Whether you are just learning the rules of English grammar or you have been reading huge books and publishing works for years, it never hurts to brush up on the rules and ask questions as you go along. There’s always more to learn about how to communicate more effectively with the help of correct grammar usage.
Is Capitol Capitalized?
The word “capitol” is one of those words that often needs some reviewing and clearing up. For one thing, it can be difficult to keep straight the difference between the definitions of “capitol” and “capital.” For reference, “capitol” refers to a specific building in which laws are made whereas “capital” refers to the city in which a capitol building is located. To remember the difference between these two definitions, you can remember that a “capitol” which has an “o” in in it which looks like a circle and is the shape of many capitol buildings. “Capital,” on the other hand, has an “a” instead of an “o.”
But notice how we haven’t capitalized either of these words yet.
The point at which you capitalize the word “capitol” is when you begin to use it as a proper noun, which refers to an individual place, person, or organization. The same way you would capitalize a specific name or place, e.a., the name “Robert” or the continent “Africa,” you capitalize the word “capitol” when you are referring to the name of an individual capitol building.
See if you can identify why the word “capitol” is capitalized or not capitalized in each of the examples that follow.
- The U.S. Capitol Building is located in Washington, D.C.
- There are many beautiful capitol buildings in the U.S.
- Not all capitol buildings look the same.
- Understanding when to capitalize the word “capitol” can be confusing at first.
- There are national capitol buildings.
- There are state capitol buildings.
- There are even capitol buildings in other countries.
- The state capitol is located in Lansing.
- The state capital is Lansing.
- Hawai’i’s State Capitol is located in Honolulu.
- The Hawai’i Capitol is located in Honolulu.
- Hawai’i’s State Capitol building is located in Honolulu.
- The Hawai’i Capitol building is located in Honolulu.
- I have been to the Michigan State Capitol.
- Children learn about state capitols in school.
In summary, “capitol” is different than “capital” just by one letter. You can remember the different meanings by remembering that the “o” in “capitol” is the same shape as many of the capitol buildings to which the word refers to. Capitalize the word “capitol” when you use it to refer to an individual building. However, when you are just talking about the concept or idea of a capitol building, there is no need to capitalize it.
To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.