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Uppercase “I”

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“I” should never stand on its own, uncapitalized.

White text over orange background reads "capitalization of the personal pronoun "I." (Capitalizing I) (Capital I)
“I” is the only personal pronoun that must always be capitalized.

i went to a party last night.

I went to a party last night.

Why is “I” Always Capitalized?

English is unique in that it’s the only language that capitalizes its first-person singular, “I.” This word is derived from the German word ich. Many variations of this word flourished during Middle English, including “ic. Eventually, the “c” was dropped, leaving “i” by its lonesome.

But why we started capitalizing “I” is a bit of a mystery. Historians and linguists have theorized the following:

A capital “I” denotes the importance of the writer.
A lowercase “I” is difficult to read.

Unless at the beginning of a sentence, me, myself, and mine don’t need to be capitalized, and neither do the rest of the personal pronouns—you, he, she, it, we, they, me, him, her, us, them.


Do Contractions With “I” Get Capitalized Too?

Contractions are shortened versions of two words. Contractions with “I” usually stand for “I 𑁋,” meaning the “I” (and only the “I”) is capitalized.

I’m (I am) going to the mall.
My brother is going, but I’ll (I will) be there.
The group is going white water river rafting, but that’s not something I’d (I would) do.

Are There Exceptions to “I” Always Being Capitalized?

No. When used as a first-person personal pronoun, “I” must always be capitalized. However, some companies use camel case for their product names. In these instances, you may find a lowercase “i”.

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It should be easy to remember: a singular “I” is always capitalized when writing in English. However, this might not come naturally to those who write in multiple languages. LanguageTool can help remind you of capitalization, spelling, and grammar rules in English and the more than 20 languages it supports.


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