Proper Nouns: Definition & Examples in English

Proper Nouns: Definition & Examples in English

What is a Proper Noun?

A proper noun is a specific name used for a person, place, organization, or sometimes a thing, and it is always capitalized in English. Proper nouns distinguish a particular entity from others within the same category, thus making it unique.


Category Example
People John, Marie Curie, Muhammad Ali
Places Paris, Mount Everest, Atlantic Ocean
Organizations Google, Harvard University, United Nations
Events Christmas, World War II, Olympic Games
Things The Mona Lisa, iPhone, The Great Gatsby

Rules of Proper Noun:

1. Capitalize the First Letter
Always capitalize the first letter of a proper noun, regardless of where it appears in a sentence.

  • Examples:
    • Paris is a beautiful city.
    • I met John at the conference.
    • She works for Google.

2. Names of Specific People, Places, and Organizations
You should use proper nouns to refer to specific people, places, and organizations, distinguishing them from general or common nouns.

  • Examples:
    • Albert Einstein, Queen Elizabeth II, Oprah Winfrey
    • New York City, Niagara Falls, Sahara Desert
    • Microsoft, World Health Organization, NASA

3. Titles of Books, Movies, and Works of Art
Capitalize proper nouns in titles of books, movies, songs, and works of art. In titles, capitalize the first word, the last word, and all major words in between (but not articles, conjunctions, or prepositions unless they are the first or last word).

  • Examples:
    • To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, Pride and Prejudice
    • The Godfather, Gone with the Wind, Inception
    • Starry Night, The Last Supper, The Thinker

4. Days, Months, and Holidays
Capitalize the names of days of the week, months of the year, and holidays.

  • Examples:
    • Monday, Wednesday, Friday
    • January, April, December
    • Thanksgiving, Easter, Independence Day

5. Geographical Names
Capitalize specific geographical locations, including countries, cities, rivers, mountains, and regions.

  • Examples:
    • Canada, Brazil, Japan
    • Amazon River, Nile River, Mississippi River
    • Himalayas, Rocky Mountains, Alps

Difference between Proper noun and common noun

Proper Noun Examples:

  • John visited Paris.
  • Google is popular.
  • Christmas is celebrated worldwide.
  • Mount Everest is tall.
  • Harvard is a university.
  • Apple released a new iPhone.
  • Titanic sank in 1912.
  • Microsoft develops software.
  • Africa is a continent.
  • Shakespeare wrote Hamlet.
Proper Nouns: Definition & Examples in English

Proper Nouns: Definition & Examples in English

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