In writing, letters differ in their graphic design: some are large; others are small, or lowercase. Is the uppercase letter big or small?
If you can’t answer this question right away, then read the article. In it, we will analyze the rules of capitalization and give clear examples.
The rules for writing uppercase and lowercase letters have evolved over many centuries. In many languages of the world, letters are divided into uppercase and lowercase. Capital letters have an increased size compared to regular ones. In some languages, they also differ in appearance. Big letters are often called capital letters. Capital letters are used in many languages of the Indo-European family: Greek, Slavic, Germanic and Romance.
There are some rules to capitalization that may seem like common sense.
However, the rules are more complicated than they may seem at first glance.
When should a word be capitalized?
- Capitalization in letters at the beginning of the sentence
It is customary to write with a capital letter not only the first word in standard sentences, but also every new line in poetic works
- Capital letter in proper names
What should be capitalized in a sentence? A proper name is names, patronymic and surname. These are pseudonyms, nicknames of people, names of gods, mythical creatures, fairy-tale and literary heroes. Geographical names also belong to them. The word God in the meaning of the one god in Christianity is written with a capital letter. But pronouns replacing the word God are already written with a lowercase letter. Also, the names of other deities in other religions begin with capital letters – just like any proper names. Do you capitalize countries? Yes, you must do it too.
- Personal pronoun I
The only pronoun is capitalized in English, regardless of its location in the sentence. However, words like iPhone, iPad and iMac are not capitalized. It would look weird if you did, and wouldn’t be grammatically correct.
- Days of the week, names of months and holidays
Many people are mistaken when referring to this category of seasons. Remember the seasons are not capitalized and are always written with a small letter. The names of months, holidays and days are considered proper names. Therefore, they must be written with a capital letter.
- Capitalize events and periods
You will need to register periods, epochs and specific events. However, the numbers of centuries should not be capitalized.
- Titles and academic degrees
In English, it is customary to highlight a person’s achievements and write the names of titles, academic degrees and titles with a capital letter. Also do not forget about the true English addresses Mr, Msr, etc., which are also included in this category.
- Words that need to be capitalized are related to family relations
We write these words with a capital letter when we use the word to denote family relations and address instead of the name. You should write names of relatives or kinship terms when they designate a specific person – for example, when addressing or talking about a relative. But if mothers, grandmothers or grandfathers are spoken about in general, then the capital letter is not needed.
For example, there is “Sister” or “Aunt Mary.” This rule applies to all titles: prime minister, governor, the king of pop.
- Trademarks are written with a capital letter
Trademarks and trade names are usually treated as proper names. This means that you will need to capitalize them.
- (Almost) every word in the titles of works, publications, songs and paintings is capitalized
As a rule, you should capitalize the first word of the name, verbs, adjectives, nouns and, of course, proper names. However, not all words in the names are written with a capital letter. Prepositions, articles and conjunctions remain with the small one.
It is also no secret that all creative titles of any works are also capitalized. Most likely, in all languages of the world.
In the titles of films, books, TV series, from several words with a capital letter are written:
Verbs (including verbs-bundles is, are)
With a small letter — articles, conjunctions and prepositions (up to five letters).
- All locations and direct addresses
When a direction is part of a name, it should be capitalized. For example, South America. However, if it is just a direction and not part of the name, then it should not be capitalized. For example, “Do not turn off and continue driving 20 km to the west.”
Examples of capitalization
In emails some people use only uppercase or only lowercase letters. For example:
how about having lunch on tuesday?
HOW ABOUT HAVING LUNCH ON TUESDAY?
For many, it’s so easy to type faster on the keyboard. If you still write all the words with a capital letter, then know that this method is appropriate only for informal letters or close friends.
If you are writing an official letter, then follow the rules. If you use only capital letters in your letter, essay, and so on, it will be difficult for the reader to make out what is written. And also many highlight in capital letters the text that in ordinary speech they would like to shout, or say very loudly and emotionally.
The best way to know when to apply the rules is to practice and write.
Here are the correct and incorrect ways to use the capital letter for the above rules:
Example # 1. Capitalize the first word of the sentence
Correct My friend lives in the USA.
Incorrect autumn is the best season.
Example #2. Capital letters in proper names
Correct That’s Alice, my cousin.
Incorrect I studied in kiev.
Example # 3. The personal pronoun I
Correct My brother and I used to go fishing during weekends.
Incorrect Autumn is the season i like best.
Example #4. Days of the week, names of months and holidays
Correct A few American holidays fall on Mondays.
Incorrect For example, easter is soon.
Example # 5. Capitalize events and periods
Correct The events took place during World War II
Incorrect Our generation does not know the events of the middle ages
Example # 6. Titles, titles and academic degrees
Correct I will see Dr. Peterson.
Incorrect Doctor mr. Stevinsky is from The USA.
Example # 7 Words related to family relations
Correct He invited Aunt Mary to visit next week
Incorrect He invited aunt Mary to visit next week
Example # 8. Trademarks are written with a capital letter
Correct My favorite cosmetics MAC.
Incorrect Another brand of honest beauty entered the market.
Example #9. (Almost) every word in the titles of works, publications, songs and paintings
Correct I love the movie Dumb and Dumber
Incorrect She read the book “harry potter and the philosopher’s stone”.
Example # 10. All locations and direct addresses
Correct The car is parked at the Western End of the parking
Incorrect The car is parked at the western end of the parking lot