Do You Capitalize The Word “X-ray”? When and When Not To

do you capitalize x ray

Capitalization of the term “X-ray” is almost to that of generational names. Such categories are tricky to capitalize since there are various inconsistencies associated with them.  What is “X-ray”? “X-ray” is a medical and physic world term, and it’s used to refer to the digital composition of a certain surface or one’s internal structure.

Capitalization of the term should follow a certain order. First, since the term is a proper noun as any other English term, it should be capitalized. The other capitalization modalities are that when a specific letter is used in a word, rules state that it should be capitalized. 

Various factors stipulate the capitalization of the term. In your application of the term “X-ray”, you should follow a certain sequence. You must be keen on the position of the term, is it at the start or the end of the sentence? Is it referring to a specific individual, operation, or facility? Is the term correctly spelled or written? What is the punctuation order? These are some of the aspects that should guide you.

x ray in wood pieces with color pills

When Are You Supposed to Capitalize the Term “X-ray”?

As mentioned above, there are specific rules that should guide you in the capitalization process. It should be noted that the term is a proper noun, and according to the basics of the English language, proper nouns should be capitalized.


  • The X-ray image is so blurry, what happened to the machine?-(here, X-ray is a proper noun; hence, it should be capitalized)
  • One of the difficult areas in radiography is X-ray interpretation- (X-ray stands for proper noun capitalization is a must)

An X-ray should also be capitalized when it’s applied at the start of the sentence. This is because a sentence should be capitalized at the start.


  • X-ray parameters should be interpreted wisely- (correct sentence)
  • X-ray images should be clear- (correct sentence)

On the other hand, any letter that is used within a word should be capitalized. This rule also applies to the term “X-ray.”


  • The X-ray route is the best; we need to know the real cause of the pain- (the sentence applies the single letter rule)
  • Osman was really perplexed; he had to undergo a second imaging X-ray photography to establish whether it was the truth- (single letter image applied).

When it comes to colons, you should consider capitalizing the term. This is because; the colon implies the start of another sentence.


  • The issue is so complicated: X-ray analysis is needed to determine the whole makeup of the issue. Otherwise, we will waste time guessing the cause, which will jeopardize the patient’s life.
  • We all gathered in the whole; everyone was so astonished: X-ray report demoralized our hope. We never expected the issue to go that further.

How about the title of the article or book? Are you supposed to capitalize or not? The answer is straightforward; when “X-ray” is used in the article titles or books, it should be capitalized.


  • 10 Ways to Know to Read Your X-ray Report- (This is a title of an article, meaning, X-ray should be capitalized)
  • How to Stay Safe in the X-ray Imaging Expedition- (Article title, X-ray must be capitalized)
  • The X-ray Insider- (this is a book, X-ray has to be capitalized)
  • The X-ray Professor vs the Imaging Council- (This is a book and X-ray should be capitalized)

X-ray can also be capitalized when it’s used in quotes. This implies that when you’re quoting someone.


  • Jane said, “The X-ray images do not show what is being spread in the media.”
  •  Albert answered, “X-ray imaging after X-ray imaging does not help; we need to take a stand if at all, we want to save the situation.”

“X-ray” Synonyms

There are various common words that are associated with the term “X-ray”. Some of the close related words include:

  • Ultraviolet rays
  •  Radioactivity
  • Actinism
  •  Actinic rays
  • Radiant energy
  • Rays

The above synonyms must be used in context with the subject so as to maintain their meaning.

x ray of head and shoulders

When Not to Capitalize on the Term “X-ray”

Now that you have known when to capitalize, it’s prudent to know when not to capitalize the term. This is because not every “X” word should be capitalized. First, it should be noted that the hyphen between X and ray matters a lot. This shows that it’s one word. But in the case where the hyphen is not placed between the two, it means the two are different words; hence, X should not be capitalized.


  • The x-ray report indicates that this analysis is somehow shallow. We need another report from a different expert- (correct sentence since the dash is not applied)
  • The way everything went on it seems there was disorganization in everything. That was from the x-ray framework to the placement content- (the two are different words; hence, capitalization is not necessary)

Also, if a comma is placed between X and ray, there should be no capitalization. This is because the comma means that the sentence is referring to different things in a sequence.


  • There are so many things in physics. They include x, ray, and reflectors- (correct sentence, since the sentence is mentioning various items, x and ray are different words and are not related)
  • You need to understand various aspects of imaging from x, ray, y reflections and others- (different items, hence, x should not be capitalized.)

The other case where you should not capitalize is when the word “and” is placed in between x and ray. This insinuates that the two are different words.


  • The x and ray factor plays a significant role in understanding the imaging terms- (X and ray are different terms, they should not be capitalized)
  • The content is a bit clumsy; I don’t know where to start from. The author begins from radius, diameter, height, x and ray- (the sentence mentions various things x and ray inclusive and as different items)

Other Examples of “X-ray” Sentences

  • The doctor was so furious with Thomas; this is because Thomas did not take the X-ray report seriously, he went on with playing even with a serious tendon damage X-ray report.
  • The X-rays were so straightforward; they showed everything from the lower limb to the toe was messy. We need to work on a formula to save the upper body part as we are addressing the lower parts.
  • The X-ray observation on the centrifuge showed that the company has enriched with a large quantity of uranium. That character should not be entertained; they should be strong action. If not, other companies should be doing the same.
  • Young people should know marketable courses. The era of business courses is long gone. This is due to the rise of technology, especially the software which can do lots of business-oriented jargons. The way to go is medical courses and physics-related courses. For instance, radiography, is there anything that can interpret X-ray? Absolutely, nothing apart from the radiography expert.
  • My son’s X-ray report is clear; with little interpretation, you will understand everything. We thought it was a worse infection, but now we can relax. The boy suffers from a little knock, and they are easily addressable.
  • We need to be realistic; how can we be talking the extent of the injury without X-ray? That is so gross; we may end up making a serious decision that will endanger the patient’s life. Let the radiographer give us a clear picture of the issue; from there, we will talk about the extent of the injury.
  • The manager needs the number of patients that have been using the X-ray machine. This is because there are lots of people outside the X-ray report office.
  • The results are so complicated. They are making the whole issue unpredictable. 

Yesterday’s X-ray report results were different from today’s results. We are in a dilemma; we don’t know which is which. We need another alternative. Kindly peruse your contact.

  • There are so many things you need to understand. First, the X-ray report shows that his head has a deeper cut. This means something sharp hit him. That is where our investigations should start from.
  • The fire burns were not that serious. According to the X-rays, only the outer layer of the skin that was affected, meaning, the medication that is required is not that expensive.

Final Thoughts

x ray word in dictionary

The capitalization of the word “X-ray” has certain rules that need to follow. The word is a proper noun giving it the English leeway of capitalization. Next, any single letter that is used in a word sho0uld be capitalized. This is the rule that is applied in this word because of letter X. The rules include starting sentences, quotes and other dynamics.

Concerning, when you are not supposed to capitalize, it all goes back to the hyphen. Hyphen plays a significant role in the word “X-ray”; this is because it shows this is one word. Anything besides the hyphen should not be capitalized since x and rays become different entities and elements.   

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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