| Share
 

Capitalization

Capitalize the following:

  • Proper nouns and adjectives derived from proper nouns:
 Marie CurieChina, Chinese
 Smokey RobinsonDarwin, Darwinian

 But vocabulary words derived from proper nouns are generally lowercase:

 china cupsplaster of paris
 french friesvienna sausage
  • The names of geographic divisions, regions, and localities and topographical features such as rivers, lakes, and mountains:
 North PoleGulf States
 Middle EastAtlantic Ocean
 Southern HemisphereRocky Mountains
 the NorthLake Tahoe
 Lower East SideErie Canal

 Do not capitalize directions: She lives 10 miles north of Boston.

  • The names of nationalities, ethnic groups, tribes, and languages:
 SpanishBantu
 Asian AmericanCreole
  • Titles when preceding a name:
 President LincolnAunt Mary
 Queen VictoriaDoctor Johnson
 Senator KennedyProfessor Davies

 Do not capitalize such terms elsewhere: a biography of the queen; the senator's speech; my aunt, Mary Wilson; the president's fundraising efforts; the residence of the vice president.

  • Epithets: Ivan the Terrible; Lincoln is known as the Great Emancipator.
  • The names of political and judicial bodies, social organizations, councils, and departments:
 U.S. SenateRotary Club
 Democratic PartyUnited Negro College Fund
 State DepartmentU.S. Supreme Court
  • The names for periods, events, and documents of historical importance:
 Middle AgesConstitution
 RenaissanceTreaty of Versailles
 Battle of WaterlooMagna Carta
  • The names for streets, buildings, and monuments:
 Fifth Avenue World Trade Center
 BroadwayStatue of Liberty
  • The names for the supreme deity and sacred works:
 God, the Father AlmightyBible
 YahwehTalmud
 AllahQu'ran
  • The names for religious denominations and their members:
    Buddhism, Buddhists
    Catholicism, Catholics
    Judaism, Jews
    Methodist Church, Methodists
    Society of Friends, Quakers
  • The days of the week, months of the year, holidays, and holy days:
 Thursday Labor Day
 DecemberPassover
  • The pronoun I:
    I told her I didn't want to go.
  • The first word in the salutation and complimentary close of a letter:
    My dear Carol…
    Very truly yours…
  • The first word of a sentence:
    Are you hungry? Lunch will be served soon.
  • The first word of a direct quotation, except when the quotation is split:
    I asked, “Do you really like bats?”
    “Yes,” said Holly, “they're so cute.”
  • The first word and all the key words in the title of a literary or other artistic work:
    The Bluest Eye (novel)
    A Streetcar Named Desire (play)
    “The Road Not Taken” (poem)
    Starry Night (painting)
    “Only the Lonely” (song)
  • The names of ships, aircraft, and space vehicles:
    USS Maine
    The Spirit of St. Louis
    space shuttle Challenger
  • The names of constellations, planets, and stars:
 Milky WaySaturn
 the asteroid Juno Little Dipper
  • The names of geologic eras, periods, epochs, and names of prehistoric divisions:
 Paleozoic Era Pleistocene
 Quaternary PeriodStone Age
  • The genus but not the species name in binomial nomenclature:
    Canis familiaris (dog)
    Malus pumila (apple tree)

Information Please® Database, © 2012 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

A Concise Guide to Grammar and StyleItalicization

More on Capitalization from Infoplease:


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring