Quite often, students ask: "What is a common and proper name?" Despite the simplicity of the question, not everyone knows the definition of these terms and the rules for writing such words. Let's figure it out. After all, in fact, everything is extremely simple and clear.
The most significant layer of nouns are common nouns. They denote the names of the class of objects or phenomena that have a number of characteristics by which they can be attributed to the specified class. For example, household names are: a cat, a table, a corner, a river, a girl. They do not name any particular object or person, animal, but indicate a whole class. Using these words, we mean any cat or dog, any table. Such nouns are capitalized.
In linguistics, household names are also called appellatives.
Unlike common nouns, proper names make up a small layer of nouns. These words or phrases denote a specific and specific subject that exists in a single copy. Proper names include names of people, names of animals, names of cities, rivers, streets, countries. For example: Volga, Olga, Russia, Danube. They are always capitalized and point to a specific person or item.
The study of proper names is the science of onomastics.
So, what is a common noun and proper name, we have figured out. Now let's talk about onomastics - a science that deals with the study of proper names. At the same time, they consider not only names, but also the history of their occurrence, how they changed over time.
Onomasty scientists distinguish several areas in this science. So, anthroponymy is engaged in the study of the names of people, and ethnonymy is the name of peoples. Cosmonomy and astronomy study the names of stars and planets. The nicknames of animals are explored by zoononymy. Theonymy deals with the names of the gods.
This is one of the most promising sections in linguistics. Research onomastics is still underway, articles are published, conferences are held.
Transition of common nouns into proper ones, and vice versa
A common noun and a proper name can pass from one group to another. Quite often, it happens that a household name becomes proper.
For example, if a person is called a name that was previously included in the household class, it becomes its own. A vivid example of such a transformation is the names Faith, Love, Hope. They used to be common nouns.
Surnames formed from common names also pass into the category of anthroponyms. So, you can highlight the names of Kot, Kale and many others.
As for proper names, they quite often move to another category. Often this applies to the names of people. Many inventions bear the names of their authors, sometimes the names of scientists are assigned to the quantities or phenomena discovered by them. So, we know the Colt revolver, units of measure amperes and Newton.
The names of the heroes of the works can become a household name. So, the names of Don Quixote, Oblomov, Uncle Styopa became a designation of certain features of appearance or character inherent in people. The names and surnames of historical figures and celebrities can also be used as household names, for example, Schumacher and Napoleon.
In such cases, it is necessary to clarify what exactly the addressee has in mind in order to prevent mistakes when writing the word. But often this can be understood from the context. We think you understand what a common noun and proper name is. The examples we cited reflect this quite vividly.
Noun spelling rules
As you know, all parts of speech are subject to spelling rules. Nouns - common and proper - were no exception. Remember a few simple rules that will help you avoid making annoying mistakes in the future.
- Proper names are always capitalized, for example: Ivan, Gogol, Catherine the Great.
- People’s nicknames are also capitalized, but without quotation marks.
- Proper names used in the meaning of common names are written with a small letter: Don Quixote, Don Juan.
- If near the proper name there are official words or generic names (cape, city), then they are written with a small letter: the Volga River, Lake Baikal, Gorky Street.
- If the proper name is the name of the newspaper, cafe, book, then it is taken in quotation marks. In this case, the first word is capitalized, the rest, if they do not belong to proper names, are written with a small one: "Master and Margarita", "Russian Truth".
- Common names are written with a small letter.
As you can see, pretty simple rules. Many of them have been known to us since childhood.
All nouns are divided into two large classes - proper and common nouns. The former are much smaller than the latter. Words can pass from one class to another, while acquiring a new meaning. Proper names are always capitalized. Common words are with a small one.
We learned what common names and proper names are. A presentation that you can make using this material will help you share your knowledge with others.