When to use Capital Letters


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Punctuation Tip: Capital Letters

Punctuation Tip: Capital Letters

There are two main uses of capital letters:

at the beginning of sentences
for proper nouns and proper adjectives

Do not use capital letters unnecessarily or just for emphasis.

Use capital letters:

To begin a sentence or quotation

For names and titles of people, institutions or organisations

Mary Brown, the Treasurer, the Pope, North Primary School, General Motors

For nationalities and ethnic or racial descriptions

English French Indian Australian

For names of places or countries

New York the French Alps Tasmania

For the full and shortened names of government agencies and institutions

Library of Congress Dept. of the Environment

For political parties, religions or formal factions

The Liberal Party lost the election.

Many Christians support nuclear disarmament.

The Right will gain control of the assembly.

In titles or headings

A Report on Sales in the Manufacturing Industry

Note: Do not give capitals to words such as “a”, “and”, “the” and short prepositions (fewer than four letters) unless they begin the title.

For days, months, feasts, ceremonies

Monday February Thanksgiving Ramadan

For forms of address

Sir Peter Rev. Smith Ms Brown

For abbreviated points of the compass and regional terms

NE SW Eastern Europe the East

For abbreviations and acronyms


For historical events, periods and battles

the Cold War neo-Classical the First World War

When “I” or “O” are used as single words

When I arrive, you can leave.



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