Capitalization



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Capitalization

  • Do I need a capital letter?
  • Or should that letter remain lower case?
  • This presentation covers capitalizing the first letter of the first word of a sentence, the pronoun I , and proper nouns.

A capitalization item on an objective test might look like this . . .

Sample Item

    • Wanda wouldn’t offer her little brother a
    • Christmas cookie because he ate all of her
    • Halloween candy last october.
    • Brother
    • Cookie
    • October
    • No change is necessary.
    • Wanda wouldn’t offer her little brother a
    • A
    • Christmas cookie because he ate all of her
    • B
    • Halloween candy last october.
    • C
    • Brother
    • Cookie
    • October
    • No change is necessary.
    • Wanda wouldn’t offer her little brother a
    • A
    • Christmas cookie because he ate all of her
    • B
    • Halloween candy last October.
    • C
    • Brother
    • Cookie
    • October
    • No change is necessary.
  • Is brother, cookie, or october a problem?

Capitalize the first letter of the first word of a sentence.

  • the rotten pear sat in a puddle of goo on the kitchen counter.
  • Dude, formal writing is not the same as texting your friend!
  • The rotten pear sat in a puddle of goo on the kitchen counter.

Capitalize the pronoun I.

  • If that liar Darlene claims that she spent the night studying, i will say that i saw her kissing Thomas at the movies.
  • If that liar Darlene claims that she spent the night studying, I will say that I saw her kissing Thomas at the movies.
  • Don’t be lazy! Capitalize those I ’s. You deserve a capital letter!

Capitalize proper nouns.

  • On tuesday, september 18, elizabeth cooked her first pot of squid eyeball stew.
  • On Tuesday, September 18, Elizabeth cooked her first pot of squid eyeball stew.
  • Proper nouns include the days of the week, the months of the year, and names.

Other Proper Nouns

  • Titles before Names
  • Specific Places
  • Organizations
  • Companies
  • Product Names
  • Religions
  • Languages
  • Nationalities
  • Holidays
  • Departments
  • Historical Eras
  • Regions of the Country
  • Course Names
  • Titles of Works

Titles Before Names

  • Professor Stone
  • Uncle Jerry
  • President Obama
  • the nursing professor
  • my uncle
  • the president of our stamp collecting club
  • Capitalize these!
  • But use lower case for these!

Specific Places

  • Tito’s Taco Palace
  • New York City
  • Gatorland
  • the taco stand outside
  • a city
  • a theme park
  • Capitalize these!
  • But use lower case for these!

Organizations

  • World Wildlife Fund
  • American Red Cross
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • Capitalize these!
  • But use lower case for these!

Companies

  • Starbucks Corporation
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • Apple Inc.
  • a coffee house
  • a soda supplier
  • a computer manufacturer
  • Capitalize these!
  • But use lower case for these!

Product Names

  • Frappuccino
  • Oreo
  • Power Mac
  • a frozen coffee
  • a cookie
  • a computer
  • Capitalize these!
  • But use lower case for these!

Religions

  • Buddhism
  • Seventh Day Adventists
  • Druids
  • meditation practice
  • vegetarians
  • nature worshippers
  • Capitalize these!
  • But use lower case for these!

Languages

  • French fries
  • Russian boar
  • Spanish moss
  • Capitalize these!
  • But use lower case for these!

Nationalities

  • Brazilians
  • the French
  • ancient Egyptians
  • summer tourists
  • wine connoisseurs
  • pyramid builders
  • Capitalize these!
  • But use lower case for these!

Holidays

  • Thanksgiving
  • Halloween
  • Fourth of July
  • family dinner
  • costume party
  • fireworks show
  • Capitalize these!
  • But use lower case for these!

Departments

  • Division of Motor Vehicles
  • Orlando Fire Department
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • driver’s license
  • firefighters
  • tax collectors
  • Capitalize these!
  • But use lower case for these!

Historical Eras

  • Late Cretaceous
  • Old Kingdom
  • the Great Depression
  • when dinosaurs lived
  • proliferation of pyramids
  • poor economic times
  • Capitalize these!
  • But use lower case for these!

