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Using Capital Letters - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Using Capital Letters.  Les Hanson 2002. This presentation reviews the rules you already know as well as some of the tricky aspects of capitalization. It deals with the following topics:. Titles Names. Overview. Sentences Lists. In general, specific names require capitals.

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using capital letters

Using Capital Letters

 Les Hanson 2002

This presentation reviews the rules you already know as well as some of the tricky aspects of capitalization.

It deals with the following topics:



  • Sentences
  • Lists
  • In general, specific names require capitals.
    • Lake Superior, Fred, Great Depression
  • General names do not require capitals
    • the prairies, my uncle, a recession
  • Capitalize the first word of a sentence
  • And the first word of a quoted sentence
    • She said, “You are funny .”
  • Don’t capitalize the second part of a fragmented quotation
    • “You are funny,” she said, “and so is your mother.”
  • Don’t capitalize partial quotes
    • He talked of the “plausible deniability” of the scheme.
  • Capitalize sentences that follow a colon.
    • Remember this: Grammar is fun!
  • Capitalize the first word of each item in a vertical list
    • These punctuation marks are confusing:
      • Colons
      • Semicolons
      • Dashes
  • Don’t capitalize words in horizontal lists
    • Language is made up of numerous parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.
titles of books articles and songs
Titles of books, articles, and songs
  • Capitalize the first, last, and all important words in a title
  • Don’t capitalize short articles, prepositions, and conjunctions
    • As You Like It
    • The Merry Wives of Windsor
    • Love’s Labours Lost
    • Taming of the Shrew
    • The Merchant of Venice
names and titles
Names and Titles
  • Capitalize the specific names of people, places, and institutions
    • Stockwell Day, Alberta, Canadian Alliance
  • But not general references
    • party leader, communist, fascist, right wing
  • Capitalize titles that precede names
    • Prime Minister Chretien, Aunt Polly
  • But not when used alone, or after names
    • The minister was a help to the grieving family.
    • Bill, my uncle, sat beside Gary Doer, premier of Manitoba.
names of groups
Names of Groups
  • Capitalize races, religions, and languages
    • Bosnian, Buddhism,French, Cree
  • Do not capitalize general references
    • aboriginal, white, black, fundamentalist
  • Some words vary according to usage
    • A native speaker of English
    • A Native from the Yukon (used as a substitute for “Indian”
    • Australian Aborigines have certain aboriginal rights
product names
Product Names
  • Capitalize brand names and trademarks
    • Coke, Kleenix, Roller Blades, Popsicle
  • Do not capitalize generic product names
    • cola, tissues, inline skates, flavoured ice
  • Capitalize words derived from proper nouns
    • Freudian slip, Swiss cheese, English muffin
  • Eventually such words lose their capitals
    • pasteurize, french fry, panama hat, scotch
dates and directions
Dates and Directions
  • Capitalize days of the week, months, holidays
    • Monday, June, Thanksgiving
  • But not seasons
    • summer, fall, winter
  • Don’t capitalize directions
    • I drove north for two blocks
  • Unless it refers to a specific location
    • Fighting broke out in the Middle East
    • Winter roads are common in the North
course names
Course Names
  • Capitalize specific names of courses
    • History 101, Intermediate Basket-weaving, a Bachelor of Arts degree
  • But not general references to courses
    • geography, communication, accounting
    • He is studying engineering
interactive exercise
Interactive Exercise
  • Click on the buttons below or key in the links to do interactive exercises on capitalization (and to receive a dose of Winnipeg trivia)

Capitalization 1

Capitalization 2