Capital Letters in English

Subject and Course

Let’s get started. So the first one is in the area of a subject or a course. For example, if we’re talking about a subject that you study, for example algebra, then you do not capitalize it, for example, if you say “I’m studying algebra this year.” Okay? So you’re just talking about the subject and therefore it’s not capitalized, but if you’re talking about the subject as a course, as the name of course, then you do capitalize it. okay for example, “This year I’m taking Algebra 101.” Okay? that’s the name of that course, so you do capitalize it then.

Place and Name of Place

When it comes to places, let’s look at how it works. For example, if I say “she works in a bank.” Okay,it’s just the place, the building or whatever. okay the business. So then it’s not capitalized. but if i say:”she works at the Brookfield”, now I gave you the name of the bank, so therefore it is capitalized. Okay, cuz again the name of something is capitalized;the name of a person, or place. So then it will be capitalized. Or I say:”I went to the library.” Just a library in general, not capitalized.or “I often visit the Toronto Public Library.” Now I’m giving you the name of a specific library,so of course, it’s get capitalized. Got it?

or “he goes to university.” He is in University, just a regular word so we don’t capitalize it. But “he got admission to the University of Oxford.” Okay, now we’re giving the name of the University, so you do have to capitalize it. Okay? Got it? All right.

I hope that’s pretty clear so far, all right? So when we’re giving the name of a course or giving the name of the particular place, like a bank, a Library, University, a School, a Business, right? then you’re going to capitalize it, and otherwise, in general, not.

Prefessions and Titles

Now let’s look when we talking about professions and titles. So the rule is like this: if you’re just talking about, Let’s say:”I went to see the doctor.” Okay? or “I need to see a doctor.” So if before the profession you say the word “a” or “the”, Okay? then you don’t capitalize it cuz you’re just talking about a doctor in general; you’re not giving the name of the doctor,you are not saying witch doctor. so here we just say:”I need to see a doctor.” or “I have an appointment with Dr Patel.” Now this is the name of the doctor, right? So then we need to capitalize the D for doctor, and of course, his or her name. All right? Next “I would like to speak to the professor.” “the professor” General, so no Capital, but here “you need to make an appointment to see Professor Brown.” All right? So here now we’re talking about a specific professor, and so it is capitalize, the word “Professor” and, of course, his or her name. Got it? Okay.

Now, also, when we’re talking about any kind of position, okay? For example, sales manager, human resources manager, “she’s the sales manager. she’s the human resources manager. she’s the Personnel manager.” Okay? “she’s the production manager.” all right? Then you don’t capitalize anything, okay? cuz you’re just talking about that job in general. But if you’re in this kind of contexts most often you do capitalize it. For example, if you write:”John Williams, Sales manager.” Now let’s suppose this is on a business card, then yes, you will capitalize “sales manager.” If this is at the end of your email, right? “John Williams, Sales Manager”, it’s like a signature, then yes again, you do capitalize it.Okay? Also if somebody’s writing an address, OK? “John Williams, Sales Manager, Microsoft”, whatever. Okay? Now again, that title is capitalized. Okay, So keep that in mind.

And regarding these other words up here, when there’s a direct conversation going on, and if you write it down, if you were to write it down, it would be capitalized. what do I mean? For example, if I said:” what do you think we should do, Doctor?” Okay? Now, I’m talking to a particular doctor, right? Probably let’s say to this Doctor Patel, so then I would say:” what do you think we should do, Doctor?” Okay? Or “what do you suggest, Professor?” And I’m talking to Professor Brown, so that in that case we would capitalize that work “Professor” or that word “Doctor”. Got it? or “Thanks for all your help, Dad?” Okay, “Dad”. Now, “Dad” is a name I’m giving. Okay? And I’m calling you by that name, so therefore I would capitalize it. But if I say:”I went fishing with my dad.” Okay? So then you wouldn’t capitalize it. Okay? But if I say “I went fishing with Dad”, now it’s the name, Okey? Then we would capitalize it.

I hope you understand that difference. So, regarding subjects and courses, places and names of places, and professions and titles.Okay? So these are some areas where sometimes capitals can be confused until now, but now you understand much better. Next we’re going to be looking at another area, which is the titles of books, and movies, and reports, and all kinds of interesting things.

Books, Movies, Shows, Songs, Reports

Okay, So now let’s look at something a little bit more detail, but not hard, you can understand it. Okay? And that is: what to do when we are writing the names of books, movies, shows, songs, reports, or articles.

Okay? Now, what happens here is there are a few different major style guides, like the MLA, the AP, and others, and they do vary, some of the rules are different, so what’s most important is if you are in a university, or school, or a business, or something like that, it’s very important to know what style you are expected to follow. Especially in University, they’re going to tell you exactly which rules to follow when it comes to handing in your assignment and putting the title for your report, or your assignment, or your article, or whatever. Okay? So in that case please follow whatever they tell you, and not necessarily what I’m telling you here. But in general, this is what I’m going to tell you here is something called “Title Case capitalization”, which is the general rule that is followed most of the time and that you will see most of the time when you look at books, or names of movies, and shows,and songs and things like that. Okay? So let’s learn what it is. It’s really not very hard. It seems a little hard in the beginning, especially for people who was languages don’t have any capitals at all. Okay, There are many languages where there are no capital letters, and therefore English capitalization sometimes seems like a bit of a challenge and kind of crazy, and therefore sometimes people going to different directions; sometimes they capitalize too much, and sometimes they capitalize too little,but there is a logic to it and you can understand. Okay?

So let’s see the logic of this. So when we’re talking about these kind of areas, what’s important is that we usually capitalize nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in these kind of formats. Okay? And we do not capitalize articles, or prepositions, or conjunctions. And, of course, by articles I mean, like “a”,and,”the”, prepositions: “in”, “at”, “on”, things like that, and conjunctions: “but”, “with”, okay so sorry “but”, “and”. Okay? So these are usually not capitalized; those are usually capitalized. An exception is if any of these are the first word or the last word.

So let’s look now at some examples you can actually understand how this works.Let’s look at the name of a famous movie, ok? “Star Wars.” so what was capitalized there, the “S” and the “W.” Okay? Two words, one is an adjectives, one is a noun. “Star Wars”, so those two letters were capitalized.

But let’s look at the name of another famous movie, “Return of the Jedi”, So, here,look what happened. The first letter is always capitalized, Okay? That doesn’t matter what. So that one is capitalized; “of” is NOT capitalized, cuz it’s one of the other side; “the” no, and “Jedi”, yes. Okay, So you’ll see that “Return” and “Jedi” are capitalized, and the other smaller words, the prepositions, the article, things like that, no.

Let’s look at the name of a famous show.

Dsignated Survivor

Life in Pieces

Let’s look at the titles of a couple of books.

The Alchemist

Catcher in the Rye

Let’s look at the name of a report.

Capitalization Rules

Rules of Capilization

Let’s look at a name of an article.

The Idea Job

How to Get the Ideal Job

I hope that you’ll be able to use this in your own writing. And, of course, if you’re doing an exam like the IELTS or the TOEFL, or any other exam, or if you’re submitting reports at work, if you’re submitting reports…Assignments in University or any of these situations, that from now on you will know… and also, by the way, if you’re writing a cover letter or your resume, again, these kind of rules can be very very important.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *