This Capitalization rap song will help you remember tips for when to capitalize letters. When you get specific? Capitalize. First word of a sentence? Capitalize. Months and days? Capitalize. The pronoun “I”? Capitalize. Title before a name? Capitalize. All proper nouns? Capitalize. The song follows a child on his trip to New York City, where he encounters many words that need to be capitalized.
Man! I ever tell you about my trip to New York City? It was crazy! I mean, it’s not the capital or anything, but there’s a lot of things out there that deserve capitals. Check it out...
My Grandma Nelly, Uncle Rob and I,
Went to New York City, yeah it was July.
We flew JetBlue, landed at JFK,
Went to The Met, saw the Mets, it was a Saturday.
There was traffic 'cause President Barack Obama,
Was visiting Queens, that was causing drama.
I was reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,
In the back of a Subaru, sipping a Coke.
It was Independence Day, I'm not Will Smith, see,
But I started liking this day real quickly.
And, I bought a I ♥ NYC tee,
Down on Canal Street, they were speaking Chinese.
An FBI van zoomed right by me,
I saw dudes in Central Park doing tai chi.
I even saw a mural of B.I.G.,
Overall, it was a fun trip to the East.
When you get specific? Capitalize.
First word of a sentence? Capitalize.
Months and days? Capitalize.
The pronoun "I"? Capitalize.
When you get specific? Capitalize
Title before a name? Capitalize
All proper nouns? Capitalize
Now let's try it again with hardly any capitals...
My grandma and my uncle and me,
We took a trip last summer to a big city.
We landed at the airport after taking a plane,
Saw some art and baseball, what a long day.
There was traffic, because the president was in town,
And that was causing drama, it was hard to get around.
I was reading a book, I don't know what it was called,
In the back of a car, sipping soda with a straw.
It was a holiday, and I'm not an actor,
But it was good day, and what came after.
I bought a t-shirt and a sandwich,
Down on some street, they were speaking a language.
I almost got hit by a police car,
I saw dudes in the park, they were doing martial arts.
I even saw a big mural up on the wall,
It was a fun trip, overall.
In the first verse of this song, many words are capitalized. It is because they are specific versions of the type of word. In the second verse you'll see the more general version of the word. Those are not capitalized.
"Grandma Nelly", "Uncle Rob" and "I" are capitalized because they are names, or proper nouns. And make sure to capitalize "Grandma" or "Uncle" if they come before a name. But if you just say, "I love my grandma," you don't need a capital.
"New York City" is capitalized because it is a specific city, or proper noun. But if you said, "I live in a city," it wouldn't be capitalized because it is more general.
"July" is capitalized because it is the name of a specific month, or proper noun. The season "summer," though, is not capitalized.
"JetBlue" is the name of a specific airline. So it is a proper noun, and you capitalize it. But if you just flew on an "airplane," that wouldn't be capitalized.
"JFK" is the name of an airport, so we capitalize it. And it is also named after the President John F. Kennedy. When you write a person's initials, you always use capital letters.
"The Met" is a shortened version of "The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Even when we shorten a name, we still capitalize it. If you say, "I like museums," though, that wouldn't get capitalized.
The Mets are a New York baseball team. You always capitalize the names of teams. But you don't capitalize the word "baseball" or "team."
Always capitalize the days of the week, like "Friday," "Saturday" or "Sunday." But you don't need to capitalize "week."
In addition to capitalizing Barack Obama's name, always capitalize people's positions when they come before their names. So "President" gets capitalized, too. The same would be true for "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton." But if you're just saying, "The president is the leader of the United States," "president" stays lowercase.
Queens is a borough, or neighborhood, of New York City. Capitalize the name of towns, states, and countries, but not the word "town" or "state" etc.
Always capitalize the titles of TV shows, movies and books, like Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone . You only need capitalize little words like "and" or "the" when they are at the beginning of a title, like "The Hunger Games." But when they fall in the middle of a title, you can leave them lowercase.
"Subaru" is the name of a car company, and those always get capitalized.
"Coke" is a brand of soda. Brand names are always capitalized, but if you just say "soda" when you order, that would stay lowercase.
Always capitalize official holidays like Independence Day, but don't capitalize the word "holiday."
It isn't just celebrities that get capitalized names...everyone does.
"NYC" is short for New York City. It's a city, so you capitalize it. And if you recall from the JFK example, you also always capitalize acronyms and initials.
Whether it's Main Street or Wall Street, always capitalize street names. "Avenues," "Roads," "Lanes," "Ways" and other street endings also get capitalized...but only if they are following the name of the street. So you could write, "Madison Avenue," but "avenue" would be lowercase in the sentence "I walked down the avenue."
Capitalize names of languages.
What do we do with acronyms? We capitalize them!
Names of parks get capitalized. But the word "park" doesn't.
It doesn't matter if you write initials with periods, like "B.I.G.", or without, like "FDR"--they all get capitalized.
The cardinal directions get capitalized. So in the famous Manifest Destiny command, "Go West young man," "West" gets capitalized.
In the second verse of this song, all of the capitalized words from the first verse are replaced with their more general counterpart. So instead of saying Grandma Nelly, we say grandma. And when it isn't a proper noun anymore, you lose the capital. Compare the first verse to the second verse to see more examples of the differences in capitalization.
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