Capital vs. Capitol

Grammar Tips

Grammar Tip: Capital vs. Capitol

Grammar Tip: Capital vs. Capitol

The word, capital, is used for many things.

  1. Capital refers to the city that is the seat of the government for its area.
  2. Capital letters are uppercase letters.
  3. Capital crimes are crimes that are publishable by death.
  4. Capital punishment is also known as the death penalty.

In contrast, the word, capitol, is only used for one thing – to refer to a building.

  1. The capitol is the building where state officials meet.
  2. The Capitol is the building where the U.S. Congress meets in Washington, D.C.

When referring to the U.S. Capitol building, Capitol is always capitalized. The state capitol is not.

When trying to remember which version of capital to use, think about this. Many capitol buildings have a dome on the top. Think of the dome as an O just like the O in capitol.


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