Regions of the Country

  • the South
  • the Northeast
  • the West
  • the south exit
  • blowing from the northeast
  • west of the mall
  • Capitalize these!
  • But use lower case for these!

Course Names

  • Fundamentals of Biology
  • Intermediate Algebra
  • Contemporary Literature
  • biology
  • algebra
  • literature
  • Capitalize these!
  • But use lower case for these!

Titles of Works

  • Moby-Dick
  • Aliens
  • Thriller
  • a thick novel
  • the best movie ever made
  • a dance album
  • Capitalize these!
  • But use lower case for these!

Quick Test

  • Directions: In the items that follow, choose the option that corrects an error in the underlined portion(s). If no error exists, choose “No change is necessary.”
  • Show me what you know.

Item 1

    • Byron likes spicy foods, so he chose the Asian
    • A
    • chicken wrap. Martha prefers bland dishes and
    • ordered a large basket of french fries.
    • B C
    • asian
    • Large
    • French
    • No change is necessary.
    • Byron likes spicy foods, so he chose the Asian
    • A
    • chicken wrap. Martha prefers bland dishes and
    • ordered a large basket of French fries.
    • B C
    • asian
    • Large
    • French
    • No change is necessary.

Item 2

    • Janelle will take Fundamentals of Biology next
    • semester; she hates Science classes but needs the
    • credits to transfer to a university.
    • fundamentals of biology
    • science
    • University
    • No change is necessary.
    • Janelle will take Fundamentals of Biology next
    • A
    • semester; she hates Science classes but needs the
    • B
    • credits to transfer to a university.
    • C
    • fundamentals of biology
    • science
    • University
    • No change is necessary.
    • Janelle will take Fundamentals of Biology next
    • A
    • semester; she hates science classes but needs the
    • B
    • credits to transfer to a university.
    • C
    • fundamentals of biology
    • science
    • University
    • No change is necessary.

Item 3

    • My family prefers to cook a ham on holidays, but
    • uncle Bart is a vegetarian, so my mother prepares
    • “tofurkey” for him.
    • Holidays
    • Uncle
    • Vegetarian
    • No change is necessary.
    • My family prefers to cook a ham on holidays, but
    • A
    • uncle Bart is a vegetarian, so my mother prepares
    • B C
    • “tofurkey” for him.
    • Holidays
    • Uncle
    • Vegetarian
    • No change is necessary.
    • My family prefers to cook a ham on holidays, but
    • A
    • Uncle Bart is a vegetarian, so my mother prepares
    • B C
    • “tofurkey” for him.
    • Holidays
    • Uncle
    • Vegetarian
    • No change is necessary.

Item 4

    • Dai is vietnamese, but she grew up in Puerto
    • Rico, where she attended cooking school; now she is the head chef at the Cuban restaurant on
    • Orange Avenue.
    • Vietnamese
    • Cooking School
    • cuban
    • No change is necessary.
    • Dai is vietnamese, but she grew up in Puerto A
    • Rico, where she attended cooking school; now B she is the head chef at the Cuban restaurant on
    • C
    • Orange Avenue.
    • Vietnamese
    • Cooking School
    • cuban
    • No change is necessary.
    • Dai is Vietnamese, but she grew up in Puerto A
    • Rico, where she attended cooking school; now B she is the head chef at the Cuban restaurant on
    • C
    • Orange Avenue.
    • Vietnamese
    • Cooking School
    • cuban
    • No change is necessary.

Item 5

    • Turn left! We need to go west on Highway 50;
    • otherwise, we will be heading toward
    • Daytona beach.
    • West
    • highway 50
    • Daytona Beach
    • No change is necessary.
    • Turn left! We need to go west on Highway 50;
    • A B
    • otherwise, we will be heading toward
    • Daytona beach.
    • C
    • West
    • highway 50
    • Daytona Beach
    • No change is necessary.
    • Turn left! We need to go west on Highway 50;
    • A B
    • otherwise, we will be heading toward
    • Daytona Beach.
    • C
    • West
    • highway 50
    • Daytona Beach
    • No change is necessary.

