Capitalization for intermediate learners

Capitalization is to write the first letter of a word in uppercase. In this lesson, you will learn all the rules about this subject.

Capitalization Rules in English

What Is Capitalization?

When we write the first letter of a word in uppercase letters and the other leters in lowercase, we are capitalizing the word.

Uses

We capitalize words in the following contexts:

  • Capitalization in Sentences
  • Capitalization in Headlines
  • Capitalization in Job Titles
  • Capitalization in Directions

Let us discuss each case in more detail.

Capitalization in Sentences

The first letter of the first word of a sentence is always capitalized, whether it is a pronoun, an article, a noun, etc. Take a look at the following examples:

I want to meet you.

As you can see, the first letter of the word is always capitalized.

The play was fine.

How could she do this to me?

George is on his way home.

Tip!

When we have proper nouns in the sentence, their first letter must be capitalized, be it at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the sentence. Below is a list of some common proper nouns:

  • Days of the Week and Months: Sunday, Thursday, August, July
  • Names of People: Hannah, Michael, Patrick, Alicia
  • Cities, Countries and Nationalities: London, Germany, French
  • Religions: Orthodox, Protestantism, Satanism, Islam
  • Brands: Gucci, Miu Miu, Prada, Versace, Rare Beauty
  • Streets: Apple Street, Via Sacra, Park

She lives on Park Street.

He's wearing a Gucci hat.

Capitalization in Headlines and Titles

When writing titles and headlines, we have to capitalize the main words but not the prepositions and articles. Take a look at the following examples:

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

Titanic Sinks Four Hours after Hitting Iceberg

Warning!

Please note that when the title/heading begins with a preposition or article, its first letter must be capitalized. Take a look at the following example:

To the Lighthouse

(Not to the Lighthouse...)

Capitalization in Job Titles

We can capitalize job titles on occasions such as:

  • When we want to address someone directly by their job title
  • When we want to use someone's name after the job title

Dr. Blackwood would like to speak to you in private.

I look forward to meeting you, Professor.

Capitalization in Direction

When we want to refer to specific geographical regions, we must capitalize directional words. Otherwise, it is not necessary. Compare the following examples:

Iran is a country in the Middle East.

This part on the map is Northern Ireland.

Just head east and then you'll see the meadow.

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