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Nouns and Articles

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
not capitalized.


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.

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