The Use Of Capital Letters In The English Language

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Most often while writing, some people are confused when it comes to capital letters; which word should start with a capital letter and under what circumstances?! This is because Capital Letter usage is mostly done by intuition by most of us; do you know exactly when to use capital letters? If yes, I invite you to see if you got it right – if no, you have come to the right place, continue your reading below.

When To Use Capital Letters?

1) Beginning of a sentence

This is the very basic and classical usage of capital letters in the english English language and any language since old times.

2) When using proper nouns

Wakish, Duffy, London, Manchester, November Jupiter, etc.

3) For adjectives formed from proper nouns

Elizabethan poets, Scotch whisky, the French language

4) When using ‘special proper nouns’

Please note that ‘special nouns‘ is not an official word class, but it is just how I’m personally tagging the following:
God, Christ, Bible, Trinity, etc.

5) For a pronoun or possessive adjective applying to ‘God’

“They trusted in God that He would save His people”

6) For the first person singular, I

But this does NOT apply for ‘me, my, etc..’

7) For personification (often used in poetry)

– If Winter comes, can spring be far behind? (Shelley)

8.) For the chief words in title of people, books, plays, etc.

Elizabeth the Second, Alfred the Great, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Tale of Two Cities

9) For salutations or forms of addressing (often in letters)

Dr, Mr, Mrs, Miss, etc.

10) In letters, for the greeting and complimentary close

Dear Sir,…
Yours faithfully,…

11) When using abbreviations of degrees, titles, etc..

B.Sc ==> Bachelor of Science
Q.C ==> Queen’s Counsel
M.P ==> Member of Parliament

12) For the opening words of direct speech

“Blogging is my passion as well as my job”, said Darren Rowse

But the capital letter should not be repeated in the second part of a broken quotation:

“I am working hard now,” he said, “in order to provide for my old age.”

13) For the first word in each line of poetry

First liner..
Second liner..
Third liner..

But this convention, as far as I remember, is however being disregarded by modern poets. (New generation, new styles)

Have I missed Any Other Uses Of Capital Letters?

If you think so, please do use the comment form below to add to this list, thanks.

Valuable Feedback / Comment / Review From People Like You

  1. Tomas says:

    Thank you for the comprehensive indeed reminder about the appropriate writing of the capital letters.
    While our words reveal our thoughts, the way we display the letters seal up our emotions. You help us to do that rightly. Thank you.

  2. POS Systems says:

    Nice post. Use of Capital in the English language is very important. Thanks for sharing good information.

  3. I think capitalization is a part of the absolute core basics in grammar. I feel that if you make many errors along these lines, then you are probably making many other errors. I struggle sometimes with commas and semicolons, dashes etc these can be a bit tricky and grammar was never my forte.

  4. nuel briggs says:

    i can’t stop thanking you for the time and effort you used to upload this article. you won’t believe it but this article has really helped me alot. ONCE AGAIN, THANK YOU.

  5. Wakish says:

    @Nuel Briggs:
    Thank you so much for the kind words. I’ll do my best to get back blogging. Thank you for the appreciation and for being around.

    – Wakish –

  6. Sandra says:

    Dear Wakish:

    Thank you very much for the deatiled information on Capitalization. It has helped me a lot. I have one question, see the msg. below, it talks about the bullring, which i know the B should be capatilized, but how come in the last line bullring-the B is not capatilized? i am a bit confused. Please help.

    Did you get them all?

    If you look out over the city of Birmingham you can see a vast jungle of large buildings.

    Birmingham is a great industrial city.

    When I was very young David and I used to visit the city every weekend. We would travel down on a Friday and stay till Sunday. The one place I always wanted to visit was the Bullring in the centre of Birmingham, I just loved the idea of seeing this place. I didn’t know that the bullring was a shopping centre

  7. Wakish says:

    Hello Sandra, thank your for your comment.
    About your confusion, here is the explanation:

    1) Bullring in the first sentence is being used as a proper name, and the description after it gives you a clue of its intended meaning. That is, ‘Bullring in the centre of Birmingham’ implies that the word “bullring” is the name of a place/complex.

    2) In the second sentence, the word bullring is being used as a word, just as any commonn word. It tries to say, ah that “bullring” is actually the Bullring of Birmingham.

    Is my explanation clear? If you are still confused, please let me know and I will try to explain it again in any way.


  8. Sabuj says:

    Hey this post is very helpful for me as English is my second language. But why Wakish brother is not posting any more for a long time . . . Please PLEASE COME BACK WAKISH

  9. Wakish says:


    thank so much for your comment, it gave me I felt a strange happiness, I will do my best to get back soon. Lets all hope for a better 2010.


