Capitalization Rules: Grammar Guide

When to Capitalize Words in English

The English language has many rules about when to use capital letters. In general, always capitalize proper names (the names of unique people, places or things), months of the year and the nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs in titles.

The most important thing to remember is the be consistent. If, for example, you are preparing your resume and you capitalize the title of your previous jobs (Director of Human Resources or Assistant Vice President of Communications) make sure to capitalize each title the same way throughout the document.

Below is a guide of capitalization rules followed by examples. As usual, read the comments for more and leave your own at the bottom of the Hub!



Capitalize the First Word of a Sentence

  • This Hub is about when to use capitalization.

Use Capital "I"

  • My friend and I are going to a musical.

Capitalize Proper Nouns: Specific Person, Place, and Organization Names

  • Abraham Lincoln was born in Hardin County, Kentucky in 1809.
  • Women for Women International is a fantastic organization supporting women all over the world.

Use Capital Letters for Religious Figures

  • The Bible has many stories of the Virgin Mary and Jesus.
  • Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, was the daughter of Zeus and Dione.
  • They prayed to God for the storm to end.

Capitalize Days of the Week, Holidays, and Months of the Year

  • My favorite month of the year is November.

Note: Seasons are not capitalized unless used in a title.

  • I love the fall because of Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  • The catalog for Spring 2006 will be out in February.

Capitalize Countries, Languages, and Nationalities

  • We went to Spain to learn Spanish.

Capitalize Family Relationships Only When Replacing a Proper Name

  • I went on a trip with Father. (Father could be replaced with the father's name.)
  • Your father is six feet tall.
  • When we go to the movies with my aunts, my Aunt Marlie always has to be reminded to be quiet.

Capitalize Titles that Precede Names, but not Titles that Follow Names

  • Senator Dianne Feinstein was first elected in 1992.
  • Dianne Feinstein was the first woman mayor of San Francisco.

Capitalize North, South, East, and West When Used as Names of Regions, but not as Compass Points

  • We lived in the Pacific Northwest for four years.
  • Our house is northwest of Fremont.

Use Capitals for Letter Salutations and Closings

Only capitalize the first word (and any names).

  • My dear Ms. Taylor,
  • With much love,

Capitalize the First Word in a Quote Even in the Middle of a Sentence

  • My Uncle Bob used to say, "The last time I said no was when they asked me if I had enough."

Use Capitals for Major Words in Titles of Books, Written Works, or Songs.

  • A wonderful grammar book is Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss.

Note: Short prepositions and articles including the, a, or an are not capitalized unless they are the first word.

Capitalize the First Word of Each Line in Poetry or Verse

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost

Use Capitals for Members of a Group

  • Many California Democrats will likely vote for Phil Angelides.
  • Barry Bonds played for the San Francisco Giants.

Use Capitals for Events and Periods of Time

  • The Roaring Twenties was a period of affluence.
  • The Democratic Convention is a nationally televised event.

Capitalize Company Trademarks

  • My infant eats Earth's Best baby food.
  • We prefer Coke over Pepsi.

Use Capitals for Words and Abbreviations of Specific Names

  • Katie Couric recently switched from NBC to CBS.
  • She studied Jungian psychology, which focuses on the collective unconscious.

Capitalize Solar System Names

  • The fourth planet from the sun is Mars.

Note: Sun, earth and moon are not usually capitalized.

  • The moon revolves around the earth.

Capitalize First Words in Outlines

I. Food Pyramid

A. Whole grains

1. Breads, cereal, crackers, rice, and pasta

The Definitive Guide to Grammar: Strunk and White

The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition

This is one of the best books on grammar available. If you are a grammarian, you should definitely think about reading it.

 

More by this Author


Do You Know any Other Capitalization Rules? 313 comments

Marie 12 months ago

Do I capitalize industries in an article...i.e. Engineering, Construction, Real Estate Development?


Slavon Smartmil profile image

Slavon Smartmil 21 months ago from USA

Sometimes I have problems with whether to capitalize “the” when it’s ambiguous whether it’s followed by a proper noun or the beginning of a proper noun.


Bea 2 years ago

You've got an error in this sentence:

My Uncle Bob use to say, "The last time I said no was when they asked me if I had enough."

It's not "use." It's "used."


Robin profile image

Robin 2 years ago from San Francisco Author

I would not capitalize "spring break" in the middle of a sentence. It is similar to a season, e.g., winter, spring, summer, fall. Seasons are not capitalized either. :)


Rose 2 years ago

Do I capitlize "Spring Break" when in the middle of the sentence?


Jatinder Joshi profile image

Jatinder Joshi 3 years ago from Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Thank you for sharing a summary of the capitalization rules. Helpful indeed.


Heather 4 years ago

I have to writ a paper using the APA citationa format. I am stuck on writing the APA reference, where sentence case needs to be used for the article title. As far as I have always understood, the word Interntational is supposed to be capitalized no matter what (but I could be wrong). The article title is Rights-based Restorative Justice: Evaluating Compliance with International Standards. Putting that it in sentence case, would both words International AND Standards be capitalized, just International, or neither?


Ellielama 4 years ago

Point of clarification: You only capitalize the first letter of every line of poetry or verse if the original author did. If you are writing your own poem, you absolutely do not have to capitalize the first letter of every line. Most modern poets don't do it.


Linda 4 years ago

Do we use capitalization when referring to type 1 and type 2 diabetes in an essay


Anj 4 years ago

It isn't necessary to capitalize every first word of each line of poetry.


Rachel 4 years ago

do u capitalize breeds of dogs


rebecca 4 years ago

does the f in sanfrancisco have to be capitalized


helen 4 years ago

hello. im a hospitality student and i was recently asked to make a menu as a paper. i have revisions but dont know how to capitalize my menu list. please help.


Jonathan 5 years ago

Do I need to capitalized al the words of my title? "My Field Trip"


maira 5 years ago

At first i didn't khow if i coud captlis a name in a meadle of a sentence


5 years ago

hi thanks so much i am taking the language arts benchmark today (middle school) and this was helpful.


Judy Barci 5 years ago

when you say $5m is it a capital M or not and how about $20k is it a capital k or not?


E-Ham 5 years ago

In a cover letter, would third grade teacher be capitalized?


Dave 5 years ago

I found the question in this 4 year old list of comments. But it was never answered. Sure would be nice if someone went back four years ago, pulled out the questions, add them to the original list and answered them.

Deed Book 1 at page 1 or Deed Book 1 at Page 1?

If Deed Book 1 at page 1, why is it not capatolized?


Craig 5 years ago

I often get frustrated, when I look at CVs, just how many people add a capitol letter to their role. I am a television producer but often see people referring to themselves, mid-sentence, as Television Producer. I think this probably says more about their self importance - but it does inspire the title of a book title "There is capitol 'P' in 'producer'". Can anyone tell me what is gramatically wrong with that title? Should there be a capitol 'N' on 'no' for example?


scottish wedding services 5 years ago

I am still waiting for your response you found after trying a new methods about publishing blogs.


Arf 6 years ago

Hey Robin,

Should I capitalize sales team and sales and marketing department? What's the rule for such things?


Jack  6 years ago

Hi,

When typing an essay analyzing a science lesson, would I capitalize as follows: "Life Science lesson", "Animal unit", and "Science lesson"?


Robin profile image

Robin 6 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Dana,

I would not capitalize "city". Thanks, Robin


Dana 6 years ago

Hi. When writing a report and stating "The city of Madison" does city need to be capitalized? I am discussing Madison, WI.


Horacio 6 years ago

When should the word "constitution" be capitalized?


Anh 6 years ago

Would you capitalize a specific field? For example, would you capitalize the field of speech-language pathology?


Mike V. 6 years ago

Hey Robin. Thanks for taking the time to put this guide together and moderate this discussion. I know you haven't replied in 10 months, but I have to admit I am extremely impressed that you've answered all these questions over the past years. I married an English teacher, so I see first hand how time consuming it can be trying to convey the intricacies of our language.

Thanks again (I came here to see if I should capitalize "Miracle on Ice")


kookoo88 profile image

kookoo88 6 years ago from Cripple Creek

Hi. I know that when you direct address mother or father, they should be capitalized, what about brother, sister, cousin, husband and wife?

example: "How are you, Husband?" - - "I'm fine, Wife."


Jennifer Austin 6 years ago

I am writing a book and in it I often refer to "the City". I have a specific city in mind, but intentionally never use the actual name. I want it to seem relateable to many people, not just one geographic location. My question is: Should city be capitalized? For example:

Their house in the City was too small.

They would be heading into the City to do some shopping.

I could replace "the City" with the name of an actual city, so should it be capitalized?


Michael 6 years ago

I have a client who INSISTS that we use the spelling 'found in Downtown Raleigh' instead of 'downtown Raleigh'

I have to do it to make them happy but who's right?


Natalie 6 years ago

Would I capitalize Reading Teacher's Meeting?


Jennifer 6 years ago

When I write an email to my group, I open with:

Good morning Burn Team and friends,

Is this correct??? It plagues me!


Allison 6 years ago

it really helped!!!


Andy 6 years ago

How about:

I would like to thank you for the Thank You Card.

I would like to thank you for the thank you Card.

I would like to thank you for the thank You card.


Julie 6 years ago

DO you capitalize words you are referring to in quotes? For example, "In Japanese, "sumimasen" sometimes means "excuse me." Is the S in "sumimasen" or the E in "excuse me" capitalized?


Kat 6 years ago

Are career fields capitalized? e.g Would you say, "I work in Sales", or "I work in sales"? No grammar site on the web covers this topic and your help would be wonderful!

