Example uppercase letter

Upper-case letters Definition & Meaning

  • Top Definitions
  • Quiz
  • More About Upper Case Letters
  • Examples

Save This Word!

Capital letters. (Compare lower-case letters.)



Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!

Question 1 of 6

Which form is commonly used with other verbs to express intention?

Words nearby upper-case letters

upper bound, Upper Canada, Upper Canadian, Upper Carboniferous, uppercase, upper-case letters, upper chamber, Upper Chinook, upper class, upperclassman, upper crust

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


What are 

uppercase letters?

Uppercase letters are capital letters—the bigger, taller versions of letters (like W), as opposed to the smaller versions, which are called lowercase letters (like w).

Uppercase means the same thing as capital. Uppercase letters can also be called capitals.

Some uppercase letters are just larger, taller versions of their lowercase counterparts (like uppercase W and lowercase w or uppercase C and lowercase c), but in many cases the two versions of the letter take different forms altogether, such as uppercase A and lowercase a or uppercase B and lowercase b.

To capitalize a word is to make its first letter an uppercase letter. For example, to capitalize the word polish (which is here spelled with a lowercase p), you would write it with an uppercase P, as Polish.

The state of being capitalized or uppercase (or the process of making a letter an uppercase letter) is called capitalization, as in Please check your paper for proper punctuation and capitalization.

In English, uppercase letters are used at the beginning of words for a few different reasons. It is considered a standard rule of English to use an uppercase letter to start proper nouns (which are nouns that refer to specific people, places, or things—meaning one’s that have specific names), such as Jess, Mexico, and Nintendo. Using an uppercase letter at the start of a word can change the way the reader interprets its meaning, as in the case of polish (a verb meaning to make something shinier) and Polish (an adjective describing someone from Poland) or apple (the fruit) and Apple (the company).

We also use an uppercase letter for the first letter of the first word in a sentence. Sometimes, we use an uppercase letter for the first letter of each word in a title, as in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. This is sometimes called title case.

Some acronyms and abbreviations are written using all uppercase letters, such as NASA and U.S. A word written entirely in uppercase letters (like WHAT) is said to be written in caps or all caps.

Example: A lot of people don’t bother using uppercase letters in text messages unless they want to emphasize something.

Where does 

uppercase letter come from?

The term uppercase letter has been used since at least the 1730s. The words uppercase and lowercase come from printing. The process of physically printing things with printing presses involved trays, called cases, that were divided into compartments for holding different kinds of type (blocks with letters on them). The upper case held capital letters and the lower case held what came to be known as lowercase letters.

It can be confusing to know whether or not to use an uppercase letter in certain situations, but a capitalization guide can help.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to uppercase letter?

  • upper-case letter (alternate hyphenated spelling)
  • upper case letter (alternate two-word spelling)

What are some synonyms for uppercase letter?

  • capital letter
  • capital
  • uppercase (when uppercase is used as a noun)

What are some words that share a root or word element with uppercase letter?

  • uppercase
  • lowercase
  • lowercase letter
  • letter

What are some words that often get used in discussing uppercase letter?

  • capitalize
  • capitalization
  • spelling
  • first
  • word
  • sentence
  • title

How are 

uppercase letters used in real life?

Uppercase letters are used in the beginning of names and other proper nouns, at the beginning of sentences, at the beginning of words in titles, and in some abbreviations. In casual use, a word might be written in uppercase letters for emphasis.

She’s back with the classics and the riddles and the puzzles. The uppercase letters say APRIL NINTH. 👏🏻 @taylorswift13 You deserve this, so much. 💛 https://t.co/x7KsswdBPj

— anne⁰⁰ ఌ😺 (@ANNEtisocial) February 11, 2021

Identifying and matching uppercase and lowercase letters using these colorful underwater themed cards. Games make learning fun! 🐟 🐠 #IslipENL #LearningIsFun @WingElemIslip pic.twitter.com/QjUSLvuZ57

— Jaclyn Brady (@JaclynBrady17) February 5, 2021

i wonder if i’ll ever use uppercase letters for anything besides emphasis again

— h☼ (@hl_cutie) July 8, 2019

Try using 

uppercase letters!

