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Chapter 34. Capitalization rules > Guidelines for capitalizing proper nouns

Guidelines for capitalizing proper nouns

There are some guidelines you should follow when capitalizing proper nouns:

  • Specific persons, tribes, races, and nationalities are capitalized: “African,” “French,” and “George Washington.”

  • All proper nouns that are names of individuals, as well as epithets added to proper names or applied to people or places, are capitalized: “Denver Broncos,” “The Windy City,” and “William the Conqueror.” You should not capitalize “a,” “an,” or “the” unless they are part of a name or title.

  • Specific places are capitalized: “Grand Mesa National Park,” “Room 48,” “Pacific Ocean,” “Lincoln Memorial,” and “Spain.”

  • The terms “federal,” “government,” and “federal government” are not capitalized unless they are part of an official name: “The Federal Bureau of Investigation.”


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