We Are Gay UK

Capital rules

Rule 1
Capitalise the first word of a quoted sentence.
He said, ‘Treat her as you would your own daughter.’ ‘Look out!’ she screamed. ‘You almost ran into my child.’

Rule 2
Capitalise a proper noun.
Golden Gate Bridge

Rule 3
Capitalise a person’s title when it precedes the name. Do not capitalise when the title is acting as a description following the name.
Chairwoman Petrov
Ms Petrov, the chairwoman of the company, will address us at noon.

Rule 4
Capitalise the person’s title when it follows the name on the address or signature line.
Ms Haines, Chairwoman

Rule 5
Capitalise the titles of high-ranking government officials when used before their names. Do not capitalise the civil title if it is used instead of the name.
The president will address Congress.
All politicians are expected to attend.
The governors, lieutenant governors, and attorneys general called for a special task force.
Governor Fortinbrass, Lieutenant Governor Poppins, Attorney General Dalloway, and Senators James and Twain will attend.

Rule 6
Capitalise any title when used as a direct address. Example:
Will you take my temperature, Doctor?

Rule 7
Capitalise points of the compass only when they refer to specific regions.
We have had three relatives visit from the South.
Go south three blocks and then turn left.
We live in the south-east section of town.
Southeast is just an adjective here describing section, so it should not be capitalised.

Rule 8
Always capitalise the first and last words of titles of publications regardless of their parts of speech. Capitalise other words within titles, including the short verb forms Is, Are, and Be.
Do not capitalise little words within titles such as a, an, the, but, as, if, and, or, nor, or prepositions, regardless of their length.
The Day of the Jackal A Tale of Two Cities

Rule 9
Capitalise federal or state when used as part of an official agency name or in government documents where these terms represent an official name. If they are being used as general terms, you may use lowercase letters.
The state has evidence to the contrary.
That is a federal offence.
The State Board of Equalisation collects sales taxes.
We will visit three states during our summer vacation.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been subject to much scrutiny and criticism lately. Her business must comply with all county, state, and federal laws.

Rule 10
You may capitalise words such as department, bureau, and office if you have prepared your text in the following way:
The Bureau of Land Management (Bureau) has some jurisdiction over Indian lands. The Bureau is finding its administrative role to be challenging.

Rule 11
Do not capitalise names of seasons.
I love autumn colours and spring flowers.

Rule 12
Capitalise the first word of a salutation and the first word of a complimentary close.
Dear Ms Mohamed: My dear Mr Sanchez: Very truly yours,

Rule 13
Capitalise words derived from proper nouns.

I must take English and math.
English is capitalised because it comes from the proper noun England, but math does not come from Mathland.

Rule 14
Capitalise the names of specific course titles.
I must take history and Algebra 2.

Rule 15
After a sentence ending with a colon, do not capitalise the first word if it begins a list.
These are my favourite foods: chocolate cake, spaghetti, and artichokes.

Rule 16
Do not capitalise when only one sentence follows a sentence ending with a colon.
I love Jane Smiley’s writing: her book, A Thousand Acres, was beautiful.

Rule 17
Capitalise when two or more sentences follow a sentence ending with a colon.
I love Jane Smiley’s writing: Her book, A Thousand Acres, was beautiful. Also, Moo was clever.