Business English at Work
© 2003 Glencoe/McGraw-Hill
Capitalization
Use capitalization rules for proper nouns, first words
in sentences, specific organizations, committees,
government agencies, boards, and departments.
Apply capitalization rules for publications, events,
holidays, acts, bills, laws, and titles.
Apply capitalization rules for academic degrees,
languages, education levels and courses, and ethnic
and religious designations.
continued
Objectives
Business English at Work
PP 6-1a
Capitalization
continued
Apply capitalization rules for time periods, seasons,
days and months, specific and general locations, and
directions.
Apply capitalization rules for abbreviations, nouns with
numbers, trademarks, brand names, and product
names.
Apply capitalization rules for direct and indirect
quotes, words after colons, and material within
parentheses.
continued
Objectives
Business English at Work
PP 6-1b
Capitalization
continued
Identify appropriate items to capitalize in lists,
outlines, business letters, and legal documents.
Objectives
Business English at Work
PP 6-1c
Capitalization
Capitalization Rules
Capitalize the first word in a sentence.
Managing time reduces stress.
Capitalize proper nouns. Do not capitalize common
nouns.
The Benbow Inn is in California.
We attended a time management workshop.
Capitalize the names or nicknames of specific
persons.
Elena Catelli
Business English at Work
Nick
PP 6-2a
Capitalization
Capitalization Rules
Always capitalize the pronoun I. Do not capitalize other
pronouns unless they appear at the beginning of a
sentence.
I return my phone calls at 11 a.m.
He kept his urgent papers in a red folder.
Capitalize specific names of geographic locations. Do
not capitalize general location names.
Kansas City is located in both Kansas and Missouri.
The mountains of Colorado are beautiful.
Business English at Work
PP 6-2b
Capitalization
continued
Capitalization Rules
Capitalize informal substitutions for proper nouns and
shortened versions of proper nouns. These substitutions
are often referred to as imaginative names and
nicknames. the Oval Office Air Force One
Mother Nature
a Big Mac
Big Brother (intrusive big government)
the Beltway (Washington, D.C.)
the Big Apple (New York City)
City of Angels (Los Angeles)
the Pacific Rim
Business English at Work
PP 6-2c
Capitalization
continued
Capitalization Rules
Capitalize adjectives formed from proper nouns. However,
adjectives formed from proper nouns that are now
commonly used and that are no longer identified with
those nouns are not capitalized.
Proper Adjectives
Italian leather
Greek food
Australian hat
Business English at Work
Commonly Used Adjectives
french fries
manila folder
arabic numbers
PP 6-2d
Capitalization
Companies, Institutions,
and Clubs
Capitalize the first letters of all major words in names
of companies, institutions, organizations, and clubs.
Do not capitalize articles (a, an, the), conjunctions
(and, but, or, nor), and prepositions with fewer than
four letters (of, in, on, by) unless one of these words is
the first word of the name.
Valley of the Moon Camp
Inn at the Tides
The Pet Pantry
Sonoma State University
Business English at Work
PP 6-3a
Capitalization
continued
Companies, Institutions,
and Clubs
Do not capitalize words such as company, club,
institution, or organization when used as general
expressions.
company employees
our club’s policies
the mission of the college
Business English at Work
PP 6-3b
Capitalization
Departments, Committees,
and Divisions
Capitalize the specific names of departments,
committees, project teams, or divisions within the
organization with which the writer is associated.
The Human Resources Department offers time management
seminars.
Do not capitalize names of departments, committees,
project teams, or divisions if words other than the
appear before them or if the names are not precise.
Call someone in their accounting department about your refund.
Business English at Work
PP 6-4
Capitalization
Government Units
Capitalize specific official names of foreign, national,
state, and local government units.
The Republic of Ireland
National Park Service
Capitalize the names of agencies, divisions,
departments, offices, commissions, and boards.
Human Services Department
Cultural Heritage Board
Capitalize short forms of the names of government units.
the House
Business English at Work
the Congress
PP 6-5
Capitalization
Titles
Capitalize a social, professional, religious, academic,
political, or military title that precedes a name.
Mrs. Jamie Chen
Professor Betty Howell
Dr. Bruce Comstock
Mayor Bob Lindsey
Capitalize a title that follows the name of a high-ranking
foreign, national, or state government official. Capitalize
a title used to substitute for the complete name of a highranking government official.
George W. Bush, President of the United States
Thomas Vilsack, Governor of Iowa
Business English at Work
PP 6-6a
Capitalization
continued
Titles
Do not capitalize the title of a company, institution, or
association official that follows a name or that is used as a
substitute for a complete name unless practice or tradition
indicates to the contrary.
Robin Matthews, president of Evergreen Nursery
Dan Johanson, secretary of United Farm Workers of America
Business English at Work
PP 6-6b
Capitalization
continued
Titles
Do not capitalize occupational titles used in a general
way.
The manager reviewed our priorities.
Capitalize a title used as a substitute for a complete
name in a direct address.
When will you vote on the bill, Senator?
Capitalize a title used in place of a name in minutes or
bylaws.
The President called the meeting to order.
Business English at Work
PP 6-6c
Capitalization
Family Titles
Capitalize the title of a family member when it is used
by itself or when it is used in direct address.
I always wondered how Father found time to coach
Little League.
I will not be home for dinner tonight, Mom.
Capitalize the title of a family member when it
precedes a name.
I ride to work with Aunt Julia.
Business English at Work
PP 6-7
Capitalization
Publications
Capitalize the first letters of all the words with four or
more letters in the title of a book, magazine, or
newspaper.
Underscore or place these titles in italics.
