Learning the difference between common and proper nouns takes practice. Once you can tell these types of nouns apart, you'll be able to recognize capitalization errors — and know how to fix them. Keep reading for sample exercises and full common and proper nouns worksheets.
Determine which of the following nouns are common, and which ones are proper.
- Harding School
Now you can check to see how you did! You can find the correct answers for the sample exercises here.
- dog: common
- bandana: common
- Harding School: proper
- tree: common
- Melissa: proper
The second common and proper nouns worksheet addresses the capitalization rules for proper nouns. If you'd like more practice finding proper nouns in sentences, download the worksheet below or try out the following sample exercise.
Common noun and proper noun sortingClick to View & Download
Review each sentence and determine which proper nouns should be capitalized.
1. josue traded his nissan for a ford.
2. we are going to disneyland for our vacation this year.
3. my sister mary wants to take our mom out to lunch for mother’s day.
4. the policeman was standing in front of the store on hamilton street.
5. we went downtown to see the doctor.
How did you do? Check out the answers to the sample exercise below.
1. Josue traded his Nissan for a Ford.
2. We are going to Disneyland for our vacation this year.
3. My sister Mary wants to take our mom out to lunch for Mother’s Day.
4. The policeman was standing in front of the store on Hamilton Street.
5. We went downtown to see the doctor.
All nouns are either a person, place or thing. However, common nouns are more general. They don't refer to any single, specific thing in particular, but rather they are used in a more general sense. Examples of common nouns include: dog, city, car, amusement park, sister, holiday, day and toothpaste.
Proper nouns refer to more specific people, places and things. Rather than discussing a whole class of things, like "day" or "toothpaste," they talk about something in particular. Also, proper nouns are generally always capitalized.
Examples of proper nouns include Rover, New York City, Dodge Caravan, Disney World, Julie, Christmas, Monday, and Crest.
Be patient when you are using common and proper noun worksheets. Learning the difference can take awhile. Although they are different, and people see both types on an almost daily basis, it still can be hard to differentiate because they are both still nouns. For more noun practice, try out these noun worksheets that cover all types of nouns. You can also check out plural noun exercises that help learners with subject-verb agreement.