How to Use Capital Letters


There are two figures for each letter in the modern alphabet. The big letters like “A” and “B” are known as uppercase or capital letters. The small letters like “a” and “b” are known as lowercase letters. Correct use of capital letters is important in business and all communication. If you don’t know how to use capital letters, here’s how.

Types of Letter Cases

In print we distinguish between several combinations of uppercase and lower case letters. All capital letters or “ALL CAPS” are uppercase. When only the first letter of a sentence (other than names and the pronoun “I”) is capitalized, it is known as “Sentence case.” When the first letter of each word is capitalized, it is called a “Title Case.” If all letters are not capitalized, it is “lower case.” Each type has its own uses.

How to Capitalize Your Name

You should always capitalize your real name. To use capital letters on your keyboard, hold down the capitalize key. For most computers this will be the SHIFT key. As you hold it down, type the letter you want capitalized. If it’s John Doe, you hold down the SHIFT key when typing J and D.

There are two SHIFT keys on standard keyboards. This is so you can use whichever hand won’t type the letter. If you need to type letter A with your left hand, you press the right SHIFT key with your right hand.

How to Use Capital Letters in Passwords

Mixing letter cases for passwords makes it more difficult to hack. Be careful though because if you forget which letter is capitalized and which isn’t, you won’t be able to enter the correct password even if you know the word. MyHighSchool is not the same as myhighschool or mYHIGHSCHOOL.

To use capitals for passwords, make sure your keyboard is in good condition. Type each letter carefully and make sure it is what you intend. Most passwords won’t be displayed on-screen as you type them.

Uses of Capital Letters in Print, Advertising and Writing

Capital letters are generally used to grab attention in print and advertising. In writing, you use it for emphasis. Use capitals with moderation. Since capital letters are all the same size, they are harder and slower to read than small letters which have different shapes. Use capitals sparingly.

Capital Letters and Internet Etiquett

In chat rooms and discussion groups, using capital letters is a big breach of internet etiquette. Messages in ALL CAPS seem like you’re shouting at others. Don’t use them unless it’s necessary.

Capital Letters and Fonts

Most typefaces or fonts have lowercase and uppercase letters. Sometimes though you get only capital letters. Especially with decorative fonts. Use these wisely. Most decorative fonts are hard to read. They are best used as title fonts.

There are grammar rules on the use of capital letters. You always capitalize after a period, for example. And you always capitalize the pronoun “I” and proper names. Occasionally you may want to bend the rules for aesthetic purposes. For example, you will see some website menu bars with all lowercase words. What’s important is to know how to use capital letters to get your message across.

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