Capitalization in Spanish

The rules of capitalization, or el uso de mayúsculas , in Spanish are a bit different from English. Take a look at the information below to find out when you should capitalize in Spanish!

Capitalization

In Spanish, the first letter of every sentence is capitalized, as is the first letter of all proper nouns (names of people, cities, countries, places, etc.).

Me gusta el desierto de Atacama.
I like the Atacama desert.
 
Carlos es de Puebla, México.
Carlos is from Puebla, Mexico.
 
  • mayúscula  = uppercase
  • minúscula  = lowercase

Personal Titles

Titles like señor  (sir or Mr.), señora  (ma'am or Mrs.) and doctor  (doctor) are not capitalized, except when used as abbreviations.

For example:

El señor Rodríguez canta muy bien.
Mr. Rodríguez sings very well.
 
La Sra. Mendoza tiene muchos amigos.
Mrs. Mendoza has many friends.
 
  • When a full title is used (señor), it is written with a lowercase letter.
  • When an abbreviated title is used (Sr.), it is written with an uppercase letter and a period at the end.
  • When reading an abbreviated title like Sr. aloud, you pronounce it like the full word señor .

Book Titles

The first letter of the first word in titles of books, films, and works of art is generally capitalized.

Watch out! In Spanish you do not capitalize every word in a title. You only capitalize the first word.

Cien años de soledad
One Hundred Years of Solitude
 
Los miserables
Les Misérables
 

Newspapers and magazines

In Spanish, you do capitalize each word in newspaper and magazine titles.

El País
(Spanish Newspaper)
 
Revista Semana
(Colombian Magazine)
 

Time Words and Adjectives

Unlike English, Spanish does not capitalize:

  • days of the week
  • months
  • languages
  • nationalities
  • religions
  • the first word in geographical names

Take a look:

Hoy es viernes.
Today is Friday.
 
Nací en agosto.
I was born in August.
 
Hablo español.
I speak Spanish.
 
Mauricio es mexicano.
Mauricio is Mexican.
 
Roberto es católico.
Robert is Catholic.
 
Vivo cerca del río Grande.
I live near the Rio Grande.
 

Holidays

Religious festivals and national holidays are capitalized in Spanish.

For example:

Hoy celebramos el Día de los Muertos.
Today we celebrate the Day of the Dead.
 
En Nochebuena, mi familia come lechón y arroz con gandules.
On Christmas Eve, my family eats suckling pig with rice and pigeon peas.
 
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