A proper noun refers to a specific person, place, or thing. Because they denote the exact name of a particular noun, they are always capitalized no matter where they fall within a sentence.
There are several specific grammar rules for proper nouns that relate to capitalization, use of articles, directions, relationships, dates, and job titles.
Only the important words are capitalized when a proper noun includes a preposition or conjunction. For example:
Fatima moved to the United States of America from Trinidad and Tobago.
The articles "a," "an," and "the" do not typically precede proper nouns.
"The" is the exception to this rule because it can precede the name of a country if that name includes "States," "Kingdom," "Republic," etc., and rivers, seas, and oceans.
Directions such as north, south, east, and west are only written as proper nouns if used within the name of a place.
Words indicating a family member (mom, dad, grandma, etc.) should have an initial capital letter only if the word is used the same way as an actual name. Otherwise, it should have lowercase letters.
If a family title precedes a name, it is a proper noun. Examples are Aunt Vicky and Uncle Ron.
Days of the week and months of the year are proper nouns; however, seasons are not. For example:
Seasons should only be capitalized if used as part of a specific name:
Matt and Penelope organized the Spring Fling.
Job titles are not considered proper nouns. However, they should be capitalized if they precede a person's name.
Common nouns reference general people, places, and things, whereas proper nouns are specific and exact. Due to their generic nature, common nouns are not capitalized in English.
|Proper noun||Common noun|
|Place||New York City||city|
The following sentences incorporate examples of proper nouns:
After working your way through this lesson and video, you have learned:
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