When you use a capital letter, that’s capitalization! Easy, right?
Most people know you capitalize the first word of a sentence or someone’s name. And, in general, you just need to follow a few simple rules for proper capitalization.
But there are a few tricky ones, including title capitalization, that are good to review. So, check out the rules below, and you’ll be a capitalization pro before you know it!
Whenever you write something, you always capitalize the first letter of the first word of a sentence. That’s it! It doesn’t matter what the word is – the first letter is always a capital letter.
This is another easy rule! You always capitalize the pronoun “I,” no matter where it is in the sentence.
However, “me” doesn’t follow the same rule. Instead, most of the time, “me” is lowercase.
This situation wouldn’t happen often because of how we use “me” in English, but it’s something to keep in mind: if “me” comes at the beginning of a sentence or quotation, you would capitalize it.
The same is true for all of the other personal and possessive pronouns: none of them are capitalized either, unless they’re at the beginning of a sentence or fit one of the other rules below.
In general, everyone’s name is capitalized in English! Whether your name is Benedict, Laverne, or Rohit, you always capitalize the first letter of your name.
In fact, you capitalize the first letter of each of your names, including your first, middle, and last names.
There are a few instances where people choose not to capitalize their own name. But this is very much an exception. Examples include e e cummings and bell hooks.
Also, you need to capitalize people’s titles, prefixes, and suffixes. Any word that goes along with someone’s name should be capitalized, including words like these:
Here are some examples:
However, you don’t capitalize these words if they don’t appear with the person’s name.
The names of the days of the week, the months of the year, and holidays are all capitalized.
Here are some examples:
But keep in mind that you don’t capitalize the four seasons: spring, summer, winter, fall/autumn.
Also, historical time periods or events are capitalized if they are proper nouns.
Also, the names of countries, states and provinces, cities, streets, and other places are proper nouns. Therefore, you need to capitalize them, too.
When you write acronyms or initials, you always capitalize every letter – not just the first one!
This is where capitalization gets a little tricky. But don’t worry! Capitalizing quotes just depends on what they are.
Generally, you capitalize the first word of a quotation if it’s a full sentence – even if it’s in the middle of a sentence.
However, you don’t capitalize a quotation if it’s just a phrase and not a full sentence.
For titles of books, movies, songs, TV shows, and other things, you follow the everyday capitalization rules. But, there are more rules you need to add!
There are different style guides for English grammar, and title capitalization rules can change between the different styles. However, there are a few rules that apply to almost all of them.
First, you should always capitalize the first word of the title, just as you would for a sentence.
Here are some examples of titles:
While there are websites that can check title capitalization for you, it’s good to know the rules yourself!
Also, always check a style guide to make sure you’re following the rules for the type of writing you’re doing.
Capitalization is a basic feature of written English, so it’s important to get it correct! Luckily, most of the rules are pretty easy.
And if you’re feeling stuck, you can always check a dictionary or style guide to help you figure out how to do it properly.
For more great grammar tips and tricks, check out the other articles on this site!