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Correct Use of Capital Letters


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"When to use a capital letter?" is an often-asked question. This article hopes to give you a good idea of the use of capitals.

Capital letters are essential parts of any written text. However, a capital letter should not be put in anywhere at all just because it looks nice!

What is a capital letter?


A capital letter is basically a principal letter.

What is the correct use of a capital letter?


As mentioned earlier, a capital letter should not be used for any word at all. Given below in the sample usage is a detailed explanation of when to use capital letters, with examples.


Sample Usage

A capital letter is used only in the following cases:

1. A capital letter must always be used at the very start of a sentence, whether the sentence is at the beginning of a paragraph, in the middle of the text, or towards the end.

Examples:
(1) Tapas is a very good editor.
(2) Rishita likes to play tennis.
(3) All the friends decided to go on a picnic.
(4) He always played a prank on his cousin.

2. A capital letter is used at the beginning of each and every line of poetry.

Example:
Jack and Jill went up the hill,
To fetch a pail of water;
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

3. If you have noticed in the above example, the name Jack and the name Jill begins with a capital letter. That is the next usage of a capital letter – for the name of a person. It is also used for the name of a place (city, town, region, country, etc), an institute, a mountain, a river, etc.

Examples:
(1) Aparna worked as a receptionist at the clinic.
(2) The Institute of Mountaineering was the first of its kind in the country.
(3) The Ganges is the river which runs through many states.

4. A capital letter is used for the name of a country and in using an adjective to state a nationality.

Examples:
(1) Nations: China, Australia, South Africa
(2) Nationality: South Korean, New Zealanders, Dutch

5. A capital letter is used for a day, a month, a festival and a historical period.
Examples:
(1) Monday
(2) August
(3) Deepavali
(4) The Stone Age

6. A capital letter is used for the name of a play, a book, a statute, a painting, etc.

Examples:
(1) The Bhagvad Gita
(2) The Merchant of Venice
(3) Mona Lisa

7. A capital letter is used for an adjective that is obtained from a proper noun.

Examples:
(1) Chinese
(2) Christian

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As you can see, correct use of capital letters makes for better writing.

For better text refer also to:
1. Paragraph Writing Techniques

2. Correct Use of Abbreviations


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