Every sentence you write needs capitalization (aka big letters or upper-case letters). You probably already know that sentences begin with a capital letter—just look at each sentence in this paragraph—but then it gets a little more difficult to know where to put them. Don’t worry; it’s actually pretty easy once you know the rules, so here they are:
1. The first word in a sentence
You’re crazy, but I love you.
When did you last eat?
2. Proper Nouns (names of people, places, and things)
Jenny went to Georgia last July.
Don’t capitalize common nouns unless they start a sentence or are in a title. Common nouns represent a class of things and don’t take capitalization. These are things like month, person, city, and river.
|Proper Noun||Common Noun|
|English||language or nationality|
3.The pronoun, I
You and I need to talk.
This weekend, I’m going to go cliff jumping.
4. Honorific titles before a person’s name
I went to see Dr. Buckley earlier.
You seem to really like Mrs. Robinson.
The murder of President Kennedy was felt around the world.
5. Major Words in Titles and Headings
|First and last words||Articles (a, an, the)|
|Nouns (city, building, mountain, Tom)||Prepositions (in, on, around, under)|
|Pronouns (she, you, it, their, my)||Coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so)|
|Adjectives (beautiful, little, kind, more)|
|Verbs (play, is, are, am)|
|Adverbs (not, only, yearly, quickly)|
|Subordinate conjunctions (as, because, although, once)|
- A Journey to the Center of the Earth
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Gulliver’s Travels: Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts
Capitalize the first word in a quotation when it begins a sentence or was part of the original quote.
Angry Frank said, “Books are for nerds.”
Use lower-case letters when not beginning a sentence or when the original quote did not contain capitalization.
Britney was quite right when she called Angry Frank “a big fool with little to do.”