Learn English Grammar

Learn English

Common Noun






Edulyte 24x7 English Class

Learn English anytime, anywhere

Find Classes

Common Nouns Made Easy: Your Comprehensive Guide

Comprehensive Definition, Description, Examples & Rules 

Edulyte 24x7 English Class

Learn English anytime, anywhere

Find Classes
What will you learn

You’re probably familiar with the concept of common nouns. You know, those words that are used to name objects or concepts rather than specific people, places, or things. For instance, “cat” is one of the common noun examples because its meaning doesn’t change depending on who uses it — it can refer to any cat, whether it’s owned by a family member or found in a park.

Have you ever questioned what makes a noun singular or plural? Alternatively, why is it crucial to understand the distinction between “I” and “me”? You will learn everything you need to know about singular vs. plural nouns from this detailed manual.

What are Common Nouns?

Have you ever wondered what is common noun? If so then we might have the answer for you. A common noun meaning  states that it is a noun that names an idea or denotes a certain kind of person, thing, or location. Contrary to proper nouns, which are usually capitalized, common nouns are not capitalized unless they are the first words of a sentence.

Comparison between Common Nouns and Proper nouns

Common nouns are not capitalized until they appear at the beginning of a phrase and describe generic people, places, things, or concepts. This category includes the nouns “book,” “teacher,” “city,” and “dog.”

Proper nouns, on the other hand, are typically capitalized and relate to specific people, places, things, or concepts. Among some examples of proper nouns are “John,” “Paris,” “iPhone,” and “Buddhism.”

Proper nouns and common nouns differ in the following important ways:

  1. Proper nouns are typically capitalized, but common nouns are not.

  2. Common nouns refer to things generally, whereas proper nouns refer to specific items.

  3. Common nouns are used to refer to large groups, whereas proper nouns are used to refer to specific people, places, or things.

  4. Articles: Common nouns usually require an article (such as “a,” “an,” or “the”) before them, while proper nouns do not.

For example:

  • “I read a book yesterday.” (common noun)
  • “I read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ yesterday.” (proper noun)
  • “I visited a city last weekend.” (common noun)
  • “I visited New York City last weekend.” (proper noun)

Examples of Common Nouns

Here are some of the common nouns examples:

Words that are used to describe a person, place, or thing are known as common nouns. Common nouns do not often have a plural form or to be capitalized. They include, for instance:

  • “Dog” can refer to either a certain breed of dog (the dog) or a specific dog (our dog).
  • Uncountable persons are referred to as “people.”
  • A “house” is a structure occupied by humans as protection from the elements and other risks that could endanger their life; this structure is also referred to as “a home”. Other examples are “pencil,” “umbrella,” “bicycle,” etc.

Characteristics of Common Nouns

After we have define common noun, let’s look at the their characteristics:

  • They refer to a broad category of individuals, locations, or objects.
  • They are normally not capitalized unless they are the first letter of a phrase or a title.
  • They can either be countable or not.
  • Adjectives or articles may be used to modify them.
  • They are used frequently in ordinary speech and writing.
  • They are Usually not distinctive or specific.
  • They can be changed out for pronouns.




Common nouns refer to general people, places, things, or ideas.


Common nouns do not refer to a particular or specific instance of something.

Not capitalized

Common nouns are not capitalized, except when they appear at the beginning of a sentence or are part of a title.

Can be countable or uncountable

Common nouns can be countable (such as “book” or “apple”) or uncountable (such as “water” or “love”).

Require an article

Common nouns usually require an article (such as “a,” “an,” or “the”) before them.

Common Nouns List

Here is a comprehensive common noun list categorized into various sections:

Animals Food Places Objects People Events
Dog Cat Elephant Giraffe Lion Tiger Bear Snake Fish Bird
Pizza Hamburger Salad Bread Pasta Rice Soup Cheese Apple Banana
City Beach Park Restaurant School Office Hospital Store Museum Library
Chair Table Lamp Computer Phone Book Pen Car Bicycle Televisio
Teacher Doctor Student Police Officer Chef Artist Athlete Musician Writer Actor
Wedding Birthday Concert Festival Graduation Game Show Conference Parade Meeting

Use of a Common Noun in a Sentence

When a common noun is employed in a sentence, it can be utilized to demonstrate your friendliness—both to the reader and, more importantly, to them personally. You can do this by utilizing their initial name or other details about them, such as their favorite color or favorite actor from a recent movie.

An illustration of how to utilize a common noun is as follows:

Hello, I’m John. It’s just me who prefers red cars.

Additionally, you can employ it when referring to yourself:

We have been buddies since kindergarten, and I am John’s best friend. Together, we travel everywhere and attend school every day. No matter what occurs, he is kind and has no malicious intentions.

They are not capitalized and they are not pluralized (they don’t take any suffixes). Common nouns are very specific; you’ll use them when you want to say something like “the city” or “the school.”

Particular or proper nouns are also a type of common nouns. A particular name refers specifically to one person, place, or thing; it’s usually followed by an article (a/an), like this: “The mayor.” A proper name is more generic than a particular name—it doesn’t specify exactly who/what it refers to—and it’s generally not written as two words, but rather as one long word: “New York City.”

English is a language that can be hard to learn, especially if you’re new to it. However, one thing that makes English easier to learn than many other languages is its use of common nouns. Common nouns are words that refer to specific things or people–for example, “cat” or “dog.”

Types of Common Nouns

Concrete nouns

Concrete nouns are words that describe tangible things that can be perceived by one’s five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch). An object, location, or person can all be a concrete noun. Dogs, chairs, pizza, and the beach are some examples.

