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 When do we Use Capital Letters?

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PostSubject: When do we Use Capital Letters?   Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:16 am

In English, we do not use capitals letters very much. We use them mainly for the first letter of sentences, names, days and months as well for some abbreviations. In addition, of course, we always write the first person pronoun as a capital I.

It is not usual to write whole sentences in capitals. A sentence or paragraph written in capitals is extremely difficult to read. Did you ever see a book or newspaper written completely in capitals? Of course not! We cannot easily read large amounts of text in capital letters. Lawyers know that capital letters are difficult to read. That is why some legal texts are written completely in capitals.

In this lesson we look at:

1. Use a capital letter for the personal pronoun 'I':
What can I say?

2. Use a capital letter to begin a sentence or to begin speech:
The man arrived. He sat down.
Suddenly Mary asked, "Do you love me?"

3. Use capital letters for many abbreviations and acronyms:
G.M.T. or GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
N.A.T.O. or NATO or Nato (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

4. Use a capital letter for days of the week, months of the year, holidays:
Monday, Tuesday
January, February
Christmas
Armistice Day

5. Use a capital letter for countries, languages & nationalities, religions:
China, France
Japanese, English
Christianity, Buddhism

6. Use a capital letter for people's names and titles:
Anthony, Ram, William Shakespeare
Professor Jones, Dr Smith
Captain Kirk, King Henry VIII

7. Use a capital letter for trade-marks and names of companies and other organizations:
Pepsi Cola, Walkman
Microsoft Corporation, Toyota
the United Nations, the Red Cross

8. Use a capital letter for places and monuments:
London, Paris, the Latin Quarter
the Eiffel Tower, St Paul's Cathedral
Buckingham Palace, the White House
Oxford Street, Fifth Avenue
Jupiter, Mars, Syrius
Asia, the Middle East, the North Pole

9. Use a capital letter for names of vehicles like ships, trains and spacecraft:
the Titanic
the Orient Express, the Flying Scotsman
Challenger 2, the Enterprise

10. Use a capital letter for titles of books, poems, songs, plays, films etc:
War And Peace
If, Futility
Like a Virgin
The Taming of the Shrew
The Lion King, Gone With The Wind

11. Use capitals letters (sometimes!) for headings, titles of articles, books etc, and newspaper headlines:
HOW TO WIN AT POKER
Chapter 2: CLINTON'S EARLY LIFE
LIFE FOUND ON MARS!
MAN BITES DOG
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