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Part I: Esperanto Grammar

Chapter 6: Capitalization.

Names of countries are capitalized, but the associated terms relating to them, their citizens, and their languages are not.

Usono = the United States
usonano = an American
la usona ekonomio = the American economy

Esperanto, Esperanta, and Esperante are usually capitalized in order to distinguish them from the literal words meaning “one who hopes” and “hoping.”*

Ŝi estas konstanta esperanto. = She is an eternal optimist.
Ŝi parolas Esperanton. = She speaks Esperanto.
Li estas esperanta bonan novaĵon. = He is hoping for good news. Tio estas Esperanta libro. = That is an Esperanto book.
Rapide kreskas la afero per laboroj de la esperantoj.z
= Rapidly the movement grows through the labors of the hopeful.
Ŝi parolaĉis Esperante, esperante tamen, ke la bela japano respondos angle.
= She stammered along in Esperanto, hoping however that the handsome Japanese would reply in English.

The word esperantisto does not entail possible confusion and is usually not capitalized.

Names of days and months are not capitalized in Esperanto.

Chief words in book titles may or may not be capitalized, depending upon the taste (and native language) of the author or editor and where the title appears. In most cases, excess capitalization is avoided. My own (Anglophone) taste is to capitalize them, as in English. The first word of a book title is capitalized by everybody. La and prepositions are always uncapitalized if they are not first in a title, and la is ignored in alphabetizing, exactly the way we treat similar words in English.


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