Capitalization Rules

Capitalize all proper nouns, names of God, religious figures, and holy books:

Example:

  • I took my son to visit the Golden Gate Bridge. Those who worship more than one god are interesting to me. My friend believes in God; I often doubt his existence, even though I read the Bible.

Capitalize first words that begin sentences (like this one!).

Example:

Hello, my name is Jane Doe.

Capitalize the first words in quotes when followed by "said":

Example:

  • She said, "Yes, I'm the one you heard about."

The pronoun “I” is always capitalized. (See first example.)

Example:

  • I took my son to visit the Golden Gate Bridge. Those who worship more than one god are interesting to me. My friend believes in God; I often doubt his existence, even though I read the Bible.

Capitalize family relationships when used as proper nouns:

Examples:

  • Take a look at the gift I bought for Dad.
  • It’s important to remember that our mothers won’t always be there to hold our hands.

Capitalize titles that precede names:

Example:

  • I knew that Mayor Bloomberg was going to enter the political race.

Capitalize directions when used as places in the county:

Examples:

  • I'm moving to the North.
  • If you drive north, you'll eventually find the hotel.

Capitalize days of the week, months, and holidays but not seasons, unless they're used in a title.

Examples:

  • Valentine’s Day always falls on February 14th every year.
  • In the spring, I usually try to clean out my garage.
  • The 2015 Annual Fall Festival was almost complete.

Capitalize names of countries, nationalities, and specific languages:

Example:

  • Studying in France really gave me a chance to gain valuable experience.

Capitalize the major words in the titles of books, articles, and songs:

Examples:

  • My favorite book is The Catcher in the Rye.
  • The best classic rock song of all time is “Stairway to Heaven.” (Song titles are put in quotes.)

Capitalize members of national, political, racial, social, civic, and athletic groups:

Examples:

  • The Democrats attempted to mount a filibuster.
  • The Green Bay Packers continue to impress me this year.
  • We bought our Christmas tree from The Boy Scouts.

Capitalize time periods and trademarks:

Examples:

  • During the Great Depression, the economy lost millions of jobs.
  • Our local stadium was built by Pepsi, and it’s home to my favorite team, the Denver Nuggets.