Do not capitalize articles, conjunctions, or prepositions
with fewer than four letters unless they are the first or
last words in the title.
Ames Daily Tribune
The Boston Globe
Business English at Work
Travel and Leisure
Sports Illustrated magazine
PP 6-8a
Capitalization
continued
Publications
Capitalize the first letters of all the main words in works
such as chapters in books, magazine articles, plays,
musical productions, movies, documentaries,
speeches, radio and television programs, and poems.
Place quotation marks around these titles.
Do not capitalize articles, conjunctions, or prepositions
with fewer than four letters unless they are the first or
last words in the title.
“The Death of a Salesman” (play)
“Phantom of the Opera” (musical production)
Business English at Work
PP 6-8b
Capitalization
Events and Holidays
Capitalize the names of historical and current
events, holidays, and special events.
Vietnam War
Thanksgiving
Labor Day
Leukemia Curathon
Summit Avenue Walking Tour
Business English at Work
PP 6-9
Capitalization
Acts, Bills, and Laws
Capitalize specific titles of laws, acts, codes,
and amendments.
Child Safety Law 102
Family and Medical Leave Act
Do not capitalize general names of laws,
acts, codes, or amendments.
the animal control regulations
several conservation bills
Business English at Work
PP 6-10
Capitalization
Academic Degrees
Capitalize a specific academic degree that
follows a person’s name.
Jan Reynolds, Ph.D., teaches time management.
Do not capitalize academic degrees used in a
general way.
She received her associate’s degree from Pikes Peak
Community College.
Business English at Work
PP 6-11
Capitalization
Languages
Always capitalize names of specific
languages.
Mark speaks Danish and Swedish fluently.
This computer program translates English into
Japanese.
Business English at Work
PP 6-12
Capitalization
Education Levels, Subjects,
and Courses
Capitalize a specific education course title.
Office Communications 202
Do not capitalize the general name of a
course or area of study or a general level of
education.
majoring in computer applications
earning an accounting certificate
completed classes in business English and communications
Business English at Work
PP 6-13
Capitalization
Ethnic Designations
Capitalize the names of nationalities, ethnic
groups, and races.
Native Americans
British
Asian
Hispanic
Business English at Work
PP 6-14
Capitalization
Religious References
Capitalize the names of specific religious
groups, religious days and books, names of
churches, and any adjectives formed from
religious terms.
Judaism
Christians
Business English at Work
Koran
Easter
PP 6-15
Capitalization
Days, Months, and Seasons
Capitalize days of the week and months of
the year.
Monday
September
Do not capitalize the name of a season unless
it is listed with a specific year or is included in
the specific name of an event.
summer sales
Business English at Work
Art in Autumn Festival
PP 6-16
Capitalization
Time Periods
Do not capitalize time periods, decades, or
centuries used in a general way.
first-quarter earnings
the last century
Do not capitalize a.m. or p.m. or general times
of the day.
The seminar began at 9 a.m.
Our luncheon will start at noon.
Business English at Work
PP 6-17
Capitalization
Compass Directions
Capitalize compass directions when they designate
specific regions of the country.
the far East
Northern Ireland
Capitalize derivatives of specific regions.
Southerners
Westerners
Do not capitalize general compass points or directions.
northern Minnesota
turn west on Interstate 5
east side of Chicago
travel north on Ely Road
Capitalize compass points that are part of a street name.
250 South Eastman Lane
Business English at Work
312 Swan Drive, SE
PP 6-18
Capitalization
Abbreviations
Capitalize an abbreviation representing a
proper noun.
UPS
AFLAC
United Parcel Service
American Family Life Assurance Company
Capitalize some shortened forms of common
nouns.
CPA
PC
CEO
Business English at Work
certified public accountant
personal computer
chief executive officer
PP 6-19
Capitalization
Nouns With Letters and Numbers
Capitalize nouns when they precede a letter
or number.
Volume 5
Highway 126
Do not capitalize the first letters of the words
line, paragraph, page, size, and verse when
they precede a number.
page 3
Business English at Work
paragraph 4
PP 6-20
Capitalization
Trademarks, Brand Names,
and Product Names
Capitalize trademarks or specific brand names.
Maytag
Kleenex
Do not capitalize the type of product.
appliances
Business English at Work
tissues
PP 6-21
Capitalization
First Words
Capitalize the first word of a direct quotation that is a
complete sentence.
Brenda said, “We are finishing a project.”
Do not capitalize the first word of a quotation that
cannot stand as a complete sentence.
My manager said there is no “free lunch.”
Do not capitalize the first word of the second part of
an interrupted quotation.
“Wasted time,” Elaine said, “helps you reduce tension.”
Business English at Work
PP 6-22
Capitalization
Capitalizing Words
Following a Colon
Capitalize the first word following a colon if two or more
complete sentences are involved.
Consider these ideas for overcoming procrastination: Set a
deadline and stick with it. Start with small portions of the
project.
Do not capitalize the first word of material following a
colon if it is not a complete sentence.
Shelly said time wasters are categorized into two types:
internal and external.
Business English at Work
PP 6-23a
Capitalization
continued
Capitalizing Words
Following a Colon
Capitalize the first word of a sentence that follows a
colon if the sentence states a formal rule (regulation) or
needs emphasis.
Remember: Do priority tasks first.
Do not capitalize the first word of a sentence that follows a
colon if the sentence simply expands or completes the
first part of the sentence.
Michelle had one major goal for the day: she wanted to
complete the report.
Business English at Work
PP 6-23b
End of
Business English at Work
© 2003 Glencoe/McGraw-Hill
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