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Chapter 13 and 14. Capitalization and Punctuation. Capitalization. Always capitalize the first word in every sentence. The first word of a directly quoted sentence is capitalized My teacher said, “Don’t forget to complete your homework.” The first word of every line in a poem is capitalized

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Chapter 13 and 14

Chapter 13 and 14

Capitalization and Punctuation


  • Always capitalize the first word in every sentence.

    • The first word of a directly quoted sentence is capitalized

      • My teacher said, “Don’t forget to complete your homework.”

    • The first word of every line in a poem is capitalized

  • Capitalize the first word in a salutation and closing of a letter.

  • Capitalize the pronoun “I”

  • Capitalize proper nouns.

  • Capitalize the names of persons and animals.

Proper nouns with more than one word
Proper Nouns with More Than One Word

  • Capitalize the names of persons and animals.

  • Capitalize geographical names.

    • Short words, such as prepositions, are not capitalized

      • House of Representatives

    • In a hyphenated street number, the second word (after the hyphen) is not capitalized).

      • West Thirty-fourth street


  • In a hyphenated street number, the second word (after the hyphen) is not capitalized).

    • West Thirty-fourth Street

  • Words such as east, west, north, south are not capitalized unless they name a particular region

    • I headed south on Pulaski.

    • The South has produced some of the greatest writers.

  • Brands teams businesses and organizations
    Brands, Teams, Businesses and Organizations

    • Capitalize the name of a brand, team, institution, government body, business, organization

      • Nike

      • The Chicago Bulls

      • St. Catherine of Alexandria

      • United Nations

      • Carson Pirie Scott

      • Modern Language Association

        • Names of types of products are not capitalized

          • Apple computer

        • Remember not to capitalize unimportant words (usually pronouns)

    History holidays and nationalities
    History, Holidays, and Nationalities

    • Capitalize historical events, historical periods, special events, calendar items, holidays, nationalities, races, people

      • Do not capitalize the name of a season unless it is a part of a proper name

        • The Chicago Winter Festival

    Building monuments aircraft
    Building, Monuments, Aircraft

    • Capitalize the names of ships, trains, aircraft, spacecraft, building, structures, monuments, memorials, and awards

      • Do not capitalize words such as hotel, theatre, or high school unless they are part of the name of a particular building or institution

    Religions and stars
    Religions and Stars

    • Capitalize the name of religions and their followers, holy days and celebrations, sacred writing, and specific deities, stars, planets, and constellations

      • The words god and goddess are not capitalized when they refer to ancient mythology. The names of specific gods or goddesses are capitalized.

        • Athena was the goddess of wisdom.

        • The king of the Norse gods was Odin.

        • I believe in one God.

    Proper adjectives
    Proper Adjectives

    • Only the adjective is capitalized, not the entire word phrase

      • the English language

      • the Greek theatre

    • Do not capitalize school subjects unless is followed by numerals and names a language class

      • history, math, science, English, Spanish

      • History 101, Music III

    Capitalize titles
    Capitalize Titles

    • The title of a person is always capitalized

      • President Obama, Miss Sheeran,

      • Capitalize the title of a person when the title comes before the name

      • When there is no name, title is usually capitalized

        • Greg, the class secretary, wrote down the notes.

        • Is it serious, Doctor?

    • Capitalize a word showing a family relationship when the word is used before or in place of a person’s name

      • Aunt Kathy and Uncle Tim are here.

      • Both Mom and Dad work at a hospital.

      • Don’t capitalize a word when a possessive comes before it

        • Jenny’s mom and aunt

        • My mom and dad

    Capitalize titles1
    Capitalize Titles

    • Capitalize the first and last words of all important words in the title of a book, movie, TV show, songs, play, newspaper article, etc.

      • Unimportant words

        • a, an, the (when not used as first word)

        • for, and, not, but, or, yet, so

        • Prepositions of fewer than 5 letters (for, by, on, with)


    • End marks: period, exclamation point, and question mark

      • Imperative

      • Declarative

      • Exclamatory

      • Interrogative


    • Most followed by a period

      • S.E. Hinton

      • E.B. White

      • Mr.

      • Wis., N.Y., L.A.

      • St., Ave., Dr.

      • When before a zip code – do NOT add period

        • Chicago, IL 60655

        • Acronyms do not use periods: FBI, CIA, UNICEF, CBS


    • Abbreviations for units of measurement do NOT use periods

      • cm, ml, kg, g

      • Use a period after the abbreviation “in.” for inches

      • When the abbreviation is the last word in a declarative or imperative sentence you do not need two periods

        • My dog’s name is A.J.

        • Is your dog’s name A.J.?


    • Separates items in a series

      • Words, phrases, and clauses in a series

        • Katelyn, Tom, and Luke are going to the movies.

    • Separates two or more adjectives before a noun

      • She has long, shiny, blond hair.

        • Only between adjectives!

    • Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction (FANBOYS) only when it joins independent clauses

      • No one else was there, so we left.


    • Use commas when there is an interruption (or pause) in a sentence

      • Ms. Hudson, the principal, visited the classroom.

      • Michael Jordan, who retired from the NBA, was a great player.

      • My best friend, Caitlin, is my roommate.

      • In my opinion, that movie was awesome.

      • Yes, I understand the assignment.

    Dates and address and letter
    Dates and Address and Letter

    • Valentine’s Day is Thursday, February 14, 2013.

    • Chicago, Illinois

    • Dear Friend,

    • Sincerely,

    Semicolon (;)

    • Use semicolon between two independent clauses when they are not joined by FANBOYS

      • My parents settled the argument for us; they took us to both movies.

      • Some names of animals are misleading; for example, the koala bear is not actually a bear.

        • Most commonly used to prevent run-on sentences

        • Clauses have to relate to one another

          • You can choose dinner tonight; I like playing sports.

          • You can choose dinner tonight; I will choose tomorrow.


    • Also use a semicolon in a series when there is also commas

      • At the mall, I saw Mike, the chef; Lauren, the artist; and Kelly, the basketball player.

    Colon (:)

    • Use before a list of items

      • We will bring the following items: a tent, food, firewood, sleeping bag, and blankets.

      • The questions is this: what are you going to do for your assignment?

  • After a salutation of a business letter

    • Dear Mr. Hunt:

  • Between hour and minute, chapter and verse of Bible

    • 12:15, Luke 4:6-10

  • Use colon before a long, formal statement or quotation.

    • In Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, he expresses: “

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