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NN vs. NNP

Definition of NNP (Proper Noun)

Proper nouns (NNP) name specific people, places, things, or ideas.  Since they these nouns are naming specific things, they always begin with a capital letter. 


Britney, Paris, Rover, Nike

Sometimes, proper nouns contain two or more important words.


Britney Spears, Central Park Zoo, Pacific Ocean

If this is the case, both important words are capitalized, and the whole thing is still considered to be one proper noun even though it's made up of more than one word.

Definition of NN  (Common Noun)

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Common nouns are the opposite of proper nouns. They are your run of the mill, generic nouns. They name people, places, things or ideas that are not specific.


woman, city, dog, shoe

Relationships and Differences

Every proper noun has a common noun equivalent, but not every common noun has a proper noun equivalent!

Major Ambiguities