FAQs

Below you can find answers to commonly asked capitalization questions. If you want a question featured here, feel free to contact us and we may include it!

Code

To uppercase only the first letter in a cell in Excel, you can use the following formula:

=UPPER(LEFT(text_cell,1))&LOWER(RIGHT(text_cell,LEN(text_cell)-1))

For a sample string: “THIS is A SaMPLE StRIng.”

The result will be:

"This is a sample string."

A visual is below for your reference:

excel capitalize first letter

If you want to instead capitalize the first letter of each word in a cell, or uppercase/lowercase all characters in a cell, Excel already has some prebuilt formulas to do so.

For more questions about capitalization, use our free title capitalization tool.

JavaScript has different functions for different capitalization needs. You can use the following formulas for uppercasing and lowercasing a string as well as capitalizing only the first letter of a string.

var str = ‘This sentence needs SOME capitalization help.’;

// returns ‘this sentence needs some capitalization help.’
var lower = str.toLowerCase();

// returns ‘THIS SENTENCE NEEDS SOME CAPITALIZATION HELP.’
var upper = str.toUpperCase();

// returns ‘This sentence needs some capitalization help.’
var firstLetter = str.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + str.slice(1);

For capitalizing only the first letter of a string, you can also use the following function:

function uppercaseFirstLetter(str) {
return str.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + str.slice(1);
}

If you want to capitalize more than just strings in JavaScript, you can try our free title capitalization tool.

If you want to easily capitalize a string in JavaScript to uppercase, you can use this simple snippet of code:

var str = "Hello World!";
var newStr = str.toLowerCase();

The result will be:

"hello world!"

You can also capitalize only the first letter of a string or uppercase the whole string.

If you want to easily capitalize a string in JavaScript to uppercase, you can use this simple snippet of code:

var str = "Hello World!";
var newStr = str.toUpperCase();

The result will be:

"HELLO WORLD!"

You can also capitalize only the first letter of a string or lowercase the whole string.

To uppercase only the first letter in a string in JavaScript, you can use the following code:

var str = "Hello World!";
var newStr = str.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + str.slice(1);

The result will be:

"Hello world!"

To reuse this code multiple times, you can use the following function:
function uppercaseFirstLetter(str) {
return str.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + str.slice(1);
}

You can also capitalize the entire string or lowercase the whole string.

Grammar

Complement and compliment are homophones meaning they sound the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. This can be quite confusing when you are trying to figure out the right word to use in a sentence.

When it comes to complement vs compliment there are a number of things to break down. Let’s start with looking at the specific words themselves and then comparing and contrasting the two words.

What does “complement” mean?

Complement is often used to refer to something being added to something else to make it even better. For example, if you are wearing a nice dress you may put on some classy makeup to complement your appearance, or if you have a tasty cake you will complement it with some high-quality frosting to make it perfectly delicious. One other use of complement is when you have an assortment of something. Perhaps you have a full complement of drivers for your valet company, or a need a screwdriver to complete your complement of handyman tools.

What does “compliment” mean?

A compliment is when someone tells someone else something nice in an admiring manner. You can compliment someone on how beautiful they look today, or compliment a really juicy burger. When a compliment is given, it is directed at a specific person or item. A compliment can be given towards one thing or a bunch of things. The key element to it would be that it is expressing a positive thought.

Complement vs Compliment

As the above descriptions show, you could compliment how the frosting perfectly complements a cake, or observe that someone’s makeup complements their outfit in a complementary manner. When you are complimenting something it may very well be a complement to a person or object, but something does not have to be a complement to be complimented, that is a key point to take away. A compliment can be standalone, but a complement but its nature has something that it goes with to make it better.

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Many people wonder why or even whether there is an apostrophe in Mother’s Day. The simple answer is that there is an apostrophe in Mother’s Day andthe reason is quite simple.

Mother’s day was meant to celebrate the contribution of a mother to her family. Mother is not meant as a collective group here. It is a not a day to honor all the mothers in the world. It is a day to celebrate each mother as an individual.

That is why the apostrophe is after r and before s, so that it indicates that the mother is an individual. If the apostrophe was after s, then the meaning completely changes. For example, April Fool’s Day is a day for all the fools of the world. That is why the apostrophe is after L. If Mother’s Day were spelled Mothers’ Day, then the holiday would refer to a day for all the mothers in the world to celebrate together.

This is why you will see that people wish Happy Mother’s day to their mother only and not to everyone. It is different from other popular days like Christmas Day, where you wish everyone a happy day.

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Many people often wonder why or even whether there is an apostrophe in Father’s Day. There is an apostrophe in Father’s Day and the reason is quite simple.

Father’s day was meant to celebrate the contribution of a father to his family. Father is not meant as a collective group here. It is not a day to honor all the fathers in the world. It is a day to celebrate each father as an individual.

This is why the apostrophe is after r and before s, so that it indicates that the father is an individual. If the apostrophe was after s, then the meaning completely changes. For example, April Fool’s Day is a day for all the fools of the world. That is why the apostrophe is after L. If Father’s Day were spelled Fathers’ Day, then the holiday would refer to a day for all the fathers in the world to celebrate together.

This is why you will see that people wish Happy Father’s day to their father only and not to everyone. It is different from other popular days like Christmas Day, where you wish everyone.

To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.

The main difference is that hung is used when referring to inanimate objects while hanged is used when referring to people.

You can read more about the differences in our article on the differences between hanged vs hung.

Styles

Sentence case is a style of capitalization used by many of the popular style formats including Chicago, MLA, APA, and AP. To use sentence case capitalization, you should only capitalize the first word of a sentence and any proper nouns. Our free title capitalization tool has the option for sentence case for each capitalization style so you can quickly format a title in sentence case.

Sentence case is the preferred headline capitalization style for newspapers and online journals in the US and UK. It is sometimes referred to as “down style” and “reference style.” In fact, if you go to CNN.com right now, I bet you’ll see all of the headlines in sentence case.

Using Sentence Case in Microsoft Office

Sentence case is available as a capitalization option in Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint. Just go to the “Home” tab and click on the “Change Case” option as in the screenshot below:

Title Capitalization

The word “city” can be capitalized depending on when and how it is used. When used generically to describe a city which could be any city, then the word “city” is lowercase. This also includes when the word “city” is used before a named place.

However, when used as part of a proper noun, the word “city” is capitalized along with the rest of the proper name. 

You can find examples of when the word “city” is capitalized and not capitalized below.

Examples of When “City” Is Capitalized

  • New York City streets are mostly one-way.
  • Richmond City Hall
  • The City gave out several citizens’ awards.

Examples of When “City” Is Not Capitalized

  • You can’t fight city hall.
  • The city of Chicago is a great place to visit.
  • The city government is too bureaucratic.

To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.

The short answer is no, the word “summer” is a generic noun which does not require capitalization as per rules of capitalization for seasons. This rule applies to the names of all the seasons. You do not capitalize seasons when used in writing.

This rule has an exception when the word is used in a title, is used as a proper noun, or is the first word of a sentence. When you start a sentence with “summer” or are using it in a title, it should be capitalized. If you use summer as a proper noun, such as in “Summer Semester,” it must also be capitalized.

Another exception in which you should capitalize summer is when it is personified in poetry. Apart from these exceptions, there is no need to capitalize seasons, including summer, for any writing purposes.

So, the next time you are confused about capitalization rules for seasons, read these rules carefully to avoid capitalized the word “summer” in the wrong places.

For more title capitalization questions, use our free title capitalization tool here.

Since Black Friday is not an official holiday, knowing whether it should be capitalized can be confusing.

Black Friday is a proper noun since it refers to the famous (infamous?) shopping that occurs annually right after Thanksgiving. Since all proper nouns are capitalized, Black Friday is also capitalized.

It may seem weird to think of a shopping day as a holiday, but since Black Friday has become so huge, it has become a named holiday and thus requires capitalization.

What other shopping days are capitalized?

There are a number of other major shopping days that should also be capitalized. These include:

  • Small Business Saturday (Saturday after Black Friday)
  • Cyber Monday (Monday after Black Friday)
  • Super Saturday (Saturday before Christmas)
  • Amazon Prime Day

For more title capitalization questions, use our free title capitalization tool here.

To uppercase only the first letter in a cell in Excel, you can use the following formula:

=UPPER(LEFT(text_cell,1))&LOWER(RIGHT(text_cell,LEN(text_cell)-1))

For a sample string: “THIS is A SaMPLE StRIng.”

The result will be:

"This is a sample string."

A visual is below for your reference:

excel capitalize first letter

If you want to instead capitalize the first letter of each word in a cell, or uppercase/lowercase all characters in a cell, Excel already has some prebuilt formulas to do so.

For more questions about capitalization, use our free title capitalization tool.

