Language & Grammar - Grammar Central: Help: North Pole and Artic regions--capitalization Showing 1-18 of 18
When should I capitalize north, west, south, east, northwest, southeast (excetra, excetra)?
Feeling lo st? Unsure which way to turn? We are, after all, a proofreading site. BUT … we can offer some direction on directions — specifically, whether to capitalize them. At the most basic level, the standard advice is to lowercase north , south , east and west when used as compass directions and to capitalize them when they are used as part of a proper noun or adjective or refer to regions or geographic areas. Easy enough to remember, right? The tricky part is how to navigate related words such as northern , southern , eastern and western.
There is a general rule on when to capitalize directions and regions, but it can get a little confusing when you actually put it into practice. The general rule to follow is to use lowercase when referring to compass directions and to capitalize when referring to specific regions. Compass directions and the terms that are derived from them south, southern are lowercased when they are referring to direction or location. For example,. Regional terms can sometimes be tricky because they are often based on the points of a compass, but they are treated differently for capitalization purposes. Regional terms, when they are generally accepted as proper names for an area, are capitalized. There can be some confusion when you are trying to figure out what exactly you are referring to in the sentence, a direction or a region.
In general, when a direction is a description, it's lowercase, and when it's the name of something, it's capitalized—but there are exceptions.
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Capital Letters with North, East, South, and West
When proofreading or editing documents, we often find that writers are confused about when to capitalize these terms. Here are some rules to follow. Capitalize north, south, east, west , and derivative words when they designate definite regions or are an integral part of a proper name.
The question is, how do you know when you should be using the capital letter? On a side note, the directions in the title of this article are capitalized due to headline capitalization rules even though they merely indicate direction. As soon as you start using directions as part of a proper name, they get capitalized. Sometimes, people abbreviate these names which can make it a bit more confusing. To put it in another way that may make it easier to understand, talking about a region, such as Western Europe, means capitals are used. I think I get it and how to capitalize directions now. It depends on how the direction is being used in the sentence, right?