Distinguishing between common and proper nouns can be confusing at first; therefore, starting off with basic differences between the two parts of speech will be helpful before you progress any further in your study of nouns. Using noun worksheets will help you understand your preliminary lessons on nouns.
Noun worksheets sometimes focus only on common nouns, with other worksheets focusing only on proper nouns. However, for best study practice, try to find worksheets that combine both parts of the noun family, including how to pluralize nouns as appropriate. They each have important differences and working on them together will help you spot the differences.
YourDictionary has created a worksheet that incorporates both common and proper nouns for your convenience. It includes basic definition, as well as two sets of practice exercises. You can download the PDF document below by clicking on it.
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.
Read the words listed below and decide if that word is a common noun or a proper noun.
Another great way to practice is to take a common noun and come up with a proper noun example to go with it. If presented with "ocean" as a common noun, you might choose "Pacific Ocean" as the proper noun. Do the same with this list of common nouns.
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.
Think about writing a menu. Most people know that the word "food" is a common noun and is not capitalized. However, individuals frequently become confused when they are talking about specific types of food, and determing whether those words are common or proper nouns can be difficult.