  10. Thank for your Lesson! I hope to write correctly later especially for my blog!

  11. ShaNs says:

    Thanks for this information . It helped me a lot in my assigment in english. !! :))

  12. Alhmali says:

    Thanks a lot for your information given to me really i need to improve my writing so if u have idea about how to know the right spieling because when i spiel the word always came wrong, so pleas if you have any idea about how to do right spieling in my writing. and thanks so much for everything you write and it help me please i would like the answer as soon as youcan

  13. Winner says:

    2 thumbs up for your enlightening information.Please clarify onthe captalization use of the preposition “according.” My teacher before told me that it should be written in capital letter when used in title of articles since it has 3 syllables. She said only 1-2 syllable function words are written in small letter.
    Thanks and more power!

  14. Winner says:

    There are several uses of prepositions “in” and “on”. What is the difference between “on” and “in” when relating to a particular subject or field of study. Im really confused. Please help!

    Thank you. Im lucky to have opened this your site.

  15. Wakish says:


    Your question number #1) captalization use of the preposition “according.”


    – “According” is NOT a preposition, it is an adverb
    – Your teacher is competely wrong with what he/she told you! Capitalisation does NOT depend on syllable whatsoever. (Just follow my advice in this article, you will know when to capitalize it!)

    Your question number #2) There are several uses of prepositions “in” and “on”


    My hat is on the table.
    My hat is in the bag.

    You see the difference between ‘in’ and ‘on’ now? If you don’t I fear you have a big problem.

    Your question number #3) What is the difference between “on” and “in” when relating to a particular subject or field of study


    I think you do not understand the purpose of a preposition at all. At this time I’m busy with my work, I cannot give you an elaborated usage of a preposition, but may be I will try to make an article on it soon.

  16. Mensanian Frougs says:


    Quite an informative blog but somehow I found it to be very general and comman usage, can we have some unusual and rare examples also.


  17. Sudarshan Yadav says:


    Thanks, you have given me tips “how to write good english” that help me lot in my day to day writing works. But, I want learn more from you. For that, I want more and more article from so i can iprove my writing ability.

  18. eucharia says:

    Hello,thanks for the tips.i realy enjoyed it’ i have learnt so much since i started reading from your website,my writing has improved it was a challenge to me in my office.but i thank ‘God” hope to get more from you soon.thanks eucharia

  19. John says:

    My gratitude, I am confident now to write more comprehensive write ups. In just a little span of time visiting your website it wasn’t difficult for me to get along with your interesting exposition of English language. May God bless you all for this helpful site. More power to you all!

  20. David says:

    Dear Wakish,

    Just a quick question about using a pronoun to refer to a deity in the third person. It’s fictitious of course!

    Jesus went to Samaria by sea and (He/he) ate some fish.

    Is the pronoun a capital or is it lower case?

    Thanks so much, it’s been really bothering me lately!

  21. Wakish says:

    Hi David,

    the pronoun would be in capital letters since it refers to ‘Jesus’. This example forms part of the 4th point I mentioned in my article above. [4) When using ’special proper nouns’]

    So your sentence would be:
    “Jesus went to Samaria by sea and He ate some fish.”

    This is just same as: “God is merciful, pray to Him, He will surely forgive you..”

    You get the point?

  22. Vishnu Mohan_Thonippurackkal says:

    Thank you Mr.Wakish. Your article is very much helpful.
    For a student like me you are a perfect teacher.
    I have read that for special nouns like God, the first letter should be capital. In a newspaper aricle that I have read, it says that we use the capitalization to symbolize that there is only one God (I mean only one God considered here as in case of ‘the God Jesus’). But if there are many gods possible, as in Greek gods or Hindu gods, we use small letters.
    Also I learnt that we use no capitalization for words used as measuring units originated from a scientist’s name(ie, newton-unit of force-from Sir Issac Newton, pascal from Blaise Pascal and kelvin from Lord Kelvin), even though this only matter when written in words. And these when written as symbols(N,Pa and K respectively) always begins with capital letters unlike those which are not in honour of any scientist’s name like ‘m’ for metre, ‘g’ for gram and ‘s’ for second. Is this convention always applicable?
    Another question that arose in my mind when I was writing this: Is the usage of capital letter U for “newton-Unit of force-from…” correct.Also shall we use only small letters for describing some thing as a word( like ‘the word india -the name of a country India originated from…)
    I await your reply
    Thank yoy

  23. Ibrahim Babatunde says:

    Thanks alot.

  24. Simone says:

    All basic English, but you’d be surprised how many people get it wrong.

  25. Hemendra Kumar Saini says:

    this is really helpful article hope it will help in improving writing skills.

  26. Hope Pawelski says:

    You see you missed one in your very introduction: the English language should be.

  27. Wakish says:

    @Hope Pawekski:

    yes indeed this is a typo, I have just corrected it. Thanks for the attention!

  28. Columbo says:

    Thank you so Much Wakish, I Think Your article ProbArbly saved my Life.

  29. katey says:

    Hey Wakish,
    I loved the site but couldn’t help noticing that you missed out acronyms, have you purposely left that particular use of capital letters off the list because they aren’t just used at the start of the word or what. Captital letters can also used for doing “random capitals” and “yelling” at people on Facebook.
    Also thanks for the great site
    <3 Katey

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