What is A Proper Noun? Definition And Examples

A proper noun is a specific name that is used to distinguish them from common nouns.

Look at the two sentences here.

A scientist discovered radium.

Marie Curie discovered radium.

In the first sentence, the scientist is a common noun and in the second sentence, Marie Curie is also a noun. But if both sentences are seen, then in the second sentence Marie Curie has been given instead of the scientist. The first sentence states that a scientist discovered radium but the name of the scientist is not mentioned. But after taking the information it was found that a scientist named Marie Curie has discovered radium. Marie Curie is a specified name in the second sentence. You can also call it a proper noun. 

In this post, we will take complete information about the proper noun.

What is a Proper Noun?

A proper noun is a noun that refers to a specified name. That specified name can be the name of a person or living being, thing, place, idea, or feeling.

To understand this better, let us see some examples.

Proper nouns that denote a person’s name: Ravi, Rahul, Sachin, Virat, Imran, etc.

  • Ravi is going to his house.
  • Rahul is studying well.

Proper nouns indicating the name of a place: Mumbai, Delhi, Mexico, London, Bangalore, etc.

Mumbai is the capital city of Maharashtra.

Mexico is a country in the southern portion of North America.

Proper nouns that indicate the name of an animal: Here animal name such as dog, cat or any other animal denotes a common noun. But if you have a cat in your house and its name is Kitty, it can be a proper noun.

Some rules for proper nouns:

There are some rules to follow when using proper nouns. It is given below.

1. Capitalization of proper nouns in Hindi

The first letter of a proper noun is always capitalized.

Just like Ram, Shyam, Bangalore, America, etc.

Whatever position this noun comes in in a sentence, its first letter will always be capitalized.

For Example, Bangalore is the capital city of Karnataka.

I am living in Bangalore.

Capitalization of Proper Nouns in Family and Relationships:

When you’re talking directly about someone in your family, you can capitalize the first letter of those words. Otherwise, you cannot capitalize it.

For example, My Dad bought me a bicycle.

In this sentence you are referring to your Dad, so you can capitalize it.

His dad has bought a bicycle for him.

You cannot capitalize dad in this sentence.

Capitalization of Proper Noun in Direction:

You can use capital letters in a direction when you are talking about a specified place.

For example, Arma Konda in Andhra Pradesh is the tallest peak in the Eastern Ghats.

Capitalization of Days, Months, and Seasons:

We can capitalize days and months. Such as Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, January, February, etc.

But we cannot capitalize the names of the seasons. If we use them as part of a proper name, then we can capitalize them.

It is very hot in summer.

You cannot capitalize summer in this sentence. But look at this sentence:

The Fall 2014 semester ends in December.

Fall can be capitalized in this sentence. If the name of a season comes before a sentence, you can capitalize it.

Brand name capitalization

It is important to always capitalize the brand name. For example, I am going to buy a Samsung smartphone. Here Samsung is a brand name and it needs to be capitalized.

Capitalization of a profession and title:

The first letter of a profession or job title is capitalized when addressing someone.

For example, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was the 11th President of India.

Here Dr. There is a title given to him and President being his professional it can be capitalized.

Apart from this, you can also capitalize the name of a country or nationality, language, or historical event.

Use of article with the proper noun

There are many proper nouns before which you can use “the”.

1. Where “the” cannot be used with a proper noun?

You can’t use “the” with the name of a person, company, or place:

For example,

Person: Sharat is a good boy. You cannot do the Sharat by putting “the” before the Sharat.

Company: Sony, Amazon, Ford

Place: Such as country (India, Japan, China), continent (Asia, Africa, Europe), regions (Western Asia, Northern Africa, Eastern Africa), states (Florida, Texas, Gujrat, Rajsthan), etc.

2. Where can “the” be used with a proper noun?

If the name of a country includes “states”, “kingdom” and “republic”, you can use “the”.

For example, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of India.

You can use “the” to name rivers, canals, seas, and oceans.

For example, The Ganga, the Suez Canal, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean sea, etc.