Proper Nouns and Common Nouns | Definitions with Examples
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Proper and Common Nouns


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.


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 Nature-1 Nature-1
    Common Noun state planet
    Proper Noun Maharashtra Saturn
  2. Person and Animal Nature-1 Nature-1
    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:

    A girl is smart and intelligent.

    Rekha is smart and intelligent.

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

  4. Example:

    The 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.

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