Capital and Capitol

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
What is the difference between capital and capitol?

Capitol is the building where the US Congress meets.

Capital means a city serving as a country's seat of government, an amount of money or property, an uppercase letter, excellent or principal.

Capitol and Capital

Many people (particularly non-Americans) who see the word Capitol in writing assume it is a typo of capital.


The Capitol is the building that serves as the seat of government for the United States Congress. It is located in Washington on top of Capitol Hill.

The United States Capitol


The word capital has numerous meanings. As a noun, it means (1) a city that is the seat of the government for a country or a state, or (2) an amount of money or property. As an adjective, capital denotes (1) an uppercase letter, (2) first rate, excellent, or (3) main, principal.

  • The Capitol is the main building of the US Congress.
  • (Capitol is also known as the Statehouse.)
  • The capital of England is London.
  • That was a capital speech you made from the Capitol.
  • (Here, capital means first rate or excellent.)
  • Do you have any capital invested in her business?
  • (Here, capital means money or property.)
  • Our capital concern is that everyone gets fed during the electricity failure.
  • (Here, capital means main or principal.)
  • In German, all nouns start with a capital letter.
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? cannot or can not? who's or whose? What are nouns? What are verbs? Glossary of easily confused words Glossary of common errors Glossary of grammatical terms