What are Proper Nouns

What are Proper Nouns

A noun is a part of speech that identifies a person, place, thing or an idea. Nouns can be divided into two main groups: common nouns and proper nouns. A common noun is a word that is used to identify a class of people, places, things or ideas. Proper noun, on the other hand, refers to the specific identity of a word. In this article, we are going to discuss the nature of proper nouns, their characteristics, and usage.

A proper noun can be defined as a noun that is primarily applied to a unique entity. Proper nouns are the names of particular people, places, and objects. They can refer to names of people, countries, cities, organizations, etc. For example,

Siberia, Amazon, Jupiter, McDonald’s, India, February, Rusty, Ryan Adams, Peugeot, Thompson, Garfield, Frodo, Agatha Christie, Tintin, Levi’s

You’ll note that all the above words start with a capital letter. In fact, this is a common feature of proper nouns. Proper nouns always begin with capital letters, no matter where they occur in a sentence.

Note that proper nouns can also consist of more than one word. For example,

Naomi Campbell, United Kingdom, University of New South Wales, Royal Air Force

Proper nouns are sometimes used in contrast with common nouns. Common nouns are words used to name general items rather than specific items. It is important to note that every proper noun has an equivalent common noun. The table below will help you to understand this concept.

Common Noun

Proper Noun


Lamborghini, Volvo, Porsche


Russia, France, Belgium


Oreo, Belvita, Hydrox


Brad Pitt, Clark Gable


Bordeaux, Liverpool, Moscow


Titanic, USS Enterprise, Argo

He loves to eat Oreos.

He loves to eat Oreos.

Once you know what proper nouns are, it is not difficult to use them. All you have to do is simply place them in your sentence, as you would do with common nouns. 

Examples of Proper Nouns

Ex: 1

My teacher is very strict.

Mrs. Wilson is very strict.

Ex: 2

Her cat is the cutest cat I’ve ever seen.

Kitty is the cutest cat I’ve ever seen.

Ex: 3

He went out in his car.

Jack went out in his Volvo.

Ex: 4

I met a girl.

I met Sarah.

Ex: 5

My friend has a bought a phone.

Tom has bought a Samsung Galaxy s6.

What are Proper Nouns - 2

Taj Mahal, located on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in the Indian city of Agra, was built by the emperor Shah Jahan.


Summary – Proper nouns

  • Nouns are basically divided into common nouns and proper nouns.
  • Proper Nouns indicate a specific name of a person, place, or thing.
  • Proper Nouns are always written in capital letters.
  • Every proper noun has an equivalent common noun.

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