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CAPITALIZATION RULES

1. Capitals for first word


Ex: The work had been done satisfactorily.
Where did you put the reference book?
Choose your college with great care.
What an outstanding turn of events!
2. Capitalize the first word in interjections and incomplete questions.
Ex: Oh! Wonderful!
What? How many?
3. Capitalize the first word in a quotation if the quotation is a complete sentence.
Ex: Joe exclaimed, “The sunset is spectacular.”
Marcia Gibson feels the speech was, “the most inspiring speech given
this year at Hunter High.”
4. Capitalize the first word after a colon if the word begins a complete sentence.
Ex: He repeated his contention with great conviction: He was not at the scene of
the accident.
She provided the class with a selected list of fabrics: cotton, wool, rayon, linen.
silk and dacron.
5. Capitalize the first word in each line of most poetry.
Ex: I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree. – Joyce Kilmer

Note: I and O where they appear in a sentence. Do not however, capitalize oh


unless it appears at the beginning of a sentence.
Ex: Pat and I are going to play tennis after school.
“So strong you thump, O terrible drums- so loud you bugles blow.” -Walt
Whitman.
6. Capitalize all proper nouns
Ex: Jennifer, Coach Wilkens, Governor Percy
7. Capitalize each part of a person’s full name.
ex: Jean Grogan, R.R Bright way, Ernesto Sanchez
8. Geographical and place names
Streets Madison Avenue, First Street
Boroughs, Towns, and Cities Brooklyn, Oakdale, Michigan City
Countries, States, and Provinces Champlain Country, New Mexico
Nations and continents Austria, the Congo
Mountains, Valleys and Deserts Mount Washington, Gobi Desert
Islands and Peninsulas Aruba, Cape York
Selections of a country the Northeast, the Ukraine
Scenic Spots Gateway National Park
Rivers and Falls the Danube River, Victoria Falls
Lakes and Bays Green Bay, Lake Cayuga
Seas and Oceans the Red Sea
Celestial Bodies the Milky Way, Mars
Monuments and Memorials the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,
Kennedy Memorial Library
Buildings Madison Square Garden
School and Meeting rooms Room 6, Laboratory 3B, Conference
Room
CAPITALIZATION RULES

9. Capitalize the names of specific events and periods of time.


Ex:
Historical Events People Power Revolution, Election
Historical Periods Martial Law, American Era
Documents the Bill of Rights, the Gettsyburg
Address
Days, Month Holidays Monday, June 22, third week in May
Special Events Tanglewood Music Festival
10. Capitalize the names of organizations, government bodies, political parties, races,
nationalities, languages and religions.
Ex:
Clubs, organizations, and Institutions Rotary, the Red Cross, Mayo Clinic
Schools, Businesses Ramon Magsaysay High School,
Ayala Corporation
Government Bodies, Political Parties North Atlantic Treaty Organization,
Republican Party
Race, Nationalities, Languages Negro, American, English
Religions and Religious References Christianity: God the Father
Judaism: God the Lord
Islam: Allah
Hinduism: Bhagavad Gita
Buddhism: Mahayana

11. Capitalize the names of awards, the names of specific types of air, sea, space, and land
craft, and brand names.
Ex:
Awards National Book Award in History
Specific Air, Sea, Space, and Land the Boeing 747, the Queen Elizabeth
Craft 2
Brand Names Rexona
12. Capitalize most proper adjectives
Ex:
Proper Adjectives: Japanese, Shakespearean, Biblical
Formed from Proper Nouns: Congressional
Proper Nouns: an English Leader, the Stevenson speeches
Used as Adjectives: Shakespeare Festival, a Bible Class
13. Do not capitalize certain frequently used proper adjectives
Ex: herculean effort, french fries, pasteurized milk
14. Capitalize a brand name used as an adjective, but do not capitalize the common noun it
modifies.
Ex: Seiko watches, Charlie perfume
15. Do not capitalize a common noun used with two proper adjectives
Ex:
ONE PROPER ADJECTIVE TWO PROPER ADJECTIVE
Republican Party Republican and Democratic parties
Washington Street Washington and Madison streets
Suez Canal Suez and Panama Canals
CAPITALIZATION RULES

16. Do not capitalize prefixes attached to proper adjectives unless the prefix refers to
nationality.
Ex: pro-Arab, sino-Japanese, all-American, anglo-American
17. In a hyphenated adjective, capitalize only the proper adjective.
Ex: Chinese-speaking American
18. Capitalize a person’s title when it is used with the person’s name or when it is used in
direct address.
Ex:
With a proper name: Professor Gray visited our history class.
In direct address: Sir, I wonder whether you’d give us an interview?
In a general preference: Did you have an appointment with the doctor?
19. Capitalize the titles of certain high government officials even when the titles are not
followed by a proper name or used in direct address.
Ex: The Senate approved the President’s choice for Chief Justice.
20. Capitalize titles showing family relationships when they refer to a specific person, unless
they are preceded by a possessive noun or pronoun.
Ex:
With the person’s name: In the summer Uncle Ted spends a lot of time gathering.
In direct address: I’ll get it for you, grandmother.
Referring to a specific person: Is Father coming with us?
With a possessive pronoun: Their brother Al made chili.
21. Capitalize the first word and all other key words in the titles of books, periodicals, poems,
stories, plays, paintings, and other works of art.
Ex:
Books Up the Down Staircase, High Peaks and Clear Roads: A
Guide for Safe and Easy Outdoor Skills
Periodicals International Wildlife, The Saturday Review of Literature
Poems My Last Duchess, Ode to a Nightingale
Stories Everyday Use, The Ship Who sang
Plays The Devil’s Disciple, Guys and Dolls
Paintings The Green Violinist, Portrait of the Artist Surrounded by
Masks
Music Surprise Symphony
22. Capitalize titles of courses when the courses are language courses or when the courses
are followed by a number.
Ex:
With capitals: Latin, Biology 2, English III
Without capitals: geology, psychology, woodworking