Capital and Lowercase Letters in Titles (Title Case)
The Quick AnswerTitles can be written in title case. This means only using capital letters for only the first word, the last word, and the "principal" words. For example:
- The Last of the Mohicans
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Using Capital Letters and Lowercase Letters in Titles (Title Case)When writing a name or a title, it is a common convention to capitalize only the first word, the last word, and the so-called "principal" words. This is called title case.
The "principal" words in a title are all the words that are not:
- Articles ("a," "an," "the")
- Conjunctions (e.g., "and," "but," "or")
- Prepositions (e.g., "on," "in," "with")
Examples of Title CaseHere are some examples of titles in title case:
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (In this example, the conjunction "and" and the article "the" are written with lowercase letters.)
- Newcastle upon Tyne (Here, the preposition "upon" is written with a lowercase letter.)
- Brighton on Sea (The preposition "on" is written with a lowercase letter.)
- The Last of the Mohicans (The preposition "of" and the article "the" are written with lowercase letters. The article "The" starting the title is given a capital letter.) (The preposition "about" is given a capital letter because it starts the title.)
- Have you seen "About a Boy"?
- What Is It All About? (Here, "about" is given a capital letter because it ends the title. It is rare for a non-principal word to end a title.)
Clear Guidelines to Make Your Life EasierUnderstanding title case removes the need to think about formatting titles. Some words are short and look awkward when you give them a capital letter. However, if you stick the rules, you will have clear guidance on whether to use a capital or not.
- I read "How to be Black" in a day.
- I read "How to Be Black" in a day. (Despite being short, "Be" is a principal word.)
Read about using capital letters (including title case) in advertising.