French proper nouns
- 1.What is a proper noun in French ?
- 2.List of French proper nouns ?
- 3.When to use French proper nouns ?
- 3.1.Categories of proper nouns
- 3.1.1.Surname and name of a person
- 3.1.4.Names of regions
- 3.1.5.Names of monuments
- 3.1.6.Names of godheads
- 3.1.7.Titles of artworks, role plays
- 3.1.8.Names of brands
- 3.2.Plural of proper nouns
- 4.Particularities and exceptions
What is a proper noun in French ?
A proper noun (French: un nom propre) is a word that allows to designate persons or objects of the same category. It is always written in capital letters and it does not necessarily have a precise meaning
Some proper names are used with determinants: un, une, des, le, la, les etc... except in some cases.
List of French proper nouns ?
Here you will find an overview of proper nouns and the catergory they belong to:
|Names and surnames||Names of animals||Names of cities, countries, objects, nationalities|
|Paul Dupont||Hamtaro||Le Mans|
|Henri||Rex||La Tour Eiffel|
|Louis||Lilu||Muraille de Chine|
When to use French proper nouns ?
Categories of proper nouns
Nouns can be used to designate a person or object in a unique and individual way. There are different categories:
1. Surname and name of a person
- Je m'appelle Nicolas Anelka. (My name is Nicolas Anelka)
2. Historical characters
- La jeune guerrière s'appelait Jeanne d'Arc. (The young warrior's name was Joan of Arc)
- Il était surnommé Napoleon III. (He was called Napoleon III)
- J'adore l'histoire de Cléopatre. (I love the story of Cleopatra)
3. Names of countries
4. Names of regions
- Angleterre du Nord-Est (North East England)
5. Names of monuments
- la Tour Eiffel (the Eiffel tower)
- le Colisée (the Colloseum)
- la Statue de la Liberté (the Statue of Liberty)
- le musée du Louvre (the museum of Louvre)
6. Names of godheads
7. Titles of artworks, role plays
- Roméo et Juliette (Romeo and Juliet)
- les Misérables (the Miserables)
- la Joconde (Mona Lisa)
8. Names of brands
Plural of proper nouns
As a general rule, proper nouns are invariable even if there is a plural determinant. But there are different rules regarding the plural of proper nouns:
- There are proper nouns that are composed, in this case, they do not take a capital letter but remain invariable.
Exemple: J'ai mangé des Saint-Nectaire. I ate Saint-Nectaire (type of french cheese).
- The proper nouns of dynasties agree in the plural.
Exemple: les Tudors (The Tudors).
Particularities and exceptions
There are many particularities and exceptions that are important to consider:
- Proper names are not attached to a determinant except for certain countries and area names, names of inhabitants, names of monuments, and titles of works.
- The proper name almost always has a unique meaning, unlike common nouns.
- Some literary style figures use proper nouns as common nouns (this is called an antonomase) and in this case, proper nouns can agree.
- The names of days and months are not proper nouns, sp they can agree in the plural.
- les Français. (the French)
- les Britanniques. (British people)
- le Colisée (the Colosseum)
- les Misérables (the Miserables)
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