Sea.
- She worked as a nurse during the Second World War.
- Her goal was to educate students all over the world.
- It was the worst accident in the history of Europe.
- Bill Gates is best known for founding Microsoft.
- The Pilot was the first woman to cross that ocean alone.
- She grabbed a kettle and brought them water.
- Professor Wangari Maathai won a Nobel Peace Prize.