Understanding the rules of capitalization for grade levels can be tricky since most people are inclined to think of grade levels as proper nouns. However, that is not usually the case with grade levels. Read on to understand the rules of capitalizing the word “senior.”

college guidesIn general, the word “senior” is lowercased when used in a sentence since it is a general noun. This is also true for other college and high school levels such as freshman, senior, and senior.

However, the word “senior” becomes a proper noun and thus capitalized when used in the name of an organized group or entity such as “Senior Class of 2020.”

For more questions about capitalizing grade levels, refer to our guide here or use our free title capitalization tool here to understand how to capitalize all sorts of words.

Understanding the rules of capitalization for grade levels can be tricky since most people are inclined to think of grade levels as proper nouns. However, that is not usually the case with grade levels. Read on to understand the rules of capitalizing the word “junior.”

college guidesIn general, the word “junior” is lowercased when used in a sentence since it is a general noun. This is also true for other college and high school levels such as freshman, junior, and junior.

However, the word “junior” becomes a proper noun and thus capitalized when used in the name of an organized group or entity such as “Junior Class of 2022.”

For more questions about capitalizing grade levels, refer to our guide here or use our free title capitalization tool here to understand how to capitalize all sorts of words.

Understanding the rules of capitalization for grade levels can be tricky since most people are inclined to think of grade levels as proper nouns. However, that is not usually the case with grade levels. Read on to understand the rules of capitalizing the word “sophomore.”

college guidesIn general, the word “sophomore” is lowercased when used in a sentence since it is a general noun. This is also true for other college and high school levels such as freshman, junior, and senior.

However, the word “sophomore” becomes a proper noun and thus capitalized when used in the name of an organized group or entity such as “Sophomore Class of 2022.”

For more questions about capitalizing grade levels, refer to our guide here or use our free title capitalization tool here to understand how to capitalize all sorts of words.

Understanding the rules of capitalization for grade levels can be tricky since most people are inclined to think of grade levels as proper nouns. However, that is not usually the case with grade levels. Read on to understand the rules of capitalizing the word “freshman.”

college guidesIn general, the word “freshman” is lowercased when used in a sentence since it is a general noun. This is also true for other college and high school levels such as sophomore, junior, and senior.

However, the word “freshman” becomes a proper noun and thus capitalized when used in the name of an organized group or entity such as “Freshman Class of 2023.”

For more questions about capitalizing grade levels, refer to our guide here or use our free title capitalization tool here to understand how to capitalize all sorts of words.

The capitalization rules for different grade levels and school types can be confusing. Sometimes they are capitalized depending on the situation so it is important to understand when to capitalize them or not.

Do you capitalize the grade levels in school?

Grade levels in school are generally capitalized if the word “grade” precedes the ordinal number of the grade such as in “Grade 8.” This is also the case when a grade level is used in a title or headline since most words are capitalized.

However, grade levels are lowercased when the word “grade” follows the ordinal number such as in “sixth grade.” This is also true when using compound adjectives such as “seventh-grade textbook.”

Examples of Correct Usage:

  • I’m in Grade 8.
  • My parents let me skip first grade.
  • I usually hang out with seventh-grade students.
  • I’m in the seventh grade.

What about freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior?

The grade levels in high school and college follow the same rules as the lower class levels. The words freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior should not be capitalized unless used in a title or referring to the names of organized entities, such as “Junior Class.”

 

Do you capitalize the levels of school?

Capitalization rules for the various levels of school can be confusing. In general, you only capitalize the words if they are part of a proper noun referring to a specific school or the words are in a title. Please refer to the specific examples below for various school levels.

Should elementary school be capitalized?

The phrase “elementary school” should not be capitalized when used in a sentence unless you are referring to a specific elementary school such as “Timberlane Elementary School.” You should also capitalize “elementary school” when used in a headline or title.

Examples of Correct Usage:

  • I attend elementary school.
  • He attends Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

Should middle school be capitalized?

The phrase “middle school” should not be capitalized when used in a sentence unless you are referring to a specific middle school such as “Longfellow Middle School.” You should also capitalize “middle school” when used in a headline or title.

Examples of Correct Usage:

  • I attend middle school.
  • He attends James Madison Middle School.

Should high school be capitalized?

The phrase “high school” should not be capitalized when used in a sentence unless you are referring to a specific high school such as “Langley High School.” You should also capitalize “high school” when used in a headline or title.

Examples of Correct Usage:

  • I attend high school.
  • He attends McLean High School.

Should college be capitalized?

The phrase “college” should not be capitalized when used in a sentence unless you are referring to a specific college such as “Harvard College.” You should also capitalize “college” when used in a headline or title.

Examples of Correct Usage:

  • I attend college.
  • He attends Dartmouth College.

 

For more title capitalization questions, use our free title capitalization tool here.

Knowing whether seasons, such as spring, are capitalized can be challenging since we frequently see seasons both capitalized and not depending on where you look.

In proper English, the word “spring” is not capitalized. Seasons are considered as common nouns and as a general rule of capitalization, seasons are not capitalized when used in writing. This rule applies to all seasons, including spring.

Can spring be capitalized?

The rule that “spring” is lowercase is general but there are some exceptions in which you should capitalize seasons and capitalize “spring.” The only time you will see the word spring capitalized is when it is used in a title or as the first word of a sentence. Another exception is when the season is personified in poetry or it is a name of an event or a person, such as in “Spring Semester.”

Apart from these three exceptions, the word spring should always start with lowercase. The most common mistake that people make when writing the names of the seasons is getting confused about the capitalization but these rules will help you write it correctly.

For more title capitalization questions, use our free title capitalization tool here.

Determining whether the word “republican” is capitalized or not is a question often asked in these trying political times. It can be a confusing question that depends on how the word is used.

When is “republican” capitalized?

The word “republican” is capitalized when used to refer to the political party, the Republican Party. In this case, the word “party” is capitalized, too. This  also is true when referrinf to someone as a Republican.

Example: President Trump is a member of the Republican Party.
Example: My parents are staunch Republicans.

The word “republican” is not capitalized when referring to the political philosophy.

Example: My dad is a republican ideologue.

 

For more title capitalization questions, use our free title capitalization tool here.

The word “uncle” can be capitalized depending on how it is used in a sentence or title. When used generically in a sentence such as: “my uncle said to visit her,” then the word “uncle” is lowercase because it is a generic noun.

Correct: The other day I went shopping with my uncle.

However, when referring to an uncle by name such as “Uncle Jim,” then the word uncle is capitalized because it is a part of the name so it becomes a proper noun. This is also true when asking a question of your uncle.

Correct: My Uncle Jim is the best.
Correct: Can I go to the movies, Uncle?

 

For more title capitalization questions, use our free title capitalization tool here.

The word “father” can be capitalized depending on how it is used in a sentence or title. When used generically in a sentence such as: “my father said to visit him,” then the word father is lowercase because it is a generic noun.

Correct: My father is the best.

However, if you are addressing your father directly, such as when asking a question, then you should capitalize the word father.

Correct: Can I go to the movies, Father?

 

For more title capitalization questions, use our free title capitalization tool here.

The word “dad” can be capitalized depending on how it is used in a sentence or title. When used generically in a sentence such as: “my dad said to visit him,” then the word dad is lowercase because it is a generic noun.

Correct: My dad is the best.

However, if you are addressing your dad directly, such as when asking a question, then you should capitalize the word dad.

Correct: Can I go to the movies, Dad?

 

For more title capitalization questions, use our free title capitalization tool here.

The word “aunt” can be capitalized depending on how it is used in a sentence or title. When used generically in a sentence such as: “my aunt said to visit her,” then the word “aunt” is lowercase because it is a generic noun.

Correct: The other day I went shopping with my aunt.

However, when referring to an aunt by name such as “Aunt Audrey,” then the word aunt is capitalized because it is a part of the name so it becomes a proper noun. This is also true when asking a question of your aunt.

Correct: My Aunt Audrey is the best.
Correct: Can I go to the movies, Aunt?

 

For more title capitalization questions, use our free title capitalization tool here.

The word governor often confuses people when it comes to capitalization. Is it governor or Governor? When do you capitalize it?

The word governor can be a proper noun or a common noun depending on the context in which it is used.

If Governor is used to refer to a specific person with a title, then it is capitalized such as:

  • Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Governor Charlie Baker

If used as a common noun, then the word governor is lowercased such as in the following sentences:

  • The governor will announce his candidacy this morning.
  • Dan Malloy was not a great governor.

According to English capitalization rules, proper nouns are always capitalized. Therefore, when referring to a person with the title Governor, always capitalize the word.

 

For more title capitalization questions, use our free title capitalization tool here.

The word mayor often confuses people when it comes to capitalization. Is it mayor or Mayor? When do you capitalize it?

The work mayor can be a proper noun or a common noun depending on the context in which it is used.

