Native Speakers of Eng. please help me dispel my doubts

garbazno   Fri May 11, 2007 9:09 pm GMT
Hello everyone! I'm currently translating a text about religious movements in Poland (from Polish into English), but as I'm not a native speaker of English and I need you to help me with a couple of issues that are bugging me:

1. In phrases such as "God walked the face of the Earth", or "Christ's Second Coming to the/- Earth" do you spell "Earth" with a capital letter? Does the definite aticle have to preceed "Earth/earth"?

2. Please correct this sentence: "Christ has come down to/on Earth/earth"

Thank you in advance!!
Josh Lalonde   Fri May 11, 2007 9:18 pm GMT
This is how I would write these: "God walked the face of the Earth", "Christ's Second Coming to Earth", and "Christ has come down to Earth". When 'earth' refers to the planet, it's capitalized, but when it refers to dirt/soil, it's not.
furrykef   Fri May 11, 2007 10:32 pm GMT
> When 'earth' refers to the planet, it's capitalized, but when it refers to dirt/soil, it's not.

When it's followed by "the", though, it's often uncapitalized when it refers to the planet. I would say that either way is usually acceptable. I don't think I've completely made up my mind on that matter myself, but I tend to capitalize it.

I usually use "Earth" (capitalized, without "the") except in certain fixed phrases ("the face of the earth" and "the center of the earth" are probably the two most common ones). Sometimes inserting the word "the" can improve the rhythm of the sentence, but few people other than obsessive writers and poets worry about stuff like that. ;)

As for capitalization, for what it's worth, Merriam-Webster Online just says "Often capitalized" when it refers to the planet and leaves it at that.

- Kef
garbanzo   Sat May 12, 2007 11:27 am GMT
You both have been very helpful. Thanks a lot!
SpaceFlight   Sat May 12, 2007 2:43 pm GMT
"earth", "sun", "moon" and "solar system" often vary as to whether or not there capitalized.
furrykef   Sat May 12, 2007 8:27 pm GMT
I usually see "sun", "moon", and "solar system" uncapitalized. All of them are also always prefixed with "the".

Also, that should be "...whether or not they're capitalized" (not "there"). :)

- Kef