1. The first letter of every new sentence is capitalized.
Example: My mother is from Seoul. My father grew up in Taegu.
2. The pronoun I is always capitalized.
Example: Robert and I are going to discuss the political situation.
3. Titles of people are only capitalized when they are followed by someone’s name.
Example: That is the president of the United States.
That is President Bush.
4. Proper names of places, specific buildings, rivers, mountains, and other geographic locations are capitalized.
Example: A: That is a long river.
B: Yes, it is. That is the Nile River, which runs through Africa.
I go to church every week. I go to the First Baptist Church of New York.
5. Proper names of people.
Example: This is my friend. Her name is Jennifer.
6. All proper names of: things, companies, religions, deities, and languages.
Intel wants to hire people who speak Spanish and French.
7. Capitalize the days of the week, months, and holidays.
Valentine’s Day is on Monday, February 14th.
8. Capitalize names of documents, organizations, clubs, and historical events.
Example: The Declaration of Independence made the king of England very angry. This eventually started the United States Revolutionary War.
9. Direction words (north, south, east, and west) should only be capitalized when they refer to a region or section of a country.
Example: The West offers lots of job opportunities.
A: How do I get to the Moonlight Restaurant?
B: Go west 3 blocks. It is on the right.
When to Capitalize People’s Titles
When should you capitalize someone’s title? We get this question quite often so here are some rules and guidelines:
Guideline: Though there is no established rule on writing titles in the complimentary closing of a letter, we recommend capitalizing a person’s title when it follows the name on the address or signature line. However, you may also leave it in lowercase since titles are generally not capitalized when following a name in text. Choose a method and be consistent.
Margaret Haines, Chairperson
Margaret Haines, chairperson
Rule: Capitalize the titles of high-ranking government officials when used with or before their names. Do not capitalize the civil title if it is used instead of the name.
The president will address Congress.
All senators are expected to attend.
The governors, lieutenant governors, and attorneys general called for a special task force.
Governor Connelly, Lieutenant Governor Martinez, and Senators James and Hennessy will attend the meeting.
Rule: Capitalize a title when used as a direct address even when the person is not named.
Will you be holding a press conference, Madame President?
Please give us your opinion of this latest development, Senator.
We need your response quickly, Mr. President.
We need your response quickly, President Obama.
Will you help me with my homework, Dad?
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010, at 10:35 am
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