Also, can you reference the rule for directional identifiers; is "Western Kentucky" really a defined geographical region? It doesn't seem right to capitalize eastern Lansing, MI -for example (a directional location)- because it could be confused with East Lansing, MI (a specified geographic place). I see "lower Manhattan" identified in writing a lot; so wouldn't that be equivalent to writing "southern Manhattan"? Thanks so much!


Sally Brown 6 years ago

I have a feeling that ..well not a feeling, it's an observation. This page shows examples of capitalization but I don't see rules per se. The difference hit me when I began to see so many 'rules' that the impact of the word became lost.

I thought about how to determine a rule and

decided a good place to look would be historically in major newspapers from the beginning. Example - New York newspapers in the 1800's.

But to be clear I need to add a rule. This

comes from life experience.

To really know your subject you must learn

the history of it. in this case I suggested

looking at the 1800's newspapers. I said

those because they'll have the greatest

number of examples of capitalization and they,

probably did the best job of checking their

work while trying to apply as much accuracy

to capitalization as possible. But the true

history of capitalization rules should be

checked, at least in my opinion, back to the

King James Bible in 1600 something and follow

the path of 'rules' (by example) through to

now.

I suspect you'll see many examples now that are

poor examples because .. well of too many

reasons to list.

Remember that English language is not the

only language that capitalizes. So it would

be wrong to limit your historical search to

English.

Thanks for the page.


Judy 6 years ago

the letter n in northern Minnesota, or the letter c in central Alaska?


Ameline Sia 6 years ago

Capitalize both words in a hyphenated word in titles, sub-titles or other references

• Inter-Continental Forum on Security on the High Seas


maddie 6 years ago

would you capitalize the word city? ex. I live in the City/city of Topeka.


Rosie 6 years ago

Hi,

I was wondering why some of the grammar exercises don't have names of diseases and trees capitalized. (oak tree, maple tree, scury, tuberculosis) Can you help to answer this question.

Thank you


talia 6 years ago

In a sentence, do you use caps after you do a "..."?


Delma 6 years ago

I am informing parents of the new teacher. Should I capitalize the word science in the following sentence?

I wanted to let you know that Mister Green is the new science teacher.


gelica 6 years ago

thanks Robin for the rules in capitalization. It helps me a lot. at last i have now my assign.. and Im ready to pass it...thank you very much..!


Iris 6 years ago

So what would be the proper usage of capitalization in the following sentence: (Should I capitalize 'group' in the second sentence?

A & T is a group of companies, located in Pakistan. The Group is engaged into manufacture and installation of scaffoldings.


linda073080 6 years ago

Rules for capitalizing titles: 1)Always capitalize the first word of a title; 2) capitalize the title's nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs; 3) do not capitalize articles, short conjunctions, or short prepositions in the titles; 4) subtitles follow the same rules


Mike 6 years ago

After reading two years of posts here, I'm still unsure of the capitalization of "the Law of Gravity versus the Law of Lift". Certainly, they are names of something very specific, but do not utilize a proper noun as in "Newtonian physics". Are these special terms?


wordphreak 6 years ago

You would need a comma in Hi, Bob. It's not the same as adressing him as Dear. While he may be dear, he is not hi. Dear is an adjective, hi is a greeting.


Leah 6 years ago

In a letter to the Fairview School District, would 'School District' be capitalized when referring to a benefit to the school?

The letter is explaining some heating/cooling controls and the benefits it will have in the new building. Then says, "The School District receives a benefit from these additional controls." Is it correct or should School District be lowercase??


Iman 6 years ago

Hi Robin,

I was wondering, if I am speaking about a major that I studied in college do I have to capitalize it?


Elijah 6 years ago

Would you capitalize Thirty-Third Street or Thirty-third Street?Many thanks!


Denise 6 years ago

When talking about a company if you do not want to repeat the name of the organization in a written document do you capitalize the word Company?


anonymous 6 years ago

hi, I am wondering when to capitalize compass directions when using it as an adjective. E.g. east Berlin or East Berlin


susan 6 years ago

Would you capitalize Bus Route 108? And if so, would you capitalize Bus Route Number 108?


cjwilkerson profile image

cjwilkerson 6 years ago

Should "general manager" be capatilized in the following sentence?

This person will interact with the general manager to assist with customer and facility schedules.


Gina 6 years ago

My niece science project: the title should have every word capitalized? ex: What Kind of Stone Store Petroleum?, or What kind of stone store petroleum ? This is the title for the big board.Thank you so much


Sandy 6 years ago

What's the rule for capitalizing the word "City" in a sentence?

I know when it's something like "the City of Minneapolis" it would be capitalized, but what about when you're referring to the City of Minneapolis specifically but don't use the full name?

e.g., I-35W is a congested roadway within the City.

In this case, I've always capitalized City whereas if I was talking about a general city I wouldn't capitalize the word.

e.g., a city has many options for improving roads.

Is this right to capitalize in the first example or is it only when you use the full name of a city??


Anand 6 years ago

While writing letters addressing multiple pple should the satutation be:

1. Dear Everybody

OR

2. Dear everybody

Will the 'e' in 'everybody' be in the upper or lowercase.

Thanks.


Minnie 6 years ago

How about when you are doing a job description?

Should it be:

The science faculty technicians work as a team within which the post holder is responsible to the senior technician for the following duties

or

The Science Faculty technicians work as a team within which the post holder is responsible to the Senior Technician for the following duties?

Or a combination of both?

Thanks,


Bodo 6 years ago

I like the insights above. I hope you don't mind if I repeat a question that may have already been asked/answered above. Do you say ".....the government of Canada...." or " ....the Government of Canada..."? Am asking because terms such as the people of Malawi are not capitalised in sentences. I do not think government should be capitalised also. (unless in official/formal use e.g. The Governent of Tobago has signed a deal with the Government of Jamaica.) Thanks in advance.


Robin profile image

Robin 6 years ago from San Francisco Author

I would capitalize "Diamondback" but not "rattlesnake". Thanks!


Todd  6 years ago

Hi Robin, I was wondering if the word diamondback rattlesnake would be capitalize. I see it sometimes capitalized and others not. However, I always see Western or Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake capitalized. Thanks


Dana 7 years ago

Which is the correct format?

The Police Service ( referring to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service)

or

The police service....


Bethles 7 years ago

I work at a law firm. Would you capitalize the name of Agreements/Consents/Letters etc.

Examples:

Letter of Intent

Limited Liability Company Agreement

Exclusivity Agreement


Radhika 7 years ago

What if the terms of endearment come together? Do I have to capitalize them all? Like, don't call me Honey, Sweetheart, Darling etc etc.


Becky 7 years ago

I am writing a recommendation letter and want to avoid a capitalization error. Should I capitalize the class titles ie... "excelled in Math, Science and Literature"? What about the phrase "always interested in math and science"


Heidi 7 years ago

Hi Robin,

Very informative - thanks for the refresher course! I have a question regarding titles. Is the following sentence correct? In Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, there are many suspects. Do you capitalize Mystery Stories? Thanks!


Kalima 7 years ago

We have a little debate going on about this sentence:

"I'm sorry, but who are you to judge another western teacher's grammar?"

I think that 'western' (in this case) should be capitalized. What do you think?

A different teacher says, "Actually, I considered capitalizing "Western," but most grammarians seem to agree that the lower-case "w" is more appropriate in the context given in the post."

Do you agree?


Jill 7 years ago

what about "City Council staff members" - should staff and members capitalized?


Arun  7 years ago

Hello

Would you please clear about the planets.

For example earth, sun and moon. Are they exception to this rule.

Thanks!


Randi 7 years ago

Hi

Would a school club, such as "Speech and Debate" be capitalized? Along the same lines, would Speech and Debate Captain and Speech and Debate Tournament be capitalized as well?

Thanks!


Atu Osei 7 years ago

First, I just want to let you know that you are doing a good job.

Question: For my cover letter, would I write, "I'm a Graduate Student seeking to ....." or " I'm a Graduate student seeking to ......"?

Thanks


cutienosy 7 years ago

Hi, I'm writing a document on policies and procedures and using a lot of job titles and office names. Such as team manager and Floating Support Office. Am I right that team manager should not be capitalised and that the office name should be?

Many thanks,


Larry  7 years ago

Please advise if you would capatilize lead state agency in the following sentence: We have forwarded our funding recommendation to Caltrans, the lead state agency for administering the Federal Section 401 Program.


Sandy 7 years ago

Would you capitalize "Judge" in this sentence?

The "Judge" of the dog show is Judge Smith. She will be judging the sporting breed.


LG 7 years ago

Would Western Africa be capatalized?


Dave  7 years ago

I would capulize days of the week, months, staes, and counties. You would also capulize courses, class, and languges.


MA 7 years ago

You didn't add about courses.

English

history

biology

Biology 101(if it has numbers, cap it)


Pat 7 years ago

Hi,

Would you capitalize department as in the Department?

Thanks.


Maja 7 years ago

Technically, it depends on the kind of ship as to how you capitalize it. US Navy style guide holds that you capitalize the whole name, e.g. USS CHAFEE (DDG 90).


Matt 7 years ago

What about game names in a foreign language?

un-translated example:

'yut' (Korean game)

translated example:

pasteboard dump (also a Korean game, but different from 'yut')

It is not a brand. They are both traditional games.


Patricia 7 years ago

I'm sorry- I left out a dash or something there on my first sentence. I didn't mean for it to read like that. I meant to say that I made lists for them such as ...

I really like your site.


