Proper Noun vs Common Noun: Difference and Comparison

In simple words, nouns are the name of individuals, ideas, places, objects, etc. Nouns are the foundation of a language and a vital part of speech.

When a child begins to speak, he starts from nouns and gradually forms sentences. Nouns are the essential grammatical element that a person should adequately understand. Proper nouns and common nouns are two types of nouns.

Key Takeaways

  1. A proper noun is a specific name given to a person, place, thing, or idea, while a common noun is a general name given to a person, place, thing, or idea.
  2. Proper nouns are always capitalized, while common nouns are not.
  3. Proper nouns refer to a particular entity, while common nouns refer to any member of a class or category.

Proper Noun vs Common Noun

The difference between a proper noun and a common noun is that a proper noun is the official name of things. They do not refer to a class, for instance, Mango. On the other hand, common nouns are also names, but they designate a particular style, not the actual name, for example, fruit. Hence, Mango is a proper noun while the fruit is a common noun.

Proper Noun vs Common Noun

A particular name of a person, organization, object, or place is known as a proper noun. Proper nouns are a significant part of speech in English grammar.

It helps people to learn English to differentiate between subjects, objects, and verbs. Proper nouns are always capitalized when used in a sentence. Proper nouns are found in every language.

Common nouns are used to designate a class of objects or living organisms. In English grammar, a common noun is one of the primary nouns, and without a common noun, a person can not complete a sentence.

Common nouns are associated with objects and people, but they have no connection to the official name of certain things.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonProper NounCommon Noun
MeaningA generic name used to denote an individual or object is known as a proper noun. A general name used to denote a class of objects is known as a proper noun.
TypesProper nouns aren’t divided into categories since they have only one meaning. Common nouns are divided into five specific divisions that are associated with a particular type of name.
ObjectiveThe main goal of a proper noun is to deliver the idea about a particular thing by telling its name. Common nouns are also helpful to describe the structure and quality of the noun being delivered.
CapitalizationThe proper nouns are capitalized when being used in a sentence—for example, Amazon and Google. Common nouns are not capitalized in sentences because they are simply names of a class.
Example Some of the examples of proper nouns are Monday, July, Earth, England, Teak, Rose, etc. Some of the examples of common nouns are day, month, planet, country, tree, flower, etc.

What is Proper Noun?

A proper noun refers to the specific name of a person, place, or thing. In other words, it identifies only a single unit, for instance, Earth, Washington, America, China, Asia, Mercedes, Jennifer Lopez, Tuesday, etc. These are a few examples of proper nouns.

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These nouns are always written with their first letter being capitalized, regardless of their position in a sentence. For example, “Will you be visiting New York this year?”

Here in the above-given example, New York is a proper noun and is capitalized without any effect of its position in the sentence. Proper nouns can be identified by several terms based on the following categories: names of persons like Andrew, John, Victor, etc.

Titles of people such as Queen Victoria, President Obama, etc. Places like Russia, China, India, etc. Calendar months and days, for example, September, June, Tuesday, etc.

Holidays include specific days like Christmas, Labour Day, Independence day, etc. Brand and company names like Puma, Sony, Samsung, Nokia, etc.

Titles of works include the title of particular works of art and literature like Mahabharata, The New York Times, Romeo and Juliet, etc.

Hence, a proper noun is an essential part of a language that facilitates people to know the appropriate name of a particular thing. It makes the conversation more convenient.

common noun

What is Common Noun?

A generic name used to denote some object or person is a common noun. Everything existing in this world has a name, so people can converse about it and share thoughts about it.

Without a common noun, no conversation can ever take place. For example, a person says, ‘look! There’s a dog.’

Here he indicates an animal by signifying its class and the other person gets the idea to look for a dog. In this sentence, ‘dog’ is an example of a common noun.

Common nouns’ primary specification is that they aren’t capitalized except for some particular circumstances. They are only capitalized if they are a part of the title or the first word in a sentence. Common nouns can be divided into five types.

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Countable nouns—as the name suggests, countable nouns refer to those nouns that can be counted, for example, cat, dog, miles, meters, chair, table, book, and many more.

Uncountable nouns— unlike countable nouns, these nouns refer to objects that can not be counted, for example, grass, milk, water, wind, sleep, ice, etc.

Collective nouns— these nouns are the name of groups, for example, herd, family, team, etc.

Concrete nouns— concrete nouns are associated with something that can be physically touched, for example, flower, cheese, body, etc.

Abstract nouns— abstract nouns are the opposite of concrete nouns and refer to something that can’t be touched, for example, culture, love, loyalty, honesty, etc.

Main Differences Between Proper Noun and Common Noun

  1. A proper noun is called proper because it is a direct and proper name for certain things. On the other hand, a common noun is called common because it is a name of a class having common traits.
  2. According to the grammatical rules, proper nouns should be studied first for better understanding, while common nouns should be reviewed later because they are more descriptive.
  3. The first latter of proper nouns is primarily capitalized in sentences regardless of their position. On the other hand, common nouns are capitalized only when they are the first word of the sentence.
  4. Proper nouns need only one explanation, and that’s the reason they aren’t classified. On the other hand, common nouns are divided into five categories.
  5. Tom, America, Lily, Peacock, t-shirt, etc., are examples of proper nouns. On the other hand, boy, nation, bird, cloth are examples of common nouns.

Last Updated : 23 July, 2023

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