Englische Rechtschreibung: Wann benutzt man Großbuchstaben?

Your questions
When to use capital letters in English

Jutta S. from Grevenbroich writes:

Can you please settle an argument? My colleague says it should be, I am learning english. I think it should be, I am learning English, because ‘English’ is a noun and not an adjective. Who is right?



It is correct that ‘English’ should be written with a capital ‘e’, so you are right. But the reason is not because it is a noun and not an adjective. It is, of course, correct that proper names are always written with a capital letter. This is the same as in German. But in English, adjectives which are formed from proper names are also written with a capital letter. English is different from German in this respect.

You say: 

I like Germans (noun) and also,  I like German (adjective)  beer; 

I speak Italian (noun), and  I love Italian (adjective) opera.



When to use capital letters in English

Englische Substantive werden in der Regel klein, manche Adjektive dafür groß geschrieben – ganz anders als im Deutschen. Beeindrucken Sie Ihren Chef und Geschäftspartner mit Ihrer perfekten Groß- und Kleinschreibung.


the first word in the body of a business letter
Dear Ms Banks
Thank you for your reply to my letter.
the pronoun “I”
I said I would come.
proper nounsEnglish, Manchester United
adjectives derived from proper nouns
the American president, French wine.
religious deities, religious figures
God / Shiva / Buddha / holy books
Zeus / Muslim / Jewish / Christian /
the Bible / the Koran
but: the Roman gods.
titles before names, but not after names
I met Major Tom Moss.
I met Harry Smith, mayor of Littlewood.
directions that are used as names
(North, South, to describe sections of the country, but not as compass directions)
Bloggs Ltd has moved to the North.
We are moving to the Southwest.
Our office is twelve miles north of Lincoln.
the days of the week and months of the yearWe sold a lot during the January sales.
I never work on Tuesdays.
seasons when they are used in titles
You can see our new Spring Collection at
our showroom, but, The new subsidiary
opens in spring next year.
public holidays
Our office closes at Christmas and Easter but remains open at Halloween.
the first word in a sentence that is a direct quote
Someone once said, “Money is the root
of all evil.”
members of political, racial, social and civic groups
Democrats and Republicans, African-
Americans, Friends of the Earth. 
Words and abbreviations of specific names, except when they are now general types
Freudian, Thatcherism, Marxism, but pasteurize, french fries.
Periods and events, but not century numbers
the Great Depression, the First World War, the sixteenth century, the Victorian Era.

Note: you do not usually use a capital letter after a colon (:).

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