Capitalization Rules: 10 Important Rules for Capitalization of Letters in Written English

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.

Capitalization Rules

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

President Sharma

  • When it follows his/her name on an address/signature line

Regards,

Sharma, President

  • 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.

E.g.

  • 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

Capitalization Rules: 10 Important Rules for Capitalization of Letters in Written EnglishPin

 

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daddy tapia
daddy tapia
1 year ago

hi

daddy tapia
daddy tapia
1 year ago

hi what doing

cameron
cameron
9 months ago

hey

ahhhh
ahhhh
7 months ago
Reply to  cameron

hi

Robert N. Steele
Robert N. Steele
7 months ago

Any grammar Rebels out there? Are you tired of the EM Dash—, and the ellipses … ? Well here is my solution, The Tilde~. What do you think?

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6 months ago

thanks

peepee de la poo poo
peepee de la poo poo
5 months ago

Me stinky

Eric
Eric
4 months ago

Why is the word English capitalized and the word history is not:

6 Capitalize the place or specific locations.

PreachingFacts.
PreachingFacts.
4 months ago
Reply to  Eric

Because English is a language and all languages are capitalized.

random
random
4 months ago
Reply to  Eric

I honestly don’t know I have wondered the same thing for quite some time.
lol ill ask a professional.

Keith
Keith
3 months ago
Reply to  Eric

Anything to do with languages or nationalities is capitalized, e.g. She is German, and she’s studying English, French and history at university.

random
random
4 months ago

hey

Super English teacher
Super English teacher
4 months ago

I would love to use this for my students but there are some major grammatical issues that I have been teaching them to stop doing for months. I am very disappointed, but I may take some pieces and use them in my lesson.

Keith
Keith
3 months ago

In your example no. 5, the word “street” should also be capitalized.

yohannes telaumbanua
yohannes telaumbanua
1 month ago

This is a great idea. the infographic has been put as the main resource in my model book. the infographic is very simple and easy to understand. my students do not spend hours understanding these kinds of capitalization rules. I do love such an explanation. it is totally concise. Thank you ESFL forum for helping foreign language teachers and learners of Indonesia

Erica
Erica
5 days ago

Hi, I think this is great. The only negative comment I have is that Number 4 is in the wrong place. It could be confusing for young learners who are still trying to count from 1 to 10. Otherwise, it is very useful, thank you. Simple easy and concise.

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