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MLA Writing Style

English

In English, capitalize the following words or terms:

  • The first letter of the first word in a sentence.
  • the subject pronoun I
  • Names and initials of people (unless otherwise noted, ex.: bell hooks)
  • Months of the year and days of the week
  • A title that precedes a person's name (Ex.: Senator McCain). Don't capitalize a title used alone, such as 'senator' or 'professor'
  • Proper nouns (Ex.: Canada)
  • Most adjectives derived from proper nouns (Ex.: American wildlife)
  • Musical notes (Ex.: middle C)
  • Academic grades (Ex.: I got a B plus in algebra.)

In general the generic forms of proper nouns are lowercase:

     Ex.: Brooklyn Bridge, the bridge

     Ex.: The United States Army, the army

     Ex.: President Kennedy, the president

French

French capitalization is the same as English capitalization.  The following terms are not capitalized in French unless they begin a sentence:

  • The subject pronoun je ("I")
  • Months of the year and days of the week
  • Names of languages and nationalities
  • Adjectives derived from proper nouns
  • Titles preceding personal names
  • Words meaning street, square, lake, mountain, etc. in most place-names

German

In German capitalize all nouns, including adjectives, infinitives, pronouns, prepositions, and other parts of speech when they are used as nouns. Capitalize the pronoun Sie ("you") and its possessive, Ihr ("your"), and their inflected forms. The following are generally not capitalized unless they are beginning a sentence:

  • The subject pronoun ich ("I")
  • Names of languages
  • The names of languages and of days of the week used as adjectives, adverbs, and complements of a preposition.
  • Adjectives and adverbs formed from proper nouns, except when the proper nouns are names of persons and the adjective and adverbs refer to a persons' works or deeds.

Italian

Italian capitalization is the same as in English, except for the capitalization of large amounts of time, including centuries (il Selcento). The following terms are not capitalized, unless they are beginning a sentence or a line of verse: 

  • The subject pronoun io ("I")
  • The names of months of the year and days of the week
  • Names of languages and nationalities.
  • Nouns, adjectives, and adverbs that come from proper nouns.
  • Titles before personal names.
  • Words meaning street, square, or most other place names

Spanish

Spanish capitalization is the same as in English. However, the following terms are not capitalized in Spanish unless the word begins a sentence:

  • The pronoun yo ("I")
  • Names of the month and days of the week.
  • Names of languages and nationalities.
  • Nouns and adjectives that come from proper nouns.
  • Titles before personal names.
  • Words meaning street, square, or other place names.

Latin

Latin rules are the same as English language rules, except ego (I), is not capitalized. 

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