The words \u2018capital\u2019 and \u2018capitol\u2019 sound the same but have different meanings. And it\u2019s important to know the difference to ensure clarity in your writing. Our guide below will show you how to pick the right spelling.\r\nThe Many Meanings of 'Capital'\r\n\u2018Capital\u2019 can be used as a noun or an adjective in different contexts, and it has a range of meanings. Some key definitions include:\r\n\r\n\tThe centre of government for a country (e.g. Madrid is Spain\u2019s capital city)\r\n\tThe centre or most important location for an activity or business (e.g. Switzerland is the yodelling capital of the world)\r\n\tAn uppercase letter (e.g. You must start sentences with a capital letter)\r\n\tMoney or possessions, especially when used for an investment (e.g. We need \u00a325,000 capital for start-up costs)\r\n\r\nThere are some other definitions, too (e.g. capital punishment refers to the death penalty). However, in all these cases, the correct spelling is 'capital'.\r\nCapitol (A Government Building)\r\nThe word \u2018capitol\u2019 is typically only seen in American English. It refers to a building in which a state or national government meets:\r\nImportant legislative decisions are made in capitol buildings.\r\nIt only starts with a capital letter when it refers to a particular building:\r\nThe meeting was held at the Michigan State Capitol.\r\nIf you see \u2018The Capitol\u2019 on its own, meanwhile, it will refer to the United States Capitol in Washington, DC. For instance, we could say:\r\nThe Capitol Building houses the federal legislature.\r\nIn all cases, though, 'capitol' with an 'o' refers to a building.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_39678" align="aligncenter" width="535"] The US Capitol Building.[\/caption]\r\n\r\n \r\nSummary: Capital or Capitol?\r\nWhile they look similar, these words have different meanings:\r\n\r\n\tIn most cases, capital is the correct spelling. This includes when referring to a capital city, a capital letter, or financial capital.\r\n\tA capitol is a building where US state or national legislative bodies meet.\r\n\r\nAnd as long as you can remember that 'capitol' always refers to a building, it should be easy to avoid errors with these words. But if you'd like extra help checking your spelling, or any other aspect of your writing, our proofreading service is available whenever you need it.