Item 6

    • Katelyn used her last dollar to buy m&m candies;
    • she would have enjoyed a Pepsi to wash them
    • down but the cafeteria prices were too expensive.
    • M&M
    • pepsi
    • Cafeteria
    • No change is necessary.
    • Katelyn used her last dollar to buy m&m candies;
    • A
    • she would have enjoyed a Pepsi to wash them
    • B
    • down but the cafeteria prices were too expensive.
    • C
    • M&M
    • pepsi
    • Cafeteria
    • No change is necessary.
    • Katelyn used her last dollar to buy M&M candies;
    • A
    • she would have enjoyed a Pepsi to wash them
    • B
    • down but the cafeteria prices were too expensive.
    • C
    • M&M
    • pepsi
    • Cafeteria
    • No change is necessary.

Item 7

    • Juan is taking a religion class this semester; he
    • likes the professor and the readings, but he most
    • enjoys the intoxicating perfume that Isabella, his
    • tablemate, wears.
    • Religion
    • Professor
    • Perfume
    • No change is necessary.
    • Juan is taking a religion class this semester; he
    • A
    • likes the professor and the readings, but he most
    • B
    • enjoys the intoxicating perfume that Isabella, his
    • C
    • tablemate, wears.
    • Religion
    • Professor
    • Perfume
    • No change is necessary.
    • Juan is taking a religion class this semester; he
    • A
    • likes the professor and the readings, but he most
    • B
    • enjoys the intoxicating perfume that Isabella, his
    • C
    • tablemate, wears.
    • Religion
    • Professor
    • Perfume
    • No change is necessary.

Item 8

    • Patrick visited the police station to see if someone
    • had found Squeeze, his 9-foot albino python, but
    • officer Rodriguez said that no reptiles had been
    • recently caught.
    • Police Station
    • Python
    • Officer
    • No change is necessary.
    • Patrick visited the police station to see if someone
    • A
    • had found Squeeze, his 9-foot albino python, but
    • B
    • officer Rodriguez said that no reptiles had been
    • C
    • recently caught.
    • Police Station
    • Python
    • Officer
    • No change is necessary.
    • Patrick visited the police station to see if someone
    • A
    • had found Squeeze, his 9-foot albino python, but
    • B
    • Officer Rodriguez said that no reptiles had been
    • C
    • recently caught.
    • Police Station
    • Python
    • Officer
    • No change is necessary.

Item 9

    • Jeffrey thought he would hate humanities, but
    • once Professor Kimble reached the Italian
    • renaissance, the beautiful marble nudes got
    • Jeffrey’s attention.
    • Humanities
    • professor
    • Renaissance
    • No change is necessary.
    • Jeffrey thought he would hate humanities, but
    • A
    • once Professor Kimble reached the Italian
    • B
    • renaissance, the beautiful marble nudes got
    • C
    • Jeffrey’s attention.
    • Humanities
    • professor
    • Renaissance
    • No change is necessary.
    • Jeffrey thought he would hate humanities, but
    • A
    • once Professor Kimble reached the Italian
    • B
    • Renaissance, the beautiful marble nudes got
    • C
    • Jeffrey’s attention.
    • Humanities
    • professor
    • Renaissance
    • No change is necessary.

Item 10

    • Niki is a practicing hindu, so she was offended
    • A
    • when Sean pulled into a McDonald’s drive-thru
    • B
    • to order a Big Mac.
    • C
    • Hindu
    • mcdonald’s
    • big mac
    • No change is necessary.
    • Niki is a practicing Hindu, so she was offended
    • A
    • when Sean pulled into a McDonald’s drive-thru
    • B
    • to order a Big Mac.
    • C
    • Hindu
    • mcdonald’s
    • big mac
    • No change is necessary.
  • the end.
  • The end.
  • The End.
  • Better.


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