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, movies, organizations, etc.

Use a capital letter in the titles of books and other publications, movies, 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 House of Representatives

 

In abbreviations

If you’re using the first letter of the abbreviated words, every letter should be a capital, even if the abbreviated words are not normally capitalized, e.g.:

 

NBC (National Broadcasting Company)

USA (United States of America)

BMI (body mass index)

 

See more about writing abbreviations.

People often don’t use capital letters when they’re writing e-mails or other informal messages, but it’s important to follow the rules above in formal writing.


Grammar and usage