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Capitalization in Spanish

 

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  #1  
Old August 08, 2011, 11:39 AM
SPX SPX is offline
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Capitalization in Spanish

So I'm puzzled by what gets capitalized in Spanish and what does not.

Days of the week apparently are not capitalized, or so I've come to learn in the last few minutes. I've also noticed that "español" is not capitalized.

So apparently the general rule of "proper nouns are capitalized" does not hold up en español.
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  #2  
Old August 08, 2011, 01:26 PM
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Cuholvke Cuholvke is offline
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Capitalization doesn't applies on days, months, language names, nationalities... and I can't remember of any other.
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Old August 08, 2011, 01:55 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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I'll oversimplify some rules, but here's a list and examples with most of them:

One must capitalize all proper names:
-People's first names, family names and nicknames:
·Diego Alatriste, alias el Capitán
·Alfonso López, conocido como el Poncho
·A María Ramírez, le decían la China porque tenía los ojos rasgados.
·Pedro García
·Alicia León

-Pet's names:
·Mi perro se llama Solovino.
·El loro de John se llama Polly.

-Brands:
·un auto Chevrolet
·una cerveza Corona
·una televisión Sony
*There's an exception when the brand is used instead of the noun:
·Tengo catarro, ya me acabé la caja de kleenex.
·Necesito comprar cinta scotch.

-Religious entities, doctrine books and festivities:
·Dios
·Jehová
·Zeus
·Atenea
·Baal
·la Santísima Virgen
·el Todopoderoso
·San Juan de la Cruz
·Santa Teresita del Niño Jesús
·la Biblia
·el Corán
·el Pentateuco
·Navidad
·Pascua
·Año Nuevo
·Ramadán

-The names of space bodies:
·Andrómeda
·Plutón
·Saturno
·Ganímedes
·Titán
·las Pléyades
·la nebulosa de Orión
·la Cruz del Sur
*"Sol", "tierra" and "luna" tend to lose capital letters, because they're used too often, but they're capitalized when written in scientific jargon.

-Place names:
·América
·Europa
·Medio Oriente
·Inglaterra
·España
·Bolivia
·Perú
·Chihuahua
·Sonora
·Caracas
·Bogotá
·el Hemisferio Sur
·el (río) Paraná
·el (río) Danubio
·el (volcán) Iztaccíhuatl
·el (mar) Mediterráneo
·el (océano) Pacífico
·el (océano) Atlántico
·la Plaza Mayor
·el centro comercial Perisur
·la calle Cañitas
·la avenida Insurgentes
*Please note that when the article is not included in the name of the place, it's not capitalized, but for names like "El Salvador", "La Habana", "El Cairo" and similar, the article must be capitalized too.


Titles and official names for organizations and offices are also proper names:
-Official names:
·Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público
·Departamento de Estado
·Gobierno Federal
·Ministerio del Interior
·Subdirección de Obras Públicas
·Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos
·Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas
·Organización de las Naciones Unidas
·Museo Nacional de Antropología e Historia

-Books titles and names of magazines, newspapers, articles...:
·Manual de Conjugación Española
·Novelas Ejemplares
·El Clarín
·El País
·Letras Libres
·Cómo Leer en Bicicleta

-Laws:
·Ley Federal del Trabajo
·Tratado de Libre Comercio
·Reglamento de Tránsito

-Sports, social or political events' names:
·los Grammys
·las Olimpiadas
·Muestra Internacional de Cine
·Campeonato Mundial de Futbol

-Academic titles and subjects:
·Fui a clases de Español y Matemáticas.
·Juan López, Médico Psiquiatra.
·Mi hijo se graduó en Relaciones Internacionales.
·Tu vecino no es médico, sino doctor en Filosofía.


Forms of address are usually not capitalized. Normally they're capitalized only when they are abbreviated:
·el señor López / el Sr. López
·la señorita Pérez / la Srita. Pérez
·la señora Martínez / la Sra. Martínez
·la doctora Juárez / la Dra. Juárez

Some names that have to be capitalized when used as proper names:
-Zodiac names:
·Capricornio
·Cáncer
·Géminis
·el Toro (when used instead of Tauro)
·la Balanza (when used instead of Libra)

-Cardinal points
·Norte
·Sur
·Este / Oriente
·Oeste / Poniente
·Sureste
·Noroeste



The following nouns are not considered proper names, so they're not capitalized:
-the names of the months, days or seasons
·primavera
·miércoles
·agosto

-music notes
·do
·re
·mi

-the names of religions
·budismo
·catolicismo
·islamismo

-nationalities and names to designate someone from a region:
·mexicano
·gallego
·africano
·inglés
·francés
·brasileño
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Old August 08, 2011, 03:26 PM
Luna Azul Luna Azul is offline
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I was going to reply to this but after Angelica's thorough explanation, I'll abstain..
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Old August 08, 2011, 06:27 PM
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Thank you for that very detailed response, Angelica. I guess that has to cover at least ALMOST all of it, ha ha.
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Old August 08, 2011, 11:12 PM
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Awesome! Add to favorites
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Old August 09, 2011, 09:02 AM
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@Luna: Gracias.

@SPX: It's not exhaustive, but most students will learn the details and exceptions over time.
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Old August 14, 2011, 02:16 PM
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Glad that this is a sticky. Thanks, Malila!!
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Old December 25, 2011, 08:33 PM
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As a general rule, you can think that in spanish you have to use capital letters only with proper names, or things that are unique, I mean, that there is only one of it.

Your name: there in only one Peter, but there are many Fridays viernes.

Also, when it comes to titles, we are begining to adopt the English rule of capitalizing every world: for example La Conjura de los Necios (is the title of a book), but very very formaly the correct way would be:

Estoy leyendo "La conjura de los necios" (you should also use " " or something similar)
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Old January 08, 2014, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
-Cardinal points
·Norte
·Sur
·Este / Oriente
·Oeste / Poniente
·Sureste
·Noroeste
Esto es nuevo para mí.

¿Que debo escribir?:

"Ve hacia el norte" o "Ve hacia el Norte"

Or are both of those completely wrong?
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