It’s not easy to know when to capitalize the word “state.” It can actually be quite confusing. So, should you capitalize the word state?
Is State 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. The 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.”
Capitalizing “State” in “United States”
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 when it is used in a general sense. For example, “The state of affairs in Colorado State is quite okay.”
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 Stylebook 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.