Patricia 7 years ago

Robin,

When my students are writing, I make lists for them dogs, animals, etc. Do I capitalize types of dogs? Dalmations, Beagles, etc. What about animals like- This is a King snake. Would King or snake be capitalized? Also, what about a place like- We went to the Boardwalk. Boardwalk is the name of the place. Do I capitalize "the"?

Thanks,

Thanks,


Stephanie S 7 years ago

Hello:

I am helping a friend with a paper for college about mental health disorders.  I noticed that somewhere in this website an individual perhaps asked if mental health disorders should be capitalized.  I have been told that disorders such as schizophrenia and schizoaffective d/o should not be capitalized.  Are here any exceptions when writing a research paper? Sorry if this question is redundant.

 


AD 7 years ago

I am being paranoid... Have I been correct with my caps in these sentences:

To provide personal assistant services to the Managing Director and Executive Management team

Preparation of board and audit committee meetings which includes...


Linda Pauley 7 years ago

Take the time to learn about our Great Nation.

Should "Great Nation" be capitalized?


Sara 7 years ago

It stinks! I'm getting out of here!


KARL 7 years ago

Do you capitalize "Blueberry Coffee Cake?" what about

heart-shaped cookies (Heart-Shaped Cookies) Does the ending like cookie, cake , and ect. not get capitalized?

What about bake sale (Bake Sale)

Thanks


Belinda 7 years ago

Do you capitalise ethnic groups if they are statistica outputs, e.g. 10% were Black and other minority ethnic groups, 5% were non-White British...

Also do you capitalise government published groups of data - e.g.

There are 5 groups to describe houseing style:

Town and Fringe

Villager

Urban

Rural and Wellies

It is thought that 5% are from Town and Frindge and 10% are Rural and Wellies in Lala LAnd...

Thanks!


Tam 7 years ago

What about occupations. When I grow up I want to be a

Professional Football Player

Teacher

Artist

Lawyer

????????????????????????????


Mike 7 years ago

Do I capitalize the word "legislature" if I am discussing a specific state legislature?


Brenda 7 years ago

Hi, I have a question. If you are typing a letter of recommendation for someone and you use a school name and the class; ie - He completed his student teaching experience in Kindergarten at Davis Elementary School in the South General School District. Is this correct capitalization??? Thanks for your help.


Carol 7 years ago

Is unemployment and/or benefits capitalized in the sentences She is collecting unemployment benefits or She is collecting unemployment?


writing mom 7 years ago

I am writing a children's book and am confused about capitalizing my characters. I am using alliteration. Please help in the following examples. Is it Jake the Dog, or Jake the dog? Josh the Jackrabbit? or Josh the jackrabbit? Here's a bit of a diff. example: Jake the Dog is a Golden Retriever?? or Jake the Dog is a golden retriever?? Sammy the Sea Otter, or Sammy the sea otter?? Thanks


George 7 years ago

I know I should capitalize the pronoun for God, but does the rule also apply for Jesus?

For example, Would Jesus minds us celebrating His birthday late this year?


Kathy 7 years ago

Many of my clients work in hotels, and I'm constantly battling the food departments over menu capitalization. Here's what they I had to start with:

Imported & Domestic Cheeses $5.95/GuestChévre, Maytag Blue, Brie, Boursin, Wisconsin Cheddar, Gouda and Baby Swiss, Garnished with fresh Fruit, French Baquette Slices and Gourmet Crackers

Here's what I think it should be (although reading above, I'm not sure about French...)

Imported & Domestic Cheeses $5.95 per guestChèvre, Maytag Blue, brie, Boursin, Wisconsin cheddar, gouda and baby Swiss, garnished with fresh fruit, French baguette slices and gourmet crackers

Please advise--and thanks for this great resource!


Sasha 7 years ago

Hi Robin,

Great Article! How about capitalizing a phrase or slogan?

Is this the correct way to capitalize?

"Let Us Shield You with Great Insurance"


Linda 7 years ago

Here's a question I didn't see answered. In a title, would you capitalize all words if the entire title is in caps such as "CLARIFICATION OF RULES". Somehow, "CLARIFICATION of RULES" just doesn't look right.


jean 7 years ago

Hi Robin!

you're a great help...thanks!


Jim 7 years ago

Does the word international need to be capitalized? I am using it in my resume and am wondering if it does. Example: Managed a cross functional International team.


Jim 7 years ago

Does the word international need to be capitalized? I am using it in my resume and am wondering if it does. Example: Managed a cross functional International team.


bev 7 years ago

When using a legal agreement and referring to the company, is company capitalized all through the document?

Thanks!


MSnow 7 years ago

Hi Robin, I would like to know if the word school should be capitolized in the following sentence. "Thank you for all tht you have done for your students, the school and the community."


anon 7 years ago

Hi Robin,

I had a few grammar questions, but am wondering if you are still responding as its been a while judging from these posts.

My questions...

- do you capitalize the words in an acronym? example. document management system (DMS) or Document Management System - when its used in a sentence.

- would you capitalize the name of an industry or market? ie. Legal Industry vs. legal industry or Professional Service market vs. professional services market.

Thanks in advance for any helpers! This is a great site...


Susan 7 years ago

Your capitalization rules are great (helped my brother with a paper he was writing), but I think the noun/verb agreement is off here:

The Roaring Twenties were a period of affluence.

It should be "The Roaring Twenties was..." as the Roaring Twenties is a singles time frame.


no name 7 years ago

.example:We are going to the movies on Friday.


nancy 7 years ago

should the word board of directors be capitalized when saying, "I give the report to the board of directors"

Thanks


Margo 7 years ago

Okay- I have one- Is Eagle always capitalized like the word Indian???? I thought it was, but now I am doubting myself.


Charissa 7 years ago

I'm wanting to know if a job title/department would be capitilized if it is the name of a specific job title/departmet, such as RN Utilization Management Analyst? RN Review Nurse? Prior Authorization/Utilization Management Department?


Barbara 7 years ago

Hi Robin. Would words like 'chief' or 'captain' be capitalized in such a situation?: "Yes, Cap," he said to the captain.


Snettah 7 years ago

Having slavery banned in Western territories had the South livid.

In the sentance above, did I capitilze everything correctly? Do I need to to have the capitilized that is before the South?


J in NYC 8 years ago

I just came across the following sentence in a major newspaper written by a nationally known columnist:

"She would not have made a great President. She can be a great secretary of state, but only if..."

It seems logical to me that if he capitalized the title "President", he should have also capitalized the title "Secretary of State"? The columnist was consistent with this capitalization (or lack thereof) throughout his article.


Britta  8 years ago

I'm wondering whether to capitalize "western" when using it to refer to the Western World... as in, "western" ideas?


Bill 8 years ago

Would "physics" be capitalized in this case.

I choose to study physics.


Amelia 8 years ago

Yes you would capitalize when writing a title the fragment of a verb after a hyphen. the only time you would not capitalize in a title would be if it is either a preposition or the words 'the' 'an' or 'and' (unless those are the first word of the title)


Nassia 8 years ago

Hello. May I ask whether one should capitalize, when writing a title, the fragment of a verb after a hyphen?

e.g. "Anito's Re-Mix"?


Bob 8 years ago

Here's another response to several questions:

To Smeagle: (1) Yes, you would capitalize Baby in Baby Nelli. Compare Aunt Jane or Uncle Jim. (2) Earth is capitalized when it is referred to as the planet, just as Mars, Venus, and other planets are capitalized. It is not capitalized when it is used to refer to soil ("The earth was parched due to the long drought.") (3) "I Am Flying." Am is a verb, and all verbs are capitalized. It is only articles and prepositions that are not capitalized.

To Jan: You are 100% correct about capitalizing Boy Scout Troop XXX and not capitalizing "scouts" and "troop" unless troop refers specifically to that troop.

To Dianne: Some people may disagree with me, but here's my opinion on the "Old-World charm" question. When you refer to the Old World as a period in history, as the Renaissance or the Englightenment, it is capitalized, but not hyphenated. When you use it as a simple compound adjective (old-world charm [cf new-fangled gadget]) it is not capitalized, but it is hyphenated.

To Wordwarrior: I don't know the rules in either case, but my instincts tell me to capitalize words that are not normally capitalized when they are the first word in the sentence. For example, we don't normally capitalize articles (a, an, and the), but we do capitalize them when they are the first word of a sentence or title. As for "versus," all I can say is that I have never seen it capitalized either.

To Patty: No, I would not capitalize either "government" or "colonial" in the example you have given.

To Srinivasa M: Neither "debtor bank" nor "mandate" is a proper noun in itself and, thus, would not be capitalized. It sounds like you are using them as parts of proper nouns. If so, then they would be capitalized along with the rest of the name.

To Kathy: Good question about "syndrome." According to my dictionary, it is not capitalized. I have noted one interesting change in the term, however. It used to be "Down's syndrome," but now I am seeing it as "Down syndrome."

To Alison: No, as a general rule, health disorders are not capitalized. The exceptions are those named for specific people (e.g., Alzheimers, Down's), locations (e.g., Asian flu, Rocky Mountain spotted fever), or other proper nouns (e.g., Legionnaire's disease).

To Deattebery: I saved this one for last because my answer may be controversial. The established rule is that God is capitalized when it refers to the Creator and the pronouns He, Him, and His are likewise capitalized. The word god is not capitalized when it refers to one of multiple gods (as in mythology) or when it is used as a common expression (e.g., "He is a god among men.") Now, here's the controversial part. I would argue that these established rules are ethnocentric. Just as the abbreviations B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini) have yielded to B.C.E. (before the common era) and C.E. (common era), we should recognize that perhaps the majority of people on this planet do not recognize a single deity. Therefore, it is ethnocentric to capitalize "god." Philosophy aside, unless you are editing for a non-theist publication, I would suggest that you follow the established rule.


