Rules of Capitalization
Don’t know when words should be capitalized? We don’t blame you. While everyone knows they should capitalize the start of sentences, the rest of the rules can be a blur – especially if you don’t write as often. This guide should help you through, although we also recommend using an English corrector software.
1. Beginning of sentences. Everyone should know this. If you don’t, you may want to go back to first-grade grammar school.
2. Colons. If a colon introduces a dialogue (one of the characters speaking) or multiple sentences, always capitalize the first word.
3. Quotations. If you quote a complete sentence, always capitalize. Otherwise, you don’t have to.
4. Signs, titles, slogans and the like. When you insert a sign, title or slogan into a sentence, it makes sense to capitalize them to draw attention. Otherwise, they can lead to confusion.
5. Proper nouns. Names of people, businesses, organizations, movies, books and similar things will have to be capitalized. This includes relations (e.g. Uncle Bob) and courtesy titles (Mr. Winston), when used as part of the name. Even the names of diseases are considered proper nouns!
6. Geographical locations, features and designations. The name of locations – such as the city, state or town – will have to be capitalized. Features are capitalized too, unless more than one is used in a sentence (in such cases, only the proper name should be capitalized). Geographic designations are capitalized (e.g. we’re from the Northeast), but directions are not (e.g. go to the northeast route).