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Capital Letters. When to use capital letters. The first words of a sentence When he tells a joke, he sometimes forgets the punch line. The pronoun “I” The last time I visited Atlanta was several years ago.

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when to use capital letters
When to use capital letters
  • The first words of a sentence
    • When he tells a joke, he sometimes forgets the punch line.
  • The pronoun “I”
    • The last time I visited Atlanta was several years ago.
proper nouns names of specific people places organizations sometimes things
Proper nouns (names of specific people, places, organizations, & sometimes things)
  • Worrill Fabrication Company
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Supreme Court
  • Livingston, Missouri
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving
family relationships
Family relationships
  • (when used as a name or title with a name)
    • I sent a thank-you note to Aunt Abigail,
  • (but not when denoting a relationship)
    • but not to my other aunts.
  • (when used as a name or title with a name)
    • Here is a present I bought for Mother.
  • (but not when denoting a relationship)
    • Did you buy a present for your mother?
titles preceding names but not following names
Titles preceding names, but not following names
  • She worked as the assistant to Mayor Hanolovi.
  • I was able to interview Miriam Moss, mayor of Littonville.
the names of god specific deities religious figures holy books
The names of God, specific deities, religious figures, & holy books
    • God the Father
    • the Virgin Mary
    • the Bible
    • Greek & Roman gods, e.g., Zeus
    • the Qur’an
    • Shiva
    • Buddha
  • Exception: Don’t capitalize the non-specific use of the word "god."
    • The word "polytheistic" means the worship of more than one god.
days of the week months of the year holidays
Days of the week, months of the year, & holidays
  • (but not the seasons used generally)
    • Halloween
    • October
    • Friday
    • winter
    • spring
    • fall
  • Exception: Seasons *are* capitalized when used in a title.
    • The Fall 1999 semester
directions
Directions
  • When referring specific geographical regions,
    • The Franks vacationed in the Southwest.
    • Tia moved to Southern Ohio.
    • The West Coast has the sunshine.
  • but not as compass directions
    • Jim’s house is two miles north of Richwood.
    • The states along the eastern seaboard were hit by a hurricane.
the names of countries nationalities and specific languages
The names of countries, nationalities, and specific languages
  • Costa Rica
  • Spanish
  • French
  • English
national political racial social civic athletic groups or references to them
National, political, racial, social, civic, athletic groupsor references to them
  • African-Americans
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Anti-Semitic
  • Democrats
  • Friends of the Wilderness
  • Chinese, French, Arabic
titles
Titles
  • The major words in books, articles, & songs titles(but not short prepositions or articles "the," "a," or "an," unless they’re the first word)
    • One of Jerry’s favorite books is The Catcher in the Rye.
miscellaneous
Miscellaneous
  • Periods and events (but not century numbers)
    • Victorian Era
    • Great Depression
    • Constitutional Convention
    • sixteenth century
    • Civil Rights Era
  • Trademarks (but not when used as common name)
    • Pepsi
    • Honda
    • IBM
    • Microsoft Word
    • Kleenex, kleenexes
more miscellany
More miscellany…
  • Words and abbreviations of specific names (but not names that came from specific things but are now general types)
    • Freudian
    • NBC
    • pasteurize
    • UN
    • french fries
    • Italics
  • The first word in a sentence that is a direct quote
    • Emerson once said, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
the end
The End
  • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/592/01/