Capitalize the first word in every sentence. Examples My dog knows several tricks. Does yours? • The first word of a directly quoted sentence should begin with a capital letter. Example Mrs. Hernandez said, “Don’t forget to bring your contributions for the bake sale.” • Traditionally, the first word of every line of poetry begins with a capital letter. Example In the night The rain comes down. Yonder at the edge of the earth There is a sound like cracking, There is a sound like falling. Down yonder it goes on slowly rumbling. It goes on shaking.
Capitalize the first word in both the salutation and the closing of a letter SalutationsDear Service Manager: Dear Emily, ClosingsSincerely, Yours truly,
Capitalize the pronoun I Example This week I have to write two essays. My friend and I will be attending the book fair.
Capitalize proper nouns • A proper noun names a particular/specific person, place, thing, or idea. • Proper nouns are capitalized. • A common noun names a kind or type of person, place, thing, or idea. • Common nouns are generally not capitalized unless it begins a sentence or is part of a title.
Some proper nouns consist of more than one word. In these names, short words such as prepositions (those fewer than 5 letters) and articles (a, an, the) are generally NOT capitalized. Example House of Representatives Ivan the Terrible
(continued) *NOTE: In a hyphenated street number, the second part of the number is NOT capitalized. EXAMPLE West Thirty-fourth Street
*Note: Words such as east, west, northern, southerly are NOT capitalized when the words merely indicate direction. HOWEVER, they ARE capitalized when they name a particular region. EXAMPLES A car was going south on Oak Street. [direction] The South has produced some of America’s great writers. [region of the country]
Capitalize names of organizations, teams, institutions, and government bodies.
Capitalize the names of historical events and periods, special events, calendar items, and holidays. *NOTE: Do not capitalize the name of a season unless it is part of a proper name. EXAMPLES the winter holidays the Quebec Winter Carnival
Capitalize the names of nationalities, races, and peoples. EXAMPLES Mexican Nigerian African American Iroquois
Capitalize the names of businesses and the brand names of business products. *NOTE: Names of types of products are not capitalized. EXAMPLES Schwinn bicycle, Apple computer, Callaway golf club
Capitalize the names of buildings and other structures. EXAMPLESSydney Opera House, St. Louis Cathedral, Aswan Dam, Eiffel Tower, Brooklyn Bridge *NOTE: Do not capitalize such words such as hotel, theater, or highschool unless they are part of the name of a particular building or institution. EXAMPLES Capital Theater a theater Lane Hotel the hotel Taft High School the high school
Capitalize the names of religions and their followers, holy days and celebrations, sacred writings, and specific deities. *NOTE: The words godand goddess are not capitalized when they refer to a deity of ancient mythology. However, the names of specific gods and goddesses are not capitalized. EXAMPLES The king of the Norse gods was Odin. Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare.
Capitalize the names of planets, stars, constellations, and other heavenly bodies.
Capitalize proper adjectives. • A proper adjective is formed from a proper noun and is capitalized.
Do not capitalize the names of school subjects, except course names followed by numerals and names of language classes. EXAMPLES history, typing, algebra, English, Spanish, Latin, History 101, Music III, Art Appreciation I
Capitalize titles. • Capitalize the title of a person when the title comes before a name. EXAMPLESPresident Lincoln Mrs. Oliver Wendell Mayor Bradley Commissioner Rodriguez • Generally, a title that is used alone or following a person’s name is not capitalized, especially if the title is preceded by aor the. EXAMPLES The secretary of defense held a news conference. Lien Fong, our class secretary, read the minutes. • However, a title used by itself in direct address is usually capitalized. EXAMPLES Is it very serious, Doctor? How do you do, Sir?
Capitalize a word showing a family relationship when the word is used before or in place of a person’s name. EXAMPLES We expect Uncle Fred and Aunt Helen soon. Both Mom and Dad work at the hospital. • However, do not capitalize a word showing a family relationship when possessive comes before the word. EXAMPLE We asked Pedro’s mother and his aunt Celia to be chaperons.
Capitalize the first and last words and all important words in titles and subtitles. Unimportant words in titles include • articles (a, an, the) • coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet) • prepositions of fewer than five letters (such as by, for, on, with)
*NOTE: The article the at the beginning of a title is not capitalized unless it is the first word of the official title. EXAMPLES My father reads The Wall Street Journal. Does she work for the Texas Review?