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  1. Newbie
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    • Join Date: Oct 2009
    • Posts: 6
    #1

    common/proper nounw

    Can anyone explain why "iris" and "lily" are common nouns rather than proper nouns?


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886
    #2

    Re: common/proper nounw

    Quote Originally Posted by dizzy67 View Post
    Can anyone explain why "iris" and "lily" are common nouns rather than proper nouns?
    They would be proper nouns if they referred to one particular thing.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 1,507
    #3

    Re: common/proper nounw

    Quote Originally Posted by dizzy67 View Post
    Can anyone explain why "iris" and "lily" are common nouns rather than proper nouns?
    When they are used as women's names, they are indeed proper nouns and are accordingly spelt with capital letters (Iris, Lily).

    If they are used simply as the name of a type of flower, they are of course treated as common nouns (the same as dog/cat) and spelt with small letters.

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