Capitalization

This page was first published on the 7th of March, 2017 and last updated on the 7th of March, 2017 by Patrick Carpen.

Photo Thanks to: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/magnet-letters-on-fridge-1195121

The vast majority of words written in the English language are in “lowercase” or “common” letters. A small percentage of words and letters are capitalized.

Capital letters are used for special occasions in English writing.

Here are some uses of CAPITAL LETTERS.

For Proper Nouns

Use a capital letter for all proper nouns. That is, all names of a particular person, place, thing or idea.

E.g.:

Tony – Name of a particular boy.

Ave – Name of a particular girl.

Sand Creek – Name of particular village.

Georgetown – name of particular town.

Dell – Name of a particular brand of computer.

Nile – name of a particular river.

For Common Nouns that are Joined to a Proper Noun

Use a capital letter for a common noun when it is a part of a proper noun.

E.g.:

King Street

Sand Creek Village

New York City

Dell Computers

The Nile River

For Acronyms

Use capital letters for EACH LETTER in an acronym. Acronyms are words or letters which are taken from the first letters or first few letters of names of companies, ideas, organizations, etc.

E.g.:

MOE – Acronym for Ministry of Education

UNDP – United Nations Development Bank

NARI – National Agricultural Research Institute

GUYSUCO – Guyana Sugar Corporation

APNU – A Partnership for National Unity

AFC – Alliance for Change

PPP-C – People’s Progressive Party – Civic

To Start a New Sentence

Use a capital letter for the first letter of the first word of EVERY new sentence.

E.g. Go to the mountains and take a picture.

For Emphasis

Use capital letters to emphasize a word that should NOT be ignored.

E.g. You are to attempt ONE question ONLY.

For First Letter of Title Words

Use capital letters for the first words of film and book titles, EXCEPT for conjunctions (and, or, but, that, which…), prepositions (to, in, over…) and articles (a, an, the). These small, unimportant words are capitalized only when they appear at the beginning of the title.

E.g.:

  1. The Long Road to Mexico
  2. A Time to Love
  3. The Terminator
  4. The Rise of the Robots
  5. Saving Private Ryan

For Nationalities

Capitalize the first letter of school subjects ONLY when the subject represents a nationality, or when the word appears at the start of a sentence.

E.g.: Aaliyah is studying, mathematics, English, chemistry, geography, biology and French.

For Geographical Regions

Capitalize the first letters of direction words (north, south, east and west), ONLY when those words are names of places.

E.g.: The Atlantic Ocean washes the northern shores of Guyana and the town of Lethem lies in the south. To the north of Lethem is the North Rupununi and to the south is the famous South.

For the Pronoun “I”

Capitalize the letter “I” when it is used as a pronoun to name represent a person.

E.g.: You and I will be going to the falls this weekend.

Informal: When Shouting

In informal writing, capital letters may be used to indicate that someone is angry of shouting.

E.g.: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

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