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English Grammar | when to use capital letters

English Grammar
How to use
capital letters

She explained that Thai food often requires a lot of ingredients. [correct]
She explained that thai food often requires a lot of ingredients. [incorrect]

Sixty percent of students enrolled at the university are male. [correct]
Sixty percent of students enrolled at the University are male. [incorrect]

Capital letters are always used for nouns in the following groups:
  • Germany, the United States, Britain, the Czech Republic, etc

towns, cities, states and regions:
  • Tokyo
    New South Wales, etc

nationalities, ethnic groups and religions – referring to people, languages or things from a country, region or culture:
  • Can you speak Chinese?
    A Buddhist temple
    You can hear he’s South African from his accent.
    I’d like to learn more about Asian culture.
    American culture has spread all over the world through TV and films.

months and days of the week:
  • October
    9th April
    Tuesday, Sunday, etc

*Capital letters are not used for the seasons: spring, summer, autumn / fall, winter

names of organizations and institutions:
  • the United Nations
    the National Museum

When a word like museum, university, station or hospital is part of the name of an institution, it has a capital letter:
  • Harvard University
    Karachi Station
    Rome Airport

However, when these words are not part of a name, they do not have a capital letter:
  • They built a new 100-bed hospital in the capital city.
    He first started working at the airport in 2003.

*Also remember: the Earth (but not the World), Third World / a Third World country, AIDS, CD / DVD (plural CDs / DVDs)

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