Capital and capitol are separated by just one vowel, and although they tend to overlap in some contexts (like the capitol building being located in the capital city), the two words carry quite different meanings.
In order to avoid confusion in your writing, it’s important to learn the difference between capitols and capitals (and while you’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to brush up on some geography and learn those capital cities!)
Capital vs. Capitol
Capital and capitol have two very different meanings. Read on for more on the difference between them and how to use each properly.
Definition of Capital
Capital is the most diverse of the 2 words. It can be used as an adjective or a noun, and in several different contexts.
As an adjective, capital can describe:
- the seat of government (usually a city)
- the uppercase form of a letter
- a crime punishable by death; also means “involving execution”
- relating to assets
- the most serious, important, or influential
As a noun, capital refers to a stock of accumulated goods, as well as net worth.
Examples of Capital in Sentences
Below, you can find examples of capital in sentences that reflect the definitions above.
- Rome is the capital city of Italy.
- Italy starts with a capital letter (I) because it is a proper noun.
- Capital punishment is legal in 29 states in America.
- Many scholars say The Great Gatsby was Fitzgerald’s capital work.
- The company saw an increase in capital gains last quarter.
Definition of Capitol
Capitol is used exclusively as a noun. It refers to the specific building where a state legislative body meets.
Here, it’s important to note that this is different from a capital city.
The Capitol Building, where the U.S. Congress meets, is located in the capital city of Washington, D.C.
See below for more examples of capitol in a sentence.
Examples of Capitol in Sentences
- The California State Capitol Museum is located in Sacramento, California.
- Each year during the holiday season, the U.S. Capitol displays a Christmas tree.
- The Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. offers tours available to the public.
The Difference Between Capital and Capitol
Capital and capitol each have their own unique meanings. In order to keep your writing polished and professional, it’s important that you recognize these differences and know how to use each word properly.
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