English Capitalization Rules and Examples
The rules of capitalization seem simple but it is not. It should be capitalized proper nouns and the first word of every sentence. But sometimes it can be capitalized the first word of a quote. Usually, it should not be capitalized after a colon, but there are exceptions.
Capitalize the First Word of a Sentence
This one’s easy. Always capitalize the first word of a sentence.
- The dog is sleeping, deeply.
Capitalize Names and Other Proper Nouns
It should be always capitalized people’s names.
- My favorite author is Albert Camus.
Names are proper nouns. Cities, countries, companies, religions, and political parties are also proper nouns, so they should not be capitalized too.
- They are Christian and they’re happy with their religion.
It should be also capitalized words like mom and grandpa when they are used as a form of address.
- Just wait until Mom says!
Don’t Capitalize After a Colon (Usually)
Generally, you don’t need to capitalize after a colon.
- She has a passion: cycling.
When the words following the colon form one or more complete sentences it should be capitalized.
- There is a true information: Water boils a hundred degrees.
Capitalize the First Word of a Quote (Sometimes)
It should be capitalized the first word of a quote when the quote is a complete sentence.
Don’t capitalize the first word of partial quotes.
- My mom said she was “way too busy” to join the team.
Capitalize Days, Months, and Holidays, But Not Seasons
The names of days, months, and holidays are proper nouns should be capitalized.
- Our wedding anniversary is in June.
The names of seasons are not proper nouns, so there’s no need to capitalize them.
- Having a summer wedding is the best.
Capitalize Most Words in Titles
The capitalization rules for titles of books, movies, and other works vary slightly. In general, the first word, all nouns, all verbs, all adjectives, and all proper nouns should be capitalized.
- My first movie is Harry Potter.
Capitalize Cities, Countries, Nationalities, and Languages
The names of countries, cities, nationalities, and languages are proper nouns, they should be capitalized.
- My uncle is Dutch.
Capitalize Time Periods and Events (Sometimes)
Specific and historical events that have proper names should be capitalized.
- In the Middle Ages, Ottomans were immigrated.
However, centuries and the numbers before them are not capitalized.
- In the seventeenth century is the best century.