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Examples of capitalization


If you have a question about whether a specific word should be capitalized that does not fit under one fo these rules, try checking a dictionary to see if the word is capitalized there.

Use capital letters in the following ways:


- The first words of a sentence

example: When he tells a joke, he sometimes forgets the punch line.


- The pronoun "I"

example: The last time I visited Atlanta was several years ago.


- Proper nouns
(the names of specific people, places, organizations, and sometimes things)

examples:
Worrill Fabrication Company
Golden Gate Bridge
Supreme Court
Livingston, Missouri
Atlantic Ocean
Mothers Against Drunk Driving


- Family relationships
(when used as proper names)

examples:
I sent a thank-you note to Aunt Abigail, but not to my other aunts.
Here is a present I bought for Mother.
Did you buy a present for your mother?

- The names of God, specific deities, religious figures, and holy books

examples:
God the Father
the Virgin Mary
the Bible
the Greek gods
Moses
Shiva
Buddha
Zeus

Exception: Do not capitalize the non-specific use of the word "god."

example: The word "polytheistic" means the worship of more than one god.

- Titles preceding names, but not title that follow names

examples:
She worked as the assistant to Mayor Hanolovi.
I was able to interview Miriam Moss, mayor of Littonville.


- Directions that are names
(North, South, East, and West when used as sections of the country, but not as compass directions)

examples:
The Patels have moved to the Southwest.
Jimís house is two miles north of Otterbein.


- The days of the week, the months of the year, and holidays
(but not the seasons used generally)

examples:
Halloween
October
Friday
winter
spring
fall

Exception: Seasons are capitalized when used in a title.

example: The Fall 1999 semester


- The names of countries, nationalities, and specific languages
examples:
Costa Rica
Spanish
French
English


- The first word in a sentence that is a direct quote
example: Emerson once said, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."


- The major words in the titles of books, articles, and songs
(but not short prepositions or the articles "the," "a," or "an," if they are not the first word of the title)

example: One of Ringoís favorite books is The Catcher in the Rye.


- Members of national, political, racial, social, civic, and athletic groups

examples:
Green Bay Packers
African-Americans
Anti-Semitic
Democrats
Friends of the Wilderness
Chinese


- Periods and events
(but not century numbers)

examples:
Victorian Era
Great Depression
Constitutional Convention
sixteenth century


- Trademarks
examples:
Pepsi
Honda
IBM
Microsoft Word


- Words and abbreviations of specific names
(but not names of things that came from specific things but are now general types)

examples:
Freudian
NBC
pasteurize
UN
french fries
italics

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