Lowercase and uppercase letters

Upper-case letters Definition & Meaning

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Capital letters. (Compare lower-case letters.)



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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

Uppercase and lowercase letters: usage, rules, examples

Is a capital letter large or small? If you can not immediately answer this question, then read the article. In it, we will see what an uppercase letter means and how it differs from a lowercase letter. And also we will analyze the rules of lowercase and uppercase letters and give understandable examples.

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What do uppercase and lowercase letters mean

What are lowercase and uppercase letters? The examples are not always clear, so let's start with definitions:

Capital or uppercase letters are graphic characters used in writing that are larger than line boundaries. They are also called the big ones.

A lowercase letters are graphic characters that do not exceed the size of a line in writing. They are also called small letters. nine0003

The very name "capital letters" arose in Russian from the verb "prescribe". In ancient texts there were no capital letters, all words were written from lowercase. And only at the beginning of the chapters, the first letter, which was called the “letter letter”, was depicted more than all the others. It was written by hand. Therefore, now capital letters are also called uppercase.

In Russian, every lowercase letter has a capital counterpart. Even "b", "y" and "b", although it is difficult to imagine where they can be used. However, not all experts support this opinion and prefer to consider that the Russian language has 33 lowercase and only 30 capital letters. nine0003

Another feature of the Russian language is that the spelling of large and capital letters does not always coincide. So, for example, the letter differs:

  • capital " A " and lowercase " a ";
  • capital " B " and lowercase " b ";
  • capital " D " and lowercase " d ";
  • capital " E " and lowercase " e " and some others.

Uppercase and lowercase letters in different languages ​​

Capital letters are used in many languages ​​of the Indo-European family: Greek, Slavonic, Germanic and Romance.

What does the capital letter mean in these languages? It can mean the beginning of a new phrase, a proper name, a geographical name, and much more. Below we will analyze in detail in which cases a capital letter is written.

However, not all language systems can observe the use of capital letters. Hebrew, Arabic, Indian, Thai and other languages ​​use only lowercase alphabetic characters. nine0003

There were no capital letters in the Glagolitic alphabet, the first Russian written language. Capital letters firmly came into use only in the 18th century and all thanks to the great reformer Peter I. He not only brought reforms to Russia, but also introduced a civil typeface that contained both small and large letters.

There are many words in Hebrew that are spelled the same but read differently and have different meanings. For example, the word "דוד" can sound like "dod" and mean "uncle" , as "dud" - "bak" and as "David" - a male name. How do the Israelis understand where is the meaning? Exceptional context.

Uppercase and lowercase letters: spelling rules

Let's see what rules to follow when using uppercase and lowercase letters in Russian. And to make it easier to remember, let's give examples of uppercase and lowercase letters in words.

Capital letter at the beginning of a sentence

The basic rule is: always write a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence.

Example: It is not difficult to make a term paper. It is necessary to choose a topic, write the text and check for errors. Pay special attention to words with -Н- and -НН-, conjugation of verbs and spelling of particles "not" and "neither" with different parts of speech.

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It is customary to capitalize not only the first word in standard sentences, but also every new line in poetry. This rule works even when the author didn't finish the sentence:

Night, street, lamp, pharmacy,

Meaningless and dim light.

Live at least another quarter of a century -

Everything will be like this. There is no exit.

If you die, you start over again

And everything will repeat, as of old:

Night, ice ripples of the channel,

Pharmacy, street, lamp.

Alexander Blok

Capital letter in proper names

Another rule that always works: capital letters are written in proper names. It remains to figure out what applies to them. nine0003

Proper names are the names of objects or phenomena that are unique and stand out from the general mass of homogeneous concepts.

On the contrary, common names are names that apply to entire groups of similar objects. Such nouns always begin with lowercase letters.

Earth with a capital letter is a planet, and with a small one - a common name

Let's look at specific cases when a capital letter is written in proper names. And also remember the exceptions, without which it is impossible to imagine the Russian language:

Rule Example Exception
Surnames, first names and patronymics of people Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, Pushkin, Mashenka, Marina Ivanovna. If proper names are used as a common noun, they are written with a lower case: Pikapers are modern don Juans and womanizers.
In pseudonyms, nicknames and nicknames Maxim Gorky, Bolbes and Experienced. If nicknames are used for a whole group of people: Why are balls dangerous for society?
Animal names Dolly the sheep, Barbos the dog, Murka the cat. If the nickname is used as a common name for the group: In the morning, any watchdog barks just like that.
In the names of fairy-tale characters Princess Nesmeyana Mermaid, Puss in Boots.
In the names of gods Jesus, Allah, Mara, Poseidon, Osiris, Quetzalcoatl. The word itself "god" can be written with both capital and lowercase letters. In church texts, they often write with a capital letter, but in popular literature - with a small letter.
In religious names Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Holy Scripture, Koran, Mother of God, Wailing Wall.
Place names Arctic Ocean, Kilimanjaro, New York, Serpukhovo.
In street and avenue names Alexander Nevsky Square, Tsvetochnaya Street, Raduzhny Lane.
In the names of astronomical bodies and objects Planet Venus, satellite of Jupiter, Halley's comet, Milky Way galaxy. If this is not an astronomical object, but a homonym: planet Earth and native land. nine0037
In the names of historical eras and events The Renaissance, the October Revolution, the War of the Scarlet and White Roses.
In the names of holidays Walpurgis Night, Independence Day, Victory Day, First of May, but May 1st. If this is the date of the holiday, then it is written with a small one: New Year is celebrated on December 31st.
In the names of awards Title of Hero of Russia, Order of the Legion of Honor, but Order of the Red Star. nine0152
In legal official names of companies and brands that are quoted Suzuki Auto Concern, Gorbunov's Bureau Creative Agency, Orlovsky Park Hotel. The name is not quoted if it is written in Latin letters: Hilton hotel, Pixies creative agency, BMW concern.
In the names of organizations and institutions Federation Council, United Nations, European Union. nine0152
In unique titles and positions President of the Russian Federation, Prime Minister. All other positions are written with a small one: NATO Secretary General, EU Minister, Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Abbreviated CIS, IAEA, UN, PE, MIA, USA. Some abbreviations are always written with a small letter: university, college, dot, bunker, bum, interim, spa. nine0037
In the titles of scientific articles, literary titles and other works The novel "War and Peace", the fairy tale "The Scarlet Flower", the article "Why sleep should be a priority for every student".

