As far as I know, you should always capitalize "I", but "you" only on the beginning of a sentence.

I am not sure where the rule comes from. I suppose both are no "proper nouns"? From other languages I know that you can capitalize the translation of "you" to be polite, but I have no idea why the rule for English is to capitalize (only) "I".

Is this just a "Lower case i doesn't look good" thing or is there another rule behind it?

1 Answer 1


It's not about looking good, exactly; more that "I" is the only single letter pronoun and therefore needs to be more prominent than "i" would be. This rather interesting NY Times article sheds some light on the historical reasons for this standard:

“Graphically, single letters are a problem,” says Charles Bigelow, a type historian and a designer of the Lucida and Wingdings font families. “They look like they broke off from a word or got lost or had some other accident.” When “I” shrunk to a single letter, Bigelow explains, “one little letter had to represent an important word, but it was too wimpy, graphically speaking, to carry the semantic burden, so the scribes made it bigger, which means taller, which means equivalent to a capital.”

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