If Mayor is used to refer to a specific person with a title, then it is capitalized such as:

  • Mayor Michael Bloomberg
  • Mayor Jenny Durkan

If used as a common noun, then the word mayor is lowercased such as in the following sentences:

  • The mayor will announce his candidacy this morning.
  • Michael Bloomberg was a great mayor.

According to English capitalization rules, proper nouns are always capitalized. Therefore, when referring to a person with the title Mayor, always capitalize the word.

What about mayoral? Should mayoral be capitalized?

Mayorial is not a proper noun naturally, so it should be lowercased unless used in an official event title such as the “50th Mayoral Inauguration.” However, if you are referring to an even that takes a while, such as the election cycle, then you would lowercase mayoral such as in “2017 Seattle mayoral election.”

 

For more title capitalization questions, use our free title capitalization tool here.

Yes, the word Internet should be capitalized whenever it is used since it is a proper noun.

Update: In 2016, Associated press editors decided to reverse a long-standing tradition of capitalizing the word Internet. Since 2016, the AP stylebook now recommends lowercasing “internet” and “web.”

Whenever you refer to the Internet as a proper noun (ie you are referring to the World Wide Web), then Internet should be capitalized. If you are referring to a general network of computers, then you can use the lowercase internet. Most of the time, Internet will be capitalized.

internet or Internet

There is continual debate around whether the word Internet should continue to be capitalized since it has established itself into everyday life. In fact, the Uk has mostly transitioned to referring the to Internet with a lowercase “i” as you can see in this study done by Oxford Dictionaries. In the US, about 65% of the population refers to Internet with a capital “I” versus in the UK, only about 25% of the population uses a capital “I.” In fact, the earliest use of the word, cited in the Oxford English Dictionary from 1974, was with a lowercase i since at that time there were multiple internets.

While the debate continues, you should always follow the standard title capitalization rules for capitalizing titles regardless of the outcome of the Internet debate.

Sentence case is a style of capitalization used by many of the popular style formats including Chicago, MLA, APA, and AP. To use sentence case capitalization, you should only capitalize the first word of a sentence and any proper nouns. Our free title capitalization tool has the option for sentence case for each capitalization style so you can quickly format a title in sentence case.

Sentence case is the preferred headline capitalization style for newspapers and online journals in the US and UK. It is sometimes referred to as “down style” and “reference style.” In fact, if you go to CNN.com right now, I bet you’ll see all of the headlines in sentence case.

Using Sentence Case in Microsoft Office

Sentence case is available as a capitalization option in Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint. Just go to the “Home” tab and click on the “Change Case” option as in the screenshot below:

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States of America to celebrate the remembrance for those men and women in the military who passed away for the victory of the nation.

Is Memorial Day capitalized?

Yes, Memorial Day is capitalized when used in a sentence because it is a proper noun referring to a holiday.  Wearing symbols like red poppy also signifies the day. The word day is capitalized because it is part of the holiday as it’s observed in other holidays.

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is a national day for respected heroes who died in the country. The holiday always falls on the last Monday in the month of May. Besides, It’s celebrated every year. Memorial Day is celebrated by raising the US flag and lowered to half staff and then brought to a full-height in the afternoon. It was first proclaimed on 5th May 1868 by General John A. Logan after the Civil War when it was first known as Decoration Day.

Most people nowadays look at it as a recreational day when they get off from work or school, but it is important to reflect on the suffering and loss by those who served to protect America’s interest.

For more title capitalization questions, use our free title capitalization tool here.

It depends. If you are referring to a specific job title such as “Head of Digital Marketing” then you should capitalize the job title with regular title capitalization rules since it is a proper noun.

However, if you are referring to a general job title in a sentence such as “program chair” in the following Objective Statement: “I am seeking a position as a program chair,” then you should lowercase the job title.

For more help with capitalizing job titles and other resume sections, refer to our guide on resume capitalization.

Yes, Good Friday is capitalized because it is a proper noun and a named holiday. Even though Friday is always capitalized since it is a day of the week, Good is capitalized in this case as well since the two words together refer to the religious holiday that comes two days prior to Easter.

Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus three days before he rose again.

To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.

Yes, Ash Wednesday is capitalized because it is a proper noun and a named holiday. Even though Wednesday is always capitalized since it is a day of the week, Ash is capitalized in this case as well since the two words together refer to the religious holiday marking the beginning of Lent which precedes the Easter celebration.

To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.

Yes, Lent, when it refers to the season leading up to the Easter holiday, is capitalized because it is a proper noun and a named holiday. When the word refers to giving money to someone, then it is lowercase unless used in a title.

Easter is a religious holiday of the Christian faith celebrating the rebirth of Jesus Christ after he died on the cross. Lent marks the 40-day period prior to Easter which begins with Ash Wednesday.

To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.

Yes, Easter (and Easter Day) is capitalized because it is a proper noun and a named holiday. The word “day” is capitalized when used right after “Easter'” since it is part of the holiday name.

Easter is a religious holiday of the Christian faith celebrating the rebirth of Jesus Christ after he died on the cross. Other holidays associated with Easter include Lent, Ash Wednesday, and Good Friday.

To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.

Generally, yes. If you are referring to the Catholic Church, then “Catholic” and “Church” should be capitalized since they refer to a proper noun. If you are referring to someone who practices Catholicism, then you should capitalize Catholic as well.

When would you lowercase Catholic?

When it first entered the English language in the 16th century, catholic meant “common” or “general” so the religion was naturally the “common” religion. When the Western Church split from the rest of the church after the Reformation, it began referring to itself as the Catholic Church, but the word catholic still meant “general” or “common” when used by itself.

What about Catholicism?

Since Catholicism is a noun referring to the Catholic religion, it is capitalized as well.

 

To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.

While most people have no problem with the basic capitalization rules, when it comes to more difficult capitalization questions people start getting confused. When it comes to the government, when and where should you capitalize? Is the word constitution capitalized?

Is Constitution Capitalized?

When it comes to the word constitution, it all depends on if it is being used as an adjective or to refer to the legally binding document.
Even though the constitution is not a proper noun, when it comes to the legally binding document in the US, it should be capitalized. For example, “America’s original Constitution has been stored in the national archives.”
When using the constitution as an adjective, you’re supposed to write it in lowercase. If you are also using it in a descriptive manner, it should be in lowercase. For example, “our singing group needs a better constitution.”

Capitalization and Government

What are the capitalization rules in regards to the government? For starters, you’re supposed to capitalize the word government only if you are referring to any sovereign nation e.g. it is the Government’s duty to provide medical services to its citizens.
All government departments are supposed to be capitalized e.g. Federal Bureau of Investigation except when they are used as an adjective. The capitalization rules also apply to some government terms like the cabinet, administration, federal, etc.
When it comes to the government, capitalization rules may not really apply. While normally the word constitution would be in lowercase, when referring to the government’s document, it is capitalized. In such a scenario, it is treated as a proper noun and thus capitalization has to apply.
Knowing the correct rules for capitalization can be challenging, especially for words such as federal and state. As a result of this, the question of whether “federal” is capitalized often arises in different conversations both at schools and other places.

Should you capitalize “federal?”

When used as a proper noun or a title, the word can be uppercase. This means that in cases where it is used to refer to a government entity or institution its first letter should be capitalized. For instance, you can write “Federal Bureau of Investigation” or “Federal Trade Commission.”
However, you cannot write “Federal Courts.” When the word is used as a generic adjective you use lowercase letters. For example, you can write “federal laws” or “federal assistance.”
In some cases, the general rule above may not always be followed. For instance, when the word is used as part of a title of any published document, it has to be capitalized. This also applies in cases where one is using a quote from another published piece. Direct in-text citations require capitalization if the first letter is capitalized in the original text regardless of whether it is used as an adjective or noun.

Should you capitalize “Federal Government?”

Sometimes. When used as a proper noun and referring directly to the “Federal Government” in its official capacity, then you should capitalize it. In most cases, however, you should use lowercase “federal government” according to the Chicago Manual of Style and AP Stylebook since the government is composed of multiple branches and is not a singular entity.

Conclusion

The fact that most professional editors like to use the word in lowercase letters can add to the confusion about its correct capitalization. However, government guidelines and other writing styles can provide the best guidance.

To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.

Yes, Presidents’ Day is capitalized because it is a proper noun and a named holiday. The word “day” is capitalized when used right after the “Presidents'” since it is part of the holiday name.

Presidents’ Day was originally created in 1885 as a holiday to celebrate George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd since he was the first President of the United States. It was moved in 1971 to be the third Monday of February to allow for a three-day weekend for workers. These days, Presidents’ Day is meant to celebrate all Presidents of the United States, past and present.

What about the apostrophe in Presidents’ Day? Does it come before or after the “s”?

