Languages › French What Words Should You Capitalize in French? Far fewer words are capitalized in French than in English Share Flipboard Email Print PhotoAlto/Anne-Sophie Bost/Getty Images French Grammar Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Resources For Teachers By ThoughtCo Updated February 21, 2020 The rules for capitalization are quite different in French and English. Many words that are capitalized in English cannot be capitalized in French. Put another way, French words are not capitalized as often as in English, even for titles of published works. The tables below list various terms and phrases that you would capitalize in English but which are lowercase in French together with explanations for the differences in capitalization rules in the two languages as needed. Words Capitalized in English but Not in French The first-person singular pronoun "I" is always uppercase in English but not always in French. The days of the week, geographic terms, languages, nationalities, and even religions are nearly always uppercase in English but rarely in French. The table lists English words or phrases that are capitalized on the left with the French translations, which are not uppercase, on the right. 1. First person singular subject pronoun (unless it's at the beginning of the sentence) He said, "I love you." Il a dit « je t'aime ». I'm ready. Je suis prêt. 2. Days of the week, months of the year Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday lundi, mardi, mercredi, jeudi, vendredi, samedi, dimanche January, February, March, April, May, June, July,August, September, October, November, December janvier, février, mars, avril, mai, juin, juillet, août, septembre, octobere, november, décembre 3. Geographic terms Molière Street rue Molière Victor Hugo Ave. av. Victor Hugo Pacific Ocean l'océan Pacifique Mediterranean Sea la mer Méditerranée Mont Blanc le mont Blanc 4. Languages French, English, Russian le français, l'anglais, le russe 5. Nationalities French adjectives that refer to nationalities are not capitalized, but proper nouns are. I'm American. Je suis américain. He bought a French flag. Il a acheté un drapeau français. She married a Spaniard. Elle s'est mariée avec un Espagnol. I saw an Australian. J'ai vu un Australien. ReligionsThe names of most religions, their adjectives, and their adherents (proper nouns) are not capitalized in French, with a few exceptions, as listed below. Religion Adjective Proper Noun Christianity Christian chrétien Christian Judaism Jewish juif Jew Hinduism Hindu hindou Hindu Buddhims Buddhist bouddhiste Buddhist Islam Muslim musulman Muslim *Exceptions: a Hindu > un Hindou a Buddhist > un BouddhisteIslam > l'Islam Titles: The Exceptions Titles in front of a proper noun are not capitalized in French, whereas they are in English. For example, in English, you would say President Emmanuel Macron or President Macron because "President" is a title proceeding a proper noun. In French, however, the title is not capitalized, such as with le président Macron or le professeur Legrand. But there are exceptions even to this rule. Titles and occupations that replace a person's name are capitalized in French, such as le President or Madame la Directrice (madam director). By contrast, these terms are lowercase in English because only official titles that directly precede a proper noun are capitalized in English, never standalone titles. At the other end of the French capitalization spectrum are French family names in official documents, which are often in all caps, such as Pierre RICHARD or Victor HUGO. The reason seems to be to avoid bureaucratic mistakes. Unraveling the Mystery of Capitalizing French Titles Spot the Mistake in 'Parlez-Vous Français' Free French Worksheets What Are the French Names of Countries, Nationalities, and Languages? Using Accents on French Capitals Pronouncing OE in French Using 'Mademoiselle' and 'Miss' in French False Cognates are 'Faux Amis' Who Are Not Always Welcome 'La Marseillaise' Lyrics in French and English A List of English Singulars That Are French Plurals Telling Time in French Top 10 Beginning French Mistakes Prepositions: Small and Mighty Words That Drive French Sentences How to Pronounce the Letter 'T' in French How to Use French-English Dictionaries How is the Z is Pronounced in French?