Which of the following kinds of words is often spelled with an uppercase letter at the beginning?

A. proper nouns
B. the first word in a sentence
C. the first word in a title
D. all of the above

How to use upper-case letters in a sentence

  • Certain features of its history suggest why this may be the case.

    Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers|Michael Schulson|July 27, 2016|DAILY BEAST

  • And, in the case of fluoride, at least, that doubt might actually be justified.

    Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers|Michael Schulson|July 27, 2016|DAILY BEAST

  • Her latest book, Heretic: The Case for a Muslim Reformation, will be published in April by HarperCollins.

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Our Duty Is to Keep Charlie Hebdo Alive|Ayaan Hirsi Ali|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • Their friendship began when Krauss, who was chairman of the physics department at Case Western in Cleveland, sought out Epstein.

    Sleazy Billionaire’s Double Life Featured Beach Parties With Stephen Hawking|M.L. Nestel|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • A grand juror in the Ferguson case is suing to be able to explain exactly what went down in the courtroom.

    Politicians Only Love Journalists When They're Dead|Luke O’Neil|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • “Perhaps you do not speak my language,” she said in Urdu, the tongue most frequently heard in Upper India.

    The Red Year|Louis Tracy

  • The case was an assault and battery that came off between two men named Brown and Henderson.

    The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun;|Various

  • In this case, I suspect, there was co-operant a strongly marked childish characteristic, the love of producing an effect.

    Children's Ways|James Sully

  • On the upper part of the stem the whorls are very close together, but they are more widely separated at the lower portion.

    How to Know the Ferns|S. Leonard Bastin

  • Sometimes in the case of large plants, cones have been known to occur on the tips of the branches of the Marsh Horsetail.

    How to Know the Ferns|S. Leonard Bastin

What Are Lowercase, Uppercase Letters?

Lowercase letter definition: Lowercase letters are all other letters not in uppercase.

Uppercase letter definition: Uppercase letters are letters that represent the beginning of a sentence or a proper noun.

What are Lowercase Letters?

In writing, most letters are lowercase. Lowercase letters are all letters that do not begin a sentence or refer to a proper noun.

English alphabet lowercase letters: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z.

Examples of Lowercase Letters:

  • word
  • The word above uses only lowercase letters.
  • The sentence above has lowercase letters after the first letter of the sentence.
  • This sentence and the one directly above have all lowercase letters except for the “T.”

What are Uppercase Letters?

Uppercase letters are also known as capital letters. Uppercase letters signal to the reader that something is important or significant.

English alphabet uppercase letters: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.

Examples of Uppercase Letters:

  • Jones
    • This is a proper name, so the first letter of the title and the last name are capitalized
  • Main Street
    • This is a proper noun so the first letter of each word is capitalized

When to Use Uppercase Letters

In English, the first letter of every sentence is capitalized. The uppercase letter signals to the reader that a new sentence is beginning.

Other uses of uppercase letters are detailed below.


All titles are considered proper nouns and require capitalization.


  • Miss Mabry
    • Incorrect: miss mabry
  • Mathers
    • Incorrect: mr. mathers
  • Madam Lockfield
    • Incorrect: madam lockfield
  • Lady Grace
    • Incorrect: lady grace
  • Janks
    • Incorect: mrs. janks


Acronyms are a type of abbreviation. Acronyms are words formed from other letters to make a new word. However, they require capital letters to signal to the reader that those letters stand for something and are not a word alone.


  • NATO
    • North Atlantic Treaty Organization
    • United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund
    • Self-contained underwater breathing apparatus

All Proper Nouns

All proper nouns need to be capitalized.


  • We visited the Bowers Museum on Saturday.
    • Incorrect: We visited the bowers museum on Saturday.
  • I would like to tour the Eiffel Tower.
    • Incorrect: I would like to tour the eiffel tower.
  • Their names are Jake and Suzy.
    • Incorrect: Their names are jake and suzy.

When to Use Lowercase Letters

Use lowercase letters for all letters other than the first in a sentence, provided that there is no required use for uppercase letters in the sentence.


