There are many terms in English grammar which confuse students and one of them is, the difference between common and proper nouns. In plain words, a noun is a word that specifies a place, person, a thing, etc. Most of the thing (generally physical) that you see around fall in the category of a noun, e.g. a pen, phone, table, chair, laptop, bike, and so on.
|Common Noun||A common noun refers to general places, people, or things. More specifically, a particular class or type of place, person, or thing. For instance, cities, students, cars, etc. Such words fall in broad general terms.|
The latest survey has included more cities from different countries than before.
The government has sanctioned the new layout of city planning having parks in all the major areas.
|Proper Noun||Proper nouns are specific and refer to one particular place, thing or person like Sachin Tendulkar, book- Discover of India or the place-Agra. Take a look at the following sentences for more clarity|
Forbes has included Hyderabad from India in its latest survey.
The Indian government has sanctioned the new layout of city planning having Mahatma Gandhi parks in Malviya Nagar and Mansarovar.
Now, there is another major difference through which you can easily identify them and that is capitalization.
Common nouns are not capitalized unless it is the first word in the sentence or part of a title.
Christopher Nolan got an award for his Movie. However, he received no award for his Documentaries. (Incorrect)
Christopher Nolan got an award for his movie. However, he received no award for his documentaries. (Correct)
On the contrary, irrespective of their place in a sentence proper nouns should always be capitalized simply they are names. The following sentence clears the idea.
Christopher Nolan got the empire award for interstellar. However, he received no award for memento documentary (Incorrect)
Christopher Nolan got the Empire award for Interstellar. However, he received no award for Memento documentary. (Correct)