Do you know when to use capital letters in titles? It seems so confusing. Some letters are capitalized and some are not. In this lesson, I focus on the extra-confusing words — the ones that are sometimes capitalized and sometimes not! You’ll learn the easy capitalization rules for writing about subjects, courses, companies, workplaces, occupations, and job titles. You’ll also learn how to capitalize the names of movies, shows, books, songs, reports, articles, and more. You can do this — watch and learn! Then take the quiz at https://www.engvid.com/capital-letters-in-english/
Hi. I’m Rebecca from engVid, and this lesson is about confusing capitals. Now, usually when you learn the rules of English capitalization, certain words are always capitalized. Okay? For example, the first word in a sentence, the word “I”, the names of people and places, and so on. Okay? Some words are always capitalized, but in this lesson I’m not going to review all of the rules of capitalization, but I am going to show you about when to capitalize certain words and when not to capitalize them, because sometimes the same words are capitalized in one context, but not capitalized in another context. But it’s not hard to understand; it’s actually very easy. Okay? So I’m going to explain it to you right now. Let’s get started.
So, the first one is in the area of a subject or a course. For example, if we’re talking about a subject that you study, for example, algebra, then you do not capitalize it. For example, if you say: “I’m studying algebra this year.” Okay? So you’re just talking about the subject, and therefore it’s not capitalized. But if you’re talking about the subject as a course, as the name of a course, then you do capitalize it. Okay? For example: “This year I’m taking Algebra 101.” Okay? That’s the name of that course, so you do capitalize it then. Okay? Let’s look at another example. “She’s studying psychology. This year she’s studying… She’s taking Psychology 201.” Or: “She’s enrolled in the Psychology 201 class.” Okay? Excuse me. All right.
Another example: “I would like to study business in university.” Okay? The person is being very general, just talking about the subject. But: “This year I’m taking a course called Global Business.” Okay? Now you’re giving the name of the course, right? So what’s the rule here? If we’re just talking about the general subject, no capital; if we’re talking about the course, then yes, we do capitalize it. Okay? All right. There is one little exception: When we’re talking about languages, and this is always true. So if you’re studying French or whether you’re taking French 101, you’re always going to capitalize the name of a language. Okay? And that’s just because in English we always capitalize the name of a language; doesn’t matter which one. Okay? That’s it. All right.
Now, when it comes to places, let’s look at how it works. So, for example, if I say: “She works in a bank.” Okay? A bank, the bank, it’s just the place, the building or whatever. Okay? The business. So then it’s not capitalized. But if I say: “She works at the Brookfield Bank”, now I gave you the name of the bank, so therefore it is capitalized. Okay? Because, again, the name of something is capitalized; the name of a person, or a place. Right? So then it will be capitalized. Or I say: “I went to the library.” Okay? “I often study at the library.” Okay? Just a library in general, not capitalized. Or: “I often visit the Toronto Public Library.” Now I’m giving you the name of a specific library, right? So, of course, it gets capitalized. Got it? Okay.
Or: “He goes to university.” Okay? He’s in university, just a regular word so we don’t capitalize it. But: “He got admission to the University of Oxford.” Okay, now we’re giving the name of the university, so you do have to capitalize it. Okay? Got it? All right. So I hope that’s pretty clear so far. All right? So when we’re giving the name of a course or we’re giving a name of the particular place, like a bank, a library, university, a school, a business-right?-then you’re going to capitalize it; and otherwise, in general, not. Okay.
Now let’s look when we’re talking about professions and titles. So, the rule is like this: If you’re just talking about… Let’s say: “I went to see the doctor.” Okay? Or: “I need to see a doctor.” So if before the profession you say the word “a” or “the”-okay?-then you don’t capitalize it because you’re just talking about a doctor in general; you’re not giving the name of the doctor, you’re not saying which doctor. So, here we just say: “I need to see a doctor.” Or: “I have an appointment with Dr. Patel.” Now this is the name of the doctor, right? So then we need to capitalize the “D” for “Doctor” and, of course, his or her name. All right? Next: “I would like to speak to the professor.” Okay? “The professor”, again, general, so no capital, but here: “You need to make an appointment to see Professor Brown.” […]