capitalization

Capital letters are an important signal to readers that you are beginning a new sentence or that the capitalized word is important. Therefore, capitalize words in the following cases:

  • First word of a sentence: The first word of a sentence is always capitalized. It can be easy to overlook this when writing fast.
  • Pronouns: The pronoun “I” is always capitalized, but other pronouns—you, he, she, etc.—are not.
  • Proper nouns: Always capitalize the names of specific people, places, and organizations; with people, also capitalize any proper titles that come before their names:
    • President George W. Bush
    • St. Louis, Missouri
    • American Red Cross
  • Titles: Always capitalize the major words of titles, including book, movie, article, and song titles.
    • My favorite book is The Red Badge of Courage, and my favorite movie is Weekend at Bernie’s.
  • Dates and days: The days of the week, months of the year, and holidays are always capitalized, but seasons are not.
    • Thank goodness it’s Friday!
    • I go back to school in August.
    • She dressed up as a ghost for Halloween.
    • I’m cleaning all of my closets in the spring.
  • Countries, nationalities, and languages: The names of countries, nationalities, and languages are always capitalized.
    • Carla just returned from a vacation in Mexico.
    • I like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day because I’m Irish.
    • I studied Spanish last semester, but this semester I’m taking French.

Capitalization Exercise:

Some of the following sentences contain capitalization errors. Identify and correct the errors. Note: not all sentences contain errors.

1. I read To Kill A Mockingbird when I was in High School.

2. We went to Maui for vacation last year.

3. I don’t drink Coke, but I’d love a Diet Soda.

4. I hear you’re learning to speak french. I would love to go to France.

5. Jamie and Jonathon went to their high school dance together last May.

6. My Father-in-Law took me to a Chicago Cubs game; He doesn’t know I’m a White Sox fan.

7. Jessica’s dad, Dr. Johnson, wants her to be a Doctor as well.

8. Jeremy went to Alexander community college for two years.

9. My sister’s new boyfriend is italian.

10. We traveled South on vacation because my dad wanted to study Civil War history.

Answer to Capitalization Exercise:

The corrected sentences are below. The corrected words are underlined.

1. I read To Kill a Mockingbird when I was in high school.

2. We went to Maui for vacation last year.

3. I don’t drink Coke, but I’d love a diet soda.

4. I hear you’re learning to speak French. I would love to go to France.

5. Jamie and Jonathon went to their high school dance together last May.

6. My father-in-law took me to a Chicago Cubs game; he doesn’t know I’m a White Sox fan.

7. Jessica’s dad, Dr. Johnson, wants her to be a doctor as well.

8. Jeremy went to Alexander Community College for two years.

9. My sister’s new boyfriend is Italian.

10. We traveled south on vacation because my dad wanted to study Civil War history.

Sources:

 

PDF Links:

  1. http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/capital.html

Worksheet Links:

  1. http://www.k12reader.com/worksheet/capitalize-it-first-letter-of-a-sentence/view/
  2. http://www.k12reader.com/worksheet/dates-and-capital-letters/
  3. http://www.k12reader.com/worksheet/periods-and-capitalization/view/
  4. http://www.k12reader.com/worksheet/proper-names-and-capital-letters-people-and-places/
  5. http://www.k12reader.com/worksheet/capital-letters-in-titles/
  6. http://www.k12reader.com/worksheet/capital-letters-geographical-places/
  7. http://www.k12reader.com/worksheet/capital-letters-holidays-and-products/
  8. http://www.k12reader.com/worksheet/capitalization/

Video Links:

  1. http://study.com/academy/lesson/capitalization-rules-in-writing.html