There’s a time for everything, and that includes capitalising words. If you want to know just when capitalisation is called for in writing, read the steps below. Once you know the rules, memorise them. Getting them right will make a lasting impression. Getting them wrong will too.
- Skill level:
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Begin each sentence with a capital letter, including sentences inside quotation marks. Examples:
The meeting will be held next week.
What she said was, “Never call me in the morning.”
Use capital letters when a title includes a proper name or a numeral. Examples: Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Pope Paul III
Use a capital letter in the first word and all words of importance in titles published. Example: The Miracle Worker
Capitalise titles of people such as Senator Dean Skelos, and capitalise an important title without a name. Example: Vice President
Use a capital letter as the first letter of the days of the week and in months and holidays. Examples: Monday, February, and Easter
Use capital letters in the names of historical events, historical statues, historical monuments, and historical papers. Examples: The Boston Tea Party, The Liberty Bell, The Washington Monument, The United States Constitution.
Use capital letters in names that are of a geographical nature such as Mediterranean Sea and when writing building names like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
A capital letter should be the first letter in the name of an agency of the government. The names of institutions, company names, and the names of organisations should be capitalised as well. Examples: The Air Force, John Hopkins Medical Institution, Canon U.S.A., Organization for Security in Europe
When a noun is part of a name such as Calhoun High School, it should be capitalised.
Use a capital letter in the case of a proper noun and in words that come from that proper noun. Examples: Texas and Texan
Use capital letters when naming religions, gods, and any language. Examples: Hindu and Buddha
Use capital letters in department names. Example: Department of Public Affairs
When Mom, Dad, Grandmother, or Grandfather is used in place of a name, the first letter is capitalised. Aunt and Uncle are also capitalised when a name follows.
Tips and warnings
- When giving directions, north, south, east and west should not be capitalised.
- The seasons winter, spring, summer, and autumn should not be capitalised.
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