Proper nouns

Proper nouns are one of the five types of nouns. From the phrase itself, we get to know that names which exclusively belong to oneself or itself are Proper nouns. Proper nouns are the actual names of particular persons, places, organizations, animals, objects or individual beings.

Proper Noun Examples

Tommy, Snoopy, New York, Chicago, McDonalds, Starbucks, Kelly, Harry, Paris, Africa, Nile, Catherine, Michael, China, Egypt, Somalia, London, Catherine, Elizabeth, Oxford University, Harvard College Angelina, Robert, Jackie, Meow, Sony, Samsung, Sunday, Monday. January, February, Christmas, Easter, Jane, Shakespeare, Harry Potter,

Proper Noun Rules

There are few important rules that we should learn in order to use Proper nouns correctly. They are as follows:

1. Proper nouns always start with a capital letter no matter where we use it in a sentence.


X charles is a naughty boy.
✓ Charles is a naughty boy.

X he lives and works in london.
✓ He lives and works in London.

X My dog tommy is playful.
✓ My dog Tommy is playful.

2. Proper nouns do not have plural form.


X chicagos (more than one Chicago)
✓ Chicago

X harrys (more than one harry)
✓ Harry

X tommys (more than one tommy in certain place)
✓ Tommy

3. Articles (a/an) or limiting modifier (any/some) should not be used before Proper nouns.


X An Paris
✓ Paris

X A Michael
✓ Michael

X Some New York
✓ New York

However, there may be some exceptions with names of some ships places or names of people preceded by adjective. Examples:

  • The beautiful Bella
  • The Titanic
  • The hardworking Kelly
  • The playful Snoopy
  • The young Mary

4. Proper nouns that end in s are made possessive by adding only apostrophe or apostrophe s.


  • Ross’s
  • Jesus’
  • James’
  • Charles’s
  • Bets’

Proper nouns can be understood more clearly if we compare them with Common nouns.

Proper nouns are opposite to Common nouns as Proper nouns refer to individual beings or objects whereas Common nouns refer to names of particular groups. Proper nouns are specific unlike common nouns which are general.

Now, let us notice the difference between the Proper nouns and the common nouns from the following examples:

I live in a city. city – Common noun
I live in New York. New York – Proper noun
He drinks coffee at cafe. café – Common noun
He drinks coffee at Star Bucks. Star Bucks- Proper noun
She is a lawyer. She – Common noun
Miss Clinton is a lawyer. Miss – Proper noun
They are irritating Mary. They – Common noun Mary – Proper noun
We went to shopping with John. We – Common noun John – Proper noun
Among the various brands I love Zara. Brands – Common noun Zara – Proper noun
Snoopy is the cutest dog. Snoopy – Proper noun dog – common noun