<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> <html><head><title>Using Capital Letters - Basic English, Lesson 8</title> <meta content="text/html; charset=unicode" http-equiv="Content-Type"> <meta name="copyright" content="2001-2018 T.M. Grafius, Sr."> <meta name="description" content="How to use upper case capital letters in English, with rules and examples for their use."> <meta name="keywords" content="Using capital letters, rules and examples for using upper case letters, begin names-sentences - titles - abbreviations with a capital letter"> <meta name="revisit-after" content="3 days"> <style type="text/css"> .auto-style1 { text-align: right; } .auto-style3 { font-size: xx-large; font-weight: bold; } .auto-style4 { text-align: center; } .auto-style2 { border-width: 0px; } .auto-style7 { font-size: medium; font-weight: bold; color: #000080; } .auto-style8 { font-size: medium; color: #000080; } .auto-style10 { text-align: center; font-family: Arial; font-weight: bold; color: #FFFFE8; } .auto-style11 { text-align: left; } .auto-style13 { border: 3px solid #FF0000; font-weight: bold; background-color: #FFFFFF; } .auto-style14 { font-size: medium; } .auto-style15 { border: 2px solid #800000; } .auto-style16 { font-weight: bold; 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/* Basic 8 Top Right */ google_ad_slot = "0930453829"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </td></tr></tbody></table> <table border="1" bordercolor="#000080" width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="*%" align="center"><b><a href="index.html"><font size="2" face="Arial" color="#FF0000"> Say-it-in-English Entry Page</font></a></b></td> <td width="*%" align="center"><b><a href="BasicEnglish1.html"><font color=#FF0000 size=2 face=Arial>To Basic English 1</font></a></b></td> <td align="center"><b><a href="BasicEnglish2.html"><font color="#FF0000" size=2 face=Arial>To Basic English 2</font></a></b></td> <td width="*%" align="center"><b><a href="BasicEnglish3.html"><font color=#FF0000 size=2 face=Arial>To Basic English 3</font></a></b></td> <td width="*%" align="center"><b><a href="BasicEnglish4.html"><font color=#FF0000 size=2 face=Arial>To Basic English 4</font></a></b></td> <td width="*%" align="center"><b><font size="2" face="Arial"><a href="BasicEnglish5.html"><font color="#FF0000">To Basic English 5</font></a></font></b></td> <td width="*%" align="center"><b><font size="2" face="Arial"><a href="BasicEnglish6.html"><font color="#FF0000">To Basic English 6</font></a></font></b></td> <td align="center"><b><font size="2" face="Arial"><a href="BasicEnglish7.html"><font color="#FF0000">To Basic English 7</font></a></font></b></td> </tr></tbody></table> <div align="center"> <center> <table border="0" width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td bgcolor="#000080" width="100%" align="center" class="auto-style3"> <font color="#ffffcc" face="Courier New">Basic English the Mikie Metric Way</font></td> </tr></tbody></table></center></div> <p class="auto-style1">&nbsp;</p> <p class="auto-style4"><b><font face="Arial" size="6">8. <u>Using Capital Letters</u></font></b></p> <table align="center" class="auto-style33" style="width: 75%"> <tr> <td class="auto-style4"> <p class="auto-style4"><font size="3" face="Arial"><b>English uses capital letters to point out important words.&nbsp; This is the one element of English grammar that always follows its rules.&nbsp; There are no lists of exceptions to memorize.&nbsp; That makes it easier for people who are learning English.&nbsp; All they need to do is:&nbsp; <span class="auto-style8"> learn the rules, and</span></b></font><span class="auto-style8"> f</span><font face="Arial"><span class="auto-style7">ollow the rules.</span></font> </p> </td> </tr> </table> <p class="auto-style10">page break</p> <table align="left" class="auto-style13" style="width: 40%"> <tr> <td> <p><font size="3" face="Arial">NOTE:&nbsp; You will see many examples in your everyday life of the rules being violated by advertisers, by graffiti artists and by Internet users.&nbsp; That does not, however, change the rules.&nbsp; It is important to write English correctly on applications, in resumes, in business letters and in other formal situations if you want the reader to have a high opinion of you.</font></p> </td> </tr> </table> <p class="auto-style11">&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p align="left">&nbsp;</p> <p align="left"><b><font size="4" face="Arial">Rule 1: </font> <font face=Arial><span class="auto-style14">All sentences begin with a capital letter, even sentences that only consist of one word.</span></font></b></p> <table align="center" class="auto-style34" style="width: 60%"> <tr> <td class="auto-style17" style="width: 413px"> <p align="left">&nbsp;&nbsp;<font size="3" face=Arial><b> a. This is my house. (statement)</b></font></p> </td> <td class="auto-style16"><font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;d. Stop!&nbsp;&nbsp; (exclamation, command)</font></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style16" style="width: 413px"> <font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;b. Are you going to school? (question)</font></td> <td class="auto-style16"><font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;e. Wait!