The Chicago Style Manual holds that a capital is a seat of government, usually a city. For example,
- Tallahassee is the capital of Florida.
- I am taking a trip to Austin, the capital of Texas.
There are, of course, other uses of the word “capital” and Chicago Style recognizes them, but, to illustrate the differences between capital and capitol, this is the only relevant definition.
Chicago Style states that a capitol is a building in which a legislature meets to have legislative sessions. For example,
- Protestors met today at the state capitol building.
- Do you want to take a tour of the state capitol?
For a full discussion on the differences between capital and capitol, check out our full page on the subject.