Free Resources for Students and Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in China - by Paul Sparks

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Paul Sparks, Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas for Semester 2 Reading Lessons...



Reading: Using Capital Letters

Capitalize the first word of every sentence (unless that sentence is incorporated within another sentence) like this example shows.

Capitalize the names of family relations when they are used as substitutes for names:

Example: I went to visit my Uncle Ted and Aunt Margaret.

Example: Grandma and Grandpa live with Dad and Mum now.

But, no capitals when: I went with my mum and dad to visit my aunt and uncle.

In titles, capitalize the first, last, and all important words. Usually, we don't capitalize articles, prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions.

Example: Book: "In the Lake of the Woods."

Example: Book: "War and Peace."

Capitalize names of specific people, places, and locations.

Example: My brother Charlie, who used to live in the Middle East and write books about the Old West, now lives in Hartford, Connecticut.

But, don't capitalize directions.

Example: They moved up north, to the southern shore of Lake Erie.

Capitalize names of days of the week, months, and holidays.

Example: Valentines Day, which is always on February 14th, falls on Tuesday this year.

But, don't capitalize the names of seasons.

Example: Next autumn, before the winter storms begin, we're heading south.

Capitalize the names of historical events.

Example: "World War II"

Capitalize the names of religions and religious terms.

Examples: God, Christ, Allah, Buddha, Christianity, Christians, Judaism, Jews, Islam, Muslims

Capitalize the names of nations, nationalities, languages, and words based on such words.

Examples: Somalia, Swedish, English breakfast, Irish stew, Japanese maple, Jew's harp, French horn

Capitalize titles when they precede names.

Example: Dean Arrington introduced President Carter to Secretary Bogglesworth.

But, usually not after a name

Example: Joe Chuckles, who was chairman of the board of directors in 1995, has since retired.

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