Alison 8 years ago

Do you capitalize the names of health disorders, e.g. shingles, diabetes, etc. And mental health disorders like major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder?

Thanks a lot--Alison


deattebery 8 years ago

I would like to know when writing about God. Do I always capitalize He, His or Him.

We can trust the God is in control, His will be done. I know that He will never let me down.

What is the correct rule?

Dave


Kathy 8 years ago

I am wondering if you capitalize "syndrome" ....in Down Syndrome. I have seen it both ways. I know that Down is capitalized because it is the name of the scientist that described this disorder.


srinivasa m 8 years ago

Hi Robin,

I newly joined and found this hub very helpful. I write the documents on Banking domain. I have a question on capitalization.

1. which letters has to be captalized to write the word "Debtor Bank"?

2. Which letters has to be capitalized to write the word "Mandate"?

My understanding is both words are proper nouns so i capitalized letters "D' and "B" for the 1st example and letter "M" for the second one. Please clarify.

Thanks.


Patty 8 years ago

Would you capitalize government and colonial in the following sentence? "There was a plan of government in colonial New England."


wordwarrior 8 years ago

Smeagle asked if a book title "I am Flying" would am be capitalized. Yes it would. It's a verb. Even if it weren't it might be capitalized under another rule, which is that if a title contains three words, the middle word is always capitalized because the end words are always capitalized. This may be a more of a house style than not.

I have a question. If you have a French name beginning with de, I know that it is always lower case, but what about at the beginning of a sentence? Would it be capitalized?

Other question, the preposition "versus" seems like it should be capitalized in a title as it is five letters or more (the house rule I am working with), but it is a Latin term and normally it is never capitalized--or at least I have never seen it capitalized. Anyone know the answer to these questions? I've advised my client to rewrite in the former to avoid having "de" at the beginning of the sentence, but not sure what to do about the latter problem.)


Dianne 8 years ago

Is it Old-World charm, or old-world charm (and can you also tell me if the hyphen is necessary)?


Barbara10 8 years ago

Is it AR Program (Accelerated Reader Program) or AR program?


nikki 8 years ago

"the," "a," and "an" are articles, not short prepositions.


Steve 8 years ago

I think if you ask most poets, they will tell you to cap the first word in a sentance but not otherwise. This is something that has been in the process of change for quite a while. If I wrote a poem and did not cap all the begining words and someone even a publisher came behind and changed it I would be very upset. A lot of poets dont capitalize at all or use punctuation any more. Rules change.


Jan 8 years ago

I am the editor for several newsletters for different organizaions and find that capitalization is one of the most frustrating of all concepts to deal with. In my experience so many people want to over-capitalize. I taught English in middle school for years, but still tend to be second guessing myself. One newsletter contributor writes about the Boy Scout program. I will type a sample of her articles: "Boy Scout Troop XXX (number) went camping last weekend and all the Scouts had a great time. The Troop would like to thank the church for all its support." What I have done when I edit her work is to leave the capitals for references to the Boy Scouts (the official organization) but eliminate them when she is just saying "the scouts" had a great time. If she refers to "the troop" I also make that lower case unless she is referring to "Troop XXX (with a number). Is my assessment correct, or am I off base?


Smeagle 8 years ago

If the title to a book was " I am Flying" would am be capitalized or would it be lowercase.


Smeagle 8 years ago

Because Baby Jessica is famous, would u capitalize the baby as well, also does that go for babies that are not famous for example Baby Carrie or Baby Katie


Smeagle 8 years ago

When do you capitalize the word Earth?


Smeagle 8 years ago

If I were to say: How is Baby Nelli, would baby be capitalized?


Bob 8 years ago

Here's another "collective" response to several postings:

To John, I would not capitalize "orange chicken," but I would capitalize the R in "noodles Romanov." Generally speaking, I would capitalize only in two instances: when there is a proper noun in the title (as in Romanov) or when the dish is a signature dish (i.e., something that belongs to a specific chef or a specific restaurant. I would apply the same rule to the capitalization of ingredients (in response to Sliva's posting). As for Latin names, I'll have to defer to someone else on that. I just don't know.

Laurie, I don't see the difference in the two samples, so I can't offer you a suggestion.

Terry, yes, you are right about capitalizing only English and Spanish.

Vaughn, no, I would not capitalize "board" in this case.

Schweta, capitalize titles when they appear before the person's name, not when they appear after, e.g.: President Alice Middleton of Adams University; but Alice Middleton, president of Adams University.

Nic, no, don't capitalize "program."

Lucia, I'm not familiar with "Learning to Know." If that is the name of a formal program or product, then it would be capitalized. If not, it would not be.

Rob, see my response to Schweta.

Kat, in most cases, "southeast" is one word. There are some special circumstances, however, in which they are separate words. For example, there might be a West street named after, say, Mae West. Then, there might be a North West Street and a South West Street. Such cases are rare, but they do exist.

Haven, I realize that it is too late to help you with your assignment, but the answer is that when you use words such as "Mom" and "Dad" as substitutes for their names, yes, they are capitalized. "May I go now, Mom;" but "His mom wouldn't let him go." In the former example, "Mom" is a name. In the second, it is a role.


Holywheat 8 years ago

Dandy page, Robin! You might want to change the sentence at the top (since this page is grammar related) to read, "Here are all of the capitalization rules that I could find." or the weaker sentence "Here are as many rules on capitalization as I have been able to find." (Note the double use of the weak verb "to be" in the second sentence) I see that you haven't responded to any of the most recent questions. I hope that you and you're family are okay. Thanks.


Haven 8 years ago

I have an assignment from my teacher to find out if I should capitalize mom if I am referring to my mother as it is her name. Example: Hi Mom, where are we going after school? Or Did Dad tell you we could take a walk down the street Johnny? Or would it be Did dad tell you we could take a walk down the street Johnny? Hope you can tell me by tomorrow because I do not know where to find the anwer for tomorrow. Thanks.


Kat 8 years ago

As far as addresses go, does anyone know whether or not it's proper to spell out southeast as "Southeast" (one word) or "South East" (two words)? I know that I've seen both, but I was wondering which way, if there is one, that is considered correct...or at least more formal for addresses. I'm trying to get my wedding invitations ordered, and this small point is DRIVING ME CRAZY!!! ;)


rob 8 years ago

I'm submitting the names and titles of some folks and I'm running into some capitalization quandaries... John Smith: Professor, Attending physician and Clerkship Director. Did I capitalize correctly there?

thanks!

Rob


Lucia 8 years ago

In the phrase Learning to Know. Can the verb know be capitalized?


Nic 8 years ago

Do I capitalize a program name? i.e; ABC program. Does the 'p' also require capitalization? thanks!


shweta 8 years ago

hi... do we capitalizepresident in this sentence.

People who lived through the great depression likely still remember President FranklinRoosevelt's periodic radio broadcasts, which an appreciative public affectionately dubbed "fireside chats."


Vaughn 8 years ago

Cute picture of you and your little girl. I am having a friendly argument with a coworker. Do you capitalize B in Board members in a sentence such as: John Smith was a Board member of XYZ company in 1985.


tech for geek 8 years ago

This is a wonderfully informative post.


Terry 8 years ago

In the sentence, "His favorite subjects are art, math, English, and Spanish," I believe that only English and Spanish should be capitalized as they are languages. Am I correct?


Laurie 8 years ago

Is it the No Child Left Behind Act or the No Child Left Behind act? Thanks! I can't find the rule anywhere!


MsLainieP profile image

MsLainieP 8 years ago from Chicago

This is a wonderfully informative post. Thanks so much!


sliva 8 years ago

I have seen that when describing various ingredients of cosmetic products (perfumes, lotions, etc.), capitals are often used, for example Aloe Vera, Shea Butter, Olive Oil, etc. Even vitamins, when they are specified, e.g. Vitamin C. Is there a rule hidden in this practice? Should Latin names of substances, such as Marrubium, Nectapure, etc. be capitalized? How about Edelweiss?


Job Nigeria 8 years ago

Wow...amazing...

can i save this hub for my children ????

Thanks


John Becich 8 years ago

I believe that specific culinary dishes should be capitalized, but I cannot find the rule anywhere. I'd appreciate other opinions.

As such, I might write, "I would like Orange Chicken for dinner."

Also, "He likes Noodles Romanov." But that is too easy, because "Romanov" is a proper name. Are there times, however, when a proper name is "properly" de-capitalized?!


Margaux Kohut 8 years ago

I would disagree about capitalizing Western Kentucky. I thought you only capitalized the area when it was a state. It sounds like Western Kentucky is a state not a part of Kentucky. How would you say you live in North North Carolina?


Bob 8 years ago

Some quick responses to recent posts:

1) With all due respect to Merriam-Webster, we capitalize and hyhenate T-shirt and X-ray, so why not E-mail?

2) To Jennifer, no, I would not capitalize "mathematics faculty." If a position is unique, such as Secretary of State, it is capitalized, but if it is not unique, it is not capitalized.

3) To grammer (sp?) 18, in your example, "mom" would not be capitalized. A modifer, as in "my mom" or "Shirley's dad," indicates a generic term, which is not capitalized. "Mom" is capitalized when it is used as a nickname, as in "Do I have to, Mom?"

