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Capitalizing Sentences

The first letter of the first word in a sentence is capitalized. Correct: The first word in a sentence is capitalized. The first word of an interjection, an incomplete question, or fragmentary response is capitalized. Correct: “Did you do it?” “No.” “Why not?” “Because.”

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Capitalizing Quotations

Capitalize the first word in a quotation if the quotation is a complete sentence or if it is an interjection, an incomplete question, or fragmentary response. Correct: He said, “Why did you come back?” (Quotation is a sentence by itself.) Incorrect: She replied, “you wanted me to.” (A fragmentary response, you needs a capital.) A

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Special Cases for Capitalizing

Sentence after a Colon The first word of sentence following a colon is capitalized. Correct: Grapes were not squeezed for juice: The pulp was pressed. (A complete sentence follows the colon.) Incorrect: Please bring the following items to work tomorrow: A grab-bag gift, a goofy hat, and a smile. (A list follows the colon, not

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Capitalizing Proper Nouns

A proper noun is a noun which names a specific person, place, or thing. Proper nouns are capitalized. That includes the following categories of names: Each part of a person’s name: James A. Garfield Chester Alan Arthur Given or pet names of animals: Lassie Trigger Secretariat Geographical and celestial names: Red Sea Alpha Centauri Lake

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Names NOT Capitalized

The earth, moon, and sun are not capitalized unless in a list of celestial objects or part of another name. Correct: I was born on the earth. Correct: The first three planets from the Sun are Mercury, Venus, and Earth. (In a list) Seasons are not capitalized unless part of another name. Correct: This summer

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