When to Capitalize: A Free Printable Cheat Sheet

Wondering when to use capital letters? Knowing when to capitalize and the basic rules of capitalization does not come easily to anyone, and if you find that you are never quite sure which words should start with a capital letter and which should not, don’t worry, you are certainly not alone. Approximately 80% of the documents that are submitted for our editing and proofreading service contain at least one capitalization error, so it is pretty clear that those pesky capital letters confuse even the smartest people.

To help you, we have put together a capitalization cheat sheet that should give you an idea of when to capitalize. It contains a list of the common situations within which you should, and should not, start a given word with a capital letter. It’s free to print out and keep… so now you have no excuses!

To download the full When to Capitalize Cheat Sheet, simply click on the image below.

A free printable capitalization cheat sheet


If you can’t find a rule for capitalizing a word in this sheet, via an online search or in any given stylebook, then err on the side of caution and start the word with a lowercase letter.

Are there any rules we have missed? Please leave a comment and point them out so that we can include them in future editions of this capitalization checklist.

Are you working on an important document? Make sure it’s perfect with our online proofreading services.

If you find this cheat sheet useful, you may also like our free printable guide to punctuation.

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