Best large or small? Almost always lower case!

A recurring problem in spelling concerns whether words should be capitalized or lowercase.

Best large or small? Almost always lower case!

Especially with compound nouns, this can lead to ambiguity. For example "workshop stay plan" can be interpreted as both "workshop stay plan" and workshop stay plan.

Nevertheless, there are clear rules about when words must be written in lower case. For example, verbs, adjectives and conjunctions are always written in lower case.

Because of these rules, it is recommended that words be written in lower case in most cases. Only in exceptional cases, such as proper names or at the beginning of a sentence, should words be capitalized.

Ultimately, however, it always comes down to context. Greater clarity can be achieved by careful punctuation and punctuation marks.

The rules of capitalization in the German language

The German language has very pronounced capitalization compared to other languages. But what are the rules and when do you have to write in upper or lower case???

First of all, the rule is "Almost always lowercase!". This means that words are usually lowercase unless there is an explicit rule requiring capitalization.

An example of this would be the sentence "I attend university". Here the word "university" must be capitalized, because it is a proper name. Even when addressing people, the polite form must be capitalized, such as "Dear Sir or Madam".

Other rules concern capitalization after a colon, for example. If this part of a sentence forms its own sentence, the first word must be capitalized. Capitalization is also often used in titles and headings, as well as in noun phrases for verbs, such as "Singing is fun".

However, there are many exceptions and special cases where it depends on the context and meaning of the word. Therefore, it is best to always stick to the rule "Almost always lowercase!" to orient and look up in the Duden or other grammar books if unsure.

As a general rule, incorrect capitalization does not usually lead to comprehension problems, since the meaning of the sentence is usually clear anyway. However, correct spelling can make reading and comprehension easier and look more professional.

The most common capitalization mistakes

Correctly using upper and lower case can often be a challenge because there are many exceptions. Here are some of the most common mistakes that should be avoided:

  • Words that consist of several components are often misspelled. For example "thereupon is often spelled as "towards.
  • Nouns should be capitalized, but verbs and adjectives should be lowercase. A common mistake is to capitalize verbs and adjectives when they are used as nouns. For example, "the reading is often written as "the reading.
  • Geographical terms are often mispelled. Countries, cities and continents should be capitalized, but rivers, mountains and seas only if they are part of the name.

However, it is best to lowercase most words, as this is the norm in the German language. Only nouns should be capitalized, unless they are used as verbs or adjectives.

It is also important to remember that there are exceptions, especially in the spelling of proper names and foreign words. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult a dictionary or spelling app to ensure that you spell words correctly.

Why most texts look better in lower case

Lower case is the norm for most text on the Internet. There are several reasons for this, all of which are crucial to readability and comprehension.

For one thing, capitalized words are more difficult to read. The reason is that our eyes recognize shapes and patterns while reading. Each letter has a specific shape that our eyes use to form words and sentences. Uppercase letters have an unusual shape that our eyes can’t see as easily as lowercase letters. This is why our eyes get tired faster when we read longer texts in capital letters.

Another important consideration is that writing in capital letters is often interpreted as shouting. So, if you write a text in capital letters, you are signaling to your reader that you are being aggressive and loud with them. This is certainly not what you intend when you write a text.

  • Texts written in lower case, on the other hand, convey a calmer and more businesslike atmosphere.
  • Lowercase letters are also easier to read because they use less ink on paper than uppercase letters.
  • In addition, lowercase improves the readability of text on screens and mobile devices, where font sizes are often smaller than on paper.

Ultimately, however, the decision depends on your personal preference. Whether you write in upper or lower case also depends on the type of text you are writing. However, it is important to be aware of the impact your decision will have on the readability and comprehension of your text.

Important exceptions to upper and lower case writing

The German language is known for having many rules that determine the capitalization of words. Words are almost always written in lower case, especially in today’s online communication and chats. However, there are some important exceptions to this rule that you should be aware of.

  • Nouns: In German, nouns are capitalized. This is true even if they are not at the beginning of the sentence. For example: "I like to drink coffee."The word "coffee is a noun and is therefore written in capital letters.
  • Salutatory pronoun: The salutatory pronoun "you" is always capitalized, regardless of whether it is at the beginning of the sentence or not. For example "Can you help me?"
  • Pronouns: personal pronouns such as "I" "you" "he" "she" "it" are lowercase. However, there are exceptions like "See da!", where the "see" is capitalized.
  • Adjectives: adjectives are written in lower case, except when they are part of the proper name. For example: "I am buying a new car." The adjective "new is written in lower case, even though it comes before a noun.
  • Verbs: Verbs are also always lowercase, even if they are at the beginning of the sentence. For example: "Yesterday I went for a walk."

There are also some words or terms that can be either capitalized or lowercase, depending on the context. In this case, you should follow the generally accepted spelling rules.

While there are many rules when it comes to capitalization in German, with a little practice it’s easy to master them and focus on your writing.

Almost always lowercase!

The debate about whether it is better to write in upper or lower case occupies many people’s minds. But there is no clear answer to this. In most cases, however, it is better to write in lower case.

For example, in e-mails, chats and text messages: Here it is important to communicate quickly and precisely. Capitalization can be more of a hindrance in this respect. Small letters are also almost always used in headings and bullet points, as this is clearer and easier to read.

Best large or small? Almost always lower case!

On the other hand, there are also situations where great writing makes sense. In official documents and letters, you should follow spelling rules and capitalize important words. Capitalization can also be used to accentuate advertising copy and headlines.

Overall, it can be said that one should always pay attention to the situation and be guided by whether it makes sense to write in capital or small letters. But in most cases, it’s easier and more effective to write small.

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