4) To Stephanie, "corporate policy" would probably not be capitalized. It would only be capitalized if it refers to a named document ("On page 12 of Corporate Policy, employees are...").

5) To ashleyzimxo, "South" is capitalized when it refers to a specific region of the country; it is not capitalized when it refers to a direction ("Turn south on Main Street..."). "Yearbook advisor" is not capitalized unless it is used as a title before somone's name ("Ms. Johnson will be our yearbook advisor next year." "Yearbook Advisor Sharon Johnson will announce...").

6) To Tinaluisa, there was no underlining in your posting, but I'm going to guess at the terms you are asking about. "Head" and "Department" are not capitalized, but see my comment above on "yearbook advisor."

Capitalize "Western" (see my comment about "South" above), but not "community" or "post."

Do not capitalize "emergency force" if it is a generic or descriptive term. Do capitalize it if it is part of the official name of the group

OK, I'm worn out now, and I've got papers to grade, so....

Bob


Bob 8 years ago

I agree with the writer who said to use a comma in "Hi, Bob." It is essentially the same as "Don't go away mad, Bob."

Also, I am still waiting for a response to Lynda's question about "freak." Let me give another example. If my friend's nickname is officially 'Buddy,' I would capitalize it, as in "How ya doin', Buddy?" But what if the character in my story is a coach talking to one of the kids on his team and says, "Keep up the good work, B(b)uddy" when 'B(b)uddy is more of a term of affection rather than a formal nickname?"


Tinaluisa 8 years ago

Would you capitalize the underlined words in the following sentences?

1- Mrs.Stratton, head of the English department, discovered that...

2- Like many western communities, Calgary began asa NWMP post.

3- ...his efforts in creating the UN emergency force in the Middle East.

Thanks. Keep getting conflicting info.


Donna 8 years ago

Only traditional poetry (sonnets, blank verse, etc.) should begin each line with a capital letter. Free verse should have a capital at the beginning of each "sentence" wherever the sentence might fall.

Example:

While cleaning house today,I found your note among the odds and ends of life that harvest space in drawers and closets left unpurged too long.

Besides poetry, I publish books and newsletters. Thanks for helping poets and writers find the facts they need!

Donna


ashleyzimxo 8 years ago

Hi. i have a question.

if the sentence were:

Louisiana is in the south. would south be capitalized?

and also if the sentence were:

The yearbook advisor announced the new advertising rates would yearbook advisor be capitalized?

thanks


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Lol, I never knew grammer was political :)


Stephanie 8 years ago

Is this correct? (specifically the Corporate Policy)

All assets technically belong to Acme and Corporate Policy does not allow Schools/Departments to “sell” their surplus to other areas.


accounting book keeping 8 years ago

Useful info! thanks.


Lynda 8 years ago

I write plays...what if someone is calling someone else a name...like "Shut up, freak!" Is "freak" ever worthy of a capital?


grammer18 8 years ago

would you capitalizie m in mom in the follewing sentance: My mom went to the store.


Jennifer 8 years ago

I'm sending a thank you letter for a job interview. Do I capitalize the job title, math faculty, in the following sentence?

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to discuss the position of mathematics faculty with you.


Jennifer 8 years ago

It is e-mail according to Merriam-Webster.


Susan 8 years ago

Is it Email or email?


grammar 8 years ago

THE, listed above, is NOT a preposition, rather a definite article.


DZ 8 years ago

Hello All,

Can anyone cite an authority as to whether it is proper to capitalize the word 'all' when referring to an informal group in the salutation of an e-mail? In other words, when I wrote "Hello All," at the beginning of this message did I do it correctly?

Thanks.


Joel Heffner 8 years ago

Bravo...a Hub that is really useful and read!


MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 8 years ago from Sydney

What an incredible hub and the questions that flowed


markcomp 8 years ago

OK, very interesting and helpful comments on capitalisation, an area which has always challenged me, once you get away from the obvious. So how would you treat the following: "the aristocracy and prelates governed in the name of the Holy Crown, having seals engraved displaying the double crossed coat of arms of the country" For instance should it be "the Country"

Comments appreciated

Mark


Mike 8 years ago

"Capitalize the first word in each line of poetry or verse"

This rule is incorrect. You should follow the poet's capitalization exactly. Most poets do capitalize the first word of each line, but not all.


J. CHIARAVALLOTI 8 years ago

I disagree: "

Erin says:12 months ago

Do you need to use a comma here: Hi, Bob, ..... or is it Hi Bob,..... ? Thank you

Robin says:12 months ago

I would say, "Hi Bob,". It is the same as saying, "Dear Bob,". Thanks for the question! Robin

I don't think "Hi, Bob" is at all the same as "Dear Bob". The first is in the vocative case and the second is an adjective.


Betty Jo Petty profile image

Betty Jo Petty 8 years ago from Arkansas, U.S.A.

This is a great refresher course! There's no way I would add a question to make your work harder.

Writing methods and correctness needs to be stressed for new writers, especially.bjp


Laura 8 years ago

Hi,

I, too, love grammar and think this is a great resource page! However, I can't find an answer for the following question:

Would I say, I live in Central Seoul or central Seoul?

Thanks!


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan

Great hub, Robin. Looks like you have your work cut out for you in these above comments! :) Grammar seems to be such an issue for so many people, but it's always come quite naturally to me. Good to know someone out there has the patience to help people out!


Angkorman 8 years ago

I understand that the names of businesses are capitalized. Can anyone explain why I have seen sentences like this: We stopped at a Caltex service station and then shopped at a Safeway supermarket. Is it possibly because the service station, for example, is one of many owned by the company, but it may not necessarily by the name of the service station – We stopped at a Caltex service station, Oily Joe’s Stop and Fill. Also, can anyone explain the rules for embassies? The Australian Embassy – The Australian embassy – I’ve often seen both used.


Ryan 8 years ago

When you write University Degree are these capitalized correctly?


AB 8 years ago

Is it

Season's Greetings!

Season's greetings!


skittlez77 8 years ago

Bob rule

if you can replace father, mother, or brother with bob capitilize it


Mr Nice profile image

Mr Nice 9 years ago from North America

Interesting topic, nicely done. Keep up the good work.


Kayte 9 years ago

thanks!!!!


Jackie 9 years ago

I'll take the liberty of responding to Kayte's question. Terms of endearment are capitalized when used in the place of a person's name. For example -

"Would you pick up a bottle of wine on the way home, Darling?" but

"Would you be a darling and pick up a bottle of wine on the way home?"

Hope that helps.


Jackie 9 years ago

Here is one more capitalization rule: If a clause following a colon is a complete sentence, it begins with a capital letter.

I was happy to find your blog. The conventions of written and spoken English are so frequently abused, the errors will begin to look and/or sound correct! Nice that you have so many participants and people motivated to search for an answer to a detail that others would just take a shot at and not look back.


Kayte 9 years ago

What about terms of endearment... aka dear, honey, darling, baby?

i am usually pretty comfortable with grammar (i come from a family of editors), but this one stumps me!

thanks!


ink 9 years ago

Thanks. Well presented, clear and (as far as I can see) comprehensive list. And hats off to you for taking the time and trouble to answer all the questions people ask!


Jean 9 years ago

Hi - I love your work here! Thank you for providing help to everyone. My question is this: My partner and I are starting a company, kidwinks.com. We do not capitalize the name of the company in our logo or anywhere else. However, if our company name happens to be the first word in a sentence, should it be capitalized? We are split on this. Help, please!


Mona Gloff 9 years ago

If I have different kinds of bears, do I capitalize the names?

Black Bear

Brown Bear

Grizzly Bear

Polar Bear

Help please


Carol M. 9 years ago

I'm confused about when to capitlize the terms Junior, Senior, etc. when writing about grades. For example, if I was Vice President of the Junior class, is Junior correct there. If I am referring to living in a fresman and sophomore dorm, is that capitalized? I am writing my college essays, so please help me with this.


... 9 years ago

muchos desocupados


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 9 years ago

Greetings Sweet Robin!! Sapphire here!! I am Earth Angel and new to HubPages thanks to the patient encouragement of James-Extraordinaire!! I was amazed by the amount of interest in grammar and punctuation until I read your entries!! You go girl!! GREAT reference source!! I especially like the referral to Aunt Marlie at the movies!! Blessings to you and your entire clan!!


Fred 9 years ago

While sun, earth, and moon have not been capitalized in the past, I suggest that now, in an age of space exploration, they should be capitalized when referring to the specific objects in space, as should Solar System (but not "solar" when not uniquely referring to our Sun, as in "solar panel" or "solar radiation").

The reason is that there are many planets, moons, and solar systems. Earth, Moon (i.e., Earth's moon), and the Sun are specific examples, not to be confused with a sun in another solar system ("solar" here being used as a generic adjective), or with the moon(s) of another planet. "Earth" should not be capitalized when referring to dirt, as in "earth moving equipment."


Savanah 9 years ago

So I have read all the rules on capitalization, however, I still don't feel I have a clear answer for my questions. When do you capitalize "state and federal government" I'm referring to this frequently throughout a paper and I don't understand when to capitalize and when not to. Also what about Dual Federalism, Cooperative Federalism and so on....I would assume these would always be capitalized? What about just Federalism? I need Help!!


Ariel 9 years ago

What is the rule for terms of endearment used in direct address? And what if they are preceeded by a possessive pronoun?

I don't know what I would do without you, Darling.

Be reasonable, my dear.


Jill Holaday 9 years ago

We were talking about the names of breeds of horses and dogs. They are not capitalized unless one like English sheepdog. Any comments?


