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COMMON AND PROPER NOUNS

All nouns can be described as either common or proper. When you talk or write about a person, a place, a thing, or an idea in general, you use a common noun.

Example: Doctors work hard. They treat many patients.

A proper noun is the name of a particular person, place, thing, or idea. Proper nouns always begin with capital letters.

Example: Johnson Peters is a doctor. He comes from New York.

Note: When a proper noun is made up of more than one word, only the important words in the noun will begin with a capital letter. Do not capitalize words such as the, of, or for.

Example: Gulf of Mexico, State of Liberty, the Commander – in – Chief.

 

Study: ENGLISH LANGUAGE PAST QUESTIONS (SSCE)

 

Common and Proper Nouns

Common nouns Proper nouns Common nouns Proper nouns

Street Kerugoya city Raila Odinga

Author South Africa ocean Wanjohi wa Kigogo-ini

Policeman Asia bed Moi Avenue

Country Indian Ocean wardrobe Lake Victoria

Mountain England continent Dr. Frank Njenga

Lake Nelson Mandela assistant Professor Saitoti

Proper nouns are important to good writing.

They make your writing more specific, and therefore clearer.

 

Exercise 4

See also  Speech Writing

Which words are proper nouns and should be capitalised? Which words are common nouns? Example: Togo Proper: Togo

  1. july                     6. student                                      11. america
  2. book                   7. kendu bay                                  12. business
  3. face                    8. john hopkins                             13. day
  4. england             9. life                                               14. east africa
  5. crocodiles         10. johannesburg                          15. Calendar

Read: BECE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PAST QUESTIONS (JSS)

 

Exercise 5

List the common nouns and the proper nouns in each of the following sentences.

Example: Nancy welcomed the guests.

See also  COMPOSITION

Proper: Nancy common: guests

  1. Lucky Dube was a famous singer.
  2. This dancer has performed in London and Paris.
  3. His last fight was over the Mediterranean Sea.
  4. She worked as a nurse during the Second World War.
  5. Her goal was to educate students all over the world.
  6. It was the worst accident in the history of Europe.
  7. Bill Gates is best known for founding Microsoft.
  8. The Pilot was the first woman to cross that ocean alone.
  9. She grabbed a kettle and brought them water.
  10. Professor Wangari Maathai won a Nobel Peace Prize.

 

See also

ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Astronomy

PUNCTUATION

Capitalization

QUESTION TAGS

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