A proper noun is the name of a person, animal, place or organization, for example, James, Snoopy, England, Paris or Motorola. A name is a noun, but a very special noun—a proper noun. Proper nouns have their own rules…..we always used capital letter for the first letter of a proper noun; examples as shown below:

Proper Nouns vs

Common Nouns

James, Elton

man, boy, father, son

Susan, Jane

woman, girl, mother, daughter

Pizza Hut, Walmart

eatery, megastore

Agilent, Toshiba

factory, company

Monday, October

day, month

Malaysia, London

country, city

Blue Ocean, Superman Returns

book, movie

Proper Nouns without THE

  1. We do not use “the” with names of people
  2. We do not normally use “the” with names of companies except if the registered name of the company starts with “The” e.g. The China Post.
  3. We do not normally use “the” for banks, hotels, shops etc. named after a person with – ‘s or -s e.g. McDonalds
  4. We do not normally use “the” with names of places e.g. Malaysia, Europe, Paris except if a country is with the word “Republic”, “States” and “Kingdom” e.g. The People’s Republic of China, The United Kingdom, The United States of America.
  5. We do not use “the” with “Dr/Mr/Mrs/President/Professor with name e.g Dr Watson, President Bush, Mr & Mrs Smith.
  6. We do not use “the” with Lake/Mount with name e.g. Lake Michigan, Mount Everest.
  7. We do not normally use “the” for streets, roads, square, parks e.g Victoria Street, Clove Hall Road, Tianmen Square, Hyde Park.
  8. Many big, important buildings have names made of two words (for example, Kennedy Airport). If the first word is the name of a person or place, we do not normally use “the” e.g. St. Peter’s Church, Heathrow Airport

Proper Nouns with THE

  1. We normally use “the” for country names that include “States”, “Kingdom”, “Republic” etc (as above).
  2. We normally use “the” for names of canals, rivers, seas and oceans eg, the Suez Canal, the Yangtse River, the Dead Sea, the Atlantic Ocean.
  3. We normally use “the” for plural names of people and places e.g. the Tans, the Smiths, the Virgin Islands, the Philippines, the Himalayas, the Alps.
  4. We normally use “the” with the following sorts of names e.g. the Shangri-La Hotel, the Peking Restaurant, the Citibank, the White House, the Star Newspapers, the CNN.
  5. We normally use “the” for names made with “…of…” e.g. the Straits of Malacca, the Stature of Liberty, the Bank of China.

Sometimes you will make proper nouns out of common nouns, as in the following examples: condominium = Gemdale Condominiums, mall = Queensbay Mall.