Suppose I have a character who can’t pronounce the letter b, and I have him start a sentence with “bananas” in dialogue.

Is this correct, using a single quotation mark in front of a pointing away from a:

“’ananas! What will I do now?” Arun said.

Should I capitalize the a of “ananas”? It’s at the beginning of the sentence.

  • To avoid the cluster of quote ticks, I might use an em-dash without capitalizing the a. I think consistency throughout the narrative's dialog is important. You don't want the reader to start hesitating while they figure out what you're trying to express.
    – user150753
    Sep 2, 2019 at 21:00
  • 1
    In a restaurant in France once, my father assumed that 'Ananas' on a menu was an error for 'bananas'. He didn't get bananas au kirsch, but something else. Sep 2, 2019 at 21:36
  • 2
    Ananas are pineapples, not bananas.:)
    – tchrist
    Sep 2, 2019 at 23:20
  • tchrist - yes, I know that. That was the whole point of my little story. Sep 8, 2019 at 14:00

2 Answers 2


Yes, when you use an apostrophe to show missing letters that have been contracted out of the beginning of a word for whatever reason, you still use a capital first letter for the sentence, meaning you'd use a capital A. A common example we see is in answer to a question of why when someone answers with a form of because where they've omitted the be at the beginning.

Examples from published works:

'Cause I don't think he go to Placerville or Sacramento.

-Corbett Mack: The Life of a Northern Paiute by Michael Hittman, pg. 144

'Cause I don't wanna be involved in nothin' that goes on around there.

-Getting Played: African American Girls, Urban Inequality, and Gendered Violence by Jody Miller, pg. 62

'Cause I don't care.

-Misadventure: Monologues and Short Pieces by Donald Marguiles, pg. 76


Capitalization is a marker of the beginning of a sentence. I'd capitalize the A to avoid confusion. The apostrophe should be enough to let the reader know the B is missing.

  • "'Allo", said the Cockney. Sep 2, 2019 at 21:37
  • We are to use "comments" in such cases. This doesn't qualify for an answer.
    – Kris
    Sep 3, 2019 at 10:38

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