What is Common Noun, Definition and Examples

What is Common Noun, Definition and Examples


Common Nouns Are Everywhere

We use many words when speaking or writing. We include different kinds of words in the sentence, such as verb, pronoun, adjective. Nouns are classified as a common noun and a proper noun. It will be the kind of common noun we will be looking at here. A common noun does not represent a specific item. On the contrary, the common noun is used in general denominations. As an example, we can say words such as computers, phones, doors, beds, and closets. Because these and such words do not represent a single item.

Common nouns are everywhere at all times. Wherever you go and look, you can see dozens of common nouns at once. For example, you went to a cafe. Let’s count the things that might be inside; table, chair, dessert, coffee, tea, lamp, refrigerator, glass, fork, knife … All these words are examples of common nouns. It is easily noticed in the sentence. However, in some cases, words that are considered common nouns may be proper nouns. Proper nouns are nouns that specifically refer to one thing, as opposed to common nouns.

How to Use Common Nouns?

Common nouns are used to express an abstract or concrete concept. As long as it does not make a special meaning, it can be used as desired. Common nouns per sentence usually begin with a capital letter, but common nouns in a sentence must begin with a lowercase letter. The presence of a word that begins with a capital letter in a sentence indicates that it is a proper noun.

Common Nouns in Sentences

  • The computer I just bought is very solid.
  • He broke the plate I gave him to put on the table.
  • She could not look at the TV because her eyes were on the phone all the time.
  • I washed all the pillows in the room.
  • I accidentally broke my favorite glass.
  • I added new books to the library.

In the examples we gave, we saw common nouns examples for items. Common nouns also apply to professions.

  • My sister is a teacher.
  • The hardest job in the world for me is a doctor.
  • I studied at university for four years and eventually became a lawyer.
  • With the meeting held the other day, I was elected president.

There are also common nouns for individuals.

  • I have never seen my mother
  • Tomorrow we will go swimming with my cousin.
  • My brother was promoted today.
  • My grandfather is very old now.

Common nouns examples can also be found in abstract words.

  • Hate is an emotion that grows inside a person.
  • I believe love will always win.
  • Culture is the most valuable thing left to people after people of the past.
  • I am angry with him for telling me bad words.

Common Nouns vs. Proper Nouns

  • You may be confusing common nouns with proper nouns. You may see some proper nouns as common nouns. If there are words in the sentence that start with a capital letter, those proper nouns are counted. It is possible to understand the difference here.
  • Make sure that the word you are examining is a noun. Some adjectives that are not nouns can also be written in capital letters. It would be a waste of time to think of that word as a noun and whether it is a proper or common noun.

Sometimes Common Noun, Sometimes Proper Noun

You can see a word that you use as a common noun all the time as a proper noun in another sentence. Or you may experience the opposite. In such cases, you need to pay attention to what and how the word is used in the sentence. Let’s examine some examples for this situation, which we encounter in grammar questions and has a high rate of misleading.

  • Famous and respected people from different countries visited the President.
  • Every famous and respected person from different countries must visit the president.

The word “president” used in the first sentence specifically describes who the person visited is. For this reason, the example in the first sentence is considered a proper noun. However, the word “president” in the second sentence does not specifically reflect someone, as the structure of the sentence expresses a general rule. Therefore, the example in the second sentence is a common noun.