What Is a Proper Noun?
A proper noun is the naming word that distinctively names an individual member of a class to single it out from others of the same class.
Proper nouns typically begin with a capital letter; they include personal names, names of places, formal titles, etc., as are shown in the chart below:
|Alice, John, Perterson, Mikel||Personal names|
|Canada, Oslo, Sahara, White Hart Lane||Place-names|
|Sergeant, Reverend, Sir, Knight||Formal titles|
|the Bible, Great Expectations, Bill of Rights||Literary, Artistic or equivalent titles|
|Dr., Mr., Mrs., Dcn.||Formal forms of address|
|English, Mandarin, Spanish, Polish||Language|
|Vanguard News, Red Cross, Roman Catholic Church||Institutions, and Organizations|
|Superbowl, Easter, Christmas, Eyo festival||Festivals, and Events|
|March, Wednesday||Months and Days|
The word “proper” is derived from the word “property” and has the meaning of “one’s own.”
In contrast to common nounsOpens in new window, proper nouns are rarely encountered as plurals. Although there are occasion in which they may be used as such.For Example:
- Thanksgivings of the past.
- A gift for both Alices.
In principle, proper nouns are not introduced by an indefinite article such as a or the. However, there are exceptions:
- That musical player is a Sony.
- This was not the Paris of her dreams.
One More Thing to Know
Proper adjectives are formed from proper nouns. Proper adjectives usually begin with a capital letter.
|Proper Noun||Proper Adjective|
Note that some proper nouns, especially place-names, may sometimes be taken concrete nouns, while others, such as days of the week, are considered abstract nouns.