2.4: Capital Letters
Capital letters are an important signal to readers that you are beginning a new sentence or that the capitalized word is important. Therefore, capitalize words in the following cases:
- First word of a sentence: The first word of a sentence is always capitalized. It can be easy to overlook this when writing fast.
- Pronouns: The pronoun “I” is always capitalized, but other pronouns—you, he, she, etc.—are not.
- Proper nouns: Always capitalize the names of specific people, places, and organizations; with people, also capitalize any proper titles that come before their names:
- President George W. Bush
- St. Louis, Missouri
- American Red Cross
- Titles: Always capitalize the major words of titles, including book, movie, article, and song titles.
- My favorite book is The Red Badge of Courage, and my favorite movie is Weekend at Bernie’s.
- Dates and days: The days of the week, months of the year, and holidays are always capitalized, but seasons are not.
- Thank goodness it’s Friday!
- I go back to school in August.
- She dressed up as a ghost for Halloween.
- I’m cleaning all of my closets in the spring.
- Countries, nationalities, and languages: The names of countries, nationalities, and languages are always capitalized.
- Carla just returned from a vacation in Mexico.
- I like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day because I’m Irish.
- I studied Spanish last semester, but this semester I’m taking French.
Other Common Errors
Make sure to proofread your GED essays carefully to avoid these mistakes:
Left-out and doubled words: Sometimes, you can simply leave out a word you meant to include or write a word twice when writing a timed essay.
Pronouns: Each time you use a pronoun, it should clearly refer to a noun. In other words, if you use a pronoun like they, it should be clear from the rest of your sentence or previous sentences who “they” are. Also, the number and person of the pronoun should agree with the noun it replaces.