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Capitalization

Sep 1, 2022
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Capitalization 

Why Capitalize? 

  • They are useful signals for the readers.  
  • They let the readers know that a sentence is beginning. 
  • They emphasize important words in a title. 
  • They signal official titles and proper names. 

Rules to follow 

1. Capitalize the First Word of a Sentence 

  • The milk is ruined.  
  • Who let the dogs out? 
  • We are going to the beach! 

2. Capitalize Names and Other Proper Nouns 

  • My favorite actor is Robert Downey Jr.  
  • Tom and Jerry are actually good friends. 
  • Have you met my husband, James? 

The names of countries, cities, religions, companies, and political parties are proper nouns. Capitalize them. 

  • We went to the Niagara Waterfalls  
  • Christianity is a religion with over 1 billion believers. 

Capitalize words such as mom, grandpa, dad, uncle, aunty, grandma, etc.  when they are used as a form of address. 

  • Just wait until Mom sees this!  

But don’t capitalize if there is a possessive noun / modifier Infront of ‘mom’. 

  • My mom is not going to like this.  

3. Capitalize the First Word of a Quote ( in some cases) 

If a quote is a complete sentence, then capitalize the first word. 

parallel
  • Tony asked, “Where is everyone?” 
  • Monica answered, “My sister and I are going to the library.” 

Don’t capitalize the first word of partial quotes. 

  • Tony said he was “too tired” to go to the game. 
  • Miss Heckles described the movie as “extremely boring for children” 

4. Capitalize Days, Months, and Holidays, But Not Seasons

  • I love Sundays! 
  • Karen’s birthday is in October. 
  • Don’t forget Valentine’s Day! 

We don’t capitalize the names of a season as they are not proper nouns. 

  • I love spring! 
  • It is summer now. 

5. Capitalize Most Words in Titles 

In most cases, capitalize the first word (nouns, verbs, adjectives, proper nouns, etc.)  

So articles, conjunctions, and prepositions are capitalized 

  • My favorite movie is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

6. Capitalize Cities, Countries, Nationalities, and Languages 

The names of cities, countries, nationalities, and languages are proper nouns, so. 

parallel
  • English is my mother tongue. 
  • Jack is fluent in Chinese, Vietnamese and Spanish. 
  • My mother is Italian, and my father is Japanese. 
  • The capital of Britain is London. 

7. Capitalize Time Periods and Events (Sometimes) 

Specific periods, eras, and historical events that have proper names should be capitalized.

  • World War I lasted for 4 years.  
  • In the Middle Ages, most people were illiterate. 
  • Middle school students should start to learn some technical skills for the future. 

Do not capitalize centuries—and the numbers before them 

  • In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, England produced some of its famous writers. 

Note: The topic of capitalization requires extensive study. Thus including all the rules in one session would not be plausible as the students will struggle to memorise it. It is better to have more sessions. It is better to teach the most important rules and progress with each grade. 

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