English Basics

Common Noun & Proper Noun

Common Noun & Proper Noun


There are two major types of nouns:

  1. Common Noun
  2. Proper Noun

1⇒ Common Noun

A common noun is a name of non-specific or a common thing, place or a person.

Examples:book, pen, room, garden man, girl, road, camera, month, day, chair, school, boy, car”  are common nouns because each of them is a common thing, place or person.

Common noun refers to a group of items. It does not refer to any specific item.

He eats an apple daily.

In the above sentence, the noun ‘apple’ is used as a common noun. The noun ‘apple’ points to a group of fruits. It does not refer to a specific apple; and it can be any apple. In this sentence the term apple is not specified but used as a common noun which refers to a common apple and not any specific apple.

She bought a camera.

In the above sentence, the noun ‘camera’ is a common noun. This noun ‘camera’ is used as a generalized term that does not refer to any specific camera but it can be simply any camera.

2⇒ Proper Noun

A name of a specific or a particular thing, person or place, is called a proper noun.

Examples:Oxford University, Pakistan, Limousine Car, Lahore, New York, America, David, Newton, Einstein, June, Friday” are some proper nouns because each of them refers to a specific thing, place or person.

The above nouns does not refers to common things, but to a particular thing. The word ‘month’ is a common noun because it can be any month of the year. But the word ‘April’ is a proper noun because it refers to only one (specific) month of year. Similarly, the word ‘car’ is a common noun as it is a generalized word and can be any car. On the other hand, BMW car is a specific noun because it refers to one specific car.

The first letter of a proper noun is always capitalized.


  • They live in Lahore.
  • He studies in the University of Glasgow.
  • He will come here in August.
  • The meeting will be held on Friday.
  • The owner of Microsoft Company is Bill Gates.
  • He lives in Paris.
  • She studies in Oxford University.
  • Author of this book is John Stephen.
  • Laws of motion were presented by Newton
  • The richest person of the world is Bill Gates.

Rules for using article “THE” before a Proper Noun:

  1. Article ‘the’ is never used before the names of cities and countries. e.g. “Paris, London, Lahore, Canada, America, Mexico”. But if the name of country refers to a group of places (lands or states), the article ‘the’ will be used. e.g. the Pakistanis, the Netherlands, the Philippines.
  2. Article ‘the’ is not used before the names of universities. e.g. Yale University, Oxford University, Columbia University. But if the name of university is written in an order that it includes the word ‘of’, the article ‘the’ will be used. e.g. the University of Oxford, the University of Toronto.
  3. Article ‘the’ must be used before names composed of both common noun and proper noun. e.g. the New York city, the river Nile, the Dominion of Canada.
  4. Article ‘The” used by the name of ocean, sea, river, dessert or forest (except lakes and fall). e.g. the Pacific Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Sahara, the Black Forests.
  5. Article “The” is used before the name of a geographical region and points on globe, for example: the Middle East, the West, the Equator, the North Pole
  6. Article “The” is usually used before the names of organizations for example: the Association of Chartered Accountants,  the World Health Organization,

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