Capital Letters and Punctuation: Rules And Usage

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Capital Letters and Punctuation

Capital letters are an important part of punctuation and have huge importance in English grammar. The first word of a sentence starts with a capital letter. Some grammar rules exist behind the proper use of capital letters. Capital letters give the user an indication that a sentence has begun, as we are capitalising the first letter of the first word. Additionally, it is used to show some important words, such as the names of places, official titles, and proper names.

Also Read: What is the Use of Commas?

Relationship between Capital Letters and Punctuation

The relationship between capital letters and punctuation marks is crucial to understand as it helps in the proper usage of them in English Grammar. Some sentences use punctuation along with the proper placement of Capital letters. Here, we will understand the usage of Capital letters and Punctuation.

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Capital Letter Usage

1. The Capital Letters show that the sentence has started. In the written language when a sentence begins the first letter is always capitalised of the starting word. The capitalisation of direct quotations or the first word in the full sentence is done, if it also comes under another sentence. 

For example:

Her daughter loved the dog. Her sister could have cared more.
Wow! I never thought I would survive in the wild.

2. There is no need to capitalise the quotations that carry on in a sentence after the interruption.

For example:

Darrick inquired, “Where do I donate to the new charity fund?”. 
“The last time I explained that concept,” the professor bragged, “not one student fell asleep in my class.”

3. The first word is to be capitalised in a poetry line even though it does not start a new sentence until the poet capitalises it.

For example:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore— While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

-Edgar Allan Poe

4. Capitals indicate the title’s important words. Always capitalise the start and end words, and vital words in the title(words like “the”, “a”, and “an” are not capitalised normally until they work as the initial word in a title or subtitle).

For Example: 

The first is the phrase of a poem and the second is a phrase of a story.

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Rules of Capital Letters

Some basic rules of Capital Letters that are used in English Grammar are

1. The names of different languages start with a capital letter. 

For example:

Sam speaks German, French, and Chinese.
Some of the major languages of India are Hindi, Tamil and Gujarati.
They are learning Latin and Greek from their friend.

2. On the other hand, the names of the school subjects and disciplines are not capitalised until they are the language names.

For Example: 

He is performing well in subjects such as Hindi, geography, history, and English.
Einstein has made a crucial contribution to physics.

3. The words showing a connection with a certain place need to be capitalised when they have the closest meanings. 

For example:

The result of the American election will be announced next month.
Jacob van Ruisdael is one of the most influential Dutch painters.

4. The capitalisation of words of different places is not required when they take place as fixed phrase parts and does not show any kind of direct connection with the required places. 

For example:

Please buy some Spanish croquetas.
In cold winters, they keep their French windows closed. 

5. The words that show ethnic groups and nationalities should be capitalised.

For example:

The Croats and Serbs became enemies after the war.
Sweden’s most popular singer is Cornelis Vreeswijk.

6. The names of different historical periods, holidays, festivals, religious terms, and the starting word of a direct quotation should be capitalised.

For Example:

In European history, the Middle Ages was the period that started from the collapse of Roman civilisation.
The Industrial Revolution started in the 18th century.
They are going to Chicago during the long Christmas holidays.
In this society, mostly Hindus and Muslims live.
The Minister stated that the latest unemployment figures are “disappointing”.

Read More: Punctuation for Class 2: Types, Examples, and Worksheets

Punctuation: Full stops And Capital Letters

1. The capital letters are mainly used to show the start of the sentence. However, Full Stops are used to mark the ending of the sentence. 

For Example:

We went to Italy last winter. We were surprised that it was hard to travel on the motorways.
The Cricket World Cup takes place every four years. The next World Cup will be held in India. In 2019 it was held in England.

2. The capital letters are used at the start of the proper nouns such as Personal names, languages and nationalities, months, days, geographical places, and public holidays.

For Example:

Mr. John Adams is a consultant at Leeds Consulting Firm.
Can he speak Chinese?
They are planning a long holiday in Switzerland.
What plans do you have for Christmas?

3. The capital letters are used for titles of magazines, books, plays, newspapers, and music.

For example:

The Rolling Stones” is a popular British rock band.
Le Monde is a daily English-language newspaper in France.

4. Full Stops are used after abbreviations and at the start of the name of a profession

For Example:

Etc. (etcetera)Prof. (Professor)
Dr. (Doctor)Arr. (Arrival)
PhD (Doctorate of Philosophy)B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)

Also Read: 21+ Apostrophe Examples in Sentences as Punctuation Mark

Capital Letters and Punctuation Exercise

Capital Letters and Punctuation
Source: NUITEQ Chorus Educational K-12 Content


Why is Capital Letters are used? 

Capital Letters are used in a sentence to let the reader know that the sentence has begun. It also shows proper names, crucial title words, and official titles.

What are the five common Capitalization Rules?

The five common Capitalization Rules are Nouns, verbs, pronouns, adverbs, and adjectives.

How Capital Letters and Full Stop are used together?

Capital Letters are used to mark the start of the sentence and Full stops are used at the end of the sentence.

Give some examples of Capital Letters in titles.

Some examples of capital letters are:
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King is a movie released in 2003.
He wrote a wonderful poem with the title “The Sunshine.”

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This was all about the “Capital Letters and Punctuation: Rules And Their Usage” and more in grammar. Hope you understand the concept and know how to proceed. You can also follow the Learn English page of Leverage Edu for more exciting and informative blogs.

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