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Capitalization: English VS Russian


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Upper case and lower case letters in Russian are not the same like in English. Orthography and punctuation are things easy to understand. However, there are some differences in capitalization if to compare Russian and English language. So, let us review them together.

In Russian language we don’t capitalize the following:

1. Names of months, days and weeks

Monday – понедельник (ponedel´nikjhgfd)

September – сентябрь (sentâbr´)

2. If a word is derived from proper name or adjective, so we also write it with lower case.

For example, Italian restaurant – итальянский ресторан (ital´ânskij restoran)

оf Moscow – московский (moskovskij)

3. When we write nationality we also use lower case

American man – американец (amerikanec)

African woman – африканская женщина (afrikanskaâ ženŝina)

Belgian man – бельгиец (bel´giec)

4. In English titles are written with capital letters and in Russian not. 

Sir, Mrs, Duke, Dr, Mr and so on.

Professor – профессор (professor)

5. Personal pronoun I is always capitalized in English. In Russian we write personal pronoun using lower case.

6. Different languages. For instance,

Japanese – японский (âponskij)

Polish – польский (pol´skij)

Ukrainian – украинский (ukrainskij)

We capitalize first letter in such cases:

1. If we write a proper name

Example: Андрей – Andrej

Максим – Maksim

Евгения - Evgeniâ

Москва – Moskva

Волга – Volga

2. We have second-person pronoun Вы, it is used in formal style.

The same will be for Вас, Вам.

Very often we use this pronoun, writing business letters.

3. In the beginning of every sentence

Был солнечный день – It was a sunny day

Byl solnečnyj den´

4. When we write titles, so only the first letter is capitalized.

However, in English titles all words are capitalized, except of articles, prepositions and coordinating conjunctions. Also very often first and the last word in a title is written with upper case.

5. In Russian language we capitalize first word after colon

Like in this example with direct speech:

Вытеснив меня в кухню, Болеслав шепотом сказал: «Это человек из Парижа, с важным поручением, ему необходимо видеть Короленко, так вы идите, устройте это...» (М. Горький).

Vytesniv menâ v kuhnû, Boleslav šepotom skazal: «Èto čelovek iz Pariža, s važnym poručeniem, emu neobhodimo videt´ Korolenko, tak vy idite, ustrojte èto...» (M. Gor´kij).

So as you see rules are not difficult, but do not mix Russian and English capitalization.

If you have any questions, so feel free to ask me!


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Interesting thread, KatrinK!

Don't you think the English tend to capitalize a lot more than the French, for example? And definitely more, than the Russian language allows.

Russian requires capitalization of various holidays, for example:

Рождество - Christmas

Новый Год - New Year

День Конституции - Constitution day, something similar to the Independence day, in a way...

Have a nice day!

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Hello everyone!

Yes, it is definitely, that in English we use capital letters more than in Russian or French.

But in German, for example capitalization is also important, because all nouns are capitalized. So it is a grammar aspect. Also, personal pronoun Sie is capitalized in German language. It is interesting fact that in German colors can be written with both lowercase and uppercase. In some situations colors can be as a noun or as an adjective. 

By the way, in English compass directions as “North”, “South”, “East”, “West” – should be written with capital letter.  But in actual fact, we often see the opposite: north, south, east, west. So both variants are used quite often.

Possibly a common rule for all languages is a capitalization of brands, like






Have fun, learning Russian! 

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