Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Apr 2010
    • Posts: 425
    #1

    Capital Letter

    May I know why the capital letters(Prime Minister) have to be applied to the first sentence, whereas the second one doesn't have to?

    1. The Prime Minister is attending the summit.
    2. How is the French prime minister elected?

    Thank you very much indeed.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,492
    #2

    Re: Capital Letter

    The first refers to the current holder of the post - the second to the post itself.

    Cf 'The Queen laid a wreath' and 'Which of us will be queen on the day of the carnival?'

    Rover
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 14-Nov-2010 at 13:30.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #3

    Re: Capital Letter

    Quote Originally Posted by panicmonger View Post
    May I know why the capital letters(Prime Minister) have to be applied to the first sentence, whereas the second one doesn't have to?

    1. The Prime Minister is attending the summit.
    2. How is the French prime minister elected?

    Thank you very much indeed.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER

    ***** ONLY MY OPINION


    Panicmonger,

    I was fascinated by your question, for I, too, am interested in such

    details.

    It was interesting that the teacher told us that "prime minister" is

    capitalized when referring to the current officerholder.

    (1) I am now looking at my local newspaper (one of the top 5 American

    papers) and its report on the recent G-20 meeting:

    President Obama appeared to ....

    British Prime Minister David Cameron warned of ....

    Bank of China Chairman Xiao Gang called ....

    ... with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

    THEN

    The president began the day Thursday ....

    My point:

    If I remember correctly, when I was younger (much younger),

    American newspapers always referred to the President.


    For example:

    The President is scheduled to visit our city today.

    Somewhere along the line (I do not know when), most (all?)

    newspapers changed the policy. Now "president" and other

    titles are capitalized only when they proceed the person's

    name. I am pretty sure that when this first started to become

    used, I was astounded. Now I accept it as "normal." Our

    newspapers often set the policy when it comes to punctuation.

    For example, almost all American papers write: James' house. To

    the best of my knowledge, The New York Times (our leading

    paper) still insists on James's house.


    Thank you

    P.S. Yes, the word "the" in The New York Times is supposed to be

    capitalized because the word "the" is actually in the paper's

    name. But most American papers refer to it like this:

    There was an interesting report this morning in the New York Times.

    (They don't even italicize newspaper names anymore, either!!!)

    The more you study English, the more you will learn how arbitrary

    many "rules" are. That is, there is no particular reason. "Somebody"

    decided X is correct, so everyone else said, "OK."

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Apr 2010
    • Posts: 425
    #4

    Re: Capital Letter

    Thank you, TheParser.

Similar Threads

  1. Capital letter?
    By cat's_eyes in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-Jan-2010, 19:43
  2. capital letter
    By jctgf in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 24-Sep-2008, 12:21
  3. Use of capital letter
    By Shiona in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Apr-2008, 09:45
  4. the opening paragraph of a letter - small or capital letter
    By Unregistered in forum Letter Writing
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Jul-2007, 10:46
  5. capital letter
    By daisy1352 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-Dec-2006, 05:20

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •