Nouns that name a specific person, place, thing, particular event, or group are called proper
nouns and are always capitalized. If the noun is nonspecific, that is, the noun refers to a
general idea and not a specific person, place, or thing, it is usually not a proper noun, so it is
- John F. Kennedy was president during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
- Melville received advice from Hawthorne while writing his novel.
- Chicago is one of my favorite cities to visit.
- Argentina is a country of wondrous beauty.
- Louisiana ranks as one of the top states to visit in the country.
- A car is necessary to get around town.
- Football is a great sport.
- Baseball has been very good to me.
- Horseback riding is popular the world over. (Riding is considered a gerund. Horseback riding is the noun in this sentence.) He took writing to a new level.
- Jeff enjoys flying airplanes.
- Congress is now in session.
- A committee was appointed to resolve the differences.
- We participated in a team exercise.
- Liberty is the basis of all freedoms.
- Equality was at the forefront of our discussions.
- Freedom is not free.
- Democracy is the basis of our government.
- Monarchy is the rule of a country by a king or queen.
- Socialism focuses on social ownership, not private ownership, of industry.
- The Civil War was fought between 1861 and 1865.
- The birthday party went very well.
- Everyone went to the concert and had a good time.
- The VFW had their meeting on Tuesday night.
- The American Medical Association released a statement to the news media.
- I attended a conference of the American Library Association.
- Even at age fifty-six, he could be childlike in his enthusiasm.
Articles are a unique type of adjective. Amazingly, there are only three articles used in the English language: the, a, and an. Without these articles, references to everyday, mundane objects would be difficult.