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When to Capitalize

Upper-case letters. We've all seen them. Hell, you're looking at some right now. But when should you capitalize? You're in luck, because I'm here with the rules.

1.) Capitalize proper nouns like people's names, the titles of movies/books, etc. Generally, capitalize any name that points to a very specific thing. For instance, you wouldn't capitalize the word "road" because it could refer to any road. But you would capitalize "Legacy Road" because it refers to a specific road.

2.) Capitalize the first word in a sentence.

3.) When it comes to the titles of works, there are several rules. First, capitalize the first and last words. Generally, you capitalize words longer than four letters, but a very short word would be capitalized if it's the first or last word in the title. Example: An Officer and a Gentleman. "An" is capitalize but "and" and "a" are not.

4.) Capitalize words that come from proper nouns. You would capitalize "German" as a school class as it is derived from the proper noun "Germany."

5.) Capitalize the first word in a quote (as long as the quote is a complete sentence). Example: "He said, 'Get off my plane!'" "Get" is capitalized.

6.) Capitalize titles that appear on the signature lines of letters. You would also do it immediately before the title precedes a name or when you use the title instead of a name. Examples: "Mr. Scott Kinkade," "Scott Kinkade, Founder," and "Hello, Treasurer."

7.) Capitalize the first word of a greeting and the first word of a closing. Examples: "Dear Schwarzenegger..." and "Yours truly..."

8.) When it comes to words that follow a colon, you would capitalize... sometimes. If it's an independent clause, you can capitalize if you want--it depends on which style guide you use. If it's a list of things, you wouldn't unless they're proper nouns. If a proper noun follows a colon, you must capitalize it.

9.) Don't capitalize the first word after a semicolon unless it's a proper noun.

And now you know. And knowing is half the battle!