Difference between Capital and Capitol

Key Difference: The word Capital actually has a few different meanings including a place where the country’s major legal decisions take place, uppercase letters in grammar, punishments that include execution, and something related to wealth or referring to something that is serious or important. On the other hand, the word Capitol refers to a building where legislations take place.

Capital vs CapitolThere is only one letter that sets Capital apart from Capitol and this letter results in a whole lot of confusion for a lot of English speakers. And since both the words are commonly used in a political context, it makes them even more difficult to differentiate. 

The words, Capital and Capitol are actually homophones. This means that both the words sound the same when pronounced but they have very different meanings and usage. Let’s take a look at how they differ from each other. 

The word Capital actually has a few different meanings that depends on the context in which it is used. It is derived from the Latin term, ‘capitalis’, which means “head” commonly used to refer to the head of the city in which the government of a nation, state, or other political jurisdiction is based. This is why the place where the country’s major legal decisions take place are commonly known as the Capital City. For example, Washington D.C. is the capital city of the United States.

 

But the definition is not limited to this, but capital is also used in basic grammar when talking about writing letters in uppercase. These are known as capitalization of letters and are used when using proper nouns. Other definitions also include punishments that include execution (capital punishment), something related to wealth (capital gains) or referring to something that is serious or important (capital offense).

Examples of Capital:

Political – Paris is the capital city of France.

Grammar – The word ‘March’ is always written with a capital M. 

Punishments – Some U.S. states use execution by lethal injection as capital punishment.

Wealth – Company XYZ declared their capital gains doubled over the financial year.

Serious or important – Lord of  the Rings is often considered as the capital work of J.R.R Tolkien.

Capital vs CapitolOn the other hand, the word Capitol refers to a building where legislations take place. The word “Capitol” actually shares the etymology with Capital, but this Capitol is actually taken directly from Capitoline Hill, which was one of fabled seven hills of Rome, where the Capitolium (a temple dedicated to Jupiter) was said to have been located. 

The most famous Capitol is The United States Capitol which is located in Washington D.C. But the word can also be used to describe other places where legal decisions take place. There is also a capitol building in Texas, Kentucky, Nebraska and 39 other states. Other names that are also used instead of capitol include Statehouse, State House, and Legislative Hall.

Comparison between Capital and Capitol:

 

Capital

Capitol

Etymology

Derived from the Latin term, ‘capitalis’ meaning “head”

Is taken directly from Capitoline Hill, one of the fabled seven hills of Rome, where the Capitolium, a temple built in Rome to honor Jupiter, was located

Article of Speech

Noun, Adjective

Noun

Origin Definition

The definition of the word ‘capitalis’ refers to the head of the city in which the government of a nation, state, or other political jurisdiction is based. It can also be used for a center of a social or artistic movement.

A building or a set of buildings where a legislative body meets or other government functions happen.

Actual Definition

Capital has multiple meanings:

  • Describe uppercase letters
  • Severe Punishments
  • Relates to wealth
  • And something that is serious or important or influential

A building where the country’s legislature takes place.

Examples

  • Washington D.C. is the capital city of the United States.
  • A proper noun such as a name like Monica, always starts with a capital letter.
  • India still offers capital punishment in the most severe cases.
  • Company XYZ surpassed their yearly capital gains for the third time this year.

·  Majority of the legislations are passed in The Capitol Building.

·  The Texas capitol building offers tours for the public.

Reference: Grammarly, Writing Explained, Vocabulary.com, Grammar Monster,
Dictionary.com, EnhanceMyWriting.com, DailyWritingTips
Image Courtesy: grammar.com, quickanddirtytips.com
 

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