&nbsp;&nbsp; (exclamation, command)</font></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style16" style="width: 413px"> <font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;c. Watch out for the truck! (exclamation)</font></td> <td class="auto-style16"><font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;f. Yesterday, when John woke up in the morning, he decided to eat breakfast before getting dressed to go to work in the city.&nbsp; (statement)</font></td> </tr> </table> <p align="left">&nbsp;&nbsp; <font size="3" face=Arial><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</b></font><b><font size="4" face="Arial">Rule 2: </font> <font size="3" face="Arial" class="auto-style14">The proper name, the name of a specific person or thing, begins with a capital letter.&nbsp; All other important words in the name must also start with a capital letter.&nbsp; Words that do not need to be written with a capital letter <u>unless</u> they are the first word of the name are <i>a, an, and, the, of, to, by, </i>etc.&nbsp; (Following each proper name are one or more common names of the same type of person or thing which do not need a capital letter.)</font></b></p> <p class="auto-style4"><b><font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</font><table align="center" class="auto-style34" style="width: 60%"> <tr> <td class="auto-style36"> <p align="left"><font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;a. Henry David Thoreau&nbsp;&nbsp; (a man, a writer)</font></p> </td> <td class="auto-style35"> <p align="left">&nbsp;&nbsp;<b><font size="3" face=Arial>g. Harvard University&nbsp;&nbsp; (a college, a university, a school)</font></b></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style35"> <p align="left">&nbsp;<b><font size="3" face=Arial> b. Empire State Building&nbsp;&nbsp; (a building, a monument, a sky scraper)</font></b></p> </td> <td class="auto-style35"> <p align="left">&nbsp;&nbsp;<b><font size="3" face=Arial>h. Union of South Africa&nbsp;&nbsp; (a country, a union, a nation)</font></b></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style35"> <p align="left">&nbsp;&nbsp;<b><font size="3" face=Arial>c. Grand Canyon&nbsp;&nbsp; (a canyon, a geographical wonder, a tourist attraction)</font></b></p> </td> <td class="auto-style35"> <p align="left">&nbsp;<b><font size="3" face=Arial> i.&nbsp; Saudi Arabia&nbsp;&nbsp; (a country, a kingdom, a monarchy)</font></b></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style35"> <p align="left">&nbsp;&nbsp;<b><font size="3" face=Arial>d. Atlantic Ocean&nbsp;&nbsp; (an ocean, a body of water, a sea)</font></b></p> </td> <td class="auto-style35"> <p align="left">&nbsp;<b><font size="3" face=Arial> j. Saturday&nbsp;&nbsp; (a day, the weekend, tomorrow)</font></b></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style35"> <p align="left">&nbsp;&nbsp;<b><font size="3" face=Arial>e. Metropolitan Museum of Art&nbsp;&nbsp; (a museum, an institute, a building)</font></b></p> </td> <td class="auto-style35"> <p align="left">&nbsp;<b><font size="3" face=Arial> k. September&nbsp;&nbsp; (a month, beginning of school, end of summer)</font></b></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style35"> <p align="left">&nbsp;&nbsp;<b><font size="3" face=Arial>f. Ford Explorer&nbsp;&nbsp; (an automobile, a sport utility vehicle, a car)</font></b></p> </td> <td class="auto-style35"> <p align="left">&nbsp;&nbsp; <b><font size="3" face=Arial>l. Memorial Day (a holiday, a special occasion, a vacation day)</font></b></p> </td> </tr> </table> </b></p> <p align="left">&nbsp;<b><font size="4" face="Arial">Rule 3: </font> <font size="3" face="Arial" class="auto-style14">Titles of books, songs, stories, works of art, magazine articles, tests, and other written materials must begin with a capital letter.&nbsp; Every other important word of the title must also begin with a capital letter.&nbsp; Words that do not need a capital letter <u>unless</u> they are the first word of the title are <i>a, an, and, of, to, the</i>. </font></b></p> <p class="auto-style4"><b><font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</font><table align="center" class="auto-style34" style="width: 60%"> <tr> <td class="auto-style18"><font size="3" face=Arial>a. Winnie the Pooh</font></td> <td class="auto-style18"><font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;e. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest</font></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style18"><font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;b. To Kill a Mockingbird</font></td> <td class="auto-style18"><font size="3" face=Arial>f. The New York Times</font></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style18"><font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;c. The Merchant of Venice</font></td> <td class="auto-style18"> <p class="auto-style4"><font size="3" face=Arial>g. How to Win Friends and Influence People</font></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style18"><font size="3" face=Arial>d. The Star-spangled Banner</font></td> <td class="auto-style18"> <p class="auto-style4"><font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;h. The Carolina Test of Student Ability</font></p> </td> </tr> </table> </b></p> <p align="left">&nbsp;<b><font size="3" face=Arial> </font><font size="4" face="Arial">Rule 4: </font> <font face=Arial><span class="auto-style14">The letter </span> </font> <font face="Comic Sans MS"><span class="auto-style14">I</span></font><font face=Arial><span class="auto-style14">, when used as a pronoun referring to yourself must always be written as a capital letter.