ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Capitalization Rules: Grammar Guide

Updated on November 5, 2014

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.

 

Do You Know any Other Capitalization Rules?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Marie 18 months ago

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

    • Slavon Smartmil profile image

      Bob Foster 2 years 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.

    • profile image

      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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 3 years ago from San Francisco

      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. :)

    • profile image

      Rose 3 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.

    • profile image

      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?

    • profile image

      Ellielama 5 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.

    • profile image

      Linda 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Anj 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Rachel 5 years ago

      do u capitalize breeds of dogs

    • profile image

      rebecca 5 years ago

      does the f in sanfrancisco have to be capitalized

    • profile image

      helen 5 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.

    • profile image

      Jonathan 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      maira 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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?

    • profile image

      E-Ham 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Dave 6 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?

    • profile image

      Craig 6 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?

    • profile image

      scottish wedding services 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Arf 6 years ago

      Hey Robin,

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

    • profile image

      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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Hi Dana,

      I would not capitalize "city". Thanks, Robin

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      Horacio 6 years ago

      When should the word "constitution" be capitalized?

    • profile image

      Anh 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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."

    • profile image

      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?

    • profile image

      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?

    • profile image

      Natalie 6 years ago

      Would I capitalize Reading Teacher's Meeting?

    • profile image

      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!

    • profile image

      Allison 6 years ago

      it really helped!!!

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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?

    • profile image

      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!

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      Judy 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      maddie 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      talia 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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..!

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      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?

    • profile image

      wordphreak 7 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.

    • profile image

      Leah 7 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??

    • profile image

      Iman 7 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?

    • profile image

      Elijah 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Denise 7 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?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      susan 7 years ago

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

    • cjwilkerson profile image

      cjwilkerson 7 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.

    • profile image

      Gina 7 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

    • profile image

      Sandy 7 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??

    • profile image

      Anand 7 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.

    • profile image

      Minnie 7 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,

    • profile image

      Bodo 7 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 7 years ago from San Francisco

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

    • profile image

      Todd  7 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

    • profile image

      Dana 7 years ago

      Which is the correct format?

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

      or

      The police service....

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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"

    • profile image

      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!

    • profile image

      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?

    • profile image

      Jill 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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!

    • profile image

      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!

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      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,

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      LG 7 years ago

      Would Western Africa be capatalized?

    • profile image

      Dave  7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      MA 7 years ago

      You didn't add about courses.

      English

      history

      biology

      Biology 101(if it has numbers, cap it)

    • profile image

      Pat 7 years ago

      Hi,

      Would you capitalize department as in the Department?

      Thanks.

    • profile image

      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).

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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,

    • profile image

      Stephanie S 8 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.

       

    • profile image

      AD 8 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...

    • profile image

      Linda Pauley 8 years ago

      Take the time to learn about our Great Nation.

      Should "Great Nation" be capitalized?

    • profile image

      Sara 8 years ago

      It stinks! I'm getting out of here!

    • profile image

      KARL 8 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

    • profile image

      Belinda 8 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!

    • profile image

      Tam 8 years ago

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

      Professional Football Player

      Teacher

      Artist

      Lawyer

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

    • profile image

      Mike 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Brenda 8 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.

    • profile image

      Carol 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      writing mom 8 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

    • profile image

      George 8 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?

    • profile image

      Kathy 8 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!

    • profile image

      Sasha 8 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"

    • profile image

      Linda 8 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.

    • profile image

      jean 8 years ago

      Hi Robin!

      you're a great help...thanks!

    • profile image

      Jim 8 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.

    • profile image

      Jim 8 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.

    • profile image

      bev 8 years ago

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

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      MSnow 8 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."

    • profile image

      anon 8 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...

    • profile image

      Susan 8 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.

    • profile image

      no name 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      nancy 8 years ago

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

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Margo 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Charissa 8 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?

    • profile image

      Barbara 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Snettah 8 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?

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      Britta  8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Bill 8 years ago

      Would "physics" be capitalized in this case.

      I choose to study physics.

    • profile image

      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)

    • profile image

      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"?

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      Patty 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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.)

    • profile image

      Dianne 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Barbara10 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      nikki 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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?

    • profile image

      Smeagle 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      Smeagle 8 years ago

      When do you capitalize the word Earth?

    • profile image

      Smeagle 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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!!! ;)

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      Lucia 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Nic 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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."

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      tech for geek 8 years ago

      This is a wonderfully informative post.

    • profile image

      Terry 9 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?

    • profile image

      Laurie 9 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

      Lainie Petersen 9 years ago from Chicago

      This is a wonderfully informative post. Thanks so much!

    • profile image

      sliva 9 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?

    • profile image

      Job Nigeria 9 years ago

      Wow...amazing...

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

      Thanks

    • profile image

      John Becich 9 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?!

    • profile image

      Margaux Kohut 9 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?

    • profile image

      Bob 9 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

    • profile image

      Bob 9 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?"

    • profile image

      Tinaluisa 9 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.

