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Part II: Some Basics of Style > Exercise #6—Capital Letters

Chapter 9. Exercise #6—Capital Letters

Let’s see how much you know about capitalization. Capital letters are used with surnames, days of the week, months, holidays, titles before a name, specific place names, and important words in titles. In the sentences below, add or subtract capital letters as needed.

1: Last year the meeting was held on a wednesday in June, or maybe it was later in the Summer.
A: Last year the meeting was held on a Wednesday in June, or maybe it was later in the summer.

Rule: Capitalize the names of days of the week, months, but not seasons.

2: Do we cross the Truckee river before we get to the lake?
A: Do we cross the Truckee River before we get to the lake?

Rule: Capitalize the specific names of places.

3: I understand that Captain Johnson will speak first and then the Senator.
A: I underistand that Captain Johnson will speak first and then the senator.

Rule: Capitalize titles in front of names, not otherwise.

4: The boss has a picture of his Mother on his desk.
A: The boss has a picture of his mother on his desk.

Rule: Capitalize “mother” and “father” when they are used as names, not when they follow words like my, our, his, etc.

5: The new salesman is a republican, a Catholic, and he speaks fluent Norwegian and chinese.
A: The new salesman is a Republican, a Catholic, and he speaks fluent Norwegian and Chinese.

Rule: Capitalize the names of political parties, religions, and languages.

6: Drive South six blocks; you will see the Chrysler building on your left.
A: Drive south six blocks; you will see the Chrysler Building on your left.

Rule: Capitalize the names of regions, but not directions. Capitalize the names of buildings.

7: He is taking accounting and english at a local junior college.
A: He is taking accounting and English at a local junior college.

Rule: Do not capitalize the names of general study areas. In this case, capitalize “English” because it is also the name of a language.

8: He is also taking history and health education 1a.
A: He is also taking history and Health Education 1A.

Rule: Do not capitalize the names of general study areas. Do capitalize specific course titles.

9: His favorite novel is The Catcher In The Rye.
A: His favorite novel is The Catcher in the Rye.

Rule: Capitalize the first word of a title. Otherwise do not capitalize articles (a, an, the), short prepositions (of, on, with, etc.), and conjunctions (and, but, or, etc.).

10: Our high school will hold its ten year reunion next month.
A: Our high school will hold its ten-year reunion next month.

Rule: Capitalize only the specific names of places, e.g. “Woodside High School.”




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