Language and Linguistics

Capital letters in English and when to use

Capital Letters

The Capital letter is the letter that in relation to the lower case has a larger size and also, generally, different shape . For example, A (uppercase) to (lowercase). Capital letters in English 

An Capital letter , known simply as an uppercase , is one that differs from the lower case because it is larger and sometimes different in shape. The use of the capital letter is determined by certain spelling and style rules .

In addition to these basic rules regarding the use of capital letters, we must record these equally important and significant others:
• They are used for acronyms. Examples of this are NASA, FBI, AIDS…
• The names of certain geographical areas, such as the names of states, autonomous communities, regions, districts or neighborhoods, for example, are written in capital letters.
• It should be noted that certain words are also written entirely in capital letters in judicial and legislative documents of some importance. This is done because it is necessary to highlight in a remarkable way what is the action indicated by those within those roles. A clear example of this is to find in capitals, sentences or edicts capitalized verbs like “EXPONE”. Capital letters in English 
• Although there are many doubts about it and controversy, grammar rules indicate that in the case of Spanish, capital letters are always accentuated following the same rules that exist for lowercase letters. In this case, it must be said that only capital letters that work as acronyms do not carry tilde.
• The signs of the Zodiac, divinities, trademarks and gods or names of historical eras also bear in capital letters their initial letter.

When is the capital letter used in English?

 1.- The pronoun I (I, in English) is always capitalized, no matter where it occupies in the sentence. It is also applied in contractions.


  • I don’t know.
  • Peter and I go to the school by bus every day, but I
  • She is beautiful, but I’m a nice girl.

 2.- The days of the week .

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

3.- The months of the year .

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December.

Attention! The four seasons of the year, however, are NOT capitalized: spring, summer, autumn and winter, except if they begin the sentence or are part of a recognized name or holiday. Capital letters in English 

 4.- Holidays , such as Easter, Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving Day, Saint Valentine’s Day and historical events: Middle Ages, Modern Age, French Revolution…

5.- Languages . Whenever a language is referred to in a sentence, it is capitalized: Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Brazilian, Norwegian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese…


  • I prefer to speak in German, but my girlfriend speaks Italian only.

 6.- Nouns and adjectives related to religious beliefs, politics, etc. Some examples:

  • He’s Jewish
  • I’m a Catholic
  • The Dalai Lama is a Tibetan Buddhist

 7.- The gentilicios , that is, the adjectives that indicate the geographical origin of the people, as is the case of: European, African (if it refers to the continent), Argentine, Belgian, Austrian, Canadian (in reference to the country) , Parisian, New Yorker (in the case of cities). Capital letters in English 

8.- The proper names of people or places: Jane, Tom, Australia, Singapore, Waterloo Station, Piccadilly Circus.

 9.- Geographic features , such as rivers, mountains, seas, oceans: the Mediterranean Sea, the Rocky Mountains, the Arctic, the Pacific Ocean, the Rhine, the Thames, Lake Ontario…

10.- The planets are also written in capital letters: Venus, Mercury, Saturn… In the case of Earth, it is only capitalized when it is not preceded by the article ‘the’.


  • We live in Earth. The earth is the third planet.

Attention! Because the same thing happens with the semantic unit of a text. In other words sun and moon: the sun, the moon.

 11.- The titles of the people and honorary positions and their abbreviations . For example: the Queen Elizabeth, Lord Byron, Sir Winston Churchill, Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Smith, Professor Jones, General Patten.

12.- In the titles of books or films , the initial of the main semantic unit of a text. In other words (noun, verb, adjective and pronoun) are capitalized.

  •  Tiffany’s Breakfast
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Gone with the Wind
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Price and Prejudice
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

 13.- The first word of a sentence .

 14.- Capital letters are always used after a period .

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