Introduction to Proper Nouns:
When a noun refers to a particular person, place or thing, it is called a Proper Noun.
The words that come under this category of Proper Nouns begin with a capital letter regardless of where they appear in a sentence.
Definition of a Proper Noun:
A Proper Noun is the name of some particular person, place or thing.
Abdul Kalam, Shakespeare, Monday, Ricky, India, Kashmir, Mt.Everest, Ford Freestyle, etc.,
Examples for proper noun sentences.
- Shakespeare wrote 37 unique dramas.
- I will get my parcel on Monday.
- Kashmir is the liveliest place in India.
- I have recently purchased a Ford Freestyle car.
- Ricky is good at abstract painting.
Types of Proper Nouns List:
|The names of people||John, Peterson, Mikel, Mahatma Gandhi, Abdul Kalam, Rani Rudrama, King Prataparudra, Nelson Mandela, Professor Ramu, Florence Nightingale, Aladdin, Muhammad Ali, Frankenstein, George Washington, Harry Potter, Santa Claus etc.,|
|The names of places||Hyderabad, Punjab, Karnataka, Warangal, Canada, Oslo, Sahara, Kotagiri, Ooty, etc.,|
|The names of relations||Mom, Dad, Granny, Grandad, Brother, Sister, Uncle Shyam, Aunt Sunitha etc.,|
|The names of languages||English, Mandarin, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Konkani, Spanish, Polish etc.,|
|The names of the special days and celebrations:||Independence Day, New Year’s Day, Mother’s Day, Chocolates Day, Earth Day, Woman’s Day, Teachers’ Day, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Halloween Day, Easter, Christmas etc.,|
|The names of the months of the year:||January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.|
|The names of the days of the week:||Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.|
|The names of the famous places, buildings, and monuments||the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort, the Charminar, the Red Fort, the Humayun’s Tomb, the Sphinx, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Statue of Liberty etc.,|
Rules of Proper Nouns:
Use of Capital Letter with the Proper Nouns:
1.Proper Nouns always begin with a capital letter. There are no exceptions to this rule. If such nouns contain more than one word, all the words should begin with a capital letter.
Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh, New Delhi, United States of America, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom etc.,
- He visited Kashmir last Summer.
- I would like to finish it on Monday.
- Rahul wants to study his MS in the United States of America.
- Narendra Modi is the present prime minister of India.
2. Titles such as president, king, or emperor should begin with a capital letter when used with the name. But a small letter is used in other instances.
- President Joe Biden, not president Joe Biden.
- King Krishnadevaraya, but not king Krishnadevaraya.
- Emperor Ashoka, but not emperor Ashoka.
We can also use as:
- Joe Biden is the President of the USA, but not the president of the USA.
- Krishnadevaraya was the King of Vijayanagara, but not king of Vijayanagara.
- Ashoka was the Emperor of the Maurya Dynasty, but not the emperor of the Maurya Dynasty.
In other instances, these words become common nouns. So we begin with small letters.
- Joe Biden is the American president.
- Ashoka was the Mauryan king.
3. Use of Prime Minister: When it is specific, especially in appositives, we begin with a capital letter and if unspecific, we begin with a small letter.
- The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is a dynamic leader. (Specific)
- Several prime ministers have attended the conference. (Unspecific)
4. Use of capital letter with the titles of relations:
Titles of relations begin with a capital letter if it is used in place of the name.
- Mom, why don’t you understand Dad?
- Brother, Kibbu, just try to listen to him.
5. Seasons and directions take small letter:
Winter, summer, autumn, spring, north, east, west etc.,
(But we capitalise them when sentences begin with them or if they are personified in poems.)