The apostrophe is after the “s” because the day refers to a collection of famous presidents whose birthdays were all around the middle of February (Washington, Lincoln, and a few others) so the day belongs to several presidents.

To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.

Is university capitalized? It’s not a simple yes or no, unfortunately. There are instances when one is required to capitalize the word “university” while in others, a lowercase is required. Without further ado, let’s get to the distinctions.

When is university capitalized?

When it is a proper noun since proper nouns are always capitalized

Proper nouns differ from other types of nouns in that, they offer specificity to a person, a place or a thing. If we, for instance, say, “The boy is coming,” it could just be any boy, However, if we state that “Peter is coming,” then we have specified which boy is coming hence the name Peter is capitalized. The same applies to the term “university.”

When used as a proper noun such as “Univesity of Virginia” or “Oxford University,” then the university is capitalized. It has a physical presence and can be seen, visited and addressed. As such, it is a proper noun, which requires capitalization according to the conventions of grammar.

Even when used alone, the term “University should still be capitalized if it still sustains specificity. For example: “I wish to attend the University of Arizona. The University offers specialized programmes whose standards are universally accepted.”

Note that the term ‘University’ has been used twice in the sentence above. In the first instance, it appears within a proper noun. However, in the second, it is used alone. Since we already are aware which university is being talked about, then the word is still capitalized as It pertains to a specific institution.

Another example would be: “UCLA was closed down. Wildfire was the cause of the University’s closure.”

When is University not capitalized?

When it is a common noun

If you are talking about a university in general, then it becomes a common noun and is hence not subject to capitalization. Common nouns are generic names that offer no specificity. If we. say: “Going to university is an ideal dream to many people.” Then “University” becomes generic. Nobody knows which exact university we are talking about. Grammatically, any common noun should be written in a lower-case-format.

Conclusion

When it comes to the term “University,” the key aspects to consider are proper or common. If it appears as a common noun, then do not capitalize. However, if it demonstrates the properties of a proper noun such as identity and specificity, then, by all means, do capitalize.

To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.

France is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and the French tend to hold themselves to very high standards. As such, it is expected that any terminology relating to the nation itself, its people or speech should adhere to strict grammatical rules.

So, is French Capitalized?

The simplest answer is yes since French, even when used as an adjective, is referencing a proper noun. However, before any explanation is provided, it is wise to explore which parts of speech the term pertains to as it will facilitate understanding.

1. It is a proper noun

Nouns are names of places, people and things, we all know that. The term “French” can be used as a noun and a proper noun for that matter. For example, if we say: “The French has just arrived,’ The word ‘French’ represents nationality. Rules of grammar place nationality under proper nouns. The term can just as well be replaced with a real name such as Donald, James or Sarah. This, therefore, forms one of the bases to why the word “French” should be capitalized.

2. It can also function as a proper adjective

Any word that modifies a noun is known as an adjective. They come before a noun and are used to give more information about the noun. The term “French” not only plays the role of a noun but can also be an adjective. For instance: “The French Economy is quite stable.” The noun, in this case, is the word “Economy.” However, once we add French to the sentence, then the Economy is awarded an identity, a French one to be precise. Thus, the word French modifies the currency as a proper adjective. As per the rules of capitalization, proper adjectives should also be capitalized.

Conclusion

Generally, no matter what part of speech the term “French” represents, it should always be capitalized. I will leave you with the following two examples of how the word can be used as both a proper noun and proper adjective.
Examples:
  • Noun: The French make great food.
  • Adj: Paris is a French city.
America is among the prominent English-speaking nations whose rich linguistic heritage is widely documented. As such, it is expected that any terminology relating to the nation itself, its people or speech should adhere to strict grammatical rules.

So, is American Capitalized?

The simplest answer is yes since American, even when used as an adjective, is referencing a proper noun. However, before any explanation is provided, it is wise to explore which parts of speech the term pertains to as it will facilitate understanding.

1. It is a proper noun

Nouns are names of places, people and things, we all know that. The term “American” can be used as a noun and a proper noun for that matter. For example, if we say: “The American has just arrived,’ The word ‘American’ represents nationality. Rules of grammar place nationality under proper nouns. The term can just as well be replaced with a real name such as Donald, James or Sarah. This, therefore, forms one of the bases to why the word “American” should be capitalized.

2. It can also function as a proper adjective

Any word that modifies a noun is known as an adjective. They come before a noun and are used to give more information about the noun. The term “American” not only plays the role of a noun but can also be an adjective. For instance: “The American Currency is quite stable.” The noun, in this case, is the word Currency. However, once we add American to the sentence, then the currency is awarded an identity, an American one to be precise. Thus, the word American modifies the currency as a proper adjective. As per the rules of capitalization, proper adjectives should also be capitalized.

Conclusion

Generally, no matter what part of speech the term “American” represents, it should always be capitalized. I will leave you with the following two examples of how the word can be used as both a proper noun and proper adjective.
Examples:
  • Noun: Every eligible American should register as a voter.
  • Adj: JFK is an American Airport.

Yes, state names should always be capitalized since they are proper nouns. Since they are specific locations, they need to follow capitalization rules for proper nouns.

Examples:

  • Michigan, United States
  • Virginia, United States
  • Occitanie, France
  • Bavaria, Germany

You should also always capitalize the word “state” if it follows the specific name of a state such as “California State.”

It’s not easy to know when to capitalize the word “state.” It can actually can be quite confusing. So, should you capitalize the word state?

Situations Where the Word State Should Be Capitalized

The word state should be capitalized when it comes after the name of a state. For example, “Michigan State.” It seems pretty easy to understand but for residents of Washington State and New York State, it can get confusing. These citizens of these states need to differentiate themselves from other geographical entities namely Washington D.C and New York City.

For all other state citizens, there’s no need for one to use the word “State” when describing where they are from. For example, it is enough for one to say, “I am from Colorado.” They don’t have to say, “I am from Colorado State”. However, it is not enough for a Washington State resident to simply say, “I am from Washington”. Such a person will have to specify and say, “I am from Washington State.”

The word State must be capitalized when talking about the United States as a country. For example, “Kenya’s first direct flight to the United States was commissioned late last year.” You can also say, “My cousin relocated to the States last month.”

You must also capitalize the word state when it forms the full name of a specific body. For example, “The State Finance Department.” The word should only be capitalized if it forms part of the name of the specific body. For example, you cannot say, “ the State’s Finance Department.” It will have to be as follows, “the state’s Finance department.”

Situations Where the Word State Shouldn’t Be Capitalized

The word state shouldn’t be capitalized if it comes before the name of the state. For example, it should be “the state of Colorado” and not “the State of Colorado”.

The word state shouldn’t be capitalized if it is used in place of a state’s name. For example, you should say, “She is a state employee.”

In addition, you shouldn’t capitalize the word state is used in a general sense. For example, “The state of affairs in Colorado State is quite okay.”

Conclusion

The English language is quite divided when it comes to when the word “state” should be capitalized. Scholars and language guides often contradict each other. For example, the “Chicago Manual of Style” and the “Associated Press Playbook” contradict each other on whether the word “state” should be capitalized if it comes after the state’s name.

It is easier to follow the guide provided above to avoid confusion. It will definitely help your state of mind.

It depends. When referring to a specific region, you should capitalize the words West Coast such as “I’m traveling to the West Coast” since “West Coast” is a proper noun in this case.

However, if you are referring to a general region, such as “the west coast of the United States” then you should keep the words lowercase.

Confusing, we know, but the capitalization rules for west coast are related to why directions are also sometimes capitalized and sometimes not. You can read more about the rules for directions here.

It depends. When referring to a specific region, you should capitalize the words East Coast such as “I’m traveling to the East Coast” since “East Coast” is a proper noun in this case.

However, if you are referring to a general region, such as “the east coast of the United States” then you should keep the words lowercase.

Confusing, we know, but the capitalization rules for east coast are related to why directions are also sometimes capitalized and sometimes not. You can read more about the rules for directions here.

Understanding proper capitalization rules is crucial if you are updating your resume and want to make an impression on your future employer. You want to make sure that all of your job titles and job titles are properly capitalized since recruiters often spend less than 30 seconds scanning through a resume.

So, is associate’s degree capitalized? If you were writing an article, would you quote it as ‘associates degree’ or ‘Associate’s degree?’ I bet most people won’t get this right.

Is associate’s degree capitalized?

The simple answer is no, you do not capitalize either of these two words if you are using them generically in a sentence, unless, of course, they are used at the beginning of a sentence when basic capitalization rules apply.

However, if you are referring to the specific degree that you earned or are earning, then you should capitalize it. Title capitalization rules require that you capitalize each word when quoting the specific name of the associate’s degree such as Associate of Science.

These rules can be summarized as follows:

Correct: I enrolled in an associate’s degree in arts and science.
Correct: I’m studying for an Associate of Science.

