Common Noun – Examples, PDF


People have socially evolved their means of communication as time progresses forward. Soft skills that lean towards communication allow people to understand different subtexts and nuances without them being told directly. One of the ways people do this is through the utilization of common nouns in everyday situations.

1. Common Noun Template

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2. Use of Articles with Common Nouns

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3. ELA Common and Proper Nouns

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4. Sort the Common and Proper Nouns

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5. Identifying Proper and Common Nouns Worksheet

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6. Common Noun Capitalization Rules

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7. Common Nouns Answer Sheet

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8. Grammar Monday Common Noun

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9. Distinguishing Common and Proper Nouns

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What Is a Common Noun

A common noun is a subset of nouns that people use to generally refer to entities and objects. This means that common nouns have a wider range of uses, interpretations, and meanings when compared to proper nouns. 

How to Distinguish Common Nouns From Proper Nouns

Most of the time common nouns follow a specific format or template that is very easy to follow and spot. But there are occasions when a common noun is harder to distinguish, which can create vague details and makes room for miscommunication. Therefore you need to identify common nouns from proper nouns. If you want to work on your understanding of common nouns then you may use any of the common noun worksheets and common noun sortation exercises on the list above.

Step 1: Check for Capitalization

All proper nouns are capitalized as per their rule and structure, but not all capitalized nouns are proper. Start by checking if the noun has any capitalization and is not located at the beginning of the sentence. If the noun is capitalized but is at the beginning of the sentence, check if the noun refers to something specific, but if the noun is not capitalized then it is a common noun.

Step 2: Discern the Context

Sometimes context can change the common noun into a proper noun. This is true if a person nicknames something with a common noun, then the noun will be considered a proper noun. All of this means that you must discern the overall context used in the text.

Step 3: Determine If the Noun Refers to Something Unique

When a common noun is used to give a title or uniquely names something, then the noun will be considered a proper noun. Determine whether or not the noun will refer to something unique as that can recategorize the noun.

Step 4: Identify the Nouns Specificity

Some nouns specify a specific species of animal but are still considered common nouns. For example, a chicken is a common noun but an Ayam Cemani or Black Chicken is a proper noun. This means that you must identify whether or not the specifics of the noun are unique or general.

FAQs

Proper vs. common noun; what are the differences between a proper noun and a common noun?

Nouns are categorized based on the thing/s they are representing and labeling. A proper noun is a specific type of word that represents and labels a specific thing, group of things, place, event, and concept that is wholly unique to said thing. Examples of proper nouns include names like Alexa and Evans, Specific places like Hyde Park, Organizations like NASA, and special events like Christmas. The concept of a proper noun is juxtaposed with the idea of a common noun, which labels and refers to a general thing. Examples of common nouns include people, bear, bread, holiday, park, and business. The main difference between both types of nouns is whether or not they refer to something specific or general.

Can I refer to someone I know using common nouns?

Yes, you may, but this is wholly dependent on the context of the conversation, text, book, or dialogue. One of the best ways to use common nouns is to indirectly refer to someone you know in a conversation without the person you are referring to. For example, “Hey Alexa. I know I’ve met that girl before, but I forgot her name.” Another context this situation might fit in is that you have given a common noun nickname to your friend or loved one. An example might be that you call your Mother “mom” as a term of endearment.

Are nicknames considered common or proper nouns?

Nicknames are alternate label other people give to other entities or objects, that is unique to them. If the nickname is a shortcut to a proper noun like the shortening of Alexa into Lex or Alex, then the nickname is considered a proper noun. If the nickname titles a specific entity or object and is something unique to it then it is also considered a proper noun. An example of this occurrence can be found in the movie The Thing, where it refers to the extraterrestrial entity as The Thing. This means that all nicknames are going to be considered proper nouns since it refers to a unique identifier that refers to and represents an entity or object. Common nouns are a subtype of nouns that refer to a label or name that is both generic and general.

All things can be referred to by a set of common nouns and proper nouns. For example, a person can be both called a man (common noun) and be given a proper noun named Steven. When writing something, it is very important to know when to use common nouns, as they are generally very vague.

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