What are uppercase letters

Upper-case letters Definition & Meaning

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

Save This Word!

Capital letters. (Compare lower-case letters.)



Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!

Question 1 of 7

Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

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

Lowercase and Uppercase Letters: Definition and Meaning

The 26 letters in the English alphabet can take two forms: uppercase and lowercase. Each form serves a different function. Most of the letters you see in writing are lowercase.

Definition of Lowercase Letters

Lowercase letters are smaller and sometimes take a slightly different form than their uppercase counterparts.

Notice the L that starts the word Lowercase in the previous sentence. It’s larger than the other letters and looks different than the l in the word letters.

Lowercase letters are used more often than uppercase letters. They follow the first letter of a sentence or the first letter of a proper noun.

English Alphabet Lowercase Letters

These are the lowercase forms of each of the 26 letters in the English alphabet.

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

Definition of Uppercase Letters

Uppercase letters, also called capital letters, are used to start sentences and as the initial letter of a proper noun.

Uppercase letters are larger than their lowercase counterparts. Though most uppercase letters look similar to their lowercase partners, others take slightly different forms.

English Alphabet Uppercase (Capital) Letters

These are the uppercase or capital forms of the 26 letters in the English alphabet.


When Should You Use Lowercase Letters?

It’s easier to explain the function of lowercase letters by saying what they don’t do. Lowercase letters do not start sentences and are not used as the initial letter of a proper noun.

They are used for all the remaining letters in sentences and following the first letter of proper nouns.

Most of the letters you write will be lowercase. A quick scan of this article shows that uppercase letters are used in specific circumstances and lowercase are used everywhere else!

In the first sentence of the paragraph above, Most of the letters you write will be lowercase., only the M in Most is an uppercase letter. All the others are lowercase.

Use Lowercase Letters with Common Nouns

Nouns are words that represent a person, place, thing, or idea. There are two types of nouns: common and proper.

Common nouns refer to a non-specific person, place, thing, or idea. They are generic terms. The chart below shows the common noun version of the proper nouns used above.

Proper noun (capitalize first letter) Common noun (lowercase letters)
Joanna person
London city
France country
Tuesday weekday
September month

Proper nouns refer to a specific person, place, thing, or idea. For example, the name of a particular person, city, country, day of the week, or month is a proper noun.

  • Joanna
  • London
  • France
  • Tuesday
  • September

The initial letter of a proper noun is an uppercase letter. The rest are lowercase.

A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.
Try it for free!

Sentence Examples with Proper and Common Nouns

These sentences contain both proper and common nouns (in bold). The proper nouns are capitalized, the common nouns contain only lowercase letters.

  • After work, Sue met friends for dinner.
  • The ancient poet Homer wrote The Odyssey and The Iliad.
  • My favorite day of the week is Sunday, and my favorite month is July.

When Should You Use Uppercase Letters?

Most often, capital letters are used to start sentences and proper nouns, but those aren’t the only times.

This list explains other circumstances that require uppercase letters.

1. The first word of a quote that’s part of a complete sentence

When an embedded quote is also a complete sentence, the first word of that quote should be capitalized.

  • Mary said, “We should go to the beach.”

2. Titles of literary or artistic works

Capitalize the first, last, and all other words in a title except conjunctions, articles, and prepositions of fewer than four letters. This is called “Title Case.” (Some style guides have even more specific guidelines, so always check!)

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Hunger Games
  • The Fault in Our Stars

3. Professional titles preceding a person’s name

When a title such as “Dr.” or “President” precedes a specific person’s name, capitalize it.

  • We will now hear from Dr. Jones, our keynote speaker.
  • President Biden will give a speech later today.

Use lowercase letters if the title is used as a description or not followed by a specific name.

  • The keynote speaker is Martin Jones, a doctor.
  • I’m watching the president give a speech.

If you feel overwhelmed by the different rules of capitalization, remember that ProWritingAid is here to help!

It’s a thorough grammar checker (and more) that will detect errors in capitalization for you.

4. The pronoun “I”

You should always capitalize the pronoun “I.”

5. Acronyms and Initialisms

An acronym is a word formed by taking the first letter of each word of a compound term. Initialisms are similar abbreviations, except that the letters are pronounced individually rather than forming a new word.

  • PIN is an acronym for personal identification number and is pronounced as the word “pin”
  • FBI is an initialism for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is pronounced as individual letters F-B-I

Some phrases are also abbreviated as initialisms:

  • “Talk to you later” is TTYL
  • “As soon as possible” is ASAP

Acronyms and initialisms should always appear in uppercase form.

6. When adding emphasis

Be careful with this use of uppercase letters!

When you put words or sentences in ALL CAPS, a practice often seen in texts or posts, you add emphasis to your words. Consider how that emphasis will be perceived.

ALL CAPS statements carry more aggression and intensity than lowercase words. That’s not always a bad thing.

For example, texting someone “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” instead of “Happy birthday” is a way to convey excitement and show you really mean those good wishes.

Other times, ALL CAPS can sound accusatory, demeaning, or rude.