Incorrect: I enrolled in an Associate’s Degree program in arts and science.
Incorrect: I’m studying for an associate of arts and science.

The same rules also apply for a bachelor’s degree, a master’s program, and doctorate degree programs.

Why don’t we generally capitalize ‘associate’s degree?’

Remember the basic rules of capitalization that you learned in middle school? Well, they will apply here. The rules of grammar require that we do not capitalize common nouns such as school, house, hospital etc. as they are general names. The term associate’s degree is also a common noun. There is no particular degree by the name of ‘associate’s degree.’ It is simply a generalization. However, when giving the degree a name, then it earns an identity. These are referred to as proper nouns and should, thus, be capitalized.

Conclusion

The rules of capitalization cannot be summarized in a single article. Deeper research is therefore recommended to fully grasp the guidelines pertaining to proper capitalization. For example, although we now know that ‘associate’s degree’ is not capitalized and that the degree name is, did you know that the major specialty in the degree program is not capitalized? I leave you to ponder upon this. In the meantime, give our free tool a try.

 

Understanding proper capitalization rules is crucial if you are updating your resume and want to make an impression on your future employer. You want to make sure that all of your job titles and job titles are properly capitalized since recruiters often spend less than 30 seconds scanning through a resume.

So, is master’s degree capitalized? If you were writing an article, would you quote it as ‘masters degree’ or ‘Master’s degree?’ I bet most people won’t get this right.

Is master’s degree capitalized?

The simple answer is no, you do not capitalize either of these two words if you are using them generically in a sentence, unless, of course, they are used at the beginning of a sentence when basic capitalization rules apply.

However, if you are referring to the specific degree that you earned or are earning, then you should capitalize it. Title capitalization rules require that you capitalize each word when quoting the specific name of the master’s degree such as Master of Science.

These rules can be summarized as follows:

Correct: I enrolled in a master’s degree in arts and science.
Correct: I’m studying for a Master of Science.

Incorrect: I enrolled in a Master’s Degree program in arts and science.
Incorrect: I’m studying for a master of arts and science.

The same rules also apply for an associate’s degreebachelor’s program and doctorate degree programs.

Why don’t we generally capitalize ‘master’s degree?’

Remember the basic rules of capitalization that you learned in middle school? Well, they will apply here. The rules of grammar require that we do not capitalize common nouns such as school, house, hospital etc. as they are general names. The term master’s degree is also a common noun. There is no particular degree by the name of ‘master’s degree.’ It is simply a generalization. However, when giving the degree a name, then it earns an identity. These are referred to as proper nouns and should, thus, be capitalized.

Conclusion

The rules of capitalization cannot be summarized in a single article. Deeper research is therefore recommended to fully grasp the guidelines pertaining to proper capitalization. For example, although we now know that ‘master’s degree’ is not capitalized and that the degree name is, did you know that the major specialty in the degree program is not capitalized? I leave you to ponder upon this. In the meantime, give our free tool a try.

 

Understanding proper capitalization rules is crucial if you are updating your resume and want to make an impression on your future employer. You want to make sure that all of your job titles and job titles are properly capitalized since recruiters often spend less than 30 seconds scanning through a resume.

So, is bachelor’s degree capitalized? If you were writing an article, would you quote it as ‘bachelors degree’ or ‘Bachelor’s degree?’ I bet most people won’t get this right.

Is bachelor’s degree capitalized?

The simple answer is no, you do not capitalize either of these two words if you are using them generically in a sentence, unless, of course, they are used at the beginning of a sentence when basic capitalization rules apply.

However, if you are referring to the specific degree that you earned or are earning, then you should capitalize it. Title capitalization rules require that you capitalize each word when quoting the specific name of the bachelor’s degree such as Bachelor of Science.

These rules can be summarized as follows:

Correct: I enrolled in a bachelor’s degree in arts and science.
Correct: I’m studying for a Bachelor of Science.

Incorrect: I enrolled in a Bachelor’s Degree program in arts and science.
Incorrect: I’m studying for a bachelor of arts and science.

The same rules also apply for a master’s program and doctorate degree programs.

Why don’t we generally capitalize ‘bachelor’s degree?’

Remember the basic rules of capitalization that you learned in middle school? Well, they will apply here. The rules of grammar require that we do not capitalize common nouns such as school, house, hospital etc. as they are general names. The term bachelor’s degree is also a common noun. There is no particular degree by the name of ‘bachelor’s degree.’ It is simply a generalization. However, when giving the degree a name, then it earns an identity. These are referred to as proper nouns and should, thus, be capitalized.

Conclusion

The rules of capitalization cannot be summarized in a single article. Deeper research is therefore recommended to fully grasp the guidelines pertaining to proper capitalization. For example, although we now know that ‘bachelor’s degree’ is not capitalized and that the degree name is, did you know that the major specialty in the degree program is not capitalized? I leave you to ponder upon this. In the meantime, give our free tool a try.

 

You might be skeptical, but the answer is yes! Days of the week are capitalized. It does not matter where the day of the week falls in a sentence, it should be capitalized whether it is in the middle or end of a sentence. The question is why?

So, Why Are Days of the Week Capitalized?

Why should we capitalize days of the week? Simple, all days of the week are proper nouns and any proper noun like your name, name of a place, or event must start with a capital letter.
For instance, Monday is a noun and not just a common noun like girl or dog, but a proper noun naming a specific thing and in this case a specific day which is Monday. So, when writing, you use the day of the week as a proper noun to emphasize the day.
Example: “Tom is coming on Monday.”
In this sentence we see that Tom is a proper noun because Tom is a name of a person and Tom is Tom nobody can replace Tom with anything so the same goes with Monday. Monday or any day of the week is a name of a specific thing. Monday is Monday and cannot be changed. Nouns especially proper nouns like Tom or Monday are names of things that are unchangeable. A proper noun cannot change.

What About Capitalizing the Word “Day”?

This sentence can change when we write it this way. “The boy will arrive any day.” As you can see, boy and day are nouns but in this case, they are common nouns. They are not capitalized “day” can refer to any day, not just a specific day like Monday. The boy could also arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday. Also, boy is lowercase because a boy is not specific person like Tom. A boy can be any boy and a day can be any day and not a Monday!
The secret is that proper nouns like Dubai (which is a name of a place), Monday (day of the week) or Tom (name of a person) are things that cannot be changed. So, when they are used in a sentence, the user wants to specify and emphasize on the instructions of the sentence. Proper nouns are easy to identify in a sentence because every sentence with a proper noun has some authority of a certain magnitude.
So, in our sentence, “Tom is coming on Monday,” the writer wants us to know that it is Tom who is coming and not any boy and he is coming on Monday and not any day. The writer is being specific.
With this explanation, we believe you are now able to differentiate between proper nouns and common nouns and you are now able to confidently write days of the week in capital letters wherever they appear on a sentence.
In conclusion, days of the week should be written in capital letters when they are named.
To check the capitalization of more words, check out our free title capitalization tool.

The short answer is yes, Valentine’s Day is capitalized because it is a special date referring to a holiday. It also always has an apostrophe since it refers to the holiday celebrating St. Valentine.

You should capitalize all proper nouns in the English language. This includes all holidays and special events.

When can you lowercase Valentine’s Day?

Whenever you refer to the day itself, you must capitalize it, but if you use the word as an adjective to describe gifts, a greeting, or a person, you don’t need to capitalize it. Examples include:

  • I bought her a valentine present; I hope she’ll like it.
  • I got a valentine card from him today.
  • Be my valentine.

To know what other words you should capitalize, try our free title capitalization tool.

 

Sometimes. You only need to capitalize school subjects if you are referring to a specific title of a class such as “Algebra 2.” In this case, you are referring to a proper noun as the class name. However, if you are referring to the general subject of algebra, then it does not need to be capitalized.

The following examples of classes would need to be capitalized:

  • AP Physics
  • Physical Education 2
  • Algebra 2
  • Drafting 101
  • English Literature

The following subjects would not need to be capitalized since they refer to the generic topic:

  • physics
  • math
  • physical education/gym
  • computer science
  • art

If you want to know what other words should be capitalized, try our free title capitalization tool.

The short answer is yes, you capitalize the word English regardless of whether you’re referring to the nationality, the school subject, or the language because all of these are proper nouns.

Normally English is a proper noun and all proper nouns in the English language are capitalized. Even when used as an adjective, such as in the “English language” or the “English curriculum,” English is capitalized because according to this Wikipedia article adjectives derived from proper nouns retain their capitalization:

In English, adjectives derived from proper nouns (except the names of characters in fictional works) usually retain their capitalization
– e.g. a Christian church, Canadian whisky, a Shakespearean sonnet, but not a quixotic mission, malapropism, holmesian nor pecksniffian.

