Spanish Essay Title Capitalization

The rules of capitalization, or el uso demayúsculas , in Spanish are a bit different from English. Take a look at the information below to find out when you should capitalize in Spanish!

Capitalization

In Spanish, the first letter of every sentence is capitalized, as is the first letter of all proper nouns (names of people, cities, countries, places, etc.).

Me gusta el desierto deAtacama.
I like the Atacama desert.
 
Carlos es dePuebla,México.
Carlos is from Puebla, Mexico.
 

Personal Titles

Titles like señor  (sir or Mr.), señora  (ma'am or Mrs.) and doctor  (doctor) are not capitalized, except when used as abbreviations.

For example:

ElseñorRodríguez canta muy bien.
Mr. Rodríguez sings very well.
 
LaSra.Mendoza tiene muchos amigos.
Mrs. Mendoza has many friends.
 

Book Titles

The first letter of the first word in titles of books, films, and works of art is generally capitalized.

 
One Hundred Years of Solitude
 

Newspapers and magazines

In Spanish, you do capitalize each word in newspaper and magazine titles.

 
 

Time Words and Adjectives

Unlike English, Spanish does not capitalize:

  • days of the week
  • months
  • languages
  • nationalities
  • religions
  • the first word in geographical names

Take a look:

 
 
 
 
 
Vivo cerca delrío Grande.
I live near the Rio Grande.
 

Holidays

Religious festivals and national holidays are capitalized in Spanish.

For example:

Hoy celebramos elDía de losMuertos.
Today we celebrate the Day of the Dead.
 
EnNochebuena, mi familia come lechón y arroz con gandules.
On Christmas Eve, my family eats suckling pig with rice and pigeon peas.
 
  • When a full title is used (señor), it is written with a lowercase letter.
  • When an abbreviated title is used (Sr.), it is written with an uppercase letter and a period at the end.
  • When reading an abbreviated title like Sr. aloud, you pronounce it like the full wordseñor .

Watch out! In Spanish you do not capitalize every word in a title. You only capitalize the first word.

Personal Names

With some exceptions, especially in English-language contexts, French de following a first name or title such as Mme or duc is not used with the name alone.

Maupassant (Guy de Maupassant)
Nemours (Louis-Charles d'Orléans, duc de Nemours)

However, when the last name has only one syllable, de is usually retained.

de Gaulle (Charles de Gaulle)

The preposition also remains, in the form of d', when it elides with the last name also beginning with a vowel.

d'Arcy (Pierre d'Arcy)

The forms du and des- combinations of de with le and les- are always used with last names and are capitalized.

Du Bos (Charles Du Bos)

A hyphen is frequently used between French given names, as well as between their initials (Marie-Joseph Chénier, M.-J. Chénier) Note that M. and P. before names may be abbreviations for Monsieur 'Mr.' and Père 'Father' (M. René Char, P.J. Reynard)

 

Capitalization

In prose and verse, French capitalization is the same as English except that the following terms are not capitalized in French unless they begin sentences or, sometimes, lines of verse.

1. The subject pronoun je 'I'
2. The names of months and days of the week
3. The names of languages
4. Adjectives derived from proper nouns
5. Titles preceding personal names
6. The words meaning "street," "square," "lake," "mountain," and so on, in most place-names

There are two widely accepted methods of capitalizing French titles and subtitles of works. One method is to capitalize the first word in titles and subtitles and all proper nouns in them. This method is normally followed in publications of the Modern Language Association.

La chambre claire: Note sur la photographie

In the other method, when a title or subtitle begins with an article, the first noun and any preceding adjectives are also capitalized. In this system, all major words in titles of series and periodicals are sometimes capitalized.

La Chambre claire: Note sur la photographie

Whichever practice you choose or your instructor requires, follow it consistently throughout your paper.

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