In general, nouns signify people, places, things and ideas. The proper noun, however, is a type of noun that specifically names one noun.

Examples: Common Nouns vs. Proper Nouns




























Common Nouns



Proper Nouns



writer



Sydney Sheldon



teacher



Mrs. Hickory



cookie



Oreo



city



London



school



Harvard University



Sample Sentences:


  1. Abigael gave Mary a freshly-baked cookie but Mary said that she really wanted an Oreo.




Common Nouncookie


Proper NounOreo





  1. Dennis expected to go to a local college, but he aced his last semester and was admitted to Harvard University.




Common Nouncollege


Proper NounHarvard University





  1. My mother said she’s fed up with her suburban house, so she and dad packed all their things and moved to London.




Common Nounhouse


Proper NounLondon


Proper Nouns in Capital Letters


ALWAYS use a capital letter to start a proper noun. This means that specific names for people, places, events, things and ideas should start with a capital letter.


Examples:




  • They are interested in going to Cambodia. (correct)

  • They are interested in going to cambodia. (incorrect)

  • We watched City of Angels at the Orion Theater. (correct)

  • We watched city of angels at the orion theatre. (incorrect)

  • April is the cruelest month. (correct)

  • april is the cruelest month. (incorrect)


Proper Nouns without ‘THE’


There is no need to use ‘The’ with proper names of people.


Examples:




  • Friday is my favorite day. (correct)

  • The Friday is my favorite day. (incorrect)

  • Billy is my best friend. (correct)

  • The Billy is my best friend. (incorrect)

  • Taco Bell is my favorite restaurant. (correct)

  • The Taco Bell is my favorite restaurant. (incorrect)


Other rules:


We don’t use ‘the’ with specific names of companies.




  • Air France is a good airline. (correct)

  • The Air France is a good airline. (incorrect)


We don’t use ‘the’ for specific names of banks, hotels, and shops which are named after their owner or founder.

  • I love to go to Marks & Spencer. (correct)

  • I love to go to the Marks & Spencer. (incorrect)


We don’t use ‘the’ with specific names of places.

  • Tokyo is an interesting city. (correct)

  • The Tokyo is an interesting city. (incorrect)


We use ‘the’ if a specific country name includes ‘Kingdom, ‘ Republic’, ‘States’




  • I would love to go to the United Kingdom one day. (correct)

  • I would love to go to United Kingdom one day. (incorrect)