Sign up or login to use the bookmarking feature.

WE 443 Editing for Mechanics

Teacher Tips and Answers


Page 443

Editing for Mechanics

What's Ahead


Proper Nouns and Proper Adjectives

Capitalize all proper nouns and proper adjectives. A proper noun names a specific person, place, thing, or idea. A proper adjective is formed from a proper noun.

Proper Nouns:

Beverly Cleary

Golden Gate Bridge

Boston Celtics


Proper Adjectives:

American citizen

Chicago skyline

New Jersey shore

Names of People

Capitalize the names of people and also the initials or abbreviations that stand for those names.

C. S. Lewis


George H. W. Bush

Harriet Tubman

Words Used as Names

Capitalize words such as mother, father, aunt, and uncle when these words are used as names.

Ask Mother what we’re having for lunch.

    (Mother is used as a name; you could use her first name in its place.)

Ask my mother what we’re having for lunch.

    (In this sentence, mother describes someone but is not used as a name.)

WE 444

Page 444

Capitalization (Continued)

Geographic Names

Capitalize geographic names that are either proper nouns or proper adjectives.

Heavenly Bodies



Milky Way




South America










New Mexico


West Virginia





British Columbia







Wayne County

Dade County

Bodies of Water

Hudson Bay

North Sea

Lake Superior

Saskatchewan River


Appalachian Mountains

Bitterroot Range

Capitol Reef

Public Areas

Vietnam Memorial

Sequoia National Forest

Roads and Highways

New Jersey Turnpike

Interstate 80

Central Avenue



Space Needle

Empire State Building

© Thoughtful Learning 2024

WE 445

Page 445

Titles Used with Names

Capitalize titles used with names of persons.

President Biden

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mayor Sharon Sayles-Belton

Tip Do not capitalize titles when they are used alone: the president, the doctor, the mayor.

Historical Events

Capitalize the names of historical events, documents, and periods of time.

Boston Tea Party

Stone Age

Emancipation Proclamation


Capitalize abbreviations of titles and organizations.

MD (doctor of medicine)

ADA (American Dental Association)


Capitalize the name of an organization, an association, or a team and its members.

Chicago Bulls

the Democratic Party


Doctors Without Borders


Capitalize the first word of a title, the last word, and every word in between except articles (a, an, the), short prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions.


National Geographic Kids


“The Star-Spangled Banner”


Inside the Mind of a Cat


In My Pocket

Tip Don’t lowercase every short word in a title. Even though my is a short word, it is not an article, a preposition, or a coordinating conjunction.

First Words

Capitalize the first word of every sentence.

Our first basketball game is on Saturday.

Capitalize the first word of a direct quotation.

Jamir shouted, “Keep that ball moving!”

WE 446

Page 446

Capitalization (continued)

Days and Months

Capitalize the names of days of the week, months of the year, and holidays.




Arbor Day


Memorial Day

Tip Do not capitalize the seasons.


fall (or autumn)

Names of Religions, Nationalities, Languages

Capitalize the names of religions, nationalities, and languages.













Official Names

Capitalize the names of businesses and the official names of their products. (These are called trade names.)

Budget Mart

Crispy Crunch cereal

Choconut candy

Smile toothpaste

Tip Do not, however capitalize a general descriptive word like toothpaste when it follows the product name.


Do Not Capitalize

January, March

winter, spring

Grandpa (as a name)

my grandpa (describing him)

Mayor Bewley

Ms. Bewley, the mayor

President Washington

George Washington, our first president

Ida B. Wells Elementary School

the local elementary school

Lake Ontario

the lake area

the South (section of the country)

south (a direction)

planet Earth

the earth we live on

WE 447

Page 447


Numbers 1 to 9

Numbers from one to nine are usually written as words; all numbers 10 and over are usually written as numerals.






Except Numbers being compared should be kept in the same style.

Students from 8 to 11 years old are invited.

Students from eight to eleven years old are invited.

Very Large Numbers

You may use a combination of numbers and words for very large numbers.

15 million

1.2 billion

You may spell out large numbers that can be written as two words.

three million

seven thousand

If you need more than two words to spell out a number, write it as a numeral.



Sentence Beginnings

Use words, not numerals, to begin a sentence.

Fourteen new students joined the chess club.

