Is “City” Capitalized? (Full Explanation)

“City” is commonly written in two ways. It can be capitalized and uncapitalized. It would help to know when the capital letter applies to the noun. This article will explain all there is to understand about it, so you don’t have to get it wrong.

Is “City” Capitalized?

“City” is not capitalized in most sentences. It is a regular noun, and you do not need to capitalize any noun unless it is a place or person’s name. You should only capitalize “city” when it is included as a proper noun (i.e. New York City).

is city capitalized

“City” doesn’t often need to be capitalized. If you’re using it in a general sense, you can keep it lower case, like this:

  • I’m going to visit the city later today. Do you want to come with me?

This example will demonstrate when it makes sense to capitalize “city:”

  • Here I come, New York City! Watch out for me!

Is “City” Capitalized AP Style?

The AP Style guide does not require “city” to be capitalized. It is considered a regular noun, meaning that no capital letter needs to come at the start of the word. The only time you should capitalize it in AP Style is if it’s part of a proper noun.

You may also refer to The Chicago Manual of Style if you would like to see other style guides that support the capitalizing (or lack thereof) of “city.” All major style guides agree that it is a regular noun and uncapitalized in most cases.

When to Capitalize “City”

City is capitalized when referring to a specific city, but that’s the only time it is. These examples will show you how that works.

  1. I just love Chicago City and everything about it! I think it’s one of the greatest places in the world. I’ll always come back.
  2. New York City is busy today! I don’t think I’m going to have enough time to get around to everything in here.
  3. We are part of the Washington City Council, and we would like for you to be honest with us about what happened the other day.
  4. Mexico City is good fun. If you haven’t visited it before, we highly recommend it. You really can’t go wrong with it.
  5. I’m a keen supporter of Manchester City! They’re my favorite sports team, and I will support them until the day I die!

As you can see, “city” is capitalized when it is included as part of a city’s name. You will usually see other words written with capital letters to help you determine whether it’s part of a proper noun.

When to Not Capitalize “City”

Here are a couple of examples to help you understand when “city” is not capitalized.

  1. You should get out more. I hear the city is quite a nice place to visit at this time of year. Maybe that’s something you should explore.
  2. I’m not one for city living, but I totally understand why other people like it. I just wish I had some friends in the country.
  3. This is the greatest city on earth, New York! It’s the best place to come if you want to do a major shopping haul.
  4. I really like Chicago. It’s my favorite city, and I think you would be foolish to not at least spend a little bit of time getting to know it.
  5. Isn’t this city supposed to be bustling? I feel like I haven’t seen any new people on the streets yet.

“City” is not typically capitalized. When it is only used as a regular noun referring to a place, the “c” is left in the lower case. You should only capitalize it when it belongs to a proper noun.

Is “City” Capitalized In the US?

The US English rules are the same for “city” as they are elsewhere. You do not need to capitalize “city” in your writing as it is a regular noun. The only time that it should be capitalized in the US is when it’s included as part of a city’s name (i.e. New York City or Mexico City).

Is “City” Capitalized In the UK?

UK English allows “city” to be capitalized when it’s part of a city name (i.e. Manchester City or Leicester City). There is no reason to capitalize the word outside of a place name or proper noun. It should be left lower case when it’s used as a regular noun.

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