The Use Of Capital Letters In The English Language

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feather + Capital Letters

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

E.g:
Wakish, Duffy, London, Manchester, November Jupiter, etc.

3) For adjectives formed from proper nouns

E.g:
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:
E.g:
God, Christ, Bible, Trinity, etc.

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

E.g:
“They trusted in God that He would save His people”

6) For the first person singular, I

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

7) For personification (often used in poetry)

E.g:
- If Winter comes, can spring be far behind? (Shelley)

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

E.g:
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)

E.g:
Dr, Mr, Mrs, Miss, etc.

10) In letters, for the greeting and complimentary close

E.g:
Dear Sir,…
Yours faithfully,…

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

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

12) For the opening words of direct speech

E.g:
“Blogging is my passion as well as my job”, said Darren Rowse

exclamation mark 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

E.g:
First liner..
Second liner..
Third liner..

exclamation mark 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.



Posted in: English Language Basics

  (29) Responses to "The Use Of Capital Letters In The English Language " - Say your part!

  1. 2
    From POS Systems   on June 1st, 2009 at 3:46 pm

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

    2
    From POS Systems   on June 1st, 2009 at 3:46 pm

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

  2. 4
    From nuel briggs   on June 18th, 2009 at 2:02 am

    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.

    4
    From nuel briggs   on June 18th, 2009 at 2:02 am

    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.

  3. 6
    From Sandra   on November 19th, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    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

    6
    From Sandra   on November 19th, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    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

  4. 8
    From Sabuj   on November 30th, 2009 at 6:33 am

    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

    8
    From Sabuj   on November 30th, 2009 at 6:33 am

    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

  5. 10
    From Sereyboth   on January 28th, 2010 at 10:03 am

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

    10
    From Sereyboth   on January 28th, 2010 at 10:03 am

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

  6. 12
    From Alhmali   on April 6th, 2010 at 11:33 am

    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

    12
    From Alhmali   on April 6th, 2010 at 11:33 am

    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

  7. 14
    From Winner   on May 3rd, 2010 at 6:05 am

    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.

    14
    From Winner   on May 3rd, 2010 at 6:05 am

    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.

  8. 16
    From Mensanian Frougs   on June 22nd, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Hello,

    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.

    Thanks,
    Mensanian

    16
    From Mensanian Frougs   on June 22nd, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Hello,

    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.

    Thanks,
    Mensanian

  9. 18
    From eucharia   on July 22nd, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    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

    18
    From eucharia   on July 22nd, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    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

  10. 20
    From David   on October 20th, 2010 at 6:58 am

    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!

    20
    From David   on October 20th, 2010 at 6:58 am

    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!

  11. 22
    From Vishnu Mohan_Thonippurackkal   on December 31st, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    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
    Vishnu

    22
    From Vishnu Mohan_Thonippurackkal   on December 31st, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    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
    Vishnu

  12. 24
    From Simone   on March 7th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

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

    24
    From Simone   on March 7th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

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

  13. 26
    From Hope Pawelski   on July 16th, 2011 at 3:32 am

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

    26
    From Hope Pawelski   on July 16th, 2011 at 3:32 am

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

  14. 28
    From Columbo   on April 26th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

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

    28
    From Columbo   on April 26th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

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

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