Stop! Grammar Time! Capital vs. Capitol

This one is easy.


The building on the left is the Texas Capitol. The city surrounding it is the Texas capital.

A capitol is a building housing a seat of government. That’s all.

Any other meaning you might intend uses the word capital, which has many definitions:

  • The most important city or town of a country or region, usually its seat of government and administrative center
  • A place associated more than any other with a specified activity or product
    • – Milan is the fashion capital of the world
  • Wealth in the form of money or other assets owned by a person or organization or available or contributed for a particular purpose such as starting a company or investing
    • – the senior partner would provide the initial capital
    • – rates of return on invested capital were high
  • The excess of a company’s assets over its liabilities
  • People who possess wealth and use it to control a society’s economic activity, considered collectively
    • – a conflict of interest between capital and labor
  • A valuable resource of a particular kind
    • – there is insufficient investment in human capital
  • A letter of the size and form used to begin sentences and names
    • – he wrote the name in capitals

Photo credit: ‘Capitol in Austin Texas at Night’ by Eric Hunt (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons.


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