Capitalization Rules! In this lesson, you will learn rules for capitalization of letters in written English. Following these rules will help you understand more about the rules of capitalization in writing.
Table of Contents
The rules governing the capitalization of letters in written English are as follows:
1. Capitalize the first word of every sentence (see emboldened letter of first word of this sentence), and every new line.
2. Capitalize the first word of quoted sentences.
He said to her, “You have betrayed my trust.”
3. Capitalize proper nouns.
I want to holiday in the Himalayas.
4. Capitalize words derived from proper nouns.
I want to study English and history in college.
‘English’ and ‘history’ here serve as the subjects that the speaker wants to study in college, so they are both fundamentally common nouns; however, the subject title ‘English’ is derived from the proper noun ‘English’, which refers to the language. Hence, it must be capitalized.
5. Capitalize a person’s title when
- It precedes his/her name
- When it follows his/her name on an address/signature line
- When used as a direct address
What is the verdict, President?
- Do not capitalize when the title is used after the holder’s name to describe him/her.
‘I call this meeting to order,’ said Sharma, the president of the club.
6. Capitalize cardinal directions when they are used to refer to specific locations.
I am headed to the South this summer.
7. Capitalize the first and last words in titles of publications, and all words in between except for
- Little words like a, an, the, but, as, if, and, or and nor, and
- Prepositions, regardless of length.
- One Hundred Years of Solitude
- War and Peace
- Down and Out in Paris and London
8. Capitalize the pronoun “I”
- My friend and I go to school together.
9. Capitalize the opening and closing of the letters.
10. Capitalize an interjection, an exclamation: Oh!, Woaw!, Look!, etc.
Rules of Capitalization | Infographic