  • Every word in this sentence other than the first word is written in lowercase.
  • The only words in this sentence that require uppercase letters are the proper nouns, London and Paris.

All nouns that are not proper nouns are called common nouns. All common nouns use lowercase letters (unless a common noun begins a sentence).


  • tree
  • dog
  • bird
  • water
  • air
  • star
  • street
  • girl
  • baby


Define lowercase letters: lowercase letters are those letters used for common nouns and internal words.

Define uppercase letters: uppercase letters (also called capital letters) are those letters that signify the beginning of a sentence or a proper noun.

In summary,

  • Uppercase and lowercase letters refer to all letters used to compose the English language.
  • Uppercase letters are used to begin sentences and are also used for proper nouns.
  • Lowercase letters are all letters that do not begin sentences.


  • 1 What are Lowercase Letters?
  • 2 What are Uppercase Letters?
  • 3 When to Use Uppercase Letters
    • 3.1 Titles
    • 3.2 Acronyms
    • 3.3 All Proper Nouns
  • 4 When to Use Lowercase Letters
  • 5 Summary

CAPITAL LETTERS - what are they (large or small)? Example

Capital letters are uppercase letters that are larger than lowercase letters.

What are capital letters?

In Russian writing, letters differ in their graphic design: some are large, others are small or lower case. Large letters are often referred to as capital letters. As can be understood from this "speaking" name, they begin headings, that is, they indicate the beginning of

  • sentences
  • period
  • paragraphs
  • stanzas
  • someone else's speech, etc.

    - By everyone is born for some work, - objected E. Hemingway and added:
    - By everyone who walks the earth has his duties in life.

    In an old style heals me.
    E There is charm in ancient speech.
    About is not like your words
    and are more modern and sharper.

    Bella Akhmadulina

    Capital letters are a common name. In Russian, a special linguistic term is used - capital letters. Once upon a time, at the dawn of handwriting, they were really carefully written at the beginning of a line, and decorated in every possible way to distinguish them from other ordinary letters. Emphasizing the initial letter of the first word is the oldest writing technique that was used before the invention of printing. When typography appeared, the tradition of using capital letters at the beginning of a sentence and to highlight proper names was preserved.

    Let us consider in detail the cases in which uppercase or lowercase letters are used in modern Russian.

    The use of capital letters

    Capital letters are used not only in headings, at the beginning of sentences, but also to highlight certain words found anywhere in written speech. These special words include

    • proper names;
    • items.

    In Russian orthography, proper names must be written with a capital letter:

    1. names, patronymics, surnames, pseudonyms, nicknames of people, names of gods, mythical creatures, fairy-tale and literary heroes

    • Tanya, Vasilek, Andryushka;
    • Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin;
    • Gaius Julius Caesar;
    • Vladimir Krasnoe Solnyshko;
    • O'Henry (William Sidney Porter)
    • Curly, Chernysh, Beetle, Top;
    • Zeus, Hera, Apollo;
    • Vasilisa the Beautiful, Cinderella, The Nutcracker.

    2. animal names

    • Tortilla turtle;
    • cat Marquis;
    • dog Oliver;

    3. geographical names, except for generic words (krai, region, district, city, settlement, village, river, lake, mountain, sea, bay, etc.)

    • Krasnodar Territory;
    • Saratov region;
    • City of Mosty;
    • Veliky Ustyug;
    • Sokol settlement;
    • Ponizovye village;
    • Volga river;
    • Lake Seliger;
    • Red Sea;
    • Everest.

    4. astronomical names

    • Cygnus constellation;
    • Solar Galaxy;
    • Alpha Centauri.

    The words "Earth", "Moon" and "Sun" as the names of celestial bodies are written with a capital letter and with a lowercase letter if they are used as common nouns. Compare:

    Recently, astronomers have difficulty distinguishing spots on the Sun.

    Rosehip stood with large flowers turned towards the sun, covered with many buds (K. G. Paustovsky).

    Note that in proper names all words , their components, are capitalized , except for nouns denoting generic concepts and service words, for example:

    • city of Rostov-on-Don;
    • Ludwig van Beethoven;
    • Vicomte de Bragelonne;
    • Vasco da Gamma.