6. Some other examples – where we use proper Noun with a capital letter:
- continents, countries, cities, streets, etc.: Asia, Asian, Russia, Russian, Bombay, Kolkata, Dalal Street etc.,
- rivers, mountains, oceans, deserts, etc.: River Ganges, River Thames, Mount Everest, Indian Ocean, Thar Desert etc.,
- ships: Titanic, Queen Mary, Ark Royal, Adonia, Royal Princess etc.,
- businesses and institutions: Tata Motors, Reliance Industries, Ford Motor Company, Taj Grand Hotel, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, National Health Service etc.,
- days and months: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, January, February, March, April etc.,
- celestial bodies: Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter, Andromeda Galaxy, Milky Way.
(Capitalisation is optional with the Earth (earth), the Moon (moon) and the Sun (sun) depending on the context of whether they are used as common or proper nouns..)
- significant historical events: War of Independence, the First World War, the Second World War, Norman Conquest, Magna Carta etc.,
- religious festivals: Ugadi, Sankranthi, Onam, Christmas, Ramadan etc.,
- titles of newspapers, books, films, plays and works of art: The Hindu, The Indian Express,The Daily Mirror, Deccan Chronicle The Times of India the Bible, the Quran, Paradise Lost, etc., (Note: In the titles, we write articles, prepositions and conjunction in small letter unless they are the beginning words)
- Use of Proper Nouns without ‘the’: (Refer to Articles)
1.We do not use the definite article ‘the’ before the names of people, places, companies, languages and anything with a person name before it etc.,
- I have not met Bill Clinton even once. (not the Bill Clinton)
- I stayed at Ooty last summer.
- He is working for Amazon.
- I do not understand Hindi and English.
- Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is in Hyderabad
2. We do not use the definite article ‘the’ before the names of companies, shops, banks, hotels etc.,
Tata Motors, Morris Garages, Infosys, Amazon, Renault, Ford, Sony, General Motors, Air France, British Airways, HDFC Bank Ltd., ICICI Bank, Taj by Vivanta, Spencer’s Super Market etc.,
But if the company already contains ‘the’ in the name, we use it along with the company name capitalising the initial letter.
The NIIT Technologies, The Reliance Industries Ltd., The LIC Housing Finance etc.,
3. We do not use the definite article ‘the’ before the names of places like countries and states, roads, streets, squares, parks, etc:
India, Israel, Karnataka, Telangana, Hunter Road, Rock Street, Lumbini Park etc.,
But we say:
The United Kingdom, The United States of America, The Punjab etc.,
4. We do not use the article ‘the’ before the titles like President/Doctor/Mr etc + Name:
Professor Rajender, Captain Somaraj, Doctor Arya, Mr. Avinash, Uncle Sanjeev, etc.,
- Use of Proper Nouns with ‘the’: (Refer to Articles)
We generally use the definite article ‘the’ before the names of the following.
|Mountain ranges, hills||the Alps, the Himalayas, the Nilgiri Hills|
|canals||the Suez Canal, the Kakatiya Canal|
|rivers||the Ganges, the Sutlej, the Nile|
|seas||the Black Sea, the Arabian Sea|
|bays||the Bay of Bengal|
|gulfs||the Persian Gulf|
|deserts||the Sahara Desert|
|oceans||the Pacific Ocean|
|certain countries/territories||the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Punjab, the Philippines
But: No article before singular:
X India, X Italy, X Mexico, X Bolivia
|group of islands||the Andamans, the British Isles
But: No article before single islands
X Corfu, X Bermuda, X Sicily
|valleys||the Death Valley, the Central Valley|
|deltas||the Godavari River Delta, the Kaveri River Delta|
|forests||the Subtropical Pine Forests|
Proper Nouns and Common Nouns
Sometimes, Proper Nouns can also be used as Common Nouns. We don’t normally use any article before Proper Noun but when it becomes a Common Noun we definitely use one.
- Vijay is a Bruce Lee in his fighting. (Vijay fights like Bruce Lee)
- Bombay is the Manchester of India. (Bombay is as popular in cloth manufacturing as Manchester in India)
- Kalidasa is often called the Shakespeare of India. (Kalidasa is as great as Shakespeare in India)
- He is a Bhima. (He looks or eats like Bhima)