LEARN A WORD A DAY

Monday, August 10, 2009

Proper Nouns

Proper Nouns (Names)

A proper noun is the special word (or name) that we use for a person, place or organization, like Rihal, Aishalia, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Panasonic. A name is a noun, but a very special noun - a proper noun. Proper nouns have special rules.

common nounproper noun
man, boyRihal
woman, girlAisyalia
country, townMalaysia, Johor Bahru
companyProton, Panasonic
shop, restaurantMaceys, McDonalds
month, day of the weekJanuary, Sunday
book, filmPrisoner of Zenda, Resident Evil

Using Capital Letters with Proper Nouns

We always use a Capital Letter for the first letter of a proper noun (name). This includes names of people, places, companies, days of the week and months. For example:

  • They like Nadia. (not *They like nadia.)
  • I live in Penang.
  • She works for Panasonic.
  • The last day in January is a Monday.
  • We saw Resident Evil in the Odeon Cinema.
Proper Nouns without THE

We do not use "the" with names of people. For example:

first namesBill (not *the Bill)
Hilary
surnamesTan
Gates
full namesHilary Gates

We do not normally use "the" with names of companies. For example:
  • Proton, Ford, Sony
  • General Motors, Air Asia, Singapore Airways
  • Warner Brothers, Ah Guan & Son Ltd

We do not normally use "the" for shops, banks, hotels etc named after a founder or other person (with -'s or -s). For example:

shopsHarrods, Marks & Spencer, Maceys
banksRHB Bank
hotels, restaurantsSyahmi's Hotel, Amy's Cafe, McDonalds
churches, cathedralsSt John's Church, St Peter's Cathedral

We do not normally use "the" with names of places. For example:

townsPenang (not *the Penang), Paris, Tokyo
states, regionsJohore, Selangor, Eastern Europe
countriesEngland, Italy, Brazil
continentsAsia, Europe, North America
islandsSibu
mountainsKinabalu

Exception! If a country name includes "States","Kingdom", "Republic" etc, we use "the":

statesthe United States, the US, the United States of America, the USA
kingdomthe United Kingdom, the UK
republicthe French Republic

We do not use "the" with "President/Doctor/Mr etc + Name":

the president, the kingPresident Bush (not *the President Bush)
the captain, the detectiveCaptain Kirk, Detective Colombo
the doctor, the professorDoctor Dalila, Dr Dalila, Professor Aiman
my uncle, your auntUncle Tan, Aunt Sally

Mr Gates (not *the Mr Gates), Mrs Clinton, Miss Black

Look at these example sentences:

  • I wanted to speak to the doctor.
  • I wanted to speak to Doctor Munira.
  • Who was the president before President Kennedy?

We do not use "the" with "Lake/Mount + Name":

the lakeLake Pedu
the mountMount Kinabalu

Look at this example sentence:

  • We live beside Lake Pedu. We have a fantastic view across the lake.

We do not normally use "the" for roads, streets, squares, parks etc:

streets etcOxford Street, Trenholme Road, Fifth Avenue
squares etcTrafalgar Square, Oundle Place, Piccadilly Circus
parks etcCentral Park, Kew Gardens

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":

peopleKL International Airport, Alexander Palace, St Paul's Cathedral
placesSubang Airport, Putra Station, Edinburgh Castle

Proper Nouns with THE

We normally use "the" for country names that include "States","Kingdom", "Republic" etc:

Statesthe United States of America/the USA
Kingdomthe United Kingdom/the UK
Republicthe French Republic

We normally use "the" for names of canals, rivers, seas and oceans:

canalsthe Suez Canal
riversthe River Nile, the Nile
seasthe Mediterranean Sea, the Mediterranean
oceansthe Pacific Ocean, the Pacific

We normally use "the" for plural names of people and places:

people (families, for example)the Clintons
countriesthe Philippines, the United States
island groupsthe Virgin Islands, the British Isles
mountain rangesthe Himalayas, the Alps

Look at these sentences:

  • I saw the Clintons today. It was Bill's birthday.
  • Trinidad is the largest island in the West Indies.
  • Mount Everest is in the Himalayas.

We normally use "the" with the following sorts of names:

hotels, restaurantsthe Ritz Hotel, the Peking Restaurant
banksthe National Westminster Bank
cinemas, theatresthe Royal Theatre, the ABC Cinema
museumsthe British Museum, the National Gallery
buildingsthe White House, the Crystal Palace
newspapersthe Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Post
organisationsthe United Nations, the BBC, the European Union

We normally use "the" for names made with "of":

  • the Tower of London
  • the Gulf of Siam
  • the Tropic of Cancer
  • the London School of Economics
  • the Bank of France
  • the Statue of Liberty

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Collection of SPM English Language Question Papers

2005
Terengganu Trial [Paper 1]

2007
Johor Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2] [Answers], Melaka Trial 2007 [Paper 1] [Paper 2], TIMES [Paper 1] [Paper 2] SPB [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

2008

Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2],
Trial
MRSM Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], SBP Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kelantan Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kedah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Johor Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Perlis Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sabah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sarawak Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Melaka Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

2009

Terengganu TOV [Paper 1] [Paper 2] Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2]
Melaka Trial , Johor Trial , Sabah Trial , Kedah Trial , Perlis Trial , Times , SBP , Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

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