Common and proper nouns
The difference between common and proper nouns is that common nouns refer to general things (like "a city" or "a mountain"), and proper nouns refer to specific, named things (like "Chicago" or "Mt. Kilimanjaro"). Proper nouns are always capitalized, and common nouns are only capitalized at the beginning of sentences.
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- Are there examples of common nouns that are proper nouns as well? The same word(s) perhaps?(155 votes)
- Since English is full of equivocal terms, some common nouns also function as proper nouns. Examples include:
banksof a river and Mr.
Johnand go to the
Buffalo, New York
And don't forget all the units where proper nouns became common nouns:
wattunit of power
newtonunit of force
coulombunit of charge
ampereunit of current
ohmunit of resistance
becquerelunit of radioactivity
teslaunit of magnetic flux density
pascalunit of pressure
kelvinunit of temperature
fahrenheitunit of temperature
celsiusunit of temperature
hertzunit of frequency
voltunit of electric potential
curieunit of radiation
ångströmunit of atomic distances
daltonunit of atomic mass
gaussunit of magnetic flux density
And the list goes on...(277 votes)
- Why common proper nouns are important?(17 votes)
- The most obvious difference between common nouns and proper nouns is that proper nouns are always capitalized.
- not capitalized
- something specific
Knowing the difference can be helpful when you are reading, too.
If you read about "apple" you know it's a fruit.
But if you read about "Apple" then you realize it's probably the computer company (or possibly someone named Apple).
- grandmother = any woman who has grandchildren
- Grandmother = what I call my grandmother
- cubs = baby bears
- Cubs = Chicago baseball team
- beetle = insect
- Beetle = car made by Volkswagen
- independence = ability to do things on one's own
- Independence = city in Missouri & starting point of the Oregon Trail
- three sisters = female siblings
- Three Sisters = volcanic peaks in Oregon
- turkey = bird; meat from the bird, often eaten on Thanksgiving
- Turkey = country that connects Europe and Asia
- halo = crown of light
- Halo = video game; song by Beyoncé
When you see that a noun is capitalized, it is a great big clue telling you that the noun names something specific, like a person, sports team, car model, city, mountain, country, or even video game!
And when you are writing, capitalizing proper nouns will help you keep meaning clear, and will also help your readers understand exactly what you mean.
Hope this helps!(78 votes)
- Can an idea be a proper noun?(15 votes)
- Sure! There are many examples.
Take any company, which are just legal entities (ideas) and not physical things.
Take art concepts like Impressionism and Dadaism. These were art movements (ideas) and not physical things you could touch.
Take holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving. These are just certain times of the year, and more of a concept than a tangible thing.
Take any language.(20 votes)
- In this sentence: Matthew enjoys swimming, how is swimming a common noun if it is telling what specifically matthew enjoys?(7 votes)
- I've got one; I can thinking of a specific type of swimming.
So, Tim, what you're looking for is a kind of swimming with a name; that's what makes it proper.
So if we say "Matt likes swimming," we're using a common noun.
But if we say, "Matt likes the Australian Crawl," that's a proper noun.(15 votes)
- Is watermelon proper noun or common noun? Because it is kind of fruit but it is not capitalized.(3 votes)
- A proper noun would be like a person or institution. for example, Sal Khan and Apple (the company) are proper nouns. A watermelon is not a proper noun, it is just a fruit.(14 votes)
- Is Obama is Proper Noun or Common Noun?(4 votes)
- Obama is a proper noun because "Obama" is a specific person.(2 votes)
- What's the difference between a common noun and a proper noun?(4 votes)
- A common noun is like a generic product and is in lowercase: banana, person, software.
A proper noun is like a brand-name product and is capitalized: Chiquita, Sal Khan, Microsoft Windows.(7 votes)
- so are common nouns all names, or are there ones that are not names?(5 votes)
- Apple is a proper noun but why do we don't capitalize
the "A"(4 votes)
- The noun "apple" can be either proper or common depending on how it is used in a sentence.
1. As a proper noun: She owns 15% of Apple Corporation's stocks.
2. As a common noun: She picked an apple from the bin at the supermarket.(7 votes)
- What if you find a proper noun that is a common noun, too? Would you just do the uppercase if it was the proper noun version and lowercase for the common noun? I guess so.
Example: If someone was named Cat,(it gets mind-boggling here.)and if Cat had a cat, would it be Cat had a cat, Cat had a Cat, cat had a Cat, or cat had a cat? Please answer.(2 votes)
- You got it in one, Samantha! Well done. If someone named Catherine had a kitty, we would indeed say that Cat (the person) had a cat (the animal).(11 votes)
- [Voiceover] Hello, grammarians. I'd like to bring up the idea of the difference between a common and a proper noun. So the difference between a common and a proper noun is simply the difference between something with a name and a more generic version of that thing. I'll give you a couple of examples right off the bat. So speaking generally, I am from a city. The specific city that I'm from is Chicago. I could talk about a frog generally, but if I were speaking of a specific frog, I would say Kermit. The difference between a common and a proper noun is merely the difference between a general thing, so this side is more general, and a specific thing. It's a continuum. So if you are speaking of, let's see, a river, any old river, that's a common noun, but if you're talking about a specific river, and it's a named river here, that would be the Nile, say. You could talk about a mountain, and that would be a common noun, because there are many mountains, but if you wanted to talk about a specific mountain, say Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, that's a proper noun. So here are the properties of proper nouns. Proper nouns are always capitalized. And that means that instead of using a little letter A like that, you would instead use a big letter A like that. Common nouns are only capitalized if you find them at the beginning of sentences. So you might say, "Mountains are my favorite." But you would also say, "Kilimanjaro "is my favorite "mountain." And that is a lowercase, non-capitalized M, as opposed to this one, which is uppercase. So that's the difference between common and proper nouns. If you're talking about something general, it's a common noun. If you're talking about something specific, it's a proper noun, and the difference between them is that you capitalize a proper noun. You can learn anything. David out.