Do You Capitalize the Word “Mayor”? When and When Not To


do you capitalize mayor

The right capitalization of some English words is necessary if you want to write well. However, this is not always easy. One word that can be quite challenging is the word mayor. So, you are wondering, do you capitalize the word mayor, when and when not to.

You are expected to capitalize the word mayor, where you use it in reference to a particular person with that title. In such a situation, you have used it as a proper noun. However, when you use it as a common noun, do not capitalize the word. To do so would be grammatically wrong in English.

mayor sign in neon letters

Still, that is only half the task. Some derivatives are of important consideration. In this post, we will tell you the rules regarding their capitalization. We will then provide illustrative examples to aid your understanding.

Dive in!

Do You Capitalize the Word Mayor?

The word mayor is one of the most popularly used words, especially in the United States of America. However, most times, you will find various writers capitalizing the word incorrectly. Well, you do not have to fall under that category.

We will dive into when to capitalize the word. And of course, when not to capitalize the word.

When to Capitalize the Word Mayor

The first set of rules involves the appropriate time to ensure that you capitalize the word mayor. 

Rule Regarding Capitalization When Used as A Proper Noun

Now, the general rule is that you should capitalize the word in a case where you use it as a proper noun. This is in line with the general rule of English that you should capitalize all proper nouns.

For instance, you capitalize your name because it is a proper noun. So, do not forget to capitalize the word mayor when you use it as such.

In case it is not clear, here is what to keep in mind. A proper noun is a word that refers to a specific place, thing, or person. In such cases, it refers to a particular noun.

When you use the word mayor as a proper noun, you must reflect a particular person. In such a case, the person holds the title, and you use the word concerning them, especially.

For instance, you can claim you have met Mayor Jenny Bloomberg in person. In this case, you are not talking about just any mayor or another mayor. Instead, you are using the word about a particular person, Jenny Bloomberg. As such, you have used the title with a specific name, and you need to capitalize it as we did above.

All you need to remember is that it is a proper noun in such a case. Then, you can easily remember that you need to capitalize proper nouns. In turn, you are less likely to make a mistake with its capitalization. 

Rule Regarding Capitalization When Used in A Direct Address 

Another relevant rule for the capitalization of the word mayor is in cases of direct address. In such a case, you should capitalize the word mayor. And that is even if you have not named a person. 

In such a case, there is a grammatical presumption that you are addressing a specific person. You will recall our explanation under capitalization when used as a proper noun. So, since you have a specific person in mind, ensure you capitalize.

When Not to Capitalize the Word Mayor

Now that you are clear on when to capitalize the word mayor, the next rule emerges. And that is the rule regarding when to avoid capitalizing the word mayor. Now, here is what you need to know.

Rule Regarding Capitalization When Used as a Common Noun

The general rule is that you should not capitalize the word mayor where you use it as a common noun. This is just as you would not capitalize the word dog, which is another common noun. 

Now, just what does this mean?

A common now is a noun that refers to a thing in general rather than in particular. For instance, when you say the word dog, it refers to dogs in general. It does not refer to a particular pet. Suppose you were to say, Dog Jones. Then, you would be referring to a particular dog.

This is the same as the word mayor. When you refer to a group of people who function as a mayor, then it is a common noun. This is also the case when you refer to a class of people who function as mayor. 

In such a case, you must leave it in its lower case. Valid examples are what we have done in this paragraph. 

Rule Regarding Capitalization When Used as A Replacement to A Name

Now, in some cases, you are bound to replace the name of a mayor with the title. In such a case, unless you are addressing the mayor, do not capitalize the word. It remains quite like the common noun rule above.

In such a case, you describe the role of a mayor rather than the specific person in charge. As such, refrain from the capitalization of the word in such an instance.

mayor word in the dictionary

Alternative Rules

Now, you are few rules closer to the correct capitalization of the word mayor. However, it does not stop here.

You can extend the word mayor through the addition of the letters, al. In such cases, the rules applicable to their capitalization are very important.

The general rule is that the word mayoral is not a proper noun. As such, you should not capitalize it when you use it in a sentence. However, in a case where it functions as a proper noun, you will need to capitalize. 

In such a case, you must have used it about an event title. In such a case, it would work as a proper noun, and you will need to capitalize. For instance, where you want to refer to the “59th Mayoral Inauguration” as we have done here, capitalize the word.

Still, note that this rule should not be confused with capitalizing mayoral because it relates to an event. In a situation where it is an event that takes place continually over a period, do not capitalize. For instance, when used as an election cycle, do not capitalize the word.

Illustrative Examples 

Now, you have got a better idea of the relevant rules. However, your understanding would only be comprehensive through a practical understanding of the relevant rules. So, here are some illustrative examples that should help you understand better.

Rule 1: Capitalize the Word Mayor If You Use It as A Proper Noun

Incorrect 

  • I hope to one day come face to face with mayor Charles Durkin.
  • I was with mayor Jenny Bridge at the event where he received the century award.

Correct

  • I hope to one day come face to face with Mayor Charles Durkin.
  • I was with Mayor Jenny Bridge at the event where he received the century award.

Rule 2: Capitalize the Word Mayor If You Use It in A Direct Address

Incorrect 

  • Will you have a press conference today, mayor?
  • Kindly give us your opinion on the issues of insecurity, mayor. 

Correct

  • Will you have a press conference today, Mayor?
  • Kindly give us your opinion on the issues of insecurity, Mayor. 

Rule 3: Do Not Capitalize the Word Mayor If You Use It as A Common Noun

Incorrect 

  • Jones Bloomberg was an outstanding Mayor during his tenure.
  • One day, I intend to be the Mayor of Alabama and introduce positive reforms. 

Correct 

  • Jones Bloomberg was an outstanding mayor during his tenure.
  • One day, I intend to be the mayor of Alabama and introduce positive reforms. 

Rule 4: Do Not Capitalize the Word Mayor If You Use It as A Replacement to A Name

Incorrect 

  • The Mayor will address the citizens on its policies today.
  • The Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and the President will be present at the event.

Correct 

  • The mayor will address the citizens on its policies today. 
  • The mayor, deputy mayor, and president will be present at the event.

Rule 5: Do Not Capitalize the “al” Derivative If You Use It as A General Word

Incorrect 

  • He acts all mayoral even though he is still a candidate.

Correct 

  • He acts all mayoral even though he is still a candidate.

Rule 6: Capitalize the “al” Derivative If You Use It as An Official Event Title 

Incorrect 

  • The “30th mayoral Anniversary” was a sight to behold.

Correct 

  • The “30th Mayoral Anniversary” was a sight to behold.

Rule 7: Do Not Capitalize the “al” Derivative If You Use It in A Cycle Event

Incorrect 

  • I enjoyed the 2015 Nevada Mayoral election.

Correct

  • I enjoyed the 2015 Nevada mayoral election.

recap word under magnifying glass

In Conclusion

No doubt, this might have seemed not very easy earlier. However, we can bet things are easier now. Remember, you might not get it all at once. So feel free to bookmark this page and keep checking back.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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