What are Common Nouns and Proper Nouns? Definitions with Examples
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Common Noun and Proper Noun

Nouns are one of the major concepts of English Grammar for students. It is introduced with its classification, definition, and examples. Students will also come across the common mistakes made while using common and proper nouns. They will also be acquainted with the exceptions to the rules of usage for these nouns.

This concept will assist the students to identify:

  • Common noun definition and examples.
  • Proper noun definition and examples.
  • Common nouns used for professions with examples.

The concept is explained using apt illustrations, daily-life examples, and mind maps to help them understand it systematically. They can assess their understanding of the particular grammar concept by attempting to answer the dual common noun and proper noun worksheet for class 3 provided at the page end. The solutions for each of these worksheets have also been provided in an easy-to-download PDF format.


A Noun is the name of a person, place, animal, thing, or idea.


Common Noun:

A common noun is a general name for a place, person or thing in a group. Unlike proper nouns, it is not capitalized. Some examples of common nouns are cat, boy, country, mother, table, etc.

Proper Nouns:

Proper nouns indicate a name for specific things, people, places. Proper nouns are capitalized depending on how it is used in a sentence.

Examples to Show the Difference between Common Noun and Proper Noun:

Let’s take a look at how each name, place, animal or thing can have a common noun and a proper noun.

  1. Place and Thing Proper and common noun Proper and common noun
    Common Noun state planet
    Proper Noun Maharashtra Saturn
  2. Person and Animal Proper and common noun Proper and common noun
    Common Noun boy dog
    Proper Noun Rohit Billu

Common Noun Pertaining to Professions:

A profession refers to the work related to a person. These are common nouns as it refers to the group of people who work a particular profession.


  1. A painter paints the walls of your house.
  2. A postman delivers letters.
  3. A milkman delivers milk to your door.
  4. A doctor treats patients.
  5. A tailor stitches clothes.

Common Mistakes:

  1. Do not use common nouns in place of proper nouns when speaking about something specific.

  2. Example:

    cross A girl is smart and intelligent.

    tick Rekha is smart and intelligent.

  3. Articles are usually not used before a Proper Noun.

  4. Example:

    cross The Kolkata

    tick Kolkata


There are a few exceptions which are listed below:

  1. When a common noun appears in a sentence as the first word, it is written in capitals. For example, the word cities, which is a common noun, is capitalized in the sentence below as it is the first word in the sentence:

  2. Example:

    Cities are more polluted compared to the villages.

  3. The other reason for using capitals in a common noun is if it is part of a title.

  4. Example:

    ‘Umbrella’ is a common noun. However, in an essay titled ‘My Umbrella’, it is written in capitals.

types of nouns chart
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