When should you use capitalization at the beginning of a word?
There are four main times when you'll capitalize words:
- The first word of a sentence.
- People's names and proper nouns.
- Capitalize the first word of a quote – but only when the quote is a complete sentence.
- Capitalize days, months, and holidays.
Let's take a look at a few examples.
1. The First Word of a Sentence
You'll always have to capitalize the first word of a sentence:
- The dog runs.
- Where are you going?
- Hi! I missed you!
2. People's Names and Proper Nouns
You should always capitalize names:
- I love to read anything by Stephen King.
- Ron went to the diner.
- My favorite person is Leslie.
You should also capitalize proper nouns:
- We went to Los Angeles for vacation.
3. Capitalize the First Word of a Quote – But Only When the Quote Is a Complete Sentence
When writing a quote, you should capitalize the first word of the sentence, as long as it's complete:
- Tom said, "Those pants look great!"
You wouldn't need to capitalize the following quote:
- Andy said he was "too busy" to come to my house.
4. Capitalize Days, Months, and Holidays
You should always capitalize the names of days, months, and holidays. You never need to capitalize the names of seasons:
- My favorite day of the week is Tuesday.
- My mom's birthday is in July.
- I can't wait for Thanksgiving!
- I am so excited for winter to be over.
What About Words in Titles?
Depending on the style guide you're following, you should capitalize most of the words in titles. Typically, articles, conjunctions, and prepositions under five letters are lowercase, while all the rest of the words are capitalized.
You should always capitalize the first word of a title, as well as the first word after a colon:
- Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
- Star Wars: A New Hope