Where the original capital is no longer at the beginning of the word, usage varies: anti-Christian, but Presocratic or Pre-Socratic or presocratic (not preSocratic).

If you want to know what other words should be capitalized, try our free title capitalization tool.

You should only capitalize directions, such as north, south, east, and west, when you are referring to the direction as a proper noun, such as “in the South” or “up North.” If you are merely referring to a direction, such as “go south on I-90,” then you should keep the direction lowercase.

Some common examples of when you should capitalize the direction include:

  • down South
  • the Deep South
  • out West

and when you should lowercase the direction:

  • in the south of France
  • go north on I-90 and then east

What about capitalizing northern, southern, eastern, western?

The same rules apply to capitalizing southern as capitalizing directions with a -ern at the end. If you are referring to a group of proper nouns such as “the Southern States.” However, if you’re referring to a general location, such as “the southern winds” then southern should be lowercase.

What about capitalizing Northerner, Southerner, Easterner, Westerner?

You should always capitalize these words since it refers to a region (a proper noun) where a group of people are from.

To know what other words you should capitalize, try our free title capitalization tool.

You should only capitalize directions, such as west, when you are referring to it as the proper noun, such as “in the West.” If you are merely referring to a direction, such as “go west on I-90,” then you should keep west lowercase.

Some common examples of when you should capitalize west include:

  • down West
  • the Deep West

and when you should lowercase it:

  • in the west of France
  • go west on I-90 and then south

What about capitalizing western or Westerner?

The same rules apply to capitalizing western as capitalizing west. If you are referring to a group of proper nouns such as “the Western States.” However, if you’re referring to a general location, such as “the western winds” then western should be lowercase.

You should always capitalize Westerner since it refers to a group of people who are proper nouns.

To know what other words you should capitalize, try our free title capitalization tool.

You should only capitalize directions, such as east, when you are referring to it as the proper noun, such as “in the East.” If you are merely referring to a direction, such as “go east on I-90,” then you should keep east lowercase.

Some common examples of when you should capitalize east include:

  • down East
  • the Deep East

and when you should lowercase it:

  • in the east of France
  • go east on I-90 and then south

What about capitalizing eastern or Easterner?

The same rules apply to capitalizing eastern as capitalizing east. If you are referring to a group of proper nouns such as “the Eastern States.” However, if you’re referring to a general location, such as “the eastern winds” then eastern should be lowercase.

You should always capitalize Easterner since it refers to a group of people who are proper nouns.

To know what other words you should capitalize, try our free title capitalization tool.

You should only capitalize directions, such as north, when you are referring to it as the proper noun, such as “in the North.” If you are merely referring to a direction, such as “go north on I-90,” then you should keep north lowercase.

Some common examples of when you should capitalize north include:

  • down North
  • the Deep North

and when you should lowercase it:

  • in the north of the United States
  • go north on I-90 and then south

What about capitalizing northern or Northerner?

The same rules apply to capitalizing northern as capitalizing north. If you are referring to a group of proper nouns such as “the Northern States.” However, if you’re referring to a general location, such as “the northern winds” then northern should be lowercase.

You should always capitalize Northerner since it refers to a group of people who are proper nouns.

To know what other words you should capitalize, try our free title capitalization tool.

You should only capitalize directions, such as south, when you are referring to it as the proper noun, such as “in the South.” If you are merely referring to a direction, such as “go south on I-90,” then you should keep south lowercase.

Some common examples of when you should capitalize south include:

  • down South
  • the Deep South

and when you should lowercase it:

  • in the south of France
  • go south on I-90 and then north

What about capitalizing southern or Southerner?

The same rules apply to capitalizing southern as capitalizing south. If you are referring to a group of proper nouns such as “the Southern States.” However, if you’re referring to a general location, such as “the southern winds” then southern should be lowercase.

You should always capitalize Southerner since it refers to a group of people who are proper nouns.

To know what other words you should capitalize, try our free title capitalization tool.

No, seasons are not generally capitalized.

We always capitalize days of the week and months of the year in writing. However, when it comes to seasons of the year, we don’t capitalize the name of the season. If we did, we would have to capitalize every particular time period, even those occurring throughout the day, like morning and afternoon. This would look absurd and get quite confusing.

Seasons, such as fall, spring, winter, and summer are general nouns, not proper nouns so therefore seasons shouldn’t be capitalized. Days of the week and months of the year are proper nouns instead so they are always capitalized. Therefore, the capitalization that applies to proper nouns isn’t applicable to seasons.

There are situations, however, when you should capitalize seasons. For example, at the beginning of a sentence where the rule of the capitalizing the first letter applies (E.g.: Summer is the best season of the year, but fall is not). Other examples of when you can capitalize fall are when the season forms part of a proper noun, or when it’s a part of a title. For example, in ‘Fall Games’ or ‘Fall Semester.’

Another example is when seasons are personified in a piece of creative writing, such as in poems. But this only applies when seasons are given life in such writing.

Overall, the general rule is that we don’t capitalize seasons, fall included.

To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.

Yes, Columbus Day is capitalized when referring to the holiday.

It is grammatical and customary to capitalize federal, secular, and religious holidays. Columbus Day is a federal holiday in the United States that celebrates Columbus’ discovery of North America. It occurs on the first Monday of October to celebrate Columbus’ landing in North America on October 12, 1492.

For more answers to capitalization questions, see our FAQs or try out our free capitalization tool.

Generally, no. Unlike president which is capitalized when referring to a specific president, such as President Obama, first lady shouldn’t be capitalized. According to the White House Museum website, it is acceptable to honorifically capitalize first lady such as “First Lady  Michelle Obama.” However, since the first lady is never officially elected or sworn in, “first lady” is not a title and shouldn’t be capitalized.

We guess that FLOTUS should instead be flOTUS. 🤷‍♂️

For more answers to capitalization questions, see our FAQs or try out our free capitalization tool.

Yes. The Supreme Court is capitalized because it is a proper noun referring to a governmental judicial body that oversees the law of the land. This includes the highest court in each state, such as the California Supreme Court. However, when referring to generic supreme courts, such as in this sentence, you do not need to capitalize it.

What about capitalizing the word court?

According to lawprose.org, the word “court” should not be capitalized unless included in the title of a specific court, such as the “Supreme Court.”

For more answers to capitalization questions, see our FAQs or try out our free capitalization tool.

Yes. is capitalized because it is a proper noun referring to a governmental legislative body that includes the House of Representatives and Senate.

Examples of capitalizing the word include the U.S. Congress, Congress, etc.

What about congressional?

Congressional is not a proper noun naturally, so it should be lowercased unless used in an official event title such as the “Congressional Baseball Game.”

For more answers to capitalization questions, see our FAQs or try out our free capitalization tool.

Yes. The word Senate is capitalized because it is a proper noun referring to a governmental legislative body.

Examples of capitalizing the word include the U.S. Senate, the Senate, the state Senate, etc.

What about the word “senator?”

While the word Senate is capitalized, the role itself is lowercase when referring to a general senator or senators. However, if you refer to a specific senator by name, then you need to capitalize it. For example:

Not capitalized: The senators will vote on an important healthcare bill today.
Capitalized: The bill was opposed by Senator Bernie Sanders.

 

For more answers to capitalization questions, see our FAQs or try out our free capitalization tool.

The word President often confuses people when it comes to capitalization. Is it president or President? When do you capitalize it?

The word “president” is a proper noun or a common noun depending on the context in which it is used, so the capitalization rules vary.

If President is used to refer to a specific person with a title, then it is capitalized such as:

  • President Donald Trump
  • President Barack Obama

If used as a common noun, then the word president is lowercased such as in the following sentences:

  • The president will announce his candidacy this morning.
  • George Washington was the first president.

According to English capitalization rules, proper nouns are always capitalized. Therefore, when referring to a person with the title President, always capitalize the word.

 

What about presidential? Should presidential be capitalized?

Presidential is not a proper noun naturally, so it should be lowercased unless used in an official event title such as the “50th Presidential Inauguration.”

To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.

No, the word fall is not capitalized and neither is the word autumn.

We capitalize days of the week and months of the year, but when it comes to capitalizing seasons, the rule is, we don’t capitalize them. If we did, we would have to capitalize every particular time period, even those occurring throughout the day, like morning and afternoon. This would look absurd and get quite confusing.

Fall, being a season, is a general noun. Therefore, the capitalization that applies to proper nouns doesn’t apply to fall so the season fall is not generally capitalized.

fall leaves

There are situations, however, where fall is capitalized. For example, at the beginning of a sentence where the rule of the capitalizing the first letter applies. Other examples of when you can capitalize fall are when the season forms part of a proper noun, or when it’s a part of a title. For example in ‘Fall Games’ or ‘Fall Semester.’