</span></font></b></p> <table align="center" class="auto-style34" style="width: 50%"> <tr> <td class="auto-style19"><font size="3" class="auto-style14"> <span class="auto-style21">&nbsp;a. I am not happy.</span></font></td> <td class="auto-style19">&nbsp;b. Am I the first person here?</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style19">&nbsp;c. Tell me what I have to do.</td> <td class="auto-style19">d. I went to the store for my mother.</td> </tr> </table> <p align="left"><b><font size="4" face="Arial">Rule 5: </font> <font face=Arial><span class="auto-style14">The first word of a direct quotation must begin with a capital letter.</span></font></b></p> <p class="auto-style4">&nbsp;&nbsp; <font size="3" face=Arial><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </b> <table align="center" class="auto-style34" style="width: 60%"> <tr> <td class="auto-style36"> <p align="left"><font size="3" face=Arial>a. "Who's been sleeping in my bed?" Pappa Bear cried.</font></p> </td> <td class="auto-style36"> <p align="left"> <font size="3" face=Arial>b. The President said, "Ask not what your country can do for you."</font></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style36"> <font size="3" face=Arial>c. The teacher asked, "Can you answer this question?"</font></td> <td class="auto-style23"><strong>d. "Who broke the window?" Mother asked her children.</strong></td> </tr> </table> </font></p> <p align="left"><b><font size="4" face="Arial">Rule 6: </font> <font face=Arial><span class="auto-style14">Titles of people when used with their names or in place of their names must begin with a capital letter.</span></font></b></p> <p class="auto-style4">&nbsp;&nbsp; <font size="3" face=Arial><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</b><table align="center" class="auto-style34" style="width: 60%"> <tr> <td class="auto-style36"><font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;a. My boss is Mister Smith.</font></td> <td class="auto-style36"> <font size="3" face=Arial>d. The captain yelled at Sergeant Harris.</font></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style36"> <font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;b. "Look out, Mister! You're in the way."</font></td> <td class="auto-style36"> <font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;e. The sergeant replied, "Yes, sir, Captain.&nbsp; I understand."</font></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style36"> <font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;c. The members of the church waited for Reverend Jones.</font></td> <td class="auto-style36"> <font size="3" face=Arial>&nbsp;f. My favorite queen is Queen Elizabeth of England.</font></td> </tr> </table> </font></p> <p class="auto-style24"><font face=Arial>There are other uses for capital letters in English, but these six rules cover most of the situations you will find in your writing.&nbsp;&nbsp; Abbreviations are short forms of whole words made from the first letter and one or more other letters of the whole word with a period at the end to show the word is not complete.&nbsp; They follow the same rules for capital letters as complete words do: if the whole word would begin with a capital, then so would the abbreviation.</font></p> <table align="center" class="auto-style34" style="width: 60%"> <tr> <td class="auto-style26">&nbsp;a. My boss is Mr. Smith.</td> <td class="auto-style26">b. The members of the church waited for Rev. Jones.</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style26">&nbsp;c. The captain yelled at Sgt. Harris.&nbsp; </td> <td class="auto-style26">&nbsp;d. I work for American Telephone and Telegraph. (I work for A.T.&amp;T.).</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style26">e. The road I live on is called Oak St.</td> <td class="auto-style26">f.&nbsp; The stars and stripes is the symbol of the U.S.A.</td> </tr> </table> <p class="auto-style24"><font size="3" face=Arial class="auto-style27">Certain factors have made the situation much more confusing.&nbsp; The United States has adopted a two-letter code for all of the states.&nbsp; Pennsylvania used to be abbreviated as <i>Penna.</i> or <i>Pa.</i>&nbsp; Now it is <i>PA&nbsp; </i>.&nbsp; California used to be <i>Cal.</i> or <i>Calif.</i>, but now it is <i>CA&nbsp; .</i>&nbsp; Advertisers add or take away capital letters whenever they feel like it in a attempt to make their ads more effective.&nbsp; The internet with its domain names and e-mail addresses adding or deleting capital letters according to the requirements of a variety of computer software protocols has also thrown away the traditional grammar rules.&nbsp; But in spite of all these factors, the rules of correct writing remain the same.&nbsp; Follow them and you will be seen as a well-educated person by anybody who reads what you write.