Did you know that nationalities and languages (English, French, Spanish….) are always capitalised in the English language whereas in French, only the ‘people’ noun is capitalised?

‘Les Français aiment le fromage’ but ‘j’aime le fromage français’, or ‘je ne parle pas français’.


Grammar anoraks will be fascinated to read that there are quite a few different rules for capitalisation in English compared to French.

Most of these little rules are automatic. We know them, but we rarely actually sit down and think about them!

For example, have you noticed that the “I” is always capitalised in English but never in French unless it comes at the beginning of a sentence?

Je parle français mais je le parle mal.

First word in sentence apart, days and months of the year are not capitalised either in French, (lundi, janvier….) nor are religions or adjectives referring to religious groups. We say Christian, they say chrétien, we say Muslim, they say musulman, we say Jew, they say juif. As an exception to this rule, Islam is capitalised, as are the adjectives Hindou and Bouddhiste

Titles in front of names are not capitalised in French either whereas they are in English. Doctor Black would be le docteur Black in French.

New words in French dictionary

Leave a Comment