Capitalize all proper nouns (specific names of people, places, organizations, etc.). This includes titles which act as proper nouns: those that replace a name, directly precede and act as part of a name, or are used as a form of direct address.
- Uncle Takashi gave me a gift.
- The award was given by President Miyazaki.
- Thank you, President.
Do not capitalize common nouns (all nouns that are not proper nouns). This includes titles which do not function as or directly precede a name and prefixes or suffixes attached to titles.
If you are unsure whether a standalone title replaces a name or not, substitute a name for the title and consider whether the sentence is grammatical. If the title precedes a name, delete the title and do the same. If an adjective precedes a title which precedes a name, consider whether the adjective describes the title (in which case the title should be lowercase) or the adjective describes the name (in which case the title should be capitalized).
- My uncle's name is Takashi.
- President-elect, ex-President
- The award was given by former president Miyazaki.
In hyphenated proper nouns, the word on either side of the hyphen must be capitalized. Common nouns that are hyphenated do not need to be capitalized.
- Silver-Eyed Witch
- Nine-Tailed Fox
- She is a silver-eyed witch.
- His name was Nine-Tailed Fox.