&nbsp; </font></p> <table border="0" width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="100%" colspan="2"> <p align="center" class="auto-style14"> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "ca-pub-4445799420042074"; /* Basic 8 Bot */ google_ad_slot = "8994728012"; google_ad_width = 728; google_ad_height = 90; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </p></td></tr> <tr> <td width="50%" align="middle" class="auto-style27"><font face="Arial">c. 2000-2018 &nbsp; Montoursville, PA&nbsp; 17754&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</font></td> <td width="50%" align="middle"> <p align="center"> <font color="#ff0000" size="3" face="Century" class="auto-style27">Practice reading English with the Lyrics of the songs and Stories of singers and bands at&nbsp; <a href="http://www.mikiemetric.com">www.mikiemetric.com</a> .</font></p> </td></tr></tbody></table> <table style="width: 100%"> <tr> <td class="auto-style4"><img border="0" src="Graphics/Song%20Sheets.gif"><p align="center"> &nbsp;<u><a href="http://www.mikiemetric.com"><font color="#0000ff" size="4" face=Cuckoo>Hundreds of My Favorite Songs from the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's.</font></a></u></p> </td> <td class="auto-style4"><a href="http://www.mikiemetric.net"> <img class="auto-style2" height="144" src="Graphics/StoriesAd.jpg" width="504"></a></td> </tr> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span class="auto-style14">&nbsp;</span><b><font face="Arial"><span class="auto-style14">Exercise A: Re-write these sentences on the lines and put capital letters where they belong.</span></font></b></p> <table align="center" class="auto-style15" style="width: 80%"> <tr> <td class="auto-style29" style="width: 703px"><font face="Arial">1. the mayor of san juan, mayor ortega, decided to retire sunday, july 16.<br></font></td> <td class="auto-style29">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style29" style="width: 703px"><font face="Arial">2. my friend, tom wilson, bought a new honda accord last week in san francisco.<br></font></td> <td class="auto-style29">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style29" style="width: 703px"> <font size="2" face="Arial" class="auto-style27">3. yesterday, i finished reading <u>lord of the rings</u>. <br> </font></td> <td class="auto-style29">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style29" style="width: 703px"><font face="Arial">4. the president of general motors was interviewed in the july issue of newsweek.<br></font></td> <td class="auto-style29">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style29" style="width: 703px"><font face="Arial">5. david johnson drove his chevy blazer off the delaware memorial bridge last friday.<br></font></td> <td class="auto-style28">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style29" style="width: 703px"><font face="Arial">6. when i opened the new york times, i read that lieutenant martin bailey had accused his commanding officer, colonel dunlap, of selling secret information to a north korean agent.</font></td> <td class="auto-style28">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style29" style="width: 703px"><font face="Arial">7. alan attended a lecture by professor c. r. klein on his treatise, "chemical properties of popular diet foods."</font></td> <td class="auto-style28">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="auto-style29" style="width: 703px"><font face="Arial">8. mary yelled to her little brother, "shut the door! it's freezing in here."<br></font></td> <td class="auto-style28">&nbsp;</td> </tr> </table> <p class="auto-style32"> ************************************************************************************************************************</p> <p class="auto-style32">&nbsp;</p> <p class="auto-style32"><span class="auto-style14">&nbsp;</span><b><font face="Arial"><span class="auto-style14">Answers to Exercise A: Following are only the words that should have been written with a capital letter.</span></font></b></p> <p class="auto-style27"><font face="Arial">1. The, San Juan, Mayor Ortega, Sunday, July</font></p> <p class="auto-style27"><font face="Arial">2. My, Tom Wilson, Honda Accord, San Francisco</font></p> <p><b><font face="Arial"><span class="auto-style14">3. Yesterday, </span> </font> <font face="Comic Sans MS"><span class="auto-style14">I, </span> </font> <font face="Arial"><span class="auto-style14">Lord, Rings</span></font></b></p> <p class="auto-style27"><font face="Arial">4. The, General Motors, July, Newsweek</font></p> <p class="auto-style27"><font face="Arial">5. David Johnson, Chevy Blazer, Delaware Memorial Bridge, Friday</font></p> <p><b><font face="Arial"><span class="auto-style14">6. When, </span> </font> <font face="Comic Sans MS"><span class="auto-style14">I, </span> </font> <font face="Arial"><span class="auto-style14">New York Times, </span> </font><font face="Comic Sans MS"><span class="auto-style14">I, </span> </font> <font face=Arial><span class="auto-style14">Lieutenant Martin Bailey, Colonel Dunlap, North Korean</span></font></b></p> <p class="auto-style27"><font face="Arial">7. Alan, Professor C. R. Klein, "Chemical Properties,&nbsp; Popular Diet Foods</font></p> <p class="auto-style27"><font face="Arial">8. Mary, Shut, It's</font></p> <p align="center" class="auto-style27"><font face="Arial">The End</font></p> <p align="center"><b><a href="BasicEnglish8.html">Return to the top of the page.</a></b></p></body></html>