Folks, could you answer: if I decide to capitalise all subjects (history, biology, informatics, etc.), which is totally optional nowadays, then do I have to also capitalise them when they are used as adjectives and when they are used as sciences?

In order to get my question answered, I asked my English-speaking friends this question, but, unfortunately, none of them were able to answer it, and they advised me that I ask English natives about it.

  1. My [Biology/biology] teacher is evil;

  2. My brother is a [History/history] professor;

  3. In my opinion, [Informatics, Linguistics, Astronomy, and Mathematics/informatics, linguistics, astronomy, and mathematics] are very difficult.

  • 3
    Does this answer your question? How to use capitals in subjects names? And this question/answer. It's perfectly standard to capitalise sometimes (if they're specific courses or qualifications) but not in other contexts, as general descriptive terms.
    – Stuart F
    Mar 15 at 12:27
  • Don't capitalize unless those are formal names of courses.
    – Lambie
    Mar 15 at 17:41
  • which is totally optional nowadays??? That's certainly not what's implied by this usage chart. Mar 15 at 17:51
  • IMHO capitalisation is a thorny subject. There are 3 main possibilities capitalise all words, all major words or use normal sentence capitalisation - first word and proper nouns. Each has it's champions, but the answers linked in Stuart's comment seems to fit this question best. Mar 25 at 20:30

2 Answers 2


The use of capitalization applies to course titles. For example, if you are taking Calculus II, you must capitalize it. If the course is simply titled "Calculus" and its subject is calculus, you have the option of choosing to capitalize it or not, depending on whether you wish to focus on the course name or its subject matter.

The adjective in your second sentence should not be capitalized. You might capitalize "History" if the sentence were rewritten as:

  • "My brother is a professor of History."

This, again, would mean that "History" is the title of the course he teaches. If you wished, instead, to refer to its subject matter, it should be in lowercase.

The exception to this is where the subject matter is already proper. For example, "I took English, Spanish, and French classes in college." In this case, these subjects must always be capitalized, even when addressing their subject matter and not indicating the course titles. They can be intermixed with lowercase subjects as well, e.g. "I took math, English, biology, and social studies courses last year."


One of the hallmarks of good writing style is consistency.

if I decide to capitalise all subjects (history, biology, informatics, etc.), . . .

If you've already decided to capitalize all of them, then their spellings (and this IS a matter of spelling, not grammar) should not change when they are used attributively:

My Biology teacher is evil.
My brother is a History professor.

or as subjects:

In my opinion, Informatics, Linguistics, Astronomy, and Mathematics are very difficult.

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