Shane 9 years ago

Here's a little question. I've never actually got around finding out the answer, and most people seem not to care.

If you make an interjection within a quote, it'd go something like this:

"One plus one," he was saying, "equals two."

At least I believe that's the case. Now what if it's a question mark? Do you capitilize the interjection as in:"So what's the answer?" he was asking. "Two?

"So what's the answer?" He was asking. "Two?

The "he was asking" is clearly in the same sentence as the former quote, but lies after a question mark, so it should be capped. English is not my first language, either, so this may seem obvious, but I'm not too sure which one to go by. Thanks for your time.


Ren  9 years ago

Something might happen in the 21st Century or the 21st century?


joe 9 years ago

I know that I shouldn't capitalize trees like oak, maple, and elm. But is it Silver Oak, Silver oak, or silver oak.

Thanks


nickupton profile image

nickupton 9 years ago from Bangkok

I haven't seen the rule for scientific names of species outlined here. The generic name (the first one) should be capitalized and the species name (the second one) should be lower case; e.g. Homo sapiens, Crex crex, Ranunculus repens.


Doug 9 years ago

How about Main Street station, or Grand Central station, or Penn station, should the word "station" be capitalized?

Does it matter if it's a title, like Grand Central, as opposed to whatever your local station name is?

Thank you.


JAn 9 years ago

is the army in Napolean's army capitolized?


Tonya 9 years ago

In the sentences below shat should be capitalized?

We are writing a new constitution for our club, The Rookies.

should New Constitution and club be capitalized?

&

The Fourth of July is a noisy holiday.

should Holiday be capitalized?

Thank you so much for your time and answers. Please respond as soon as you can... You can e-mail me if you would like on this matter.


maricarbo profile image

maricarbo 9 years ago

Wouldnl't you say, "the roaring twenties" WAS a period of affluence? Isn't it considered a "group?"


Susan Hauger 9 years ago

Maeng-

Peronal pronouns - with the exception of I - are never capitalized unless they are the first word of the sentence. May She rest in peace is incorrect.


Angela 9 years ago

Should the article "the" be capitalized when coupled with a family name. A sample sentence: This was our first visit with the Hausers/The Hausers.

Thank you


Mel Berry 9 years ago

Hi,I am working with some students on capitalization rules and we have been stumped by a couple of things.  We were taught that we should capitalize names of things but our answer key indicates that names of trees (oak tree, baobab tree) are not capitalized.  Also, "scurvy" and "vitamin C" are not capitalized.  Why?  Thanks!


matt 9 years ago

Hi, Why do you not capitalize pages?

Ex. Read Chapter 29, pages 112 through 120.


Anne M 9 years ago

Hi there,

I am writing a paper, and I can't figure out if "master's degree" and the subject it is in needs to be capitalized... Is "He has a master's degree in engineering" correct? What about "I received my master's in 1999?" And then if I say, "The highest degree the university offers is a Master's of Sciences," it is capitalized?

I've searched other stuff on the internet, but I find a lot of different things...

Thanks so much!


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Greetings -

I would maybe drop the rule about capitalising the first word in each line of poetry. That has been optional for almost a century, both among formalists and among free versifiers.


booshydancer 9 years ago

you are really good at that stuff


Tim 9 years ago

Hi, I can't figure out whether to capitalise the World Running Championships. I would have thought it is the name of an event, but the newspapers I have searched sometimes use capitals and sometimes just World is capitalised.


Debbie 9 years ago

Robin,

Thanks for hosting this site. The questions are interesting to read as well. Would you recommend capitalizing the S in Standard English, or is just the E in English capital?

Thanks!

Debbie


Math 9 years ago

Hi Robin,

I love what you are doing! And, I have a few specific questions for you.

1. Do you need to capitalize the word "statement" in the following example: "The Profit and Loss Statements are...."?

2. This one, in particular could go anyway: "What was even more remarkable to this guy from back east was that...." Would you capitalize the word "east"?

3. Are you knowledable about the usage of hyphens?


Linda 9 years ago

Would you capitalize anything else in this sentence, "He was beer and wine warehouse manager in another state."


Fig 9 years ago

I am writing a report for work and am confused if a title should be capitalized if used in place of a name.

The request is approved by the Security Officer and forwarded to the TM Application Manager.

How should the above sentence be capitalized?


cz 9 years ago

I'm applying for a job in critical care.  Should I capitilized critical care when I'm discussing Critical Care Medicine?  


Maeng 9 years ago

I made some mistakes in former comment. I'm not good at typing and English writing. My point is whether capitalizing in the middle of sentence is grammatically fully wrong.


Maeng 9 years ago

Hi I'm Maeng in Korea

I have question. Would anyone answer my qestion?

I made a mistake in making questions in final exam(I'm a English teacher, in Korea) I wrote a sentence : May She( By accident I capitalized second word 'she') rest in peace! among multiple choice in one of my qestions. Students have to choose right sentense.One of my students choose insist that the sentense is wrong. Therefore she tell me that I have to make all student right in that question. May She rest in peace! : this sentece is all wrong in terms of grammar. the qusetion was about grammar.

Please help me


Rob 9 years ago

Would the 'd' in desert be capitalized when referring to the Sonoran desert (or Desert) or Chihuahuan desert (Desert). I know desert would not be capitalized on its own, but with a regional clarifier in front of it, would it then be capitalized? I don't think I've ever seen boreal forest capitalized, or Amazon rainforest (the 'r', that is), so would the rule be different here? Many thanks from the Sonoran desert (or Desert?).


Donald 9 years ago

When using a pronoun such as who to refer to a deity, do you capitalize the pronoun? For example: The power of our prayers rests with the One Who hears, not with the person who speaks. Should "Who" be capitalized?


mostof 9 years ago

Hi,

Is this sentence capitalized correctly:

"This Is the Happiest Day of my Life."

The capitalization of the words happiest, day and life is for emphasis. Is this correct? What about in the advertising/internet marketing worlds?


Patricia 9 years ago

Capitalization and punctuation combo for university degrees: What's correct for the following sentences:

1. I earned a bachelor of science in chemistry.

2. The master of arts degree requirements have changed.

3. A masters degree is worth very little without work experience.

4. I have a masters degree.

5. A masters in philosophy and $3.00 will get you a cup of plain coffee.

6. Did you get a master(s) in biology? (Should it have the s?)


Marta 9 years ago

This says that we should capialize solar system names and than goes on saying that sun, earth and moon should not ba capitalized. Arent's Sun and Earth part of the solar system? Therefore, how do we write those if we refer to them as planets? For example, the goal of NASA is to exit Earth's atmosphere, resist the harmful efects of the Sun and land of the Mars.Please help with this issues.


Rosie 9 years ago

I'm writing a programme document for a university course for health psychologists (in the UK). Should it be, 'The course is designed to provide an advanced understanding of the theoretical issues in the field of Health Psychology' or ' the field of health psychology'?

Do I say 'There is a healthy demand in the labour market for qualified Health Psychologists' or 'qualified health psychologists'

I'm inclined not to capitalise but am I wrong?

What about a title after a signature, e.g.

Rosie Smith

Chartered Health Psychologist

Then I am inclined to capitalise but aren't I being inconsistent?

Thanks, Rosie.


Traveler 9 years ago

There has been some contriversy about the use of a fully capitalized proper noun versus a capitalization of only the first letter of a proper noun. For Example, JOHN SMITH versus John Smith. It has been proposed that in the Commercial Code laws that the fully capitalized proper noun indicates a corporation or commercial entity. In the above example, JOHN SMITH would be the corporate or commercial entity of John Smith Inc. while in the example, John Smith would be the person of John Smith. Is this correct and where can the rules for such stylization be found?


Darcie 9 years ago

Hi Marcie,

I was wondering if you capitalize Mrs. Jon's Fourth Grade Class, or is it Mrs. Jon's fourth grade class. I know if I was just writing about a fourth grade class it is lower case, but when it is someone's class is it then caps?

Thanks! Darcie


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Marci,

The rule that I use: if you can replace grandmother, grandfather, mom, dad, aunt, uncle, etc. with their name, and the sentence still makes sense, then capitalize the word. Here are a few examples.

Has Grandmother ever visited your house on Maple Street?

My aunt is having a surpise 60th birthday party today at Grandmother's house.

Where are you going, Mom?

I am going with your dad to the birthday party.

Will you call your Aunt Betty to make sure that Dad is on his way to pick up your uncle?

Hope that helps and good luck to your son on the test!! ;)


Marci 9 years ago

Would "grandmother" in this sentence be capitalized or not? I've found different information...I always thought to capitalize when one is directly addressing the family member, otherwise, it's lower case. Your answer will make the difference in my son's language test grade!! Thanks!

"Has Grandmother ever visited your house on Maple Street?


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Kelly,

I would write your statement as follows: I am a commerce student majoring in International Business and Accounting.

Hope that helps! Cheers!


Kelly 9 years ago

I have a question from my resume.

"I am a commerce student majoring in international business and accounting"

or,

"I am a Commerce student majoring in International Business and Accounting"

I prefer the latter although I can't think of any reason they should be capitalized.

Please help!


