Using capital letters

You should always use a capital letter in the following situations:

In the names of people, places, or related words

Use a capital letter when you are writing the names of people, places, and words relating to them:

Africa African
Buddha Buddhism
Shakespeare Shakespearean

At the beginning of a sentence

Use a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence:

The museum has huge potential. It will be a great boost to the area and we are really excited about it.

In the titles of books, films, organizations, etc.

Use a capital letter in the titles of books and other publications, films, organizations, special days, etc. In such cases, you need a capital letter for all the main words but not for the connecting words such as a, an, the, or, and, etc.:

Pride and Prejudice

Christmas Day

the Houses of Parliament.

In abbreviations

If you’re using the first letter of the abbreviated words, every letter should be a capital, e.g.:

BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation)

USA (United States of America)

MP (Member of Parliament)

See more about writing abbreviations.

People often don’t use capital letters when they’re writing emails or other informal messages, but it’s important to use them in formal writing.

 

Back to spelling.

You may also be interested in

Words containing the letter q

Spelling rules and tips

Common misspellings


Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Grammar and usage