Quiz: Should You Capitalize This?

By: Alia Hoyt  | 

Some words are extra important. Enter capitalization, the perfect way to show just why such words are special. How adept are you at knowing what to capitalize? Take this quiz and find out!
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Question of 10

Which type of noun needs to be capitalized at all times?
common nouns
proper nouns
Proper nouns represent a specific name (such as President Biden or Iowa), rather than a generic name (like "presidents" or "states"). Capitalizing proper nouns differentiates them from the generic variety, helping them to stand out as unique.
abstract nouns
Should the seasons be capitalized? For example, "I always spend Fall in Vermont."
Seasons are only capitalized when they're part of a formal name (like the Winter Olympics). Otherwise, lowercase them.
Which personal pronoun always should be capitalized?
There are more than 100 pronouns. "I" is the only one that is always capitalized.
Which of these is correct?
People Magazine
People magazine
You only have to capitalize the name of the magazine, not the word "magazine" itself. If magazine is part of the formal name though, you would capitalize it.
They're both fine.
Becky Smith is a college chemistry professor at Acme University. Which of these sentences is correct?
Becky Smith, Professor of Chemistry, is giving the keynote address.
Becky Smith, professor of chemistry, is giving the keynote address.
The title should be lowercase if it follows the name. That's because it's a job description, not a formal title.
Either is correct.
True or false: The title of a high-ranking government official should always be capitalized.
It depends on the way it's used.
The title of a government official is always capitalized when used with a name formally (e.g., "Gov. Brian Kemp lives in Georgia"). But keep it lowercase if is just being used as a job description ("Brian Kemp is the governor of Georgia").
Which of the following school subjects should be capitalized?
English is derived from a place (England), which is a proper noun. So, that subject is capitalized, as are other languages like French or Italian. Math and physics should be lowercase, unless at the beginning of a sentence, of course. However, do capitalize specific course titles, like Algebra 2 or AP Calculus.
all of the above
Which dog breed is correctly capitalized?
doberman pinscher
Labrador retriever
Dog breeds are capitalized if the name (or part of it) is a place or person. But if it's not, then the word is lowercase. For example, "Labrador" is a place, so it's capitalized, but retriever is not. "Doberman" is a proper noun because the breed is named after a person. You would capitalize "Jack Russell" because it's a person's name but not "terrier." Some dog breeds are not capitalized because they lack proper nouns, such as cocker spaniel and miniature schnauzer. Confused yet?
Jack Russell Terrier
True or false: The first word of every sentence should be capitalized.
Always capitalize the first word of a sentence. No matter what.
Depends on the sentence.
When should you capitalize a direction?
You do this when you're talking about a direction on a compass (e.g., "Turn South at the Piggly Wiggly").
You do this when it refers to a specific region (e.g., "I live in the South").
If you're turning south at the Piggly Wiggly, don't capitalize the direction. If you're heading to the South for a gallon of authentic sweet tea, capitalize away.
Both are correct.


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