    In this way, proper names differ from the names of organizations, institutions, industrial associations, architectural monuments, etc.

    In titles, capitalize only the first word , for example:

    • Socio-Political Research Foundation;
    • Research Institute of Road Engineering;
    • Main Department of Internal Affairs;
    • House of scientists;
    • Bronze Horseman.

    The name may contain more capital letters if it contains a proper name, for example:

    • Kristall Association;
    • Information Telegraph Agency of Russia;
    • Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory;
    • Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.

    The capital letter is also used in pronouns you, you, your in documents, business letters when addressing one person politely.

    What words are capitalized, the rule for the use of uppercase and lowercase letters, examples of words that are capitalized

    The Russian language is one of the most difficult languages ​​in the world, but the spelling section is especially difficult. What words are capitalized?

    In order to avoid confusion in this matter, certain rules should be followed. Let's consider this issue in detail.


    Upper and lower case letters - what are they?

    Every schoolboy or student has come across the concepts of uppercase and lowercase letters. In everyday speech, they are usually called capital and small letters. Despite the permissible use in colloquial speech, the Russian language has a certain terminology and structure for writing alphabetic characters.

    The main difference between an uppercase character and a lowercase character is the size. The capital letter is the one with which a new sentence or thought begins. It is also called capital.

    Example. The day was overcast. The letter "D" capital, capital, large.

    The lowercase character continues the sentence and is less than the capital character.

    Example: it was overcast. The letter "b" lowercase, small.

    Use of uppercase and lowercase letters

    There are a number of rules when it is necessary to use one or another letter character. Knowing these rules of use will eliminate spelling errors. We will analyze specific cases when an uppercase or lowercase letter is written.

    So, the capital letter is always used:

    • at the beginning of a sentence, paragraph or specific semantic part,
    • in direct speech. It is important that quotes are used,
    • at the beginning of the quote,
    • after the following punctuation marks: dot, exclamation and question mark, ellipsis (if the thought is complete),
    • in each new line of the verse, regardless of punctuation marks,
    • when writing nicknames, pseudonyms, first names, surnames and patronymics,
    • in names of districts and regions (Moscow region, Moscow region),
    • in the names of brands, brands,
    • when describing historically important events, as well as territorial and administrative points (Europe, Siberia, North),
    • in the names of planets, their satellites, rivers, seas, lakes and oceans (Moon, Sun, Earth),
    • when using possessive proper names in the genitive case (Olin ball),

    All concepts used only in the context of officiality , legislative acts and the composition of the state begin with a capital letter.

    Examples: Ministry of Culture, Russian Federation, Federal Law, Presidential Administration, Moscow Kremlin, Constitution, Soviet Power, Presidential Charter, Civil War, Decree, Government, Administration.

    Lowercase (or small) letters are written in the following cases:

    • at the end of a sentence or after the first and subsequent words,
    • after a comma and a semicolon,
    • colons (if not followed by direct speech) and ellipsis (if the thought is not finished),
    • in the names of various ranks,
    • in the names of the months.

    Words that characterize family affiliation, as well as those not related to matters of national importance, are used with a small letter.

    Examples: kyzy, ogly, Russian cheese, Moscow, world, all-Russian, state, Russians, Muscovites, capital, university, land, etc.

    Rules for writing capital letters in proper names

    to the following group:

    1. Personal data: patronymics, surnames, first names.
    2. Names of animals.
    3. Nicknames, as well as heroes of fiction books.
    4. Astronomical and astrological symbols.
    5. Geographic names.
    6. Printing, automobile and tobacco brands.

    Important: The main difference between proper names and common nouns is the absence of a plural when they are used. For example: Eugene Onegin, Vedomosti newspaper.

    Often, proper names can become common nouns. For example: Mikhail Bulgakov is a proper name. The work is written in Bulgakov's style - a common noun. In this case, the adjective is written with a lowercase letter.

    What else is capitalized

    Compound nouns can contain capital letters in the middle of a word, for example: MosTorg.

    All words denoting the highest religious officials are capitalized: Patriarch Kirill, Pope of Rome.

    All abbreviations have the following spelling: KPSS, SGU, St. Petersburg State University.

    Learn more