"Capitalization" is the name for a group of rules that specify if the first letter of a word has to be written as an uppercase letter or a lowercase letter. The most important capitalization-rule in German language: every noun begins with an uppercase letter. But there are more capitalization-rules.
The use of capital and small initial letters in German is governed by the following guidelines.
- The first word of a sentence has a capital initial letter.
- All true nouns have capital initial letters.
- All types of word have capital initial letters when they are used as nouns.
- The polite form Sie and the accompanying possessive pronoun Ihr always have capital initials, but the reflexive pronoun sich always has a small initial.
- Words which are derived from geographical names and which end in -er have capital initial letters.
- Adjectives ending in -isch which are derived from geographical names have small initials unless they form part of a proper name.
- When nouns function other than as nouns, they have small initial letters.