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proper noun

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

Moderator: Alan

proper noun

Postby hanuman_2000 » Fri Sep 17, 2004 10:36 am


the North,the South,the East, the West are proper noun.

if they are proper noun then why some times written in small letters.


The sun rises in the East.

The stadium is in the north of the city.
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Postby Alan » Sat Sep 18, 2004 4:45 am

Only sometimes!

They are treated as proper nouns (+ the) when they refer to geographical areas (parts of the world or of a particular country) as opposed to simple compass points. Thus, when we refer to the eastern part of the world (the Orient), we write 'the East', whereas in most cases a small letter would be used (e.g. the wind came from the east). An English person referring to the northern part of England would term it 'the North', but would write Newcastle lies to the north of Halifax with a small 'n', and so on.
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