Capital vs Capitol—What’s the Difference?

capital vs capitol

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Do you ever find yourself confused about the difference between capital vs capitol? You’re not alone—even experienced professionals and writers make this mistake from time to time. But don’t worry, because we’re here to help!

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the differences between capital vs capitol to give you the information and tools needed to never mix them up again. Whether English is your native language or a second language, join us today as we dive into these two terms so that you can confidently choose one over the other—so let’s get started!

Introducing Capital vs Capitol—What’s the Difference?

There’s no shortage of confusing words in the

capital vs capitol

Common Misconceptions About Capitals and Capitols 

Capital and capitol are two words that are commonly misconstrued in their meanings. Capital refers to a city or town that serves as the seat of government. This can be at the national, state, or provincial level. In contrast, a capitol is the building where a legislative assembly meets to conduct its affairs.

One way to remember the difference is that capitol has the letter “o” in it, which stands for “only one” (i.e., there is only one capitol building in a state or country). Additionally, it is worth noting that capital can have other meanings as well, such as referring to the amount of resources that someone or something has at their disposal.

So next time you hear someone mix up capital and capitol, you can politely correct them and show off your knowledge!

How to Remember the Difference Between Capital vs Capitol

Capital and Capitol might sound quite similar, but they are two completely different words with different meanings. The confusion between them can be frustrating, but don’t fret! Here’s a simple explanation to help you remember the difference.

  • Capital is tips, you’ll never mix up the two again!

The Origin Story Behind “Capital” & “Capitol” 

Capital and capitol are two commonly confused words that have distinct meanings. The origin story behind each word is rooted in ancient Rome. Capital comes from the Latin word “caput,” meaning head, whereas capitol comes from the Capitoline Hill, one of the Seven Hills of Rome where the Temple of Jupiter was located.

Over time, these words have taken on new meanings, with capital referring to a city or town serving as the seat of government, and capitol referring to a building where the legislative branch of government meets. Now, armed with this knowledge, you can confidently use these words without confusion or hesitation.

Regional Differences in Usage for Capital vs Capitol

Did you know that the words “capital” and “capitol” have different meanings? Although they sound similar, they are not interchangeable. “Capital” refers to a city or town that is the seat of government or financial center of a country or region.

On the other hand, “capitol” refers specifically to a building that houses a legislative body, such as the United States Capitol in Washington D.C. Regional differences in usage for these words can be seen in how they are pronounced and spelled.

  • For instance, in the southern United States, it is common to hear “capitol” pronounced with a long “i” sound, while in the northeastern region, it is often pronounced with a short “i” sound.

Understanding these differences can help to avoid confusion and ensure clear communication.

Interesting Facts About Capitals & Capitols Around the Globe 

Did you know that there is a difference between “capital” and “capitol”? While both words refer to important city centers, a “capital” usually refers to the administrative or financial center of a country or state, while a “capitol” specifically refers to the building where government meetings and legislative sessions take place.

Some interesting facts about these important locations include that the world’s largest capital city is Tokyo, with a population of over 37 million people, and that the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. began construction in 1793 and has undergone several renovations and expansions since then.

These unique and fascinating facts are just a small glimpse of the many intriguing details to be discovered about the capitals and capitols around the globe.


It’s easy to be confused by the differences between capital and capitol, but understanding their meanings can help you remember when to use each word. A capital is a city or town that serves as the seat of government for a state or country, while a capitol typically refers to the building where governmental business is conducted.

Capitals are usually larger than capitols, although some cities have both. While usage varies regionally in regards to “capital” vs “capitol”, it remains important to understand how these two words differ from one another so you can choose the right term for your writing. With this knowledge under your belt, you’ll now find yourself navigating capitals & capitols around the world with ease!


What is the difference between capital and capitol?

The difference between capital and capitol is that a “capital” refers to the city or town that serves as the seat of government for a country, state, or other political division. A “capitol” is the building in which a legislature meets. So while all capitols are capitals, not all capitals are capitols.

How do I remember the difference?

An easy way to remember the difference between capital and capitol is by thinking of it this way: if you’re talking about geography (the city/town) use “capital”. If you’re talking about architecture (the building) use “capitol”.

Does usage of these terms vary between regions?

Yes, there are regional differences in usage for these terms. In the United States and Canada, both spellings are common and accepted as correct. However, in the UK and other parts of the Commonwealth, “capital” is more commonly used to refer to both the city/town and the building itself. In Australia, “capital” is used to refer to the city/town while “capitol” is more commonly used to describe the building where Parliament meets.

Where do capital vs capitol originate from?

The words “capital” and “capitol” have their roots in Latin, with “caput” meaning head or chief. Both words came into English around the same time in the late 14th century, with “capital” originally referring to a city or town where important business was conducted, and “capitol” originally referring to the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol Hill in Rome.

Are there any interesting facts about and capitols?

There are some interesting facts about capitals and capitols the world. For example: The capital of Thailand is Bangkok but it doesn’t have a capitol building; instead, Parliament meets at Government House. Also, London is both the capital and largest city of England – but its capitol building is located outside city limits in Westminster. Finally, Ottawa (the capital of Canada) is the only North American capital city that does not have an NBA team.

In conclusion, understanding the difference between capital and capitol isn’t always easy – there are regional variations in usage and different roots to consider. But with a little bit of practice, you can remember which word to use when talking about cities/towns and buildings! And if ever you forget- just think “geography = capital, architecture = capitol”.

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