GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Practice Test: Capitalization

Capitalization is an important part of the English language.  Capital letter are used in three ways:  proper nouns, titles, and the beginnings of sentences.

PROPER NOUNS

Of course a noun is a person, place, thing, or idea.  A proper noun is the official name of a particular person, place, or thing.  These words are always capitalized.
country, cityGermany, Tulsa

Common Nouns Proper Nouns
boy, man Abdul,  Joseph
girl, woman Aliya, Bonnie
shop, restaurant Sunbirds, Five Guys
book, film Tequila Sunrise, Star Wars
company, corporation Audi, Microsoft
month, day of the week May, Tuesday

TITLES

Titles can be somewhat difficult because there are several different schools of thought on the matter.  The GED uses the MLA guidelines on capitalization.

Capitalize the first and last word of the title and all principal words.  Do NOT capitalize these parts of speech when the fall in the middle of a title: articles, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions, and the “to” in the infinitive form of a verb.

Examples:

Flowers for Algernon (“Flowers” and “Algernon” are nouns, “for” is a preposition)

What Is Literature? (remember that “is” is a verb!)

The Calm between the Storm and the Hurricane(“between” is a proposition, “the” is an article, and “and” is coordinating conjunction)

SENTENCES

You always need to capitalize the first word of any sentence, even a sentence in quotations in the middle of another sentence.  There are no exceptions to this rule in the formal prose.

 

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