Set IV, 1


Here are answers to some of the questions you may have about capitalization. Just remember that it's impossible to remind you of all the places where a capital may be needed or to warn you against those where a capital is inappropriate. When in doubt, do as good proofreaders do: look it up in a reliable grammar handbook.

Capitalize the first word of a sentence.


Capitalize the pronoun I.


Capitalize proper nouns (the names or nicknames of specific people, places and, sometimes, things):

My roommate plays Isaac Hayes all the time, but I'd rather listen to the Fifth Dimension. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world. The Atlantic Ocean is the coldest ocean I've ever swum in.

Capitalize words of family relationship when used as proper names:

Aunt Hattie left her grandfather's watch to Jim. We call my mother Mom.

Capitalize the names of God, specific deities or religious figures:

God the Father, Allah, Jehovah, Shivah, the Prophet (Muhammad), the Virgin Mary

But: the Greek gods

Capitalize titles preceding names:

Six colonels reported to General Birdsong.

Capitalize north, south, east and west when used as sections of the country, but not as compass directions:

The Stidleys have moved to the Southwest. Jake's house is two miles north of Otterbein.

Capitalize the days of the week, the months of the year and holidays:

This year Halloween will fall on the last Friday in October.

(Do not capitalize the seasons: spring, summer, winter or fall.)

Capitalize the names of specific courses, but not general studies:

Of all my biology courses, Biology 215 was the most stimulating.

Capitalize the names of countries, nationalities and specific languages:

"Why can't the English ever learn to speak? Norwegians learn Norwegian and Greeks all learn their Greek."

Capitalize the first word in a sentence that is a direct quote:

Emerson once said, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..."

Capitalize all the major words in the titles of books, articles and songs:

One of Robert's favorite books is Catcher in the Rye.

Hit Counter