Is European Capitalized?

Europe is one of the most diverse regions in the world where rich and ancient linguistic heritage is widely documented. As such, it is expected that any terminology relating to the region itself, its people or speech should adhere to strict grammatical rules.

So, is European Capitalized?

The simplest answer is yes since European, 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 “European” can be used as a noun and a proper noun for that matter. For example, if we say: “The European has just arrived,’ The word ‘European’ represents a 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, is one of the reasons why the word “European” 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 “European” not only plays the role of a noun but can also be an adjective. For instance: “The European Currency is quite stable.” The noun, in this case, is the word Currency. However, once we add European to the sentence, then the currency is awarded an identity, a European one to be precise. Thus, the word European modifies the currency as a proper adjective. As per the rules of capitalization, proper adjectives should also be capitalized.
  • Noun: Every European should take summer vacation if they can.
  • Adjective: Frankfurt is a European Airport.


Generally, no matter what part of speech the term “European” 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.

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