Remember that ALL CAPS in writing makes it seem as though the speaker is yelling. Keep that in mind before you press “send” on your uppercase text or post!

A Summary of Lowercase and Uppercase Letters

Lowercase letters are used for common nouns and for every letter after the initial letter of the first word of a sentence.

Uppercase letters are most often used at the start of sentences and as the first letter of proper nouns, though there are other times to use the capital letter form too.

Take your writing to the next level:

20 Editing Tips from Professional Writers

Whether you are writing a novel, essay, article, or email, good writing is an essential part of communicating your ideas.

This guide contains the 20 most important writing tips and techniques from a wide range of professional writers.

Capital letters - what are they (large or small)? Example

Uppercase letters are larger capital letters than lowercase letters. Some uppercase letters are somewhat graphically different from the lowercase letters of the same name.

The Russian language uses the Cyrillic alphabet, created on the basis of the Greek alphabet many centuries ago by the scientists Cyril and his brother Methodius for Slavic writing.

In Russian, 33 letters arranged in a certain order form the alphabet. Each letter has a double graphic spelling. The same letters are uppercase or lowercase, depending on their position in the word and in the text, as well as on the semantics of the word, on what it names. nine0005

Consider how the capital letters of the Russian alphabet are written.

Capital letters. Image source: montessori-print.store

Capital letters are so called because in ancient manuscripts scribes began the text with a capital or capital letter, and it was written out with great care and decorated with curls in every possible way and often painted over with cinnabar. Later, each paragraph of the text began with a capital letter. When typography appeared, they began to capitalize the first word of each sentence after the previous period. nine0005

Note that not all words can be capitalized. In modern Russian, depending on the position in the text,

  • is usually written with a capital letter, the first word of a sentence after a dot, question or exclamation mark, ellipsis, placed at the end of the previous sentence;
  • the first word of a quotation or direct speech

"Genius men are meteors destined to burn out in order to illuminate their age" (Napoleon I). nine0005

Leo Tolstoy stated: "Always look for the good side in other people, not the bad side."

But if the quotation is introduced by the subordinating conjunction "what" , then its first letter will be lowercase.

M. Gorky believed that "even a small victory over oneself makes a person much stronger."

  • Each line of the poetic text is capitalized.

You are my land, dear land,
Freestyle horse racing,
The cry of eagle flocks in the sky,
The wolf's voice in the field!
Goy you, my homeland!
Goy you, dense forest!
Whistle of the midnight nightingale,
Wind, steppe and clouds!

AK Tolstoy

Let's find out in which cases a capital or capital letter is used, depending on the meaning of the word.

Capital letters in Russian

The use of capital letters in Russian is regulated by the spelling rules. We indicate the most frequent cases of the use of capital letters. nine0005

1. All proper names (personal names, patronymics and surnames, nicknames, pseudonyms, nicknames of people and animals, characters and heroes of literary works)

  • Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosov
  • Ivan the Terrible
  • Peter the Great
  • Yuri Dolgoruky
  • Richard the Lionheart
  • M. E. Saltykov — Shchedrin
  • Zabiya parrot
  • Ryaba chicken
  • Vasilisa is beautiful
  • Cat and cook (Heroes of the fable of I. A. Krylov)
  • Kupchina, Fruttered, Chers, Bread, Molot , etc. (V. Mayakovsky "Mystery-buff").

2. Names of deities and mythological beings, names of religions and sacred books

  • God, Creator, Savior, Jehovah, Yahweh;
  • Jesus Christ
  • city, river, lake, sea, mountain, star, nebula , etc. )

  • city Murmansk
  • River Irtysh
  • Lake Ilmen Ilmen Ilmen
  • North Pole
  • Nord Pole
  • Milky Way
  • the constellation of the Hounds of the Dogs
  • Andromeda Nebula
  • 2 0027 "king", "king" "queen" , as well as "president" without indicating a specific official are written with a lowercase letter.

    6. Names of international political, sports and cultural events

    • Olympic Games
    • Big Slame tournaments
    • World Economic Forum
        021 Football World Cup

      7. In business correspondence, official documents, it is customary to capitalize the pronouns You, You, You, Your as generally recognized forms of polite address to a business partner or official.

      8. Adjectives formed from proper names with the help of suffixes -ov-/-ev-, -in-/-yn-, -sk- meaning “name or memory of such and such”

      • Shakespearean tragedies.

      Video "The use of uppercase and lowercase letters"

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



      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?

      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: " entered room Asya entered . Abbreviations can consist entirely of capital letters: MSU , 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. nine0005

      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.

      There are languages ​​where there is no division into uppercase and lowercase letters - for example, there is none in the Arabic and Hebrew alphabets. nine0005

      What words are capitalized

      Capitalized in Russian:

      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.

      Names of mythical or religious characters. The words "He", "Most High", "God", when it comes to the supreme deity in monotheistic religions. (But in phraseological units 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.

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

      In all complex cases, it is best to consult a dictionary. nine0005

      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