Nouns : Common Nouns & Proper Nouns

proper nouns commom nouns
Nouns : Common Nouns & Proper Nouns

A noun is a kind of word that gives a name to  a person, a place, an object, an animal, a substance, a quantity, a period of time, a distance; the list goes on.

Everything around us is represented by a word that gives it its name and that word is called a noun.


The first major distinction to draw is between common nouns and supermarket.

Common Nouns

The common noun, is by far the largest group of nouns. The job of the common noun is to give a name to the everyday things all around us. Take a look around your surroundings and make a list of objects which you can see, the list will most likely be made up entirely of common nouns : chair, table, floor, pen, ceiling, ruler, paper, floor, tree, grass – the list is virtually endless…

Common nouns do NOT get capital letters.


P:roper Nouns

A proper noun is the name given to a specific person, place, object, animal, etc : Susan, London, Blackpool Tower, Rex).

Proper nouns ALWAYS get capital letters.

 Common Noun Proper  Noun
car Jaguar, Land Rover, Fiesta
forest Forest of Dean
cat, dog, budgie Tiddles, Fido, Joey
sea, ocean North Sea, Atlantic Ocean
pub The Blacksmith’s Arms
monarch Queen Elizabeth II
supermarket Tesco, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s
tea PG Tips, Yorkshire Tea
cola Pepsie, Coke

Common nouns may be further subdivided into a number of categories; all common nouns will fall into at least one of these categories, For the purposes of the primary school classroom (in addition to common nouns and proper nouns) if a student can identify compound, collective and abstract nouns this is probably sufficient. The others have been included for the sake of completeness and interest:

  • compound nouns
  • collective nouns
  • abstract nouns
  • concrete nouns
  • countable nouns
  • non-countable nouns
  • gender specific nouns
  • verbal nouns
  • gerunds