What Is Difference Between Common And Proper Nouns?

What Is Difference Between Common And Proper Nouns?

Why Learn Nouns in the English Language?

If you have just started to learn English language, this article is going to help you a lot. This article includes information on the common nouns and proper nouns. Some learners think that  learning about nouns is not very important and they proceed towards learning tenses directly. Take a sigh. You first need to identify things, ideas, places, and people in the English language like is required to learn any other language. 

Therefore, it is very important to learn about  nouns in the English language.


Noun can be defined as the name of anything, place, or person. It is the name given to a place, things, ideas, or a person.

Examples of Noun: Monalisa, Pizza, Tower, Road, etc.

Types of Noun

There are two types of nouns. They are described below:

1. Common Noun

A common noun is a type of noun, which generally denotes names of places, things, or persons. Common nouns never name a person or a thing specifically. Common nouns are also never capitalized in the sentence unless they are the first word of the sentence.

Examples of the Common Noun: Doctor, Engineer, Girl, Boy, Car, City, Country, Chair, etc.

Following are some sentence examples of the common noun:

      • All of the teachers will attend a meeting at the school tomorrow.
      • Engineers have been instructed to take a special training course before applying for this job.
      • These sour snacks and pastries are very delicious.

2. Proper Noun

A proper noun is a specific term used for a thing, place, or person. You cannot use this name for another thing, place, or person unless that thing or place also has this name. Proper nouns are also always capitalized in the English language.

Proper nouns are known for endowing the person or place with a special name. This is also it is called “proper” nouns.

All nouns are categorized as a proper or common noun. The terms that have a generic name are called common nouns. In the same category as a common noun, there are special nouns. Those special nouns, that give specific names to things or places, are called proper nouns.

Example of the Proper Noun: England, London, Sally, John, Smith’s Blacksmith’s Shop, etc.

Sentence Examples of the Proper Nouns

Following are some of the top sentence examples of the proper nouns:

      • I am Alia.
      • I live in London, England.
      • I like to read books, and my favorite book is “Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak”.
      • Come here Jay, let us go for a run together.
      • These plates were made in China specifically.

Are All Relationships Proper Noun?

We all get confused about whether we must capitalize on the relations or not. For instance, one of the the biggest confusion is that whether to capitalize word  “Mum” or not. The general rule of thumb is that we must capitalize the “Mum”, “Dad” or “Aunt” in case they are being used instead of their proper names.

Children mention their parent’s names with great care and respect. So, it is advisable for them to capitalize their parent’s or relation’s name if they are being mentioned specifically. Otherwise, you do not need to capitalize on their relations.

For example:

      • Please ask your Dad if he is willing to attend the steaks party.
      • Will your dad come to the steaks party?

There is a great deal of difference between the two sentences. So, remember to capitalize your all relations when they are mentioned specifically.

All Months and Weekdays Are Proper Nouns

Whether you mention one month or all of 12 months in a sentence, you must capitalize all of them. All of the weekdays and months are proper nouns.

Examples in the sentences:

        • My favorite month of the year is December because I love snow.
        • Every Sunday, I and my friends go for playing a cricket match.
        • I go for taking swimming classes every Sunday.
        • My eldest brother was born in August.

Names of the Special Days and Festival Days

Every culture has its festivals and special days. Everyone should capitalize such festivals and special days as they are proper nouns. Festival days and special days, whether mentioned in the starting or last of the sentence, should be capitalized.

Examples in the sentences:

      • Eid ul Azha is Muslim’s Biggest Eid.
      • New Year’s Eve is celebrated around the world.
      • We all love and respect Mother’s Day.

Names of the Buildings, Mountains, and Rivers

Keep in mind that the names of rivers, mountains, and buildings are also proper nouns. No matter you mention them in the middle or last of the sentences, you must capitalize them.

Examples in the Sentences:

      • The Great Wall of China is the best tourist attraction.
      • I and my parents had visited Niagara Falls last year.
      • River Nile is the most ancient and long river.
      • Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in this world.

The distinction between the Common Nouns and Proper Nouns

There is quite a  difference between proper nouns and common nouns. It is quite easy to distinguish between them. When we speak the words, it makes no difference at all. The difference will not be evident when we’re speaking it but it is actually when we’re writing that we should take care of how to use proper and common nouns correctly.

We must capitalize the proper nouns; no matter they are placed at the starting, middle, or end of the sentence.  Likewise, you cannot capitalize the common nouns unless they are placed at the starting of the sentences.

Bottom Line

The differentiation between a common noun and a proper noun is essential. If you understand common nouns and proper nouns well, it would build a great foundation for you to learn language correctly.