"A" or "a"

Updated: Jul 20, 2019

i Am noT sure wHat to DO.

Let's talk about capitalization.

大文字と小文字について学んでみよう。



The purpose of this post is not to be an exhaustive list of rules showing one how and when to use capitalization, but it is to give you a brief understanding and perhaps appreciation for this aspect of English.

今日のブログでは「大文字を使う時、使わない時」リストを作ることが目的ではありません。その代わりに、少しだけ大文字と小文字の使い分けを見ていきたいと思います。


Q. What is the purpose of capitalization?

Q. 大文字はいつどのように使うべきか?




Capital letters are used to begin a sentence.

大文字は文章のはじめの文字に使います。

When writing, English utilizes capital letters to show to denote the continuation or beginning of a new thought or idea.

英語を書く時、新しい考えやコンセプトを始める時に文章は大文字で始まります。

I love being outdoors when the weather is pleasant. Personally, I enjoy walking and gardening.
My friend was happy with her grades. I was devastated when I saw my own.


Capital letters are used when writing a proper noun.

大文字は固有名詞に使います。

Proper nouns are nouns that name people and specific places. They can be very helpful if clarity is needed. Below are two examples that I hope illustrate this point.

人や特別な場所を表現する言葉が「固有名詞」と言います。

Jenna and I came to Japan as exchange students. We will be in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Okinawa for the next three months.
I saw a girl named Apple near an apple barrel eat an apple in Apple Barrel.

For this last example the girl's name is Apple, she is near an object called an apple barrel, eating an apple in a restaurant called Apple Barrel.

2番目の例では、Apple の名前の女性が apple barrel と呼ばれる置物の近くに立っていて、apple (りんご)を Apple Barrel と呼ばれるレストランで食べています。




Q. What happens if I write with too many capital letters?

Q. 大文字を使いすぎたらどうなりますか?


The overuse of capital letters does have its uses, but they are very limited.

全て大文字を使う時はたまにありますが、それほど普段は使いません。


Writing in all caps (capital letters) can come off as being either loud, demanding, frightened, scared, or some other strong emotion and perhaps all of them at the same time.

全て大文字で書いたら、叫んでる、要求してる、恐れてる、あるいは他の強い感情を表現している、または全部同時に抱えてる意味にとらえるでしょう。


There are a few more things to be aware of, but that's a topic for another day.

Perhaps next Wednesday?

他にもいくつか例を挙げられますが、それはまた次回にしましょう。

また水曜日まで。


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