Proper noun

Proper noun

Definition of proper noun

A proper noun is a which refers to a particular person, place, or a thing.

Explanation of the definition

Based on the definition, it can be concluded that any noun which is used to identify an absolutely unique person, place or a thing is a proper noun.

Examples of proper nouns in a sentence

  1. Ashoka was a wise king.
  2. I live in Toronto.
  3. Ford is my favorite car.

Explanation of examples

In the above sentences, the words that are underlined are proper nouns. If you guessed them correct, congratulation. If not, here’s the explanation for you.

  • In the first sentence, we are referring to a particular king “Ashoka” out of all the kings in the history. Hence, Ashoka is a proper noun. Consider the following sentence for a better understanding:
    • Out of all the kings in history, Ashoka was a wise king.
  • In the second sentence, we are referring to an absolutely unique place (city in our case) “Toronto” out of all the cities in Canada. Hence, Toronto is a proper noun.
    • There are so many beautiful cities in Canada, but I live in Toronto.
    • Though I was born in India, right now, I live in Canada.
  • In the third sentence, we are referring to one particular thing (car in our case) “Ford” out of all cars. Hence, Ford is a proper noun.
    • Despite owning 2 other cars, Ford is my favorite. 

Tip to use proper noun in a sentence

  • In the original examples, if you might have noticed that the proper nouns were used either in the beginning or at the end of the sentences. But in the explanation above, the same words were used as proper nouns in the middle of sentence.
  • This was done intentionally to:
    • Introduce you to different types of sentences
    • To notify you that the first letter of a proper noun can be capitalized even if it comes in the middle of the sentence

Proper noun examples in sentences

Let us study some examples of proper nouns used in a sentence. The underlined words in the following sentences are all proper nouns.

  • Omar has a pet dog.
  • Rambo is the name of my dog.
  • I drive a blue Subaru.
  • My mom’s name is Rekha.
  • I study in Asia English School.
  • Sunday is my favorite day of the week.
  • I was born in April.
  • My sister’s name is Sita.
  • January is the first month of the year.
  • Does the Sun rise in east?

Rule for using proper noun in a sentence

The first letter of a proper noun is always written in capital irrespective of its location is a sentence.

Tips and Tricks for using proper noun with examples

  • Please remember that proper noun is a name of a particular person, place or a thing. We are not talking about the name of a person, place or a thing. That’s noun.
  • Be extra cautious when you are writing about your family member.
    • For example: One of my aunt lives in New York while the other lives in London.
      • Did you notice that aunt is a not capitalized. Because we are talking about aunt in general.
    • Example 2: Aunt Helen lives in New York while aunt Amy lives in London.
      • The first word Aunt is capitalized because that is the word with which the sentence begins.
      • Helen and Amy are capitalized because we are referring to specific people here.
    • The same thing is true for other members of the family. They could be mom/mother, dad/father, brother or sister (sibling), uncle, and cousins.
  • Do not capitalize the directions of a map if they are used to mention the directions.
    • For example: The Sun rise in east and sets in west.
  • Do not capitalize the seasons if they are used as seasons.
    • For example: summer, winter, monsoon, etc.
  • The days of the week are always capitalized.
    • Example 1: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.
    • Example 2: Sunday is the first day of the week.
  • Always capitalize the twelve months in a year.
    • Example 1: January, February, March, etc.
    • Example 2: February is the second month of the year.
  • Please resist the urge to capitalize job titles unless they are used to name a person.
    • Example 1: I don’t like my supervisor.
    • Example 2: I don’t like my Supervisor John Doe.
  • The first letter of a brand name is always written in capital irrespective of it’s use or position in a sentence.
    • Example: Pepsi, Ford, Subaru, Honda, etc.,
    • Example: Pepsi is my favorite cold drink.
  • The names of the countries and their people are proper nouns and hence, they should be capitalized.
    • Example for countries: India, America, Egypt, Italy, etc.
    • Examples of people: Indian, American, Egyptian, Italian, etc.
  • All the names of the landmarks are also proper noun.
    • For example: Statue of Liberty, the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Central Park, etc.
  • The names of the mountains, rivers, lakes, and seas are proper nouns. Hence, the first letter in their names should be capitalized.
    • For example: Niagara Falls, the Himalayas, the Dead Sea, Mount Everest, the Indian Ocean, the Ganga, Bay of Bengal, etc.,
  • The names of holidays and festivals are also proper noun. They should be capitalized as well.
    • For example: Independence Day, Republic Day, Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc.

Practice Exercise

Identify the proper nouns in the below mentioned sentences. There could be some sentences without any proper nouns.

  1. December is the last month of the year.
  2. It begins to snow in November in Canada.
  3. Monday is the first day of the week.
  4. Mumbai is not the capital of India.
  5. Canadians like the weather of Canada in winter.
  6. India is a hot country.
  7. I have a pet dog.
  8. The name of my pet dog is Rocky.
  9. London is a beautiful city.
  10. Pyramids were built by Egyptian pharaohs.
  11. Rome was not built in a day.
  12. Jonny Depp is my favorite actor.
  13. Harry Potter is my favorite movie character.
  14. Beethoven was a great musician.
  15. A R Rahman is a blessed musician.
  16. The Godavari overflows its banks every year.
  17. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of India.
  18. The streets of Mumbai are noted for their food stalls.
  19. Kalpana Chawla was the first woman to travel in space.
  20. Satish Dhawan was the first Indian to travel in space.
  21. Joe Biden is the president of the United States of America.
  22. Narendra Modi is the most loved prime minister of India.
  23. Justin Trudeau is the prime minister of Canada.
  24. Canadians love their coffee.
  25. Vikram was a brave soldier.

Other Links

You Tube channel (English): English Grammar

You Tube channel (English + Hindi): IELTS Coach

Patreon page: Dhruv K. Mangukia

Links to videos

If you are still in any doubt, I suggest you go read the article on noun.

proper noun
definition of proper noun, examples of proper noun, Sentences with proper nouns

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