Proper Nouns – English Grammar Rules

Proper Nouns – English Grammar Rules

What are proper nouns and what are examples of proper noun in English Grammar? Let’s find that out and other things related to this type of noun. Proper nouns have two major features: They name specific one-of-a-kind entities and start with capital letters, no matter where they occur within a sentence.

Here, we will take a deeper look at proper nouns, provide proper noun examples, and help you learn how to use a proper noun correctly.

Remember that all nouns are words naming people, animals, places, things, and qualities. Every noun can be further categorised as either common or proper. The distinction is quite simple to make once you see some examples and come up with a few of your own.

Proper Noun Examples

In the sentences below, proper noun examples are compared with common nouns. Notice that the proper nouns are specific and unique, while the common nouns are much more general in nature.

Common noun: I wish to be a writer. Proper noun: Agatha Steven wrote many books.

Common noun: I’d love to adopt a cat. Proper noun: Cleopatra is the finest kitten ever.

Common noun: Would you take a cookie? Proper noun: I’m longing for Oreos.

Common noun: Let’s visit the city. Proper noun: Let’s visit San Francisco.

Common noun: My teacher resumes work before sunup. Proper noun: Mr. Dan seems to understand what students need.

Common noun: I guess that’s a planet, not a star. Proper noun: I can spot Jupiter tonight.

Common noun: She’s always hanging out with his girlfriend. Proper noun: She never goes anywhere without Sarah.

Common noun: There are a lot of sensitive documents in the archives. Proper noun: There are many sensitive documents at The Library of Congress.

How to Use Proper Nouns

It’s simple to use proper nouns, once you know what they are. Simply place them in your sentences as you would common nouns, ensuring that you write them in capital letters. Here are some examples to help you start.

Bella had hoped for an easy teacher for his algebra class, but he got Ms. Sharon, whose unreasonable demands and short temper made the semester unbearable. → Teacher is a common noun. Ms. Sahron is a proper noun.

Glory had a craving, and not just any cookie would do. She went to the store and bought a box of Oreos. → Cookie is a common noun. Oreos is a proper noun.

We wanted to try a new restaurant, so we went to Taste of Thai. → Restaurant is a common noun. Taste of Thai is a proper noun.


Here is an exercise for you. Identify the proper noun in the sentences below:

The boy threw the ball to his dog, Jack.

I’d like you to meet my friend Jerry.

We’ll be vacationing in Aspen this year.

My second grade teacher was Mrs. Bose, an old battle-axe.

We went to Smith’s Furniture and bought a new couch to replace the old one.

Do you think the Dolphins will win the contest?

I’m flying business class on Emirate Airlines.

Thomas Jefferson was a president and scholar.

My best friend moved to Israel for studies.

When the Titanic sank, the captain went down with the ship.

Answers: 1 – Jack, 2 – Jerry, 3 – Aspen, 4 – Mrs. Bose, 5 – Smith’s Furniture, 6 – Dolphins, 7 – Emirate Airlines, 8 – Thomas Jefferson, 9 – Israel, 10 – Titanic

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