When it comes to capitalization, you can find lowercase and uppercase words across the board depending on what style guide you use, what genre of literature, or basically just how you feel. But not all capitalization rules are correct, and not many are easy to remember.
And the rest just don’t make any sense.
Case in point: Why, according to the Chicago Manual of Style, the word Relator is always capitalized but in some cases president isn’t. Confusing.
There is, however, one rule that’s easy to get straight once you know it: when to capitalize words like mom, dad, aunt, and uncle. To best illustrate, check out the following examples:
My mom is the best cook.
I love it when my mom cooks.
Mom is the best cook.
I love it when Mom cooks.
What’s the difference?
In the first example, mom is lowercased because it’s being used after the word my. In the second example, Mom is being used in place of her name. You will notice the “my” is not in the sentence.
Here’s another example:
Lowercase: My dad has black hair.
Capitalized: Why does Dad have such black hair?
The same rule can be applied to the words aunt and uncle. When these are used as a name, it’s capitalized. When used after words like “my” or “our” or “the,” use lowercase.
My aunt Emily is coming to visit.
Her name is Emily. The “my aunt” part is just a descriptor. But look at what happens when we do this:
I love it when Aunt Emily comes to visit.
Now you are using “Aunt Emily” as her name, so aunt is capitalized.
I hope that makes sense! Leave a question in the comments if you’re still confused!