Common Nouns

A game of ChessA common noun refers to a general group or class of people, places, objects, etc. One way to identify a common noun is called the “the” test.  If you can use the noun with the article the (or another article like a or an) in front of it, the word is likely a common noun.

Some examples are the game, the movie, and the ghost.

Of course, it’s important to remember that the “the” test does not work all the time. It’s just a good guideline.

Some exceptions to the “the” test would be with proper nouns (discussed on the previous page) like the Dallas Cowboys and the Boston Red Sox. Even though they would pass the “the” test, they are proper nouns, not common nouns.

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