Common Noun: A noun is basically a naming word, that is used to denote the name of a person, animal, place or thing. Nouns are basically divided into two main categories - A proper noun and a common noun. Proper nouns designate a particular being or a specific person, place, animal, or thing, whereas a common noun denotes any or all of a class of entities that are used to name a general item rather than specific ones. For example, if you are sitting in your room, you can see a TV, Chair, Pen, Curtain, Bottles, etc- these all are common nouns. So, all nouns refer to the name of something, and proper nouns name them specifically, whereas common nouns refer to the name of a group. 

In this article, we will learn common nouns, their definition, examples, and usages, in more detail so that you can easily recognize common nouns when you see them.

Common Noun Definition 

A common noun is defined as a noun that refers to the name of a group of similar things, like people, places, animals or objects. It can also be defined as a noun that denotes the general or non-specific term used for a group. Common nouns are not capitalized unless they either begin a sentence or are used in a title. Common nouns can be concrete that is perceptible to the senses, abstract, or collective means referring to a group or collection. 

For Example-Dog’ is a word that refers to a class of dogs, if you named one of the dogs as ‘Tommy’ it represents a dog named Tommy and makes it specific to the group. So, the word ‘Dog’  is a general way of describing a group or class, whereas ‘Tommy’ represents a particular or individual dog.

Common Noun is Written in Lowered Case

Unlike proper nouns, common nouns are usually written in small letters, that is they are not capitalized. But there are some exceptions to this rule:

  1. If a common noun appears as the first word in a sentence, it is written in a capital letter.

               For example: ‘Countries must look after their citizens.’  

Here the word Countries, which is a common noun, is capitalized because it is the first word in the sentence and the word citizens is also a common noun but written in small letters as per the rule.

       2. If a common noun appears in a title then it is written in capital letters. This is the second exception for capitalizing a common noun.

For example: ‘Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis. 

Here the word ‘Dogs’ is a common noun that must be written in small letters generally and would not be capitalized. But in the above example, the common noun dog is capitalized since this is the title of a book.

Common Noun Examples

The table below lists out examples of common nouns that belong to different categories such as People, Places, Animals or birds or insects, Things or objects, concepts or ideas. All these examples denote general terms that are non-specific and address a group. Knowing all these terms can help you identify common nouns in sentences easily.

PeopleWoman, Child, Brother, Wife, Female, Man, Friend, Firefighter, Magician, Judge, Captain, Girl, Boy, Male, Citizen, Boss, Accountant, Hero, Author, Reader, Teacher, Actress, Queen
PlacesCollege, Airport, Island, City, Beach, Backyard, School, Railway Station, Court, Terminus, District, Junction, Store, Playground, Jungle, Front, End, Kitchen, Street, State, Bedroom, Cave, Bus stand, Clinic,
Animals / Birds/ InsectsDog, Cat, Horse, Bird, Bug, Spider, Fish, Monkey, Lion, Tiger, Elephant, Alligator, Dove, Snake, Crocodile, Crow, Goose, Swan, Eagle, Vulture, Housefly, Mosquito, Honeybee, Wasp, Ant, Beetle, Butterfly
Things / ObjectsTable, Water bottle, Newspaper, Boat, Potato chip, sword, Car, Spray, Truck, Necklace, Tie, Shoes, Book, Pencil, Computer, Coat, Boots, Plant, Orange, Thread, Pant 
Concept / IdeasGovernment, Cleanliness, Movement, Chaos, Friendship, Life, Death, Sleep, Logic, Reason, Justice, Science, Crime

Common Noun (जातिवाचक संज्ञा)

एक जातिवाचक संज्ञा को एक संज्ञा के रूप में परिभाषित किया जाता है जो समान चीजों, लोगों, स्थानों, जानवरों, विचारों या वस्तुओं के समूह के नाम को संदर्भित करता है। जातिवाचक संज्ञा वह संज्ञा होती है जो सामान्य अर्थ में किसी व्यक्ति, स्थान, या वस्तु का बोध कराती है।

उदहारण के लिए:

महिला, बच्चा, भाई, पत्नी, कॉलेज, हवाई अड्डा, द्वीप, बिल्ली, घोड़ा, पक्षी, टेबल, पानी की बोतल, अखबार.

Examples of a Common Noun Used in Sentences

Let's take some examples for a better understanding of the concept of common noun and how they differ from proper noun. In the above list of examples, the last two examples follow rules of capitalization as they begin a sentence and name of a proverb respectively.

  1. A girl rang the doorbell and ran away. (Girl is a general word, which is mentioned in common, hence it is the common noun).
  2. He likes to hike in the mountains. (As there are so many mountains by name, in this sentence it is a common noun)
  3. My sister and her friend plan a trip to Manali. (Friend is a common noun, that is not mentioned specifically by name)
  4. I bought this dress yesterday from a mall. (The dress type or colour is not mentioned, so dress is the common noun)
  5. My favourite colour is Red. (Colour is a general word, which is a common noun).
  6. I want to live in this city.
  7. Where is my bike?
  8. We all live on a planet in the solar system.
  9. I have ordered biryani from a restaurant.
  10. Akash dropped me to the railway station.
  11. There are seven continents in the world.
  12. He doesn't play any games. 
  13. Raman bought a new pair of jeans.
  14. I love my family. 
  15. Why did you leave the door open?
  16. Mother's love is always special to everyone.
  17. Birds of the same feather flock together.
  18. He did not go to School today as he is sick.
  19. The man was punished for committing the crime.
  20. The love they had for us is appreciable.
  21. This crime is punishable under law.
  22. The advancement in Technology is flourishing day by day.

Have a look at other parts of the speech here.

Parts of Speech in English Grammar 


FAQs on Common Noun

Ans: A common noun is defined as a noun that refers to the name of a group of similar things, people, places, animals, ideas, or objects.

Ans: List of 20 common noun examples are: Table, Bottle, Woman, Child, Brother, Monkey, Lion, Girl, Boy, Male, City, Beach, Shoes, Book, Pencil, Movie, Car, Game, Family, Day.

Ans: Yes, Common nouns are always written in small letters except if it appears at the starting of the sentence and if common nouns represent a title.

Ans: Yes, the word ‘school’ is a Common Noun as it refers to a place in general without specifying the name of any particular school.

Ans: Common nouns refer to the name of a group of similar things, people, places, animals, ideas, or objects, while proper nouns refer to a specific person, place, animals, or things. Common nouns are written in small letters, while proper nouns must be in capital letters.

Ans. Common nouns are nouns named on general entities rather than specific ones. Whereas collective nouns are groups of entities which are considered to be a single entitiy.

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