Abstract nouns

Concepts, ideas, or emotions that cannot be understood by the five senses are referred to by abstract nouns. Abstract nouns lack concreteness and are challenging to define. Love, courage, ideas, and freedom are a few examples.

Collective nouns

Collective nouns are words that describe a group of individuals, creatures, or objects. Using collective nouns, you can refer to a group of separate elements as a single entity. Family, team, flock, and herd are a few examples.

Compound nouns

Compound nouns are created by fusing two or more words together to generate a single new noun. Adjectives and nouns, verbs and nouns, or two or more nouns can all be combined to form compound nouns. Football, waterfall, and toothpaste are a few examples.

Countable and uncountable nouns

Nouns that can be numbered or quantified using numbers are referred to as countable nouns, while nouns that cannot be counted or quantified are referred to as uncountable nouns. solitary or plural countable nouns can have either a solitary or plural verb. Countable nouns include things like books, chairs, and dogs. Uncountable nouns include things like grains, water, and money.

Types of common nouns with the help of a table

Type of Common Noun Definition Examples
Concrete nouns
Refers to physical objects that can be seen, heard, smelled, touched, or tasted
Dog, Chair, Pizza, Beach
Abstract nouns
Refers to ideas, concepts, or emotions that cannot be seen or touched
Love, Courage, Idea, Freedom
Collective nouns
refers to a collection of individuals, pets, or objects
Family, Team, Flock, Herd
Compound nouns
A combination of two or more words to create a new noun
Toothpaste, Waterfall, Football
Countable and uncountable nouns
Refers to nouns that can be counted (countable) or cannot be counted (uncountable)
Countable: Book, Chair, Dog; Uncountable: Water, Rice, Money

Common Noun Mistakes in Everyday Life

Wrong Plurals:

Certain common nouns do not have  a plural. Many English learners do not realise it and misspell such common nouns. Examples of common nouns which do not have a plural are: money, furniture, information, among others.

Using “The” incorrectly:

“The” is used before specific common nouns or when there is only one of something.

  • Incorrect: “I saw a movie at the cinema.”
  • Correct: “I saw a movie at the movie theater.”

Incorrect Pluralization:

Forming plurals by adding “s” or “es” is a common mistake. However, irregular plural nouns don’t follow this rule.

  • Incorrect: “She has two childs.”
  • Correct: “She has two children.”

Confusing Possessive Nouns:

Properly forming possessive nouns by adding an apostrophe and an “s” is important to show ownership.

  • Incorrect: “The books cover is torn.”
  • Correct: “The book’s cover is torn.”
common noun infographics

Transform Your English Skills

Free sign-up for a personalised dashboard, learning tools, and unlimited possibilities!

Sign up Now Learn English Grammar Online

PTE Tutorials: Fast-Track to Your Top Score!

Master PTE: Dive in for success!

Sign up Now Learn English

Key Takeaways

  1. Common nouns do not specifically relate to individuals, places, or things; rather, they allude to concepts or objects.

  2. It’s crucial to understand the differences between singular and plural nouns.

  3. In place of proper nouns, common nouns can be used to refer to a wide range of people, places, or things.

  4. Ordinarily, common nouns are not capitalized unless they begin a phrase or a title.

  5. Adjectives or articles can be used to change common nouns, depending on whether they are countable or not.

  6. Concrete, abstract, collective, and compound nouns are the four different categories of common nouns.

  7. Animals, food, locations, things, individuals, and events are a few examples of common nouns.


Check your score in the end


Check your score in the end
Question of

Question comes here

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you tell if a sentence contains a common noun?

Common nouns are generic; rather than referring to particular objects, persons, or locations, they typically name categories of those things, people, and locations. They are only capitalized at the beginning of a sentence, and articles, determiners, and adjectives may be used to change them.

How many common nouns are there in the English language?

Although there are seven distinct categories of nouns, the precise number of nouns is unknown. Language is constantly evolving, with new words being added and old ones being phased out. The best estimate places the number of nouns at over 80,000.

Is a common noun capitalized?

A common noun or adjective that is a necessary component of a proper name is capitalized; however, a common noun that is used by itself to replace a place or thing’s name is not.

Are there any exercises or activities to help me understand common nouns better?

Charades, Bingo, puzzles, Mad libs; These are some of the exercises that will help you under common nouns better. Additionally, you can also go through the resources provided by Edulyte that will greatly improve your understanding of common nouns.

What are common nouns?

Common nouns refer to a general class of people, places, or things, such as “dog”, “city”, or “book”.

How are common nouns different from proper nouns?

Proper nouns refer to specific names of people, places, or things, while common nouns refer to general names or categories.

Can common nouns be capitalized?

Common nouns are not typically capitalized unless they begin a sentence or are part of a title.

What is the difference between countable and uncountable common nouns?

Countable common nouns can be quantified and have both singular and plural forms, while uncountable common nouns cannot be quantified and only have singular forms.

What are some examples of abstract common nouns?

Examples of abstract common nouns include “love”, “happiness”

What are some examples of collective common nouns?

examples of collective common nouns include “herd”, “team”, and “family”.

Share it with your friends

Learn English


Sign up for Learner Newsletter

Subscribe now for discounts, learning resources, blogs and guides. We do not spam.

We won’t pass your details on to anyone else. By clicking the subscribe button you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.


Sign up for Tutor Newsletter

Subscribe now for discounts, learning resources, blogs and guides. We do not spam.

We won’t pass your details on to anyone else. By clicking the subscribe button you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PTE Tutorials: Customised Packages for Every Learner


$75 AUD

One time



$275 AUD

One time


$575 AUD

One time