School subjects: compounds

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Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:35 am
Status: English Teacher

School subjects: compounds

Post by whaviland » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:55 am

Hello all, I'd be most grateful if someone could help me with a question regarding capitalization. I am teaching English in a Korean high school, and today we were talking about when to use capital letters in English - a tricky problem for many Korean students [because their written language has no upper/lower case].

I explained that school subjects do not require capitalization, unless they are languages / acronyms :

- My favorite subject is English
- My favorite subject is history
- My favorite subject is P.E. (but note: My favorite subject is physical education)

One bright student asked me what you would do in the situation where the subject was compound. He gave me this example:

- My favorite subject is KOREAN HISTORY

I explained I believed you would write it thus:

- My favorite subject is Korean history

However, I just wanted to check that the 'history' part should not also be capitalized!

Thanks for any advice :)

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Re: School subjects: compounds

Post by Joe » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:42 pm

In general your answer is correct. I believe it's a matter of style though. In some case, some people might capitalize History, in which case Korean History. But of course, English, Korean and French are always capitalized. And abbreviations are capitalized as you say. (Beware: P.E. is not an acronym: ... cronym.htm)
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