What are capital letters in street names? Examples may vary depending on the literary norm. So, in the names Chistye Prudy, Kuznetsky Most, Nikitsky Gates , only the first word was capitalized. Now the norm has changed and both words are capitalized: Chistye Prudy, Kuznetsky Most, Nikitsky Gates . If in doubt about spelling, refer to dictionaries.

Capital letter in adjectives

There are several cases in which adjectives are written with a capital letter, and they also need to be remembered:

  1. If the adjective expresses belonging to a particular person. For example, Misha's shirt, Vanka's stories.
  2. If the adjective refers to the memory of a famous person. For example, Pushkin Evenings, Spring Tolstoy Readings.

If the expression has become a common noun, then it is written with a lowercase letter: Sisyphean labor, Turgenev young ladies, oatmeal porridge.

Capital letter after colon

What other words are capitalized? Those with which direct speech begins. In the text, this is formalized as follows:

  • the words of the author come first;
  • then put a colon; nine0040
  • in quotation marks write the words of direct speech.

Example: Ivanov sighed and said to the teacher: “You shouldn’t want to expel me for absenteeism, but I can refund my record book and student card.”

A special case: with what letter to write the appeal "YOU"

In official documents, letters and business correspondence, the appeal "YOU" and its derivatives are often written with a capital letter. It is believed that this form shows maximum respect for the interlocutor. nine0003 In letters to a respected person, it is appropriate to write "You"

However, the rules of the Russian language do not impose strict norms. They recommend using "you" only if the author intentionally wants to emphasize his special relationship to a particular person. But if he addresses a group of people, then writing “You” with a big one is definitely not worth it. This will be a mistake.

Example: Petr Sergeevich, we wish you a Happy New Year and good health! Dear Anna and Vasily, we send you greetings and best wishes! nine0003

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Now you know all the rules for uppercase and lowercase letters. It remains to actively use the knowledge in practice in order to consolidate it. And if you need help in writing any kind of work, feel free to contact the student service.

Uppercase and lowercase letters. What does lowercase and uppercase letter mean in

Author: nine0003


August 20, 2020 12:15

Tags: knowledge Internet Russian language



Uppercase and lowercase character. Capital letters are large, lowercase letters are small. In what cases are more letters used in Russian? How to type them on the keyboard. What does it mean if the password needs to use different cases?

nine0002 A source:

A capital letter, also known as a capital letter, is a large letter that is written at the beginning of a sentence and with which personal names begin. For example: " In room entered In asya." Abbreviations can consist entirely of capital letters: MGU , MFA , RF .

A lowercase letter is a small letter that is written in the middle of a word. Wherever uppercase letters are not required by rule, lowercase letters are written by default. For example: "Z and the window was dark .".

Capital letter = large. A, O, E - uppercase.

Small letter = small. a, o, e - lowercase.

Initially, there was no division of letters into lowercase and uppercase. All letters were written the same way. But over time, many peoples appreciated this innovation, which makes it easier to perceive the text.

Small and large letters may be used slightly differently in different languages. For example, in Russian, only proper names are capitalized, and in German, all nouns in general. nine0003

There are languages ​​where there is no division into uppercase and lowercase letters - for example, there is none in the Arabic and Hebrew alphabets.

What words are capitalized

In Russian they are capitalized:

The first word in a sentence, in a quotation, in direct speech.

Proper names.

The first word in the name of a historical event or era: World War II, October Revolution.

Names of holidays, events: New Year, Olympic Games. nine0003

Names of mythical or religious characters. The words "He", "Most High", "God", when it comes to the supreme deity in monotheistic religions. (But in idioms like "God be with you" this word is written with a small letter.)

Company names.

In official documents - some positions and titles: President of the Russian Federation, His Holiness.

The word "Motherland" - as a synonym for the name of the native country.

The pronoun "You" can be capitalized as a courtesy in official documents and business correspondence, but this is not required. nine0003

In official documents when designating parties, documents: Customer, Contractor, Agreement.

In all complex cases it is best to consult a dictionary.

Uppercase and lowercase letters on the keyboard

To type an uppercase letter on a computer keyboard, you must either hold down the shift key and simultaneously type the desired letter, or change case using the caps lock key - in this case, all letters will be uppercase.

Learn more