Something that is just undeniable about capitalized words is that they are eye-catching. Whether it’s that first word in a sentence or a name with capital letters, seeing a word capitalized just brings attention to it. However, this results in a common mistake or at least misinterpretation. The idea that any important word or sentence should be capitalized just because it’s important to the text. And that is completely removed from the true purpose of capitalization, so in that line of thought today we’ll try to look at one the most common examples of this bad habit, as we answer the question, is thank you capitalized?
Is “Thank You” Capitalized?
In short, it depends. The phrase is not capitalized when used in a sentence. The words thank you were never meant to be capitalized on their own in a sentence, and any examples of it you see are likely just an honest mistake or the author’s own stylistic choice, but not a reflection of proper capitalization. The rules of capitalization indicate that words should only be capitalized if they are either the first word in a sentence or a proper noun. The latter means that the word is a proper name or title. This is really why we always see names and company names capitalized, it’s not about the importance, it’s just a basic rule of grammar.
Now if we look at thank you and compare it to the rules we see that it doesn’t really fit the bill. If it were the first word in a sentence then only thank would be capitalized, not both words. And on it’s own thank you is not a proper noun, it’s just a greeting, it doesn’t refer to an specific event. The only occasions where there’s room to capitalize both words is in the case of a proper name or title, like the 1941 movie I Thank You, as that is the proper title of the film, and as such all 3 words need to be capitalized.
Is “Thank You” Capitalized as a Salutation?
This is where the “it depends” comes into play. When used as a salutation to close an email or letter, then the first letter of the phrase is capitalized as such:
This is also true if you shorten the phrase to “Thanks” or lengthen it to “Thank you very much.”
This type of capitalization is called sentence case.