In Chapter 3 of the book Aprendamos del Gran Maestro I came across this sentence fragment: "Dios es el Creador de todo: el hizo los cielos y la Tierra, ..."

Why is "earth" ("Tierra") capitalized whereas "the heavens" are lowercase ("cielos")?

Now I'm even more confurious (simultaneously confused and curious), because I read later in that same chapter:

La Biblia explica: "Dios creo los cielos y la tierra" (Genesis 1:1)


In cases like this, sometimes it seems that certain words refer to things more important than others, but is explained by the simple use of capital letters in proper nouns.

Alá es el dios de los musulmanes y Dios es el dios de los cristianos.

Lowercase dios refers to some powerful spiritual being.

Uppercase Dios refers to the name given to that spirit in our culture and language, the same way that your name is Clay with a capital.

Tierra is the name of our planet, the same way that Venus. In Spanish, lowercase tierra means land, ground, soil and sometimes dust.

Los cielos is an ancient and poetic way of referring to heaven. Churches give a historical and religious explanation for this plural use of the word, explaining that refers to several entities (states, times, places?). The Jewish tradition recognizes seven heavens, each with its name capitalized of course. Therefore orthographically:

El avión surcó los cielos.

El nombre del primer cielo es Shamayim.


I think you would be capitalizing it if it was singular, because then you would be referring to El Cielo, as the specific (and unique of its kind) place where souls go, because you would be referring to the place by its name (proper noun).

The "cielos" in plural there has the same meaning as seas, it means "all of them", "the many of them", but obviously there is only one Earth.

Creó los cielos, los mares y la Tierra.

Las almas van al Cielo, al Purgatorio o al Infierno. Las almas van al Paraíso.

It is the same difference as when you refer to the Sun as a star. You capitalize it because the name of the sun is "Sun". You would be seeing it capitalize or not in different context (only when you refer to the Sun as a star).

Tomorrow the sun will shine. Careful with sun, wear lotion.

The Sun is the largest object of the Solar system.

Same with "Tierra" (depends on if you are referring to it a planet or as land). Or even, more appropriate, the difference between "god" and "God".

God is the god of Christianity.

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