There are many rules for the use of capital letters in English headlines. In this article, we’d like to focus on the suggestions stated by The Chicago Manual of Style management as the most acceptable and authoritative source:


  1. The first and last word is always written with capital letters, doesn’t matter which part of speech it is (preposition, conjunction, noun, etc.).
  2. With capital letters you always should write nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, particles (except the particle “to”, relating to the infinitive) and subordinating conjunctions (as, because, although, if, when). So, if your question sounds something like this: “is am capitalized in a title?”, then yes.
  3. You should write prepositions consisting of 5 letters or more with capital letters (after, among, between) (The Chicago Manual of Style offers to write with all lowercase prepositions except those that are the first and last word). Interesting question: do you capitalize versus in a title? Yes, if you’re writing the full word, but in short form you should write it in with lowercase letter.
  4. Prepositions that are the part of Latin expression should be written with capital letters (In Vitro, De Facto).


What Words You Do not Capitalize in a Title


  • All articles (a, an, the), correlative conjunctions (and, or, nor) and prepositions consisting of 4 letters or less (of, for, from) should be written with lowercase letters (The Chicago Manual of Style offers to write in lowercase letters all prepositions except those that are the first and last word).
  • From the lowercase letter should be written the particle “to” that is related to the infinitive (to Come).


Most Common Mistakes in Headline Capitalization


When writing, it is often difficult to correctly identify the part of speech, as a result, the headline can be written inaccurately. Here are the most common mistakes with examples:


  1. Two-letter words. Mistakes in writing words consisting of two letters, with a lowercase letter (by analogy with short prepositions (of, to, up)). Remember, that despite the length, all nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs should be capitalized:
    1. Say it to me, Please! Incorrect, “it” and “me” are pronouns, write with capital letters.
    2. Why is He So Shy? Incorrect, “is” – a verb, write with a capital letter.
  2. Words that can be different parts of speech. Mistakes in writing words that can be used as prepositions but are used as another part of speech with a lowercase letter:
    1. The Girl in the House Has a Black Cat. Correct, “in” in this case is a preposition, write with a lowercase letter.
    2. This Program Can Bring in the Essential Income. Incorrect, “in” in this case is the adverb, write with a capital letter.
  3. Phrasal verbs. Also, it can be difficult to write correctly the second part of the phrasal verbs in the headings. The phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and a particle with a stable meaning in which the meaning changes if you break it. So, in cases where the word is the part of a phrasal verb, it must be written with a capital letter:
    1. My Tours up the River. Correct, “up” is a preposition, write with a lowercase letter.
    2. Setting up the Meeting. Incorrect, “up” is a particle that is the part of a phrasal verb, write with a capital letter.


Accomplish new achievements in writing, never be afraid to put your thoughts in writing, and love what you’re doing. We hope that this article will help you write better.


Also on: