February 26, 2024


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Why is “I” always capitalized in English?

Why is “I” always capitalized in English?

From the first English lessons, students learn the pronoun “.I am” is formally written with a capital. However, this particular clause has an unexpected origin, which is not connected to its place at the beginning of the sentence.

Each language has specific rules regarding pronouns. In French, they can be written in lowercase or capitalize the first letter if it begins a sentence. In the English language, the rule is almost the same, with one exception. In fact, regardless of its place in a sentence, the pronoun “I am” (meaning “I”) Must be written in capital letters. The importance of this rule is as it appears Basic principles of language learning from the 1700s. However, the choice of this spelling is not due to a grammatical rule, but a purely aesthetic choice. To understand this, we have to go back to the 13th century.

A rule that could not have seen the light of day without the printing press

All the books produced then were hand written. However, the fact of writing “i” in lower case Can be confusing while reading. Depending on how it’s written, it might Confusion with other elements such as linking words or punctuation. When writing the English pronoun “I” to make a real difference, it is requested Draw a long line (ie a capital I) when a text refers to the pronoun “I”. But it is true The year 1474 marks a turning point in the application of this rule. That year, William Caxton published the first work in English with the aid of the printing press. And the advent of the machine raises the question of whether this rule should be retained or not. But if used in the middle of a sentence it may seem too small to mean that the capital I has been retained. Since then, it has always been used as such.

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Words and nouns other than the pronoun “I” require capitalization in English

Capitalization isn’t just about pronouns. When writing in English, some words must start with a capital letter. This is the case for writing, for example Name of a country, language or nationality. The same goes for writing a person’s name, a brand, a city… Finally, you need to know the days of the week, months and holidays like Christmas Day (Christmas Day). are always capitalized. On the other hand, the rule does not work for seasons. So it is necessary to write”Winter” or “spring“In all lowercase letters.

When to Major in English?

In English, the rules for capitalization are often the same as in French. Here are some common situations where capitalization is required in English:

  1. At the beginning of a sentence: As in French, the first letter of a sentence is always capitalized. Example: She is going to shop.
  2. For proper nouns: Proper nouns of people, places, organizations, days of the week, months, and holidays are capitalized. Example: John, London, Microsoft, Sunday, December, Christmas
  3. For specific titles and names: Titles of books, movies, songs, and specific names of programs, courses, etc. are capitalized. For example: The Great Gatsby, Inception, English Literature
  4. “I” for personal pronouns: In English, unlike French, the personal pronoun “I” (je) is always capitalized. For example: I’m going to a party.
  5. For cardinal points and country names: Cardinal points and country names begin with a capital letter. Example: North, South, East, West, France, Canada
  6. Respect and Regards: Honorifics such as Mr., Mrs., Dr., and greetings such as dear and hello begin with a capital letter. Example: Mr. Smith, Dear John

It should be noted that these rules may vary slightly depending on the particular writing style or style guide used (eg AP style, Chicago style, etc.). It is always recommended to consult a suitable style guide for more precise guidelines.

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