12 Capitalizations Rules Most People Don’t Know

Capitalizations rules can be extremely difficult to master, and there are a number of common capitalization errors that our proofreaders and editors come across time and time again.

In this article, we take a look at some of the capitalizations rules that are regularly flouted and explain the do’s & don’ts of using capital letters in your writing.

Picture of the number oneDo capitalize official job titles or role names but only if they come before the name and are attached to the name. Do not capitalize the title if it comes after the name.

    • President Barack Obama


    • Barack Obama, president


    • Llama Farming President Donkey Jones


    • Donkey Jones, llama farming president

Picture of the number twoDo capitalize specific geographical regions but do not capitalize points of the compass or general directions.


The hitchhiking penguin was last seen headed towards the south-west of South America. He was clearly ignoring his mother’s advice to head to colder climates in the north.

I escorted my herd of Mongolian Yak from the east to the west of Northern Tibet.


Picture of the number threeDo capitalize the names of sports mascots, official names, and colors but do not capitalize names of sports teams.

  • British Bulldogs
  • basketball team
  • Manchester United
  • Manchester football team (Manchester is capitalized because it is a proper noun, i.e. the name of the city).

Picture of the number fourDo not capitalize a.m. or p.m. under any circumstances.

  • 1:25 a.m.
  • 8-9 p.m.

Picture of the number fiveDo not capitalize course titles unless it is a very specific class. The only exceptions to this are classes that have the name of a language within their title.

  • math / maths
  • English
  • economics
  • French class
  • German history

More Capitalization Rules You Probably Don’t Know >

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