When quoting, the first word of a complete sentence should be capitalized , regardless of its placement within the main sentence. Matthew said, “In that case, I ‘m going out for a walk!” Neil Young’s admonishment “It’s better to burn out than it is to rust” is not appreciated by everyone.
The First Letter in a Sentence It’s important to always capitalize the first letter of a sentence . This is perhaps the easiest and most straightforward of the capitalization rules, as there are virtually no exceptions or other complications. If it’s the first word in a sentence , capitalize it.
The first letter of the first word in a quotation may be changed to an uppercase or a lowercase letter to fit the context of the sentence in which the quotation appears. Any other changes (e.g., italicizing words for emphasis or omitting words) must be explicitly indicated.
Capitalization of the quoted material depends on the material itself—if you’re quoting a complete sentence , you should start the quote with a capital letter, even if the quote is placed in the middle of a sentence : The exact phrase she used was “There is no way we will get there in time.”
5. When using quotation marks , certain rules apply regarding capitalization and punctuation. Use a capital letter with the first word of a complete sentence of a direct quotation .
When the quote ends, use a comma inside the quotation marks, and then continue the sentence outside. If the quote ends with a question mark or an exclamation point, use it inside the quotation marks, and then continue the sentence outside the quotation marks like: “Where are you going?” she asked.
In general, you should capitalize the first word , all nouns, all verbs (even short ones, like is), all adjectives, and all proper nouns. That means you should lowercase articles, conjunctions, and prepositions—however, some style guides say to capitalize conjunctions and prepositions that are longer than five letters.
10 capitalization rules everyone should know Capitalize the first word in a sentence. Capitalize the pronoun “I.” Capitalize proper nouns : the names of specific people, places, organizations, and sometimes things. Capitalize family relationships when used as proper nouns . Capitalize titles that appear before names, but not after names.
Capitalization means using capital, or upper-case, letters. Capitalization of place names, family names, and days of the week are all standard in English. Using capital letters at the start of a sentence and capitalizing all the letters in a word for emphasis are both examples of capitalization .
The Modern Language Association (MLA) establishes values for acknowledging sources used in a research paper. MLA citation style uses a simple two-part parenthetical documentation system for citing sources: Citations in the text of a paper point to the alphabetical Works Cited list that appears at the end of the paper.
When writers insert or alter words in a direct quotation , square brackets—[ ]—are placed around the change . The brackets, always used in pairs, enclose words intended to clarify meaning, provide a brief explanation, or to help integrate the quote into the writer’s sentence.
Changes that require an explanation include: If you omitted words within the quotation (to shorten the sentence or tie two sentences together), use an ellipsis. If you want to insert your own words, or different words, into a quotation , put them in square brackets ( [ ] ).
Those three little dots are called an ellipsis (plural: ellipses). The term ellipsis comes from the Greek word meaning “omission,” and that’s just what an ellipsis does—it shows that something has been left out.
Use an ellipsis in the middle of a quotation to indicate that you have omitted material from the original sentence , which you might do when it includes a digression not germane to your point. However, take care when omitting material to preserve the original meaning of the sentence .
Use ellipses to make a quote say something other than what the author originally intended. Include the sentence’s ending punctuation followed by the ellipsis points when the dots are inserted after a complete sentence. Leave out the spaces before and after the ellipsis points or between them.