Capital letters in Spanish

We are going to see in which cases we must use the capital letter in Spanish, and we’ll also see in which cases we shouldn’t use it. The capital letter in Spanish is called mayúscula. Although sometimes it is not given the importance it deserves, this is a relevant topic because not all languages follow the same rules when it comes to capitalization. Sometimes it is assumed that the rules for capitalization in Spanish are the same as in English, but there are several differences.

Uses of capital letters in Spanish

We use the capital letter in the following cases:

1) Proper names

We will use the capital letter in the names of people, and also in the names of animals that have a proper name.
✏ Me llamo Ana Gutiérrez.
✏ Mi perro se llama Toby.

2) Titles

We use the capital letter in titles.
Sr., Sra.
Dr., Dra.

3) At the beginning of a sentence or a letter

We use the capital letter at the beginning of a sentence o a letter.
Hoy es mi cumpleaños.
✏ Estimado Sr.
     Le comunico que…

4) After full stop

We use the capital letter in the first word after period/full stop.
✏ Esta es mi hija. Se llama Gloria.

 

5) Geographical names

We use capital letters in the names of continents, countries, cities, islands, seas, lakes, oceans…
España
    México
    Uruguay
    Estados Unidos
    Madrid
    Los Ángeles
    Mar Mediterráneo
    Ibiza
    Lago Tahoe
    Océano Atlántico

6) Entities, universities...

Museo del Louvre
Universidad de Harvard

7) Titles of movies, books, magazines, newspapers...

La metamorfosis
✏ The New York Times

8) Brands, companies

✏ Su sueño es tener un Lamborghini.

 

When to use lower case letters in Spanish

We have seen the main uses of the capital letters in Spanish. Now you may wonder, what about the days of the week? Or the months of the year? Aren’t they on this list? Exactly, they are not, because they are not capitalized in Spanish, unlike English.

So now we are going to see in which cases you must not use the capital letter in Spanish.

 

Days of the week. Do not use capital letters in the days of the weeks in Spanish. Use lower case: lunes, martes, miércoles, jueves, viernes, sábado y domingo.

Months of the year in Spanish are also in lower case: enero, febrero, marzo, abril, mayo, junio, julio, agosto, septiembre, octubre, noviembre y diciembre.

❌ And seasons with lower case too… primavera, verano, otoño e invierno.

The cardinal points: norte, sur, este y oeste. And also their combinations: noroeste, sureste and so on.

Religions also in lower case, e.g. Ella es musulmana y él es budista.

❌ Use lower case in languages: español, inglés, italiano, chino… e.g. Mi hermano habla cuatro idiomas: francés, inglés, español e italiano.

Nationalities, e.g. Mi hermano es mexicano, pero vive en Canadá.

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