Capitalization Rules in
The following are the capitalization rules in English.
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
1) Capitalize the first letter of the first word of every sentence.
Also capitalize the first letter of the first word when quoting a
bought us a cake.
give me the keys.
you see Ben tomorrow?
asked me, "What
are you doing?"
can help," he said.
2) Capitalize the pronoun
- Don't you think I
- I'm asking because I
- You know I
always wanted to be a writer.
3) Capitalize the first letter of names
(Names of people, places, organizations, months, days of the week,
holidays, languages, religions, and so forth.)
- She always loved Elvis
is in Asia.
- Have you been to Italy?
- Their offices are on Pennsylvania
- The Dead
the lowest place on earth.
was born in February.
- Will we meet on Monday?
- She just loves Christmas.
- Do you speak English?
- They practice Buddhism.
4) Capitalize the first letter of words that are used as names
(God, family members, directions used as names of places, and
Notice that these words, when not
used as names, are not
Steve is our uncle.
- Have you seen Mother?
Right now Dad
is looking for her, since her mother called.
- You must drive north to get to the North.
- In the name of the Father,
the Son and
the Holy Spirit, may God be with you.
5) Capitalize the first letter of adjectives
are made from names
- Do you like Chinese
(The word Chinese
is made from the name of the country China.)
- More and more Americans
are starting to learn the truth.
(The word American is made from the name of the place America.)
- Sarah is Christian
(The word Christian
is made from the name of the religion Christianity.)
6) Capitalize the title of a person when it used with
the person's name
- You can see Dr.
- Where are Mr.
Franklin and Mrs
- Have a seat, Miss
7) Capitalize initials.
- Initials are the first letters of a
For example, JFK
are the initials of the former U.S. president John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
- Initials are also the first letter(s) of a person's first
For example, H.
Wells are the initials of the famous writer Herbert George
Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series.
- John F.
Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917.
He was known as JFK.
- Franklin D.
Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882.
He was known as FDR.
8) Capitalize acronyms
An acronym is a
word made up from the first letters of the words that make up the name
are some examples:
- NASA (National Aeronautics
and Space Administration)
- NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
is similar to acronym, but you do not read the letters as a word. Instead,
you just say the name of the letters.
Here are some examples:
- USA (United
- VIP (Very
- NBA (National Basketball Association)
- FBI (Federal
- ASAP (As
- B&B (Bed
- CD (Compact
So acronyms and initialisms should be capitalized.
- Send over the contract ASAP.
- You can get these songs on a CD.
was established in 1958.
- We're watching the NBA
9) Capitalize the first letter of important words in the name
of historical events, documents, books, chapters, magazines,
movies, and so forth.
- Robert fought in World
- The Declaration
was signed on July 4, 1776.
- I've read Oliver
- He didn't finish Chapter
IX, which is the last chapter.
- He was interviewed by the New York Times.
Good Man Is Hard to Find" is a known
short story by Flannery O’Connor.
- She has never seen the movie Gone with the Wind.
Capitalization rules for titles
Which words in the title should you capitalize?
We said "the important ones," but which are considered "important"?
Rule number 1:
Always capitalize the first and last words.
good man is hard to Find"
("A" is the first word, and "find" is the last word, so we capitalize
Rule number 2:
Capitalize the nouns
- "A Good
Man Is Hard to Find"
("Good" is an adjective, "man" is a noun, "is" is a verb, "hard" is an
adverb, so we capitalize them.)
Rule number 3:
Don't capitalize prepositions
(an, an, the).
- "A Good Man Is Hard to
("To" is a preposition, so you don't capitalize it.)
So here is the final result:
"A Good Man Is Hard to
"Gone with the Wind"
There are several different methods of capitalizing titles. These
methods do not always agree.
This page does not cover all the different views, just this one method
we explained above.
Now practice with this worksheet:
Click here to download the worksheet: Capitalization Story 1.
Illustrated Worksheet on Capitalization Rules
Full Stops and Capitalization Worksheet and Answer Key