Thank you, brother. /vs./ Thank you, Brother.

sb70012

Senior Member
Thank you, Teacher.
Thank you, honey.

Hi,
As you know the word "teacher" isn't an endearment, so it's capitalized whereas the word "honey" is an endearment, so we don't capitalize it.
How about the word "brother"? Is it an endearment, too?

Context:

Jack: Alex, I taught your daughter some useful English words.
Alex: Wow! Thank you, Brother/brother.

Note that they are just friends, not real brothers. So, should I capitalize the word "brother"? I know that it's not natural English. But in China, it's common.

Thank you.
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In that case, "Mom" (with a capital letter) is the name you call the person who has the role of "mother." Some people also consider "mom" to be a generic replacement for the role "mother." If you called your mother "Linda", you wouldn't write "Thank you, linda." (lower-case). That's a structure that uses the name of the person, not the role.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In that case, "Mom" (with a capital letter) is the name you call the person who has the role of "mother." Some people also consider "mom" to be a generic replacement for the role "mother." If you called your mother "Linda", you wouldn't write "Thank you, linda." (lower-case). That's a structure that uses the name of the person, not the role.
    You might lower-case it in a context like "bring a note from your mom next time."
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    How about:

    Thank you, Uncle/uncle.
    Thank you, Auntie/auntie.

    According to what you said, we should use a lowercase letter in the "uncle" and "auntie" like "brother" and "teacher". Right?
    Uppercase. "Uncle" and "Auntie" are in effect names that you call your specific uncle and aunt. "Teacher" isn't a name, and it isn't a title, unlike "professor / Professor" which might be capitalized in direct address.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    How about "bro"? In China some nonnative-English speakers say to each other "Thank you bro/Bro."

    Is "bro" a title? Do we need to use a capital letter?

    Thank you, bro.
    Thank you, Bro.

    Which is acceptable?
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    How about "bro"? In China some nonnative-English speakers say to each other "Thank you bro/Bro."

    Is "bro" a title? Do we need to use a capital letter?

    Thank you, bro.
    Thank you, Bro.

    Which is acceptable?
    "Bro" (and "Bud") is capitalized when it's a nickname, but not when it's used like "friend" or "pal."

    "Teacher" is not capitalized; "Brother" is only capitalized when it's the shortened form of the name of a monk: Brother Albert --> Thank you, Brother.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Thank you, bro.
    Thank you, Bro.

    There is something that confuses me. As you know "Auntie, Mom, Doctor, Uncle, Dad" are often capitalized since they are titles. But "bro" can also be used as a title such as "Hey, Bro (friend). How are you?"

    Then, why don't you consider it to be a title?
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If you call that person "Bro" as a nickname, then you'll be using it in other types of sentences as well not just as a vocative like "Hey, bro!".
    Have you talked to Mom about Bro?
    Yes, Mom said Bro would call us later.
    (Mom sounds normal here, but Bro or Brother sounds unusual.)
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thank you, bro.
    Thank you, Bro.

    There is something that confuses me. As you know "Auntie, Mom, Doctor, Uncle, Dad" are often capitalized since they are titles. But "bro" can also be used as a title such as "Hey, Bro (friend). How are you?"

    Then, why don't you consider it to be a title?
    A title is used as a prefix, and it is always capitalised when used in this way. Doctor Robert, Aunt Maud, Sir Henry, Uncle Silas, Cousin Rachel, Brother Michael, Sister Wendy, President Obama, Chairman Mao.

    Note, however, that in this list, "Cousin" as a title is unusual in modern English, and "Brother" and "Sister" are not used for your own brother or sister, or even your friend, but for members of certain religious orders, members of certain egalitarian societies (where the term is only used by other members), and "Sister" is used for certain senior nurses.

    Words like "Mom"/"Mum" and "Dad" are not titles, but function as ordinary proper nouns, as do nicknames such as "Scarface".

    "Bro" is not a title. If you do not call the person "Bro Peter" (or whatever his name is), then it is not a title. In most uses, "bro" is a common noun, like "mate". Conceivably, "Bro" might be a nickname, but this is unusual (I did once have a friend whose nickname was "Bud").

    In any case, capitalisation of titles when used as a vocative is not universal, as I mentioned in this thread: Thank you, Doctor. /Vs./ Thank you, doctor. (which perhaps ought to be merged with this one).
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    But "bro" can also be used as a title such as "Hey, Bro (friend). How are you?"
    You wouldn't write "Hey, Friend. How are you?" You would write "Hey, friend. How are you?"

    You have many friends, not just one. You have many "bros", not just one.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    My student told me this => Is there any resource to tell us which words are titles and which words aren't? As an English leaner, if we see words like these, then where should we refer to know more about these kinds of words to know whethere they are titles or not?

    i. e. If we see words like these, how should we know whether they are titles or not? Are they listed in any dictionary under the title categories?
     
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    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    My student told me this => Is there any resource to tell us which words are titles and which words aren't?
    No, but there is an easy test. Would you call the person by [title] + their name? Mister, missus, miss and ms are easily the most common titles in English (Mr Smith and Miss Scarlett, for example).

    However, this does not really help when it comes to capitalising vocatives in sentences, because not all titles used as vocatives are capitalised, as I mentioned in this thread:
    In any case, capitalisation of titles when used as a vocative is not universal, as I mentioned in this thread: Thank you, Doctor. /Vs./ Thank you, doctor. (which perhaps ought to be merged with this one).
    Titles are always capitalised when they precede the person's name. They are not always capitalised in other situations.
     
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