Another example is when its personified in a piece of creative writing, like in poems. But this only applies when fall is given life in such writing.

Overall, the general rule is that we don’t capitalize seasons, fall included.

December is that unique month where people do celebrate a wide range of holidays. One of the obvious tasks that most people will be engaged in will be to send their loved ones greetings and best wishes. It has become a common norm for many to use the phrase “Happy Holidays” when sending greeting cards or wishing someone well during the holiday season. Why? The obvious reason for this case is because people want to wish their loved ones the best in the many holidays that they will be celebrating in one go.

 

So, do you capitalize “Happy Holidays?”

Yes, because even though the word “Holidays” isn’t a proper noun, it’s used in this phrase to replace the many of the holidays people might be
celebrating
such as Christmas, New Years, and Hanukah. It is therefore common practice to capitalize the phrase since people have come to accept it.

Even though the word “Holidays” isn’t a proper noun, it’s used in this phrase to replace the many of the holidays people could be celebrating such as Christmas, New Years, and Hanukah. It is therefore a common practice to use the phrase as it is since people have come to accept it.

It’s also acceptable to use Happy Holidays in a sentence like, “I’m wishing you Happy Holidays together with your family.”

Secular and religious holidays are usually capitalized. This includes the words such as eve and day if they form part of the holiday
name.

This is because these nouns are proper nouns that refer to the holiday specifically. The rule of capitalization, therefore, is that their first letter is capitalized.

These holidays, usually correspond to celebrations of specific important events such as the commemoration of Father’s
Day, Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, national holidays that commemorate national events such as Independence Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States. This rule is also observed for religious occasions such as Lent, Advent and Christmas day for Christians, Ramadhan for Muslims, and Hanukkah for Jews.

Holiday names are special nouns that are unique and thus they are not common nouns. In grammar, it is therefore prudent to capitalize them to emphasize their importance and uniqueness.

During the holidays, the use of new year vs New Year gets confusing for most people and this should never be the case. It is important for everybody to have the right knowledge of the proper capitalization of both holiday terms and holidays in order to avoid embarrassment when sending out holiday greetings.

 

Is New Year Capitalized?

The short answer is that New Year (and Happy New Year) are capitalized.

This a very common question especially for teachers just before schools break for the holidays. It is also a conundrum for anyone who sends out holiday cards.

 

Why New Year is Capitalized

The distinction between new year and New Year depends on whether the reference is being made on the year or the holiday itself. If a reference is being made on the holiday, then it should be capitalized e.g. Happy New Year!

However, when someone is making reference to the year itself then it should not be capitalized e.g. It is the second day of the new year.

It is grammatical and customary to capitalize both secular and religious holidays. In addition, when the words eve and day constitute the holiday name then they should be also capitalized. This is regardless of whether the name of the holiday is shortened or not e.g. New Year’s Eve.

One easy way to remember is never to capitalize in instances when you are using an article such as the or a.

So, is new year capitalized? It depends on how it is being used.

 

Conclusion

Hopefully, we have cleared up any confusion that might exist when sending out holiday cards to your friends and family. Spread the word on when New Year is capitalized and help everyone to ring in the new year correctly.

You have already written holiday cards and are now ready for dispatch, but you decide to, first, double-check your use of capitalization. So, do you capitalize Merry Christmas? Well, yes!

The reason is, unlike the word holiday, which does not refer to any officially elected day but rather the entire season, Christmas Mass is the official name of a characterized religious holiday. So, provided you are writing it as a proper noun, and as such refers to a specific day, Merry Christmas capitalized, should appear on all your cards.

 

Shortening Holiday Terms

When you combine the words such as day and eve with the holiday name, make sure you capitalize Christmas and the accompanying words. Note that shortening the holiday name does except it from capitalization because they still refer to specific events in the region’s history. In the same way, always capitalize proper holiday nouns such as New Years’ Eve, Thanksgiving (celebrated in The United States), Halloween and Boxing Day (observed in the United Kingdom) and other similar terms.

 

When Not to Capitalize the Accompanying Words

When, for instance, you are referring to an individual being merry on that particular day you don’t capitalize the complimentary word. So, telling someone to have a happy Christmas (without caps in the adjective) is grammatically correct. Your use of the adjective joyous is not unique since you could as well have chosen any other words with the same meaning such as happy, merry, festive, sober and so forth. However, Christmas has to be in caps because even in the sentence it refers to a designated occasion.

 

Conclusion

Merry Christmas is always capitalized because Christmas points to a particular day and hence is a proper noun. The accompanying adjective is also a part of the command. So, make sure you get it right any time you use it.

The short answer is yes, the Fourth of July is capitalized because it is a special date, a holiday. You should capitalize the “Fourth” and “July,” but lowercase the “of” because “of” is a short word.

If you are referring to the Fourth as “Independence Day” then it should also be capitalized since again it is a special date.

The other thing to keep in mind when spelling out “Fourth of July” is that you should not shorten “Fourth” to “4th.” It turns out various style guides have rules that apply for times when numbers are spelled out. Let’s take a look:

1. When talking about age (for people and animals), numerals are used.

E.g. Jason is 17 years old.

2. Single digit numbers (less than 10) should be spelled out.

E.g. The American Flag has 50 stars, but only three colors. On average, Americans have four beers during Independence Day celebrations.

3. Ordinal numbers below 10th need to be spelled out. Any number over that is written down in numerals

E.g The Fourth of July Celebrations just began.

 

The third rule is especially important. We can always say Fourth of July, July Fourth or July 4. It is however grammatically incorrect to say 4th of July.

 

 

 

earth vs Earth

 

The word earth often confuses people when it comes to capitalization. Is it earth or Earth? When do you capitalize it?

The confusion arises because Earth can be either a proper noun or a common noun depending on the context in which it is used. If Earth is used as a proper noun, then it is capitalized. If used as a common noun, then the word Earth is lowercased.

According to English capitalization rules, proper nouns are always capitalized. Therefore, when referring to the Earth as a planet or celestial body, it should be capitalized such as in the following sentence:

The Earth takes about 365 days to orbit the Sun.

In this case, both Earth and Sun are proper nouns so they must be capitalized.

When Earth is not used as a proper noun, such as when you are referring to the ground, soil, or surface of the Earth, then the word is lowercase since it is a common noun. The following is an example of when Earth is referred to as a common noun:

The construction workers dug into the earth at the site of the new skyscraper.

 

It is important to remember that idioms using the word Earth also have to be lowercase such as in:  down to earth, what on earth, and four corners of the earth. These are cases where earth takes the definite article so it should not be capitalized.

 

For other capitalization questions, check out our FAQs or use our free title capitalization tool.

Yes, Father’s Day is capitalized when referring to the holiday.

Reason #1: While Father’s Day is not an official federal holiday, it is considered to be one of the most common celebrations, like Groundhog Day and April Fools’ Day. That’s why it is always capitalized.

Alternatively, the following words like father, mother, and dad are broadly termed as ‘family names.’ They are generally used as a common noun. However, whenever you are using these family names in the form of proper nouns, they need to be capitalized. For your reference, the examples are given below:

I) My father is not well. – Here the word ‘father’ has been used as a common noun and it isn’t capitalized.

II) I have planned to celebrate Father’s Day on 18th June. – Here the word ‘father’ has been used as a proper noun. Thus, it is capitalized.

 

Reason #2: Father’s Day is widely celebrated to honor fathers as individuals. This is the day when the children portray their sincere respect and gratitude towards their fathers. This day is special and unique to every father. Considering its significance and importance, the term Father’s Day is capitalized.

 

For more Father’s Day grammar, try the Grammarly Father’s Day quiz:

 

You should not capitalize the word winter since it is a common noun and not a proper noun. But there are obviously a few exceptions where one has to capitalize the word winter.

When winter is used as a title or when it is used at the beginning of a sentence (such as “Winter is Coming”) are two examples of when winter should be capitalized. Also when winter is used as a proper noun it should be capitalized. Winter can also be capitalized it when it is personified such as in a poem.

photo winter

 

The word winter does not necessarily need to be capitalized considering it is a generic noun. People normally confuse this word for a proper noun and capitalize it based on it being a proper noun. Generally, the word winter should not be capitalized.

For example,

The temperatures are usually low during the winter season.

 

The Word Winter as a Title

When the word winter is used like a title one will have to capitalize it since it is a rule to capitalize titles.

For example,

The Winter Holiday Was Very Chilly

“Winter” was included in a title and we must follow title capitalization rules and capitalize it.

 

The Words Winter as a Proper Noun

It is a rule in the English language that proper nouns have to be capitalized, so when using the word winter as a proper noun you have to capitalize it.

For example,

The Winter Gala is an event held every year in December.

In this case “Winter Gala” is the name of an event so “winter” is part of a proper noun. Therefore it should be capitalized.

