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Grammar Books

English Grammar

Simple Capitalisation Guide

Capitalisation

Capital letters are used for two main purposes in English: 

  • to show the beginning of a sentence 
  • to show that a noun is a proper noun.
  1. The first letter of every new sentence is capitalised.
    For example:-
    The postman delivered the parcel. It was very heavy.
  2. The pronoun I is always capitalised.
    For example:-
    My name is Lynne, I am a teacher.
  3. Proper nouns ( also called proper names) are the words which name specific people, organisations or places. They always start with a capital letter.

For example:-

Each part of a person's name is a proper noun:-

Lynne Hand - Elizabeth Helen Ruth Jones ...

The names of companies, organisations, newspapers or trade marks:-

Microsoft - Rolls Royce - the Round Table - the Times - WWW

Given or pet names of animals:-

Lassie - Champion - Trigger - Skippy - Sam

The names of cities and countries and words derived from those proper nouns such as languages:-

Paris - London - New York - England - English - French

Geographical and Celestial Names:-

the Red Sea - Alpha Centauri - Mars - the River Thames

Particular places such as streets, monuments, buildings, meeting rooms:-

Manvers Road (the road), the Taj Mahal - the Eiffel Tower (the tower) - Room 222 (the room)

Historical events, documents, acts, and specific periods of time:-

the Civil War - the Declaration of Independence - the Freedom of Information Act - World War I -

Months, days of the week, holidays and special days:-

December - Monday - Christmas - Valentine's Day (note seasons are not capitalised spring - summer - autumn - winter)

Religions, deities, scriptures:-

Christ - God - Jehovah - Mohammed - Christianity - Islam - Judaism - the Bible - the Koran - the Torah

Awards, vehicles, vehicle models and names, brand names:-

the Nobel Peace Prize - the Scout Movement - Ford Focus - the Bismarck - Kleenex - Hoover

!Note - You don't need to capitalise the name of any currency in English.

Thanks to Hekner for spotting my slip into AmE.

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