Common nouns

Common nouns are one of the five types of nouns. Common nouns are the names which are shared by more than one or all members of a particular kind.
Common nouns can be considered to be the opposite of Proper nouns. Common nouns are general whereas Proper nouns are specific and actual names.
Common nouns denote/recognize class of people, animals, places, objects or ideas both in an individual manner and in group.

Common Noun Examples

People: mother, father, teacher, pastor, soldier, robber, teenager, old man, preacher, writer
Animals: puppy, cat, lion, cow, dog, eagle, dove, sparrow, bee, fly, whale, dolphin
Places: market, mall, hospital, office, city, country, town, village, home, cinema, college, university,
Objects: pen, laptop, table, window, jug, bag, box, drawer, teapot, pan, shoes, cupboard, books
Ideas: hatred, love, anger, respect, pride, vanity, greed

Common Noun Rules

Here are some rules you need to follow while using Common nouns:

1. Common nouns can be preceded by articles or limiting modifiers (any, some).

  • Some men waste their time worrying about unnecessary things. (Some men)
  • You can take help from any English teacher. (any English teacher)
  • A friend in need is a friend indeed. (a friend)
  • The table is dirty. (The table)
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away. (An apple, a day, the doctor)

2. Common nouns do not use initial capital letter unless used in the beginning of a sentence.

  • Boys and girls are dancing.
  • He lives in a town whereas she lives in a city.
  • Give me a pen and a paper.
  • Let us go to market.
  • The soldier killed the robber.

3. Common nouns can be any other form of nouns (collective nouns, material nouns and abstract nouns) except Proper nouns.

  • That group is making noise.
  • Gold has become cheap.
  • Living beings need oxygen to survive.
  • Respect your elders.
  • The class is silent.

4. Common nouns can have plural form unlike Proper nouns.

  • Hospitals are noise free zones.
  • Cats are chased by dogs.
  • She killed ants.
  • Chocolates are lying on the table.
  • I love to visit towns.

5. Common nouns can be changed into possessive form by adding apostrophe and “s”.

  • The child’s hand was full of rashes.
  • The tenant’s room was dirty.
  • The new boy’s lunch box was stolen.
  • The car’s mirror was broken.
  • The old woman’s stick broke into two pieces.

Common nouns are opposite of Proper nouns as Common nouns refer to names of particular group whereas Proper nouns refer to individual beings or objects. We can understand common nouns properly by comparing them with Proper nouns.

Let us notice the difference between the Common nouns and the Proper nouns from the following examples:

I live in a hostel.  hostel - Common noun  
 I live in Smart Girls Hostel.   Smart Girls Hostel – Proper noun  
He works at a well-known company. company- Common noun  
He works at Sony.    Sony   - Proper noun  
They are ministers. They - Common noun  
Miss Clinton is a minister.  Miss Clinton – Proper noun  
She is feeding her child Perry.  She- Common noun Perry - Proper noun
We went to dine at McDonalds We - Common noun McDonalds- Proper noun
Father does not like liars Father-  Common noun liars – Common noun
Isabel is a beautiful cat. Isabel – Proper noun cat– common noun

Common nouns are further divided into Countable nouns and Uncountable nouns.