Grammar - Conventions of Standard English - Nouns
Did you get to see the tigers when you went to the San Diego Zoo?

Grammar - Conventions of Standard English - Nouns

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There are two types of nouns. The first is a 'common' noun (girl, boat, stadium, store) and the second is a 'proper' noun (Melissa, Titanic, Shea Stadium, Walmart). This makes the common noun non-specific or general. The proper noun is very specific.

1.
What is the proper noun in the sentence?
“Have all of the presidents lived in the White House?”
presidents
White House
all
lived
Although 'presidents' is a noun, it refers to presidents in general. However, the 'White House' is a specific 'proper' noun.
2.
What are the proper noun(s) and common noun(s) in the sentence?
“We drove our new car to Florida to visit Disney World.”
Florida, Disney World, car
drove, Florida, Disney
We, new World
Disney World, car
Remember that a proper noun refers to a specific place, person or thing. In this sentence, Florida and Disney World are specific 'proper' nouns. The noun 'car' is more general and, therefore, a 'common' noun.
3.
What is the proper noun in the sentence?
“My most favorite place to eat is at McDonald’s.”
favorite
place
eat
McDonald's
A proper noun refers to a specific place, person or thing rather than a general place or thing. As such, McDonald’s is the correct proper noun in this sentence.
4.
What are the proper noun(s) and common noun(s) in the sentence?
“In my science class we learned all about the solar system and the Milky Way.”
my, class, system, Milky Way
class, solar system, all, Milky Way
learned, solar, system, Milky Way
science class, solar system, Milky Way
As we look for proper nouns we must look for a specific place, person or thing. In this sentence there is only one specific noun, i.e., Milky Way. As we look for 'common' nouns, or a general person, place or thing, we can find two, i.e., science class and solar system.
5.
What is the proper noun in the sentence?
“My sister looked really creepy on Halloween.”
sister
creepy
Halloween
My
Looking at this sentence, the 'proper' noun is the one that refers to a specific place, person or thing. In this sentence, Halloween refers to a specific thing/event. Sister is too general and is a 'common' noun.
6.
What is the common noun in the sentence?
“I visited my aunt’s house when I went to Dallas.”
aunt's
house
Dallas
I
A common noun refers to a general place, person or thing. In this sentence, house is general and, therefore, is a 'common' noun even though it is being referred to as 'aunt’s house' it is still general. Dallas is a specific place or a 'proper' noun so it is not what we are looking for here.
7.
What is the common noun in the sentence?
“We searched all over to find a decent hotel.”
We
hotel
decent
all
A common noun refers to a place, person or thing in a general manner. In this sentence the only noun is 'hotel' and it is a common noun.
8.
What are the proper noun(s) and common noun(s) in the sentence?
“John, Mark and Alex worked at the store in Boston.”
John, Mark, Alex, store
worked, store, Boston
John, Mark, Alex, Boston, store
John, Mark, Alex, Boston
A proper noun refers to a specific place, person or thing. In this sentence, John, Mark, Alex and Boston are all specific 'proper' nouns. Store, on the other hand is more general so it is the only 'common' noun.
9.
What is the common noun in the sentence?
“Miss Maple wrote on the blackboard.”
Miss Maple
wrote
the
blackboard
Miss Maple is a 'proper' noun as she is referred to as a specific person. Blackboard is the second noun in the sentence and it is more general or 'common'.
10.
What is the common noun in the sentence?
“Did you get to see the tigers when you went to the San Diego Zoo?”
tigers
see
San Diego
Zoo
Again, we are looking for a person, place or thing in general, common terms. San Diego Zoo is specific and, so, not what we are looking for. Tigers, however, are general and is the common noun we are looking for.
Author:  Christine G. Broome

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