When to Use Uppercase or Capital Letters

Anytime you write something, whether it’s an email or a blog post or a letter to your boss, you need to use capital letters or uppercase letters, depending on the situation. But how do you know when to use them? Here are some quick rules:

Proper nouns

Proper nouns are always capitalized. Proper nouns are specific things like people’s names, the names of cities, countries, buildings, and companies. Examples: “Elizabeth” and “London” are both proper nouns and require capitalization.


Titles that come before someone’s name are capitalized. For example, “Dr. Jones” or “President Obama.” If a title comes after the name, it should not be capitalized unless it’s a title with a specific rank like “King” or “Queen.”

The first word in a sentence

The first letter of the first word in a sentence should always be capitalized. For example, “Yesterday was a beautiful day.”


The first letter of each word in an acronym should be capitalized. Examples: “NASA” or “FBI.”

Brands and Trademarks

Brand names and trademarks should be capitalized. For example, “Nike” or “Apple.”


Grammar and language rules dictate certain things that should be capitalized, like “I” must always be capitalized.

Take note; it’s important not to use too much capitalization because it can be overwhelming. Limit your use of uppercase letters and only use them when absolutely necessary. When in doubt, double-check with a grammar guide or run your text through a grammar-checker to make sure everything is correct.