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

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

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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


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.


  • 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 English



Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Very helpful capitalization chart. Thanks


Saturday 12th of June 2021

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.

yohannes telaumbanua

Wednesday 28th of April 2021

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


Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

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

Super English teacher

Tuesday 9th of February 2021

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.