Capitalizing letters is something you are used to, at least for first words of sentences and proper nouns. But there are times when first words of quotes are capitalized. Except in rare cases, the first letter after a colon is not capitalized. How about when you are not really sure you are dealing with a proper noun? These are all things to consider before using capital letters.
English Capitalization Rules:
1.) Capitalize the First Word of a Sentence
We are all familiar with this for sure.
He is coming to school.
Paul is at home.
Mary is an intelligent student.
2.) Capitalize Names and Other Proper Nouns
Proper nouns are also capitalized. Thus, we have:
Charley Brown is my favorite footballer
Have you seen Paul?
Names of countries, cities, religions, companies and political parties, etc. should also be capitalized as they are all proper nouns.
He loves traveling to London.
He lives in the United States.
Words like grandpa and mom should be capitalized when used as a form of address.
Look at what Grandpa bought for me!
Just wait until Mom sees this!
His mom likes studios kids
3.) Don't Capitalize After a Colon (Usually)
You are almost always not required to start the next word after a colon in capital letter.
He has a zeal for one thing: writing
But a capital letter is needed when the next word after a colon is a proper noun.
He loves traveling to one city: London
Another exception is if a complete sentence is formed after the colon. Thus:
I love to play football for one key reason: A sedentary lifestyle poses serious health risks.
4.) Capitalize the First Word of a Quote (Sometimes)
The first word of a quote is capitalized only when the quote makes a complete sentence. For example:
Paul asked, "Where is today's class scheduled to hold?"
Consequently, incomplete sentences or quote phrases are not capitalized
Mr. Green instructed me to "come very early" tomorrow
5.) Capitalize Days, Months, and Holidays, But Not Seasons
We have lectures on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Going for winter outdoor events is fun.
He doesn't love summer.
6.) Capitalize Most Words in Titles
There are different style guides when it comes to capitalizing titles of movies, books, and other titles. But generally, you should always start the first words of nouns, adjectives, verbs and proper nouns in capital letters. Thus, conjunctions, articles, and prepositions all take the lower case – however, capitalization of prepositions longer than five letters is recommended by some style guides.
I prefer the movie Courage and Strength to the last Armies Palace series
7.) Capitalize Cities, Countries, Nationalities, and Languages
These are all proper nouns and so should be capitalized. Thus, we have:
Reggie is from Jamaica.
He speaks French fluently.
I love cold countries like Russia.
8.) Capitalize Time Periods and Events (Sometimes)
When eras, historical events or periods have proper names, they also take capitalization.
Families affected during World War II can't forget the scars.
However, capitalization is not used for centuries and their preceding numbers.
The nineteenth century primed the industrial revolution of the twentieth century.