Every noun is either a common or proper noun. Fortunately, it's not difficult to tell the difference between them. It's important to know the difference because we need to CAPITALIZE proper nouns in English.
Let's review both of these types of nouns.
Common nouns name general people, places, things, animals and ideas.
Some examples: table, chair, school, store, war, week, dog, communism.
Common nouns are not capitalized -- unless -- they are the first word in a sentence:
In contrast, proper nouns name specific people, places, things, animals and ideas.
This list show some different types of proper nouns and examples:
Buildings & Structures
Events & Festivals
Months / Days of the Week
Lady Gaga, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sarah, Michael
Mr, Mrs, Professor, Dr, Sir, Madam, Queen
United Nations, Coca-Cola, Museum of Modern Art
The White House, Empire State Building
Asia, New York, Atlantic Ocean, Mount Kilimanjaro
Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Torah, Bhagavad Gita
Roman Empire, Berlin Wall, World War I
Wimbledon, New Year's Eve, Miss Universe Pageant
February, December, Tuesday, Friday, Sunday
Every proper noun has a common noun equivalent. There is always a general way to describe something:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Michael Jackson, President Obama
AC Milan, Chicago Bulls
Can you clearly see now how common nouns are general and proper nouns describe something specific?
As you can see on the list, many of the proper nouns have more than one word. All of the words together represent one proper noun. For example, the words -- Pacific Ocean -- together describe one specific ocean.
Remember proper nouns are CAPITALIZED: