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Captialization and Punctuation


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Capitalize the first word of a quoted sentence, whether the quotation comes at the beginning of the sentence
Plutarch once said, "The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be lighted."
When quoting only part of a sentence, capitalize the first word of the quotation if (1) the person you are quoting capitalized it or (2) it is the first word of your sentence
What does the image "a fire to be lighted" suggest about the mind?
"A fire to be lighted" suggests the mind's potential.
Capitalize the first word of a sentence fragment used in dialogue
Bradley said, "No, not yet."
The first word of each line of a poem is capitalized
I peeled my orange
That was so bright against
The gray of December
Capitalize the interjection O
"O Captian! my captain!"
In proper nouns made up of two or more words, articles, coordinating conjunctions, and short prepositions (those with fewer than five letters) are generally not captialized
Queen of Spain
Capitalize the names of persons and animals. Capitalize initials in names and abbreviations that either precede or follow names.
Toshio Williams
W.E.B. DuBois
Capitalize geographical names
New Orleans
the Middle East
the South
Words such as north, western, and southeast are not capitalized when they indicate direction
east of the river
The second word in a hyphenated number begins with a lower-case letter
Twenty-fifth Street
The word earth is not capitalized unless it is used along with the name of another heavenly body that is capitalized
Preserve the earth!
The planet Jupiter differs greatly from the Earth.
Do not capitalize democratic, republican, and socialist when they refer to principles or forms of government; capitalize only when they refer to the specific political parties
democratic reforms
Republican nominee
Capitalize businesses and brand names
Motorola, Inc.
Kraft cheese
Do not capitalize the name of a season unless the season is being personified or it is used part of a proper noun
rainy spring
Spring tiptoed
Captialize the names of ships, trains, aircraft, and any other vehicles
R.M.S. Titanic
The names of the make and model of a vehicle are capitalized
BMW 325is
GMC Envoy
Do not capitalize the names of school subjects, except course names that include a number and the names of language classes
Algebra I
Titles used alone in direct address are generally capitalized
Can you discuss your strategy, General?
Please come in, Sir.
Do not capitalize ex-, -elect, former, or late when using it with a title
ex-Governor Walsh
Capitalize a word showing a family relationship when the word is used before or in place of a person's name, unless the word is preceded by a possessive
Aunt Amanda
my aunt Amy
Uncle Hector
Thelma's nephew
Capitalize (and underline or italicize) the first and last words and all important words in titles and subtitles
(Books, Chapters, Periodicals, Poems, Short Stories, Plays, Historical Documents, Works of Art, Movies, Television and Radio Programs, V
"Empires of the Americas"
Capitalize an article (a, an, or the) at the beginning of a title or subtitle only if it is the first word of the official title or subtitle
A Christmas Carol
the Austin American-Statesman
Generally, abbreviations are captialized if the words that they stand for are captialized
Ida B. Wells
Leave a space between two initials, but not between three or more
J.R.R. Tolkien
W.E.B. DuBois
T. H. White
Abbreviate and capitalize titles and academic degrees that follow proper names
Hank Williams, Jr.
Peter Garcia, M.D.
Do not include the titles, Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Dr. when you use an abbreviation for a degree after a name
Dr. Joan West or
Joan West, M.D.
The names of agencies, organziations, and other things commonly known by their initials should be spelled out the first time the name is mentioned but may be abbreviated in later references
Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)
In regular text, spell out names of states and other political units whether they stand alone or follow other geographical terms
Winchester, Virginia
Two-state abbreviations without periods are used only when the ZIP Code is included
Cincinnati, OH 45233-4234
When used with a specific year, A.D. precedes the number. When used with name of a century, it follows the name.
In A.D. 476...
a real British leader of the sixth century A.D.
Follows a specific year number or the name of a century
700 B.C.
twelfth century B.C.
In regular text spell out the names of months and days whether they appear alone or in dates.
Please join us on Thursday, March 21, to celebrate...
follow the numerals
6:00 P.M.
8:00 A.M.
In regular text spell out the names of units of measurement whether they stand alone or follow a spelled-out number or numeral.
Dad drives sixty-five miles per hour.
If all the items in a series are joined by "and, or, nor" do not use commas to separate them
Tyrone and Earlene and Lily won awards.
Use commas to set off nonessential subordinate clauses and nonessential participial phrases
Marie Curie, who studied radioactivity, won the Nobel Prize in 1911.
An essential (or restrictive) subordinate clause or participial phrase is not set off by commas
The juniors who were selected for Boys State and Girls State were named.
Use a comma to set off a mild exclamation such as well, oh, or why
Well, I guess so.
Use a comma after an introductory participle or participial phrase
Exhausted, the scouts took a break.
Use a comma after two or more introductory prepositional phrases or after one long one.
In the first round of the gold tournament, I played against one of the best golfers in the state.
Use a comma after an introductory adverb clause.
After I had locked the car door, I remembered...
Nonessential appositives and appositive phrases are set off by commas
Tylan, my oldest nephew, ...
An essential appositive is not set off by commas
Does your friend Joshua...
Words used in direct address
Mom, have you called her yet?
Parenthetical expressions are set off by commas
after all
at any rate
by the way
for example
for instance
I believe
in fact
in the first place
of course
on the contrary
on the other hand
that is
Use italics for words, letters, symbols, and numerals referred to as such, and for foreign words that have not been adopted into English.
Make sure to use the words EMIGRATE and IMMIGRATE correctly in your essay.
When used with quotation marks, other marks of punctuation are placed according to the following rules:
1) commas and periods are placed inside the closing quotation marks
2) semicolons and colons are placed outside the closing quotation marks<
"Move those feet double-time!" ordered the drum major.
Use quotation marks to inclose slang words, invented words, technical terms, dictionary definitions, and any expressions that are unusual in standard English
Chloe reached for a high note and hit a "clinker."
When you omit words from the midddle of a sentece, use three spaced ellipsis points
Be sure to include space before and after each ellipsis point
. . .
When you omit words at the beginning of a sentence within a quoted passage, keep the the previous setence's end punctuation and follow it with the ellipis points
Garcia writes, "Aa;lsdkjfa;sldkfj. . . . [T];asdlkjf;asldkfja;sldfkj."
Do not begin a quoted passage with ellipsis points
When you omit words at the end of a sentence within a quoted passage, keep the sentence's end punctuation and follow it with the ellipsis points
Garcia writes, "a;sdkfja;sdlkf;afslkj....They asdlkfj;asldkjf."
When you omit one or more complete sentences from a quoted passage, keep the previous sentence's end punctuation and follow it with the ellipsis points.
Recalling his youth, a;ldkjf;alsdkfj;asldkfj....I surea;sdklfj;aslkf."
To show that a full line or more of poetry has been omitted, use an entire line of spaced periods.
A single flow'r he sent me, since we met.
Use three ellipsis points (...) to indicate a pause in dialogue.
"Well . . . I can't really say," hedged the company's rep.
The few plural nouns that do not end in s form the possessive by adding an apostrophe and an s
women's fashions
Do not use an apostrophe with possessive personal pronouns or with the possessive pronoun whose
my, mine
your, yours
his, her, hers, its
our, ours
your, yours,
their, theirs
to form the possessive of an indefinite pronoun, add an apostrophe and an s
another's anybody's anyone's each's everybody's everyone's nobody's no one's one's other's somebody's someone's
The correct possessive forms of anyone else and somebody else are
anyone else's and somebody else's
Generally, only the last word is possessive in form
sister-in-law's shoes
The possessive of an acronym is formed by adding an apostrophe and s
NBC's latest sitcom
Use a hyphen with compound numbers from "twenty-one to ninety-nine" and with fractions used as modifiers
one hundred thirty-five
a two-thirds majority
Hyphenate a compound adjective when it precedes the noun it modifies
a well-designed engine
Do not use a hyphen if one of the modifiers before a noun is an adverb ending in -ly.
a partly finished research paper

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