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Capitalization

Capitalization means using a capital letter (for example, A instead of a). The use of capital letters helps readers read your writing without confusion.

Always capitalize the following:

The first word in a sentence.

  • I grew up in India.
  • She left a message on my phone.
The pronoun I.

  • This country is where I dreamed of.
The first letter of a proper noun (specific name).

  • David wants to play soccer with us.
  • This letter is from Chang.
  • I graduated from the University of New York.
  • I like Coca-Cola.
  • She likes Godiva chocolates.
The first letter of months, days, and holidays (but not seasons).

  • Today is June 8, 2011.
  • Susie’s birthday is this Thursday.
  • The shops are closed on Easter.
  • This summer is going to be very hot.
The first letter of nationalities, religions, races of people, and languages.

  • We often eat Italian food.
  • I want to master many languages, such as Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Russian.
  • There is one Christian church in my town.
The first letter in a person’s title.

  • This is Dr. Simon.
  • I got it from Mr. Tom.
Geographic areas: cities, states, countries, mountains, oceans, rivers, etc.

  • My destination is Paris, France.
  • Hawaii is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Historical periods.

  • The Renaissance began in the 14th century.
  • The Qing Dynasty is the last dynasty in China.
The first letter of each major word in the title of a book, movie, article, etc.

  • Tolstoy’s War and Peace is my favorite novel.
  • I found the article “How to Write a Good Cover Letter” in this magazine.

[Quiz 30.1]

Correctly write each sentence using proper capitalization.

1)i was born in shanghai, china, but grew up in the united states.
2)mrs. ohana gave me the bible.
3)if you walk two more blocks, you will be able to see mt. rocky.
4)my family will have a summer vacation in hawaii.
5)I didn’t want to cook tonight, so I just ordered thai food for dinner.

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