What is a Proper Noun? Definition, Examples of Proper Nouns

Proper noun definition: A proper noun is any person, place or thing. A proper noun refers to anything or concept that is particular or specific.

What is a Proper Noun?

What are proper nouns? A proper noun is any noun that names anything specific. Therefore, a proper noun is any particular name of a person, place, or thing. Proper nouns are always capitalized.

Examples of Proper Nouns:

  • Cathy (specific name of person)
  • London (specific name of place)
  • Spot (specific name of thing)

These examples are proper nouns because they name a specific person, place, and thing, respectively, giving names to those entities.

Proper Nouns List

What is proper noun noundsHere is a list of a few proper nouns you might use in everyday conversation.

  • Herman Miller
  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Snoopy
  • Oreo
  • The White House
  • University of Michigan
  • Sarah
  • Taco Bell
  • McDonald’s
  • Burger King

Of course there are many more proper nouns, but these are a few examples of specifics companies, restaurants, foods, names, schools, etc.

Proper Nouns and Common Nouns

There are a few key differences between proper and common nouns. A proper noun gives a specific name to an entity whereas a common noun does not give a specific name. Proper nouns are always capitalized.

Proper Noun Examples / Common Noun Examples:

  • Cathy/girl
  • London/city
  • Spot/dog

How Do Proper Nouns Function in a Sentence?

propper nouns examplesBecause they are nouns, proper nouns can function as in various ways a noun would in a sentence.

Proper noun as subject:

  • Spot won an award.
    • In this example, Spot is the subject and specific name of a dog doing the action of the sentence.

Proper noun as direct object:

  • The dog won “Best In Show.”
    • In this example, the dog is the subject and the thing he is doing is the direct object. Here, the direct object is the specific name of the award.

Proper noun as indirect object:

  • The presenter gave an award to Spot.
    • In this example, the presenter is the subject and the award is the direct object. The recipient of that award is the specific dog, Spot, the indirect object.

How Do Common Nouns Become Proper Nouns?

whats a proper noun listCommon nouns become proper nouns when they are given a specific name.

  • girl
    • What is the girl’s name? The girl’s name is Cathy.
      • Cathy is the proper noun.
    • city
      • What is the city’s name? The city’s name is London.
        • London is the proper noun.
      • dog
        • What is the dog’s name? The dog’s name is Spot.
          • Spot is the proper noun.

Exercises With Proper Nouns

definition of a proper nounIdentify the proper noun in the following sentences.

  1. Stephen read the book to his daughter.
  2. The children decorated their table for Easter.
  3. The Roseville Parade starts on our street.
  4. In history class we learned about World War I.
  5. My favorite novel is The Grapes of Wrath.
  6. Six students traveled to Paris during their spring break.

Summary: What are Proper Nouns?

Define proper noun: A proper noun is,

  • any SPECIFIC person, place, or idea
  • the name of a common noun
  • always capitalized

See answers below.

 

 

 

 

 

Answers: Proper Noun Example Exercises

  1. Stephen
  2. Easter
  3. Roseville Parade
  4. World War I
  5. The Grapes of Wrath
  6. Paris