The word “in” is always lowercase unless it is the first or last word in a sentence.

Generally, you should capitalize the word “is” when using title case (Chicago, APA, AP). However, if you are using sentence case in APA, you should only capitalize “is” if it is the first word in the sentence.

Generally, you should capitalize the word “world” when using title case (Chicago, APA, AP).

However, if you are using sentence case in APA, you should only capitalize “world” if it is the first word in the sentence or is part of name (such as “World Wide Web” or “World Wildlife Federation”).

The word “with” should always be lowercase in a title unless it is the first or last word in a sentence. This is because “with” is a preposition which according to title capitalization rules are always lowercase in titles.

To find out what other words are always lowercase in a title, try out our free title capitalization tool.

Generally, you should capitalize the word “it” when using title case (Chicago, APA, AP). However, if you are using sentence case in APA, you should only capitalize “it” if it is the first word in the sentence.

When the word is referred to generically, “university” is not capitalized. When used as a proper noun, such as “Florida State University,” the word is capitalized.

The Florida State University offense could use some work this year.

The board of the university elected the new president.

– More examples

No. The word “the” is always lowercased in all title capitalization styles unless it is the first or last word in a sentence.

Yes, according to all English title capitalization rules, you must capitalize the holiday title. This includes both holidays where businesses are closed as well as church holidays.

If the holiday contains multiple words, all words should be capitalized in the title. For example: New Year’s Day. 

Even if the holiday is shortened, such as in “New Year’s,” both words should still be capitalized.

A list of the most common holidays capitalized is below:

Advent

All Saints’ Day

Australia Day

Bastille Day

Boxing Day

Canada Day

Christmas (also Christmas Day and Christmas Eve)

Coming of Age Day (Japan)

Easter

Epiphany

Father’s Day

Good Friday

Halloween

Hanukkah

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Holy Thursday, Holy Saturday, Holy Week

Independence Day (US) also the Fourth of July and July Fourth

Kwanzaa

Labor Day (US)

Labour Day (Canada and other nations)

Lent

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (US)

Maundy Thursday

May Day

Memorial Day

Michaelmas (the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel)

Mother’s Day

New Year’s (also New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve)

Passover

Presidents’ Day

Purim

Ramadan

Remembrance Day

Rosh Hashanah

St George’s Day (no period or full stop with St in BrE)

St. Patrick’s Day (also Saint or St Patrick’s Day)

Thanksgiving (also Thanksgiving Day)

the High Holy Days

Twelfth Night

Valentine’s Day

Veterans Day (no apostrophe)

Victoria Day (Canada)

Victory Day (Russia)

Yom Kippur

 

The short answer is yes. You should capitalize all days of the week (Monday, Tuesday, etc), months (August, September, etc.), and holidays (Christmas, Halloween, etc.).

Thanksgiving in November, Christmas in December, and New Years in January: North America has a lot of winter holidays.

Your birthday is in March, right?

– More examples

Generally, you should capitalize all nouns in a sentence if you are using title case (Chicago, APA, AP). However, if you are using sentence case in APA, you should only capitalize the first word in a sentence and only proper nouns ¹.

Hyphenated words are complicated and depend on which style you are using. You can find the rules for hyphenated words for CMOS and APA below or you can use our free capitalization tool.

Using The Chicago Manual of Style:

  1. Always capitalize the first element.
  2. Capitalize any subsequent elements unless they are articles, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions
  3. If the first element is merely a prefix or combining form that could not stand by itself as a word (anti, pre, etc.), do not capitalize the second element unless it is a proper noun or proper adjective.
  4. Capitalize the second element in a hyphenated spelled-out number (twenty-one or twenty-first, etc.) or hyphenated simple fraction (two-thirds in two-thirds majority).

Using APA:

  1. Capitalize the first and second element of a hyphenated phrase.

To automatically capitalize your titles with the correct rules for hyphens, try our free capitalization tool.

Yes, Internet should be capitalized whenever it is used.

When referring to the Internet as a proper noun (ie you are referring to the World Wide Web), then Internet should be capitalized. If you are referring to a general network of computers, then you can use the lowercase internet. Most of the time, Internet will be capitalized. Learn more about this on-going debate here.

However, you should always follow the standard title capitalization rules for capitalizing titles.

Short Answer: Yes

Long Answer: Halloween is a holiday and proper noun, so it should be capitalized according to title capitalization rules.

 

What about capitalizing the word “night” after Halloween?

While Halloween is a holiday and proper noun, the word “night” right afterward is not capitalized in a sentence, but will be capitalized in a title if you are using any of the styles in title case such as when referring to the movie “Halloween Night.”

You can read more about how to capitalize Halloween in this article.

[fusion_builder_container admin_label=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”no” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”0px” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_position=”all” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” class=”” id=”” min_height=””][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_position=”all” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” class=”” id=”” min_height=””][fusion_title size=”3″ content_align=”left” style_type=”single solid” sep_color=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” class=”” id=””]Chicago Manual of Style[/fusion_title][fusion_text]

  • Capitalize the first and the last word.
  • Capitalize nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinate conjunctions.
  • Lowercase articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions.
  • Lowercase the ‘to’ in an infinitive (I want to play guitar).

[/fusion_text][fusion_button link=”http://amzn.to/1RYaFHy” title=”” target=”_self” alignment=”center” modal=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” color=”custom” button_gradient_top_color=”#e80707″ button_gradient_bottom_color=”#e80707″ button_gradient_top_color_hover=”” button_gradient_bottom_color_hover=”#d60707″ accent_color=”#ffffff” accent_hover_color=”#ffffff” type=”” bevel_color=”” border_width=”” size=”” stretch=”default” shape=”” icon=”” icon_position=”left” icon_divider=”no” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]See Style Guide[/fusion_button][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”20px” bottom_margin=”” sep_color=”” border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=”” /][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_position=”all” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” class=”” id=”” min_height=””][fusion_title size=”3″ content_align=”left” style_type=”single solid” sep_color=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” class=”” id=””]APA/MLA[/fusion_title][fusion_text]

  1. Capitalize the first word of the title/heading and of any subtitle/subheading
  2. Capitalize all major words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns) in the title/heading, including the second part of hyphenated major words (e.g., Self-Report not Self-report)
  3. Capitalize all words of four letters or more.

[/fusion_text][fusion_button link=”http://amzn.to/1RYaL1Z” title=”” target=”_self” alignment=”center” modal=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” color=”custom” button_gradient_top_color=”” button_gradient_bottom_color=”#e80707″ button_gradient_top_color_hover=”” button_gradient_bottom_color_hover=”#d60707″ accent_color=”#ffffff” accent_hover_color=”#ffffff” type=”” bevel_color=”” border_width=”” size=”” stretch=”default” shape=”” icon=”” icon_position=”left” icon_divider=”no” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]See Style Guide[/fusion_button][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”20px” bottom_margin=”” sep_color=”” border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=”” /][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_position=”all” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” class=”” id=”” min_height=””][fusion_title size=”3″ content_align=”left” style_type=”single solid” sep_color=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” class=”” id=””]AP[/fusion_title][fusion_text]

  1. Capitalize words with 4 or more letters.
  2. Capitalize the first and the last word.
  3. Capitalize nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinate conjunctions.
  4. Lowercase articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions.
  5. Lowercase the ‘to’ in an infinitive (I want to play guitar).
  6. [/fusion_text][fusion_button link=”http://amzn.to/1oyvX2M” title=”” target=”_self” alignment=”center” modal=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” color=”custom” button_gradient_top_color=”” button_gradient_bottom_color=”#e80707″ button_gradient_top_color_hover=”” button_gradient_bottom_color_hover=”#d60707″ accent_color=”#ffffff” accent_hover_color=”#ffffff” type=”” bevel_color=”” border_width=”” size=”” stretch=”default” shape=”” icon=”” icon_position=”left” icon_divider=”no” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]See Style Guide[/fusion_button][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Hanukkah is a popular Jewish holiday and since it is a proper name for a holiday, the word is capitalized when used in writing as per the rules of capitalization.

The word Hanukkah is capitalized but the word “holiday” is not capitalized as in “Hanukkah holiday” since it is not a proper name. You should capitalize Hanukkah in holiday cards or wishes and all proper holiday names as well. It is very common to make this capitalization mistake but the right expression makes your wishes and cards seem professional and correct. Hanukkah is also spelled as Chanukah in some parts of the world but both the words are names for the same holiday. So the next time you start writing your holiday cards or wish someone in writing, make sure it has the word “Hanukkah” capitalized.

Hanukkah is also spelled as Chanukah in some parts of the world, but both the words are names for the same holiday and thus both should be capitalized. So the next time you start writing your holiday cards or wish someone “Happy Hanukkah” in writing, make sure the word “Hanukkah” is capitalized.

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