As one meaning of the word capital indicates, capital letters indicate the preeminence or importance of a word. Always capitalize the first word of a sentence. If a complete sentence appears as a quotation, capitalize the first word of the quotation within the sentence. Always capitalize I no matter where it appears in the sentence.
Proper nouns are capitalized nouns that name specific persons, places, things, or ideas. In proper nouns composed of several words, do not capitalize articles, conjunctions, or prepositions fewer than five letters. For example: Henry the VIII founded the Church of England. Remember to capitalize articles at the beginning of a title but only when the article is part of the title itself. For instance: Sylvia Plath's first book of poetry was The Colossus and Other Poems.
Capitalize titles used before a proper name and titles used in direct address (Sen. McCain or Dr. Shaikh). Capitalize a title that describes a family relationship only when it is used with or in place of a proper name. For example: Renée handed the remote control to Father. Only capitalize compass points when they refer to a specific region of the country or world or when they are part of a proper name. As in: The journalist reported from the Middle East. Do not capitalize the seasons. Capitalize only those school courses that are the name of a language or the titles of a specific course. Do not capitalize the name of a subject.
Proper adjectives are formed from proper nouns and must be capitalized. Proper adjectives include adjectives formed from the names of people, places, and ethnic or religious groups: This is an excellent example of Japanese pottery from the Edo period.
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