Numerals Only

Use numerals for numbers in the following forms:

money    $3.97

decimals   25.5

percentages 6 percent

chapters   chapter 8

pages    pages 17–20

addresses  445 E. Acorn Dr.

dates    June 19

times    1:30 p.m.

statistics   a vote of 5 to 2

identification Highway 50

WE 448

Page 448


Nouns Ending in a Consonant

Form the plurals of most nouns by adding s.

balloon → balloons

shoe → shoes

Form the plurals of nouns ending in sh, ch, x, s, and z by adding es to the singular.

brush → brushes

bunch → bunches

box → boxes

dress → dresses

buzz → buzzes

Nouns Ending in o

Form the plurals of most words ending in o by adding just s.

patio → patios

rodeo → rodeos

Form the plurals of most nouns ending in o (if they have a consonant letter just before the o) by adding es.

echo → echoes

hero → heroes

Except Musical terms and words of Spanish origin form plurals by adding s; check your dictionary for other words of this type.

piano → pianos

solo → solos

taco → tacos

burrito → burritos

Nouns Ending in ful

Form the plurals of nouns that end with ful by adding an s at the end of the word.

two spoonfuls

three tankfuls

four bowlfuls

five cupfuls

Nouns Ending in f or fe

Form the plurals of nouns that end in f or fe in one of two ways.

1. If the final f is still heard in the plural form of the word, simply add s.

goof → goofs

chief → chiefs

safe → safes

2. If the final f has the sound of v in the plural form, change the f to v and add es.

life → lives

loaf → loaves

knife → knives

WE 449

Page 449

Nouns Ending in y

Form the plurals of common nouns that end in y (if there is a consonant letter just before the y) by changing the y to i and adding es.

sky → skies

diary → diaries

story → stories

musky → muskies

Form the plurals of nouns that end in y (if there is a vowel before the y) by adding only s.

donkey → donkeys

boy → boys

key → keys

day → days

Form the plurals of proper nouns that end in y by adding only s.

There are two Judys in our class.

Compound Nouns

Form the plurals of most compound nouns by adding s or es to the important word in the compound.


maids of honor

secretaries of state

life jackets

Irregular Spelling

Some nouns form plurals by taking on an irregular spelling.

child → children

goose → geese

man → men

woman → women

foot → feet

tooth → teeth

ox → oxen

crisis → crises

cactus → cacti or cactuses

Adding an ’s

The plurals of symbols, letters, and words discussed as words are formed by adding an apostrophe and s.

two ?’s and two !’s

x’s and o’s

a’s and an’s

Tip For more information on forming plurals and plural possessives, see page 439.

WE 450

Page 450


An abbreviation is the shortened form of a word or phrase.

Common Abbreviations

Most abbreviations begin with a capital letter and end with a period, though some use no periods.

Tip The following abbreviations are always acceptable in both formal and informal writing:

Mr.  Mrs.  Ms.

Dr.  Jr.   MD


a.m.  p.m.

A.M.  P.M.

In formal writing, do not abbreviate the names of states, countries, months, days, or units of measure. Also do not use signs or symbols (%, &) in place of words.


An acronym is a word formed from the first letter or letters of words in a phrase. Acronyms do not include periods.

SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions)

CARE (Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere)

PIN (personal identification number)

radar (radio detecting and ranging)


An initialism is like an acronym except the letters that form the abbreviation are pronounced individually.

TV (television)

FYI (for your information)

PSA (public service announcement)

CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)

ASAP (as soon as possible)

WE 451

Page 451

State Abbreviations

Alabama AL

Alaska AK

Arizona AZ

Arkansas AR

California CA

Colorado CO

Connecticut CT

Delaware DE

District of Columbia DC

Florida FL

Georgia GA

Hawaii HI

Idaho ID

Illinois IL

Indiana IN

Iowa IA

Kansas KS

Kentucky KY

Louisiana LA

Maine ME

Maryland MD

Massachusetts MA

Michigan MI

Minnesota MN

Mississippi MS

Missouri MO

Montana MT

Nebraska NE

Nevada NV

New Hampshire NH

New Jersey NJ

New Mexico NM

New York NY

North Carolina NC

North Dakota ND

Ohio OH

Oklahoma OK

Oregon OR

Pennsylvania PA

Rhode Island RI

South Carolina SC

South Dakota SD

Tennessee TN

Texas TX

Utah UT

Vermont VT

Virginia VA

Washington WA

West Virginia WV

Wisconsin WI

Wyoming WY

Address Abbreviations

Avenue AVE

Boulevard BLVD

Court CT

Drive DR

East E

Expressway EXPY

Heights HTS

Highway HWY

Lake LK

Lane LN

North N

Park PK

Parkway PKY

Place PL

Plaza PLZ

Road RD

Rural R

South S

Square SQ

Station STA

Street ST

Terrace TER

Turnpike TPKE

West W

Common Abbreviations

AC alternating current

a.m. ante meridiem

BCE before the common era

CE the common era

COD cash on delivery

DA district attorney

DC direct current

etc. and so forth

FM frequency modulation

kg kilogram

km kilometer

kw kilowatt

lb. pound

MD doctor of medicine

mpg miles per gallon

mph miles per hour

oz. ounce

pd. paid

pg. page (or p.)

p.m. post meridiem

qt. quart

RSVP please reply

vs. versus

yd. yard

Teacher Support:

Click to find out more about this resource.

© 2024 Thoughtful Learning. Copying is permitted.