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks for the comment, StuartJ. I would capitalize "His Word". I think it is clearer this way and more appropriate. I'm so much more mindful of my capitalization after writing this hub. I think some people may be offended by the lack of capitalization of some terms, e.g., the word "president" isn't always capitalized. I guess you just have to know your audience and be consistent. Cheers! ;)


StuartJ profile image

StuartJ 9 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

I always have problems with capitals, and this is a very helpful Hub. A possible addition is that pronouns referring to God are usually capitalised. I've been caught by this recently. And I'm never sure whether I should capitalise the 'word' in, "His Word", for example. If I'm not sure about whether something needs a capital I give it one anyway -- I figure that that way I am less likely to offend anyone. ;-)


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Mark,

Good question. Capitalize the second word in a compound if it is as important as the first. There isn't a steadfast rule other than this. If you capitalize it in one area of your work, be sure to be consistent and capitalize it throughout. Hope that helps; unfortunately there isn't a yes or no answer. The discussion continues!


Mark 9 years ago

We are having a debate in our office about capitalization and hyphens. Which of these is correct: "Problem-Based Approach..." or "Problem-based Approach..."?

And why? (Where can we find a hard & fast rule on this?)


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Tammy,

When directions are used as a name then capitalize, but when they are used as a direction do not capitalize, e.g., Western world, the West, the Mid-West, west of the Mississippi, the South, south of France, South Pole, etc. Hope that helps!


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Chris,

If you are going to capitalize "Chairman" than I would capitalize "Vice-Chairman" as well. ;)


tammy 9 years ago

would i say western world or Western world?


Chris F 9 years ago

We are writing a list of board members and will put Mr A. Smith, Chairman, but should we put Mr B. Smith, Vice-Chairman or Mr B. Smith, Vice-chairman?


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

I would not capitalize "west" or "city" in your sentence. We don't capitalize these words because "west" is used as a directional reference, and "city" does not follow the name of the city. Cheers!


Bob A. 9 years ago

"Coming from the state to our West, Johnston worked at the Oregon Department of Public Affairs before arriving in our City in Idaho."

Should both West and City be capitalized in the above sentence?


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Tony,

Good question. I would not capitalize inmate. The word inmate is a classification not a title. Regards, Robin


Tony 9 years ago

I have a question regarding the capitalization of a word which I am unsure is a title or not. I understand you would capitalize a title preceding a name, such as Officer Johnson. Would the word inmate be considered a title when followed by the name of the prisoner? EX. Inmate Smith. When I typed into a word document, then grammar checked it, it was stated as correct both capitalized and uncapitalized. Does that matter? Thank You.


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Here's how I would write the sentence. In this letter the use of capitalization is "up style" meaning we capitalize more than less. In this case, "city" and "city council" are capitalized because you are writing from the their perspective.

To the Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council (City), (State)

This letter is intended to inform the City Council about significant matters related to the conduct of the annual audit so it can appropriately discharge its oversight responsibility and that we comply with our professional responsibilities to the City Council.

Management and City Council has the ultimate responsibility for the appropriateness of the accounting policies used by the City. The City did not adopt any significant new accounting policies nor have there been any changes in existing significant accounting policies during the current period which should be brought to your attention for approval.


Julie 9 years ago

I work in for an accounting firm that does audits for citys. The examples that I have included our taken from a communication with council letter. Please let me know if our use of capitalization is correct in these examples. Thank you!

To the Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

(City), (State)

This letter is intended to inform the city council about significant matters related to the conduct of the annual audit so it can appropriately discharge its oversight responsibility and that we comply with our professional responsibilities to the city council.

Management and City Council has the ultimate responsibility for the appropriateness of the accounting policies used by the City.

The City did not adopt any significant new accounting policies nor have there been any changes in existing significant accounting policies during the current period which should be brought to your attention for approval.


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Lancer525,

Great questions! In general the capitalization rule for the word "state" is: capitalize the word "state" when it follows the name of a state or is part of an imaginative name, e.g., Washington State, the Bluegrass State. Unfortunately, this doesn't really help with your question. I think we just need to look at the word as a proper noun or not.

In both of your above examples you have used the capitalization of the word "states" as I would. In your first example you are using the word "state" as a proper noun. In the second you are not. Hope that helps. It's a tricky rule, unfortunately I don't know of another consistent benchmark. As long as you are consistent, I don't think anyone would argue your usage. Thanks for the question!


Lancer525 9 years ago

Okay, here's a tough one. I know that when you are referring to a geographical region, you capitalize. For example, "John was proud that he was from the Southern part of California." But how about when you are referring collectively to states in general? I know that when you are referring to the "Southern States" you capitalize, but what is the rule for capitalizing the word "states" when it is being used? Here are some examples:

Tensions ran high between the Northern and Southern States.

One common belief was that the states had the right to determine for themselves.

There has to be some consistent benchmark for when you capitalize the word "states" and when you don't. What is it?

Argh! LOL


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Greg,

I would not capitalize "national sales meeting" in your sentence; it is too general of a term. If the meeting had a specific name, I would capitalize it. Hope that helps!


Greg 9 years ago

Thank you for meeting with me yesterday to discuss the upcoming national sales meeting.

Should "national sales meeting" be capitalized?...if so, how come?


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Jacinta,

Yes, you do capitalize subtitles. Follow the same capitalization rules as when capitalizing a title. Judy Vorfeld gives the following guidelines:

Capitalize all words with four or more letters. Capitalize words with fewer than four letters except:

Articles: a, an, the.

Short Conjunctions: and, or, nor, for, but, so, yet.

Short Prepositions: prepositions like at, by, for, in, of, off, on, out, to, up.

Tips: Always capitalize the first and last words in titles and subtitles and all other major words.

Capitalize the first word following a dash or colon in a title.

When a heading flows to the next line, do not capitalize the first word of that second line unless it would have been capitalized anyway.

Exceptions: Many common prepositions function as adjectives, adverbs, or nouns. When they do: capitalize them.

Capitalize prepositions when they are stressed, e.g., A River Runs Through It.

Capitalize prepositions that are used as conjunctions, e.g., Look Before You Leap.

Lowercase "at" and "to" in any grammatical function, for simplicity's sake.

Some style guides, like APA, have a four- and five-letter rule. Capitalize all prepositions of four or five letters or longer.

Tip: avoid starting a heading with a symbol or number. Spell it out or re-cast the heading.


Jacinta 9 years ago

I have a question actually: In an article that has subtitles, should these subtitles be all capitalized?


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Tara,

I would not capitalize "the company" throughout your document; however, you always capitalize the actual name of the company.  The key is to be consistent.  Hope this helps!


tara 9 years ago

We are writing an employee handbook and the debate is to capitalize the Company throughout the document. Some employees say it should read the Company and others prefer it says the company. Which would it be? We also have a non compete agreement wrote by our labor attorney and he states the Company throughout the document he wrote. Please give advice.


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Jamie,

You are correct, when referring to the "Board of Directors" you would capitalize as such, and when referring to the group in general my best advice is to be consistent. I would prefer to not capitalize "board" in general, but some grammarians disagree. Great question!


Jamie 9 years ago

What are the rules around "Board of Directors?" I would assume that it should be capitalized when referred as the whole group, but lower case when using separate components (e.g., The board voted unanimously)... Do you get around these rules if you set it up as such: the GE Board of Directors (Board), in which case you then use capital letters to refer to the Board from that point on?


Jim 9 years ago

Internet is a single thing in the world. Like New York or Paris.


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Kathy,

The word Internet is a proper noun and should always be capitalized. Thanks!


Kathy 9 years ago

Could you please explain why the word Internet is always used with a capital I? It doesn't seem to fall under any grammar/spelling rules that I can find.


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi David,

In your first sentence, "We are teachers at Central High School," your capitalization of "school" is correct.  In your second sentence, I would not capitalize "school", e.g., The school is conducting a survey.  Even though you are referring to a specific school, it is still a general term. 

Thanks for the comment,

Robin


David Eisenman 9 years ago

In the second sentence here, should the word "school" (underlined) be capitalized? "We are teachers at Central High School. The School is conducting a survey." I seem to recall learning that if a specific institution is being referred to, then it is correct to capitalize . (In this case, the "S" of school should be a capital letter.)

Kudos on a great site!


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Kathy,

1.  Capitalize "Business Office" in your sentence, "All files are kept in the Business Office." This is a proper noun and should be capitalized.  This is sometimes a debatable rule; the key is consistency.  However, you wouldn't capitalize "office" in this sentence:  All files are kept in the office.  

2.  Capitalize departments, offices, sections, units, and divisions when they are used as proper nouns.  "Development Office" should be capitalized.

3.  Don't capitalize job titles when used alone or if a comma separates their name. (Some high level officials want their titles capitalized.)  Do capitalize when used before a name and as a name.  E.g., the communications director is responsible for...; Communication Director Jane Doe is responsible for...; Jane Doe, Communications Department director, is responsible for....

4.  You do not capitalize "board" in the second sentence, "The board is responsible for...".  

Hope that helps!


Kathy 9 years ago

when writing a paper do you cap. business office? All files are kept in the business office.

The Development Office is responsible for...? The Communications Director is responsible for...?

The Clinton School Board of Directors...after this do you cap. board or not when you use it again. The board is responsible for...?


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Andrew,

You are correct, in this instance "city" would not be capitalized. Capitalize "city" if it directly follows the name of the city and is a proper name or nickname (Kansas City, Emerald City), or if it is used as a municipality, event, or committee. When "city" is used as a general reference it is not capitalized.  


Andrew 9 years ago

How about the capitalization of the word, "city" when you are refering back to it. As an example,

"I visited Raliegh, NC. I thought the City was beautiful."

In the second sentence I've capitalized "city," but I believe it should be lower-case. Any advice?


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Smitty,

I would capitalize "rule" in this case. However, if "rule" precedes "FCC" I would not capitalize it; e.g., FCC Rule 235, the rule that they were referring to was number 235. Hope that helps! Robin


Smitty 9 years ago

When referring to a rule, such as FCC Rule 235 or FCC rule 235, is the word "rule" capitalized?


