User:SnorlaxMonster/Pokémon Syntax

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This article is a proposed guideline for Bulbapedia.

Please discuss the proposed guideline and suggest possible changes on the article's talk page.

This is a list of the grammar conventions and syntax used in official media that Bulbapedia strives to follow.

This list is being constantly updated, and is intended as a reference rather than something to memorize. If you would like to suggest an addition or modification for this page, please do so on the talk page. This page is maintained by SnorlaxMonster.

General approach

  • American English should be used rather than Commonwealth English in Bulbapedia articles. (This consistent with most English language Pokémon games, as well as much of Pokémon media as a whole.) Exceptions are made if the spelling is officially the Commonwealth one, such as "Catalogue."
  • 's should be included at the end of singular possessives ending in s. While it is correct to either omit or include the s after the apostrophe in these cases, Bulbapedia follows the games' convention (for a multitude of reasons, including the games' usage) and appends the s. For example, Iris's should be used, not Iris'.
  • The serial comma should be used where applicable (matching the syntax of the Pokémon games).
  • Evolutionary levels should be designated as "unevolved," "first evolution," and "second evolution" for Pokémon that have undergone zero, one, and two evolutions respectively during their development. The TCG terminology of "basic Pokémon," "stage 1 Pokémon" and "stage 2 Pokémon" do not apply to other media.
    • For example, in the TCG Pikachu and several other Pokémon are considered Basic Pokémon, but have a pre-evolved form, making them first-evolution Pokémon. This discrepancy typically applies to evolutionary families that include a baby Pokémon.

Changing names

When discussing topics in general, their most recent name should normally be used.

When discussing a topic in the context of a particular medium or product, the terminology used normally should match the terminology used in that product. For example, when discussing the Thunder Stone in general it should normally be rendered with a space ("Thunder Stone"), but when discussing the Thunder Stone in Pokémon Gold and Silver, it should be rendered without a space ("Thunderstone") to match how it was displayed in those games.

The anime is primarily an audiovisual medium, not a written medium, so context-sensitive spelling is typically not applied. When discussing a Thunder Stone in the original series, the item should be rendered with a space ("Thunder Stone"), despite this formatting not appearing in Pokémon media until much not later. However, differences in name should still be respected; for example, while the tower in Ecruteak City is known as the Bell Tower in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, it is referred to as the Tin Tower in the Generation II games and the anime, so it should still be referred to as the "Tin Tower" when discussing the anime.

Prior to Generation VI, CamelCase was common in the games due to character limitations, but later games have largely moved away from its use. The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games typically did not use CamelCase, instead only capitalizing the first letter of words that would be CamelCase in the core series games (e.g. "Deepseatooth").


  • "Super effective" is never hyphenated. It is formatted with a space when used as the object of a conjugation of the verb "to be" ("The attack was super effective"), but is formatted as one word when used adjectivally in front of a noun ("A supereffective attack").
  • "Day-Care Couple," "Day-Care Man," "Day-Care Lady," and "Day-Care Checker" are all hyphenated as "Day-Care" is used as an adjective in these phrases. "Pokémon Day Care" and "Day Care," when used as nouns, are not hyphenated.


Types themselves are always capitalized.

  • As adjectives, types are "<typename>-type."
  • As nouns referring to a Pokémon of that type, they are "<typename> type"
  • As nouns referring to the types themselves, they are "<typename>" or "the <typename> type."
    • Example: Fire is super effective against Grass-type Pokémon.
    • Example: The Steel type was introduced in Generation II.

Types rendered with a hyphen are adjectives, so should never be pluralized. For example, "Water-types" is never correct. (Anime episode titles may go against the standard, such as The Grass-Type Is Always Greener!.)


  • The plural of "Pokémon" is "Pokémon" and the plural of every Pokémon species is the same as the singular, much like moose or sheep. For example, Those Pikachu are Electric-type Pokémon.
  • Note the following special plurals for item names:


  • The word Pokémon is always capitalized, as are all nouns starting with "Poké" (such as Pokégear, PokéNav and Poké Flute).
  • The names of Pokémon, moves, Abilities, items, and locations are always written in title case.


The following are not capitalized:

The names of all people, Pokémon, moves, Abilities, items, Trainer classes, stats (except accuracy and evasion), and villainous teams are also always capitalized, as are officially named locations (places like "Kurt's house" do not count).

All unofficial terms are lowercase by default, with the exception of the names of generations. While the term "generation" is uncapitalized, specific generation names (e.g. Generation II) are.

Definite article

It is not always immediately obvious whether a particular location or concept should use the definite article "the." The below is a list of such cases according to whether the indefinite article should be used.

In the Generation VIII core series games, the summary location makes clear which locations should use "the" and which should not, so they are not listed here.


While Bulbapedia aims to follow the games' formatting in most circumstances, there are a number of cases in which it does not. Some of these are listed below.

  • The fan terms base stats, effort values (EVs), and individual values (IVs) are used due to their overwhelming dominant usage among fans, as well as the official names conflicting with their commonly understood usages among fans. EVs are officially known as "base points", IVs as "individual strengths", and base stats as "species strengths".[1]