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If I am writing about a historical figure such as a king (or governor or prince), am I supposed to capitalize the word "king" throughout my discussion of him? For instance: "King James initially made efforts to reform and modernize the country. However, the king later revoked his efforts and returned to his former ways."

Is "the king" correct here, or should it be "the King" and why?

Also, what are these type of words called? Honors? Titles? Epithets?

Thanks!

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That depends on the sentence:

If you are using this instead of his name, it's just "King", e.g. "Then the King [James] did what was supposed to be done".

If you are using this for kings in general (rather than a specific king), it's just "Then the king did what was supposed to be done".

If you specify the name, do not say "the", because you already mean a specific king by specifying his name.

King is a title.

I'm new sorry if what I just said is not correct.

Oh, and if you do both name and title it's King James, capitalized, no matter if in the beginning or not.

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