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Donna,

Island on its own is not capitalized.  Cheers!


Donna 9 years ago

Hey, are you supposed to capitalize the i in island?I mean the word island alone without a name of one island.


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Linda,

Capitalize "city" and "state" only when they follow the name you are referring to, not when they precede it; e.g., city of Baltimore, state of Virginia, Washington State, Emerald City.  Great question!


Linda 9 years ago

If you are referring to the city of Baltimore, is city capitalized...or the state of Virginia?


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Marilyn,

You wouldn't capitalize "the forest" or "the meadow" unless there is a specific name associated. They are common nouns, not proper nouns. An example of a proper noun for forest would be Stanislaus National Forest. Thanks!


Marilyn Mansfield 9 years ago

When specifying a place such as a certain forest or meadow should it be capitalized, i.e., the Forest, the Meadow or should it be The Forest, The Meadow? Thanks.


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Tammy,

Yes, you always capitalize "Indians". Cheers!


tammy 9 years ago

Do you always capitalize the word indians?


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Capitalize "president" when their name is before or after the word president or when making a direct address. If you are referring to all the presidents then do not capitalize.

1. They said that President Bush arrived at Camp David last night.

2. What time are you leaving, Mr. President?

3. The president will be arriving at 4:00

I would capitalize "Columbus Day Parade" because it's a proper noun.


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Kyunghee,

Titles of columns should be capitalized, e.g. "Positive Points".


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Robert,

You are correct. Only specific school courses should be capitalized, e.g., "Biology 101". Many of the rules are confusing and sometimes don't make sense. Maybe this one will eventually change. Our language is very dynamic. Cheers!


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Robin,

Great question. I would capitalize "Chicken Kiev" because it's a proper noun. "Coq au Vin" is as well ("au" is not capitalized because it means "with".) In English it would be "Chicken with Wine". However, I have seen it "coq au vin" with no capitalization. My best advice is to be consistent. It should be italicized because it is French. Unfortunately, I can't italicize in the comment box. Thanks for the question!


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Mary,

You don't capitalize "the" in "the Netherlands." Cheers!


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Gordon,

I would capitalize "Western" as it a specific geographical location. Thanks!


Kaye 9 years ago

In a legal document, should "agreement" be capitalized as it refers to the document? eg. " . . . conditions contained in this Agreement. . ."

Thanks!


Kaye 9 years ago

Would you capitalize "state" in a legal document, e.g. ". . . licensed in the State of Virginia as a . . . "


Kyunghee 9 years ago

Do we capitalize the names that are for categorization, for example, in a table, there are two columns like Positive Points and Negative Points of a type of a car? Positive Points or Positive points?

And for the names of cars in the very left column, do we capitalize all the first letters of each word or just the first letter of a name? Family Car or Family car?


Robert 9 years ago

Can you comment on capitalization of the names of school subjects? All agree that languages need capitalization (English, French etc.) but one source says that other subjects are only capitalized when a *specific* course is named, so it would be "Biology 101" but "All students must take biology."

It seems to me that "biology" in that last example is specifically referring to one of a group of numbered classes and equally deserving of capitalization, but a more general sense it might not, as in "viruses overlap between the worlds of biology and chemistry."


Robin 9 years ago

Hello Robin,

When do you capitalize the name of a recipe? Is it chicken Kiev? coq au vin?

Thanks!

Robin


Mary 9 years ago

Is it correct to write ' the Netherlands ' or 'The Netherlands' ?


Gordon Faleinklish 9 years ago

'The West' is capitalized, the 'Western World'...but what about '(W)western countries'? adjective?-or...


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Jim,

I wouldn't capitalize them, but I would put them in quotes. E.g., Return to the run screen by highlighting "run" and using the up/down arrow keys and press "enter". Cheers


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Marcia,

I would write the sentence:  "Last year, the Clifton High School varsity baseball team members offered their assistance."  ;)


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the question.  You only capitalize the first word in salutations and closings, e.g., "Best wishes".  Cheers!


Steve 9 years ago

I am debating a friend regarding the proper capitalization of salutations. Since it is used as a formal closing and not merely another sentence in a letter, is it proper to capitalize multiple words of a salutation? "Best Wishes" appears more appropriate than "Best wishes." Which is the appropriate usage?


Marcia 9 years ago

Here's my sentence: Last year, the Clifton High School Varsity baseball team members offered their assistance.

are 'baseball team members' capitalized or not?


Jim 9 years ago

Hello Robin,

I love your liberal slant on your examples. Anyway, I’m writing a process document for manufacturing, or is that Process Document, back to the question. Should I capitalize all the letters of keys on a piece of equipment’s user screen? For example, “Return to the RUN screen by highlighting RUN using the up/down arrow keys and press ENTER”??

Should “run” and “enter” be in all caps?

Thanks,

Jimmy

ps. RUSH IS RIGHT!!


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Kaye,

Capitalize the names of departments except when used in a person’s title. Your first examples would be capitalized, but your second would not, e.g., "Human Resources Department..." and "human resources director" .

Thanks!


Kaye 9 years ago

Would you capitalize the name of a department in an internal document, such as Human Resources Department, Business Office, Social Services Office?

How about capitalizing titles when connected to department names, ie. Human Resources director?

Thanks!


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Cindy,

I wouldn't capitalize any of the number dates. E.g., Friday, June sixth, two thousand and seven.

Cheers!


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Elaine,

Titles should be capitalized when they precede a name; however, "VP" would be capitalized because it's an abbreviation for "Vice President".

Here's an example:

We saw Mayor Gavin Newsome at the Ferry Building.

Gavin Newsome is the mayor of San Francisco.

In your second sentence, I would not capitalize "administrative assistant".

Here's a link that has more information: http://www.utexas.edu/visualguidelines/capitalizat...

One wonders why this has to be so complicated! Hope it helps!!


Cindy 9 years ago

What do you capitalize when you are spelling out days of the month or years--for example, is this correct?

Friday, June sixth, Two Thousand and Seven.


Elaine 9 years ago

Hi Robin,

Great page, very informative! Could you please clear up a major confusion for me and a dear friend and co-worker? When are titles capitalized? i.e.... John Smith, vp systems??? or John Smith, VP Systems?? Another example, I am an Administrative Assistant ... or I am an administrative assistant supporting the global marketing team??? My friend and I constantly debate this subject. Any help you could provide would be much appreciated.


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi cgull8m.  Thanks for the compliment.  I'm glad it helped! ;)


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 9 years ago from North Carolina

Thanks for the Hub, it is nice to know the rules of Grammar, mine is horrible. Keep up the good work, you should publish your work.


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Nancy,

You would say, "I live in Western Kentucky." Here's the rule from above. Thanks!

Capitalize North, South, East, and West when used as sections of the country, but not as compass directions.

For example:

We lived in the Pacific Northwest for four years.

Our house is northwest of Fremont.


Nancy 9 years ago

I live in western Kentucky or I live in Western Kentucky?


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

I would say, "Hi Bob,". It is the same as saying, "Dear Bob,". Thanks for the question! Robin


Erin 9 years ago

Do you need to use a comma here: Hi, Bob, ..... or is it Hi Bob,..... ? Thank you


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Mary,

I would not capitalize "countries". I would, however, capitalize, "Pacific Island". Thanks!


Mary 9 years ago

Hi, what is the capitalisation rule for "Pacific Island Countries" - "Pacific Countries" - is it the way I have written?

Many thanks!


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

I think that I would capitalize "Fall of 2007" because it is like a title. However, I wouldn't capitalize, "I want to go to Vermont in the fall." Hope that makes sense. Thanks!


L. Edwards 9 years ago

I have a question about seasons. I understand you don't capitalize seasons unless they are in a title, correct? All of my granddaughter's correspondence from colleges refer to the Fall of 2007. Correct or now?


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hello Editor...

The Associated Press Syle Book says, "Most proper nouns or adjectives are capitalized when they occur in a food name: Boston brown bread, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, Waldorf salad. Lowercase is used, however, when the food does not depend on the proper noun or adjective for its meaning: french fries, graham crackers, manhattan cocktail."

I think this "rule" is one that could be defended on either end. As long as you're consistent, you should be fine.

Hope that helps.


Editor 9 years ago

I have a question, not a rule. Do you capitalize food names using cities?

For example:

Gouda cheese, Parma ham, Parmesan cheese


Robin profile image

Robin 9 years ago from San Francisco Author

I did as well. It is a great organization. Thanks for reading, Moonmaiden! ;)


moonmaiden 9 years ago

Women for Women is a great organization. I used to sponsor a woman in Nigeria.


Robin profile image

Robin 10 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi, Bob. ship names should be title: USS President or HMS Victory.  The prefix, an abbreviation, should be capitalized without periods, and the first letter of the ship's name should be capitalized.   Thanks for the comment!  Oops, I noticed I spelled "apologize" incorrectly above.  ;)


Bob Rawlings 10 years ago

When I first started in this business, I was told to always capitalize the names of a ship,ie PRESIDENT


Robin profile image

Robin 10 years ago from San Francisco Author

I'm sorry, I don't understand what your are trying to convey. The name of the organization is Women for Women International, and it needs to be capitalized as such. I apologize for any confusion. ;)


Woemwood profile image

Woemwood 10 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Women for Women international is a

fantastic organization supporting women

all over the World.

quite frankly I can't see the logic behind

that statement why should you not write

Women for women supporting women

or else it should be stated

Women working for Women supporting Women.

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