Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This question already has an answer here:

In the following sentence, the pronoun I is written capitalized, even if it is not at the beginning of a sentence. Why?

What kind of questions can I ask here?

should I capitalize all the pronouns?

share|improve this question

migrated from ell.stackexchange.com Apr 17 '13 at 16:08

This question came from our site for speakers of other languages learning English.

marked as duplicate by waiwai933 Apr 17 '13 at 16:30

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

1  
It's just an orthographic convention. The only time other pronouns are capitalized is when they begin a sentence. Otherwise, only proper nouns (names of people and places and, sometimes, things) are capitalized mid-sentence. –  user21497 Apr 17 '13 at 7:55

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

This Wikipedia article says the following, about why I as pronoun of the first singular person is always written capitalized:

There is no known record of a definitive explanation from around the early period of this capitalisation practice.

It is likely that the capitalization was prompted and spread as a result of one or more of the following:

  • Changes specifically in the pronunciation of letters (introduction of long vowel sounds in Middle English, etc.)
  • Other linguistic considerations (demarcation of a single-letter word, setting apart a pronoun which is significantly different from others in English, etc.)
  • Problems with legibility of the minuscule "i"
  • Sociolinguistic factors (establishment of English as the official language, solidification of English identity, etc.)

This happens only with I; other pronouns (including me) are written as any other words, and capitalized when other words would be capitalized.

share|improve this answer

As @Bill Franke stated in the comment, it's a general convention, followed by anyone willing to write proper English.

All other pronouns (such as you, he, she, ...) should not be written with uppercase letters, except - of course - when they're at the beginning of a sentence.

For the remainder of nouns, it depends on what it is. Generally, only people's names (e.g. Jeff, Nicole) and places (e.g. Italy, Rome, ...) are capitalized. But, of course, there are - like in every other language - exceptions to the rule.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.