There are common and proper nouns in the English language. Proper nouns are the name of a specific person, place, or thing, and because of that they are also sometimes referred to as proper names.
My name is Nemo.
Nemo is a proper noun.
Rule 1: Proper nouns are always capitalized in English, regardless of their placement in a sentence.
Elizabeth is the Queen of the United Kingdom.
Elizabeth, Queen, United Kingdom are all proper nouns as they name precisely a particular person and place.
Note: We don't capitalize jobs and other titles unless they are used in the act of naming someone, e.g., Elizabeth is the Queen.
Rule 2: When it comes to nouns indicating a family relationship (mom, dad, uncle, aunt, grandparents, and other relatives), we capitilize them when using them to directly address someone or as a person’s name. We also capitalize such words when they appear as a title before a name.
I am going to clean my room now, Mom.
Mom is capitalized because addresses a person directly.
When did you last time saw your Cousin Petunia?
Cousin is capitalized because it stands as a title before a person's name.
Note: Words like son, daughter, brother and sister generally are not capitalized, as they rarely appear as titles.
Rule 3: We capitalize the days of the week and moths of the year, but we don't capitalize seasons. Seasons are only capitalized if they are a part of a proper name.
I have my flight to London on Friday. I am going to spend the entire summer there.
London is capitalized because it's a proper name of a city, Friday is capitalized because it's a day in a week, summer isn't capitalized because it's a season.
Have you watched the movie (500) Days of Summer?
Summer is capitalized because it's a part of a proper name - a movie title.
Some other categories of proper nouns include:
- names of countries, nationalities, and languages (Norway, Danish, Finnish),
- periods, eras, historical events (Middle Ages, The Industrial Revolution, Cold War),
- brand names (Nike, Kleenex, Prada),
- works of art (Macbeth, The Venus de Milo, Uptown Funk),
- directions of the compass, but only as a part of a proper noun (heading west but West Coast).
Choose the correct noun. I know this ___.