    • profile image

      Donna 9 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

    • profile image

      ashleyzimxo 9 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

      Susan Keeping 9 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Lol, I never knew grammer was political :)

    • profile image

      Stephanie 9 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.

    • profile image

      accounting book keeping 9 years ago

      Useful info! thanks.

    • profile image

      Lynda 9 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?

    • profile image

      grammer18 9 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Jennifer 9 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.

    • profile image

      Jennifer 9 years ago

      It is e-mail according to Merriam-Webster.

    • profile image

      Susan 9 years ago

      Is it Email or email?

    • profile image

      grammar 9 years ago

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

    • profile image

      DZ 9 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.

    • profile image

      Joel Heffner 9 years ago

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

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

      What an incredible hub and the questions that flowed

    • profile image

      markcomp 9 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

    • profile image

      Mike 9 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.

    • profile image

      J. CHIARAVALLOTI 9 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 9 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

    • profile image

      Laura 9 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 9 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!

    • profile image

      Angkorman 9 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.

    • profile image

      Ryan 9 years ago

      When you write University Degree are these capitalized correctly?

    • profile image

      AB 9 years ago

      Is it

      Season's Greetings!

      Season's greetings!

    • profile image

      skittlez77 9 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.

    • profile image

      Kayte 9 years ago

      thanks!!!!

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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!

    • profile image

      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!

    • profile image

      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!

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      ... 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!!

    • profile image

      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."

    • profile image

      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!!

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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?

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      Ren  9 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      JAn 9 years ago

      is the army in Napolean's army capitolized?

    • profile image

      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?"

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      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!

    • profile image

      matt 9 years ago

      Hi, Why do you not capitalize pages?

      Ex. Read Chapter 29, pages 112 through 120.

    • profile image

      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

      Dave McClure 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.

    • profile image

      booshydancer 9 years ago

      you are really good at that stuff

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      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?

    • profile image

      Linda 9 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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?

    • profile image

      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?  

    • profile image

      Maeng 10 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.

    • profile image

      Maeng 10 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

    • profile image

      Rob 10 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?).

    • profile image

      Donald 10 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?

    • profile image

      mostof 10 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?

    • profile image

      Patricia 10 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?)

    • profile image

      Marta 10 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.

    • profile image

      Rosie 10 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.

    • profile image

      Traveler 10 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?

    • profile image

      Darcie 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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!! ;)

    • profile image

      Marci 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Hi Kelly,

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

      Hope that helps! Cheers!

    • profile image

      Kelly 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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!

    • profile image

      Mark 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Chris,

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

    • profile image

      tammy 10 years ago

      would i say western world or Western world?

    • profile image

      Chris F 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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!

    • profile image

      Bob A. 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Hi Tony,

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

    • profile image

      Tony 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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.

    • profile image

      Julie 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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!

    • profile image

      Lancer525 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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!

    • profile image

      Greg 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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.

    • profile image

      Jacinta 10 years ago

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

    • Robin profile image
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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!

    • profile image

      tara 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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!

    • profile image

      Jamie 10 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?

    • profile image

      Jim 10 years ago

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

    • Robin profile image
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Hi Kathy,

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

    • profile image

      Kathy 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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

    • profile image

      David Eisenman 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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!

    • profile image

      Kathy 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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.  

    • profile image

      Andrew 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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

    • profile image

      Smitty 10 years ago

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

    • Robin profile image
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Hi Donna,

      Island on its own is not capitalized.  Cheers!

    • profile image

      Donna 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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!

    • profile image

      Linda 10 years ago

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

    • Robin profile image
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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!

    • profile image

      Marilyn Mansfield 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Hi Tammy,

      Yes, you always capitalize "Indians". Cheers!

    • profile image

      tammy 10 years ago

      Do you always capitalize the word indians?

    • Robin profile image
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Kyunghee,

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

    • Robin profile image
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Mary,

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

    • Robin profile image
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Gordon,

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

    • profile image

      Kaye 10 years ago

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

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      Kaye 10 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Kyunghee 10 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?

    • profile image

      Robert 10 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."

    • profile image

      Robin 10 years ago

      Hello Robin,

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

      Thanks!

      Robin

    • profile image

      Mary 10 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Gordon Faleinklish 10 years ago

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

    • Robin profile image
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Hi Marcia,

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

    • Robin profile image
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Hi Steve,

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

    • profile image

      Steve 10 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?

    • profile image

      Marcia 10 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?

    • profile image

      Jim 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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!

    • profile image

      Kaye 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Hi Cindy,

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

      Cheers!

    • Robin profile image
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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!!

    • profile image

      Cindy 10 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.

    • profile image

      Elaine 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

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

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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.

    • profile image

      Nancy 10 years ago

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

    • Robin profile image
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

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

    • profile image

      Erin 10 years ago

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

    • Robin profile image
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Hi Mary,

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

    • profile image

      Mary 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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!

    • profile image

      L. Edwards 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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.

    • profile image

      Editor 10 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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

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

    • profile image

      moonmaiden 10 years ago

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

    • Robin profile image
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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.  ;)

    • profile image

      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
      Author

      Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

      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.

    Click to Rate This Article