Do You Capitalize Family Titles?

You may be wondering how to capitalize certain familial titles and we’re here to help. Below are some of the most commonly searched family titles and information about capitalizing them. In general, familial titles should be capitalized when used in titles/headlines or before a name, and lowercased when used generically in a sentence (e.g., “my aunt”).

Are Family Member Titles Capitalized?

Do you capitalize family member names like grandma, mom, dad, cousin, etc.? The words can be capitalized depending on how they are used in a sentence or title. When used generically in a sentence they should be lowercase such as in the following sentence: “my grandparents said to visit them,” then the word grandpa is lowercase because it is a generic noun. The same goes for cousin: “my cousin came to visit.”

Correct: My grandparents are the best.
Correct: My cousins are the best.
Correct: My cousin came to visit me.
Correct: My mom is the best.

However, if you are addressing your family members directly, such as when asking a question, then you should capitalize the word.

Correct: Can I go to the movies, Grandparents?
Correct: Want to go to the movies, Cousin?
Correct: Can I go to the movies, Mom?

The same holds true for any other family member names.

Is Mom Capitalized?

The word “mom” can be capitalized depending on how it is used in a sentence or title. Capitalize “mom” when used in a title.   When used generically in a sentence such as: “my mom said to visit her,” then the word mom is lowercase because it is a generic noun.

Correct: My mom is the best.

However, if you are addressing your mom directly, such as when asking a question, then you should capitalize the word mom or mother.

Correct: Can I go to the movies, Mom?

You should also capitalize “mother” in “Mother’s Day” because it is a holiday and thus a proper noun.

Is Mother Capitalized?

In general, the word “mother” is lowercased, but there are a few instances listed below when it is capitalized.

The word “mother” is capitalized:

1. When used as a proper noun or addressing one’s mother. An example is: Hello Mother, when are you going to visit me? However, you should not capitalize the word if you are referring to a relationship. “When I get back to the country, I will take my mother out.”
2. The word should also be capitalized when it’s used to refer to a holiday (Mother’s day).
3. When it’s used in a song or movie title.
4. Finally, the word mother should be capitalized when it’s the first word of a sentence.

What about mother-in-law?

The phrase “mother-in-law” follows the same rules as “mother.” It should not be capitalized unless used at the beginning of a sentence. However, when used in a title the words “mother” and “law” are capitalized so the phrase would read “Mother-in-Law.”

Is Dad Capitalized?

The word “dad” can be capitalized depending on how it is used in a sentence or title. In a title, “dad” is capitalized. “Father” should also be capitalized in a title and when referring to god. When used generically in a sentence such as: “my dad said to visit him,” then the word dad is lowercase because it is a generic noun.

Correct: My dad is the best.

However, if you are addressing your dad directly, such as when asking a question, then you should capitalize the word dad or father.

Correct: Can I go to the movies, Dad?

You should also capitalize “father” in “Father’s Day” because it is a holiday and thus a proper noun.

Is Father Capitalized?

The word “father” can be capitalized depending on how it is used in a sentence or title. When used generically in a sentence such as: “my father said to visit him,” then the word father is lowercase because it is a generic noun.

Correct: My father is the best.

However, if you are addressing your father directly, such as when asking a question, then you should capitalize the word father.

Correct: Can I go to the movies, Father?

What about father-in-law?

The phrase “father-in-law” follows the same rules as “father.” It should not be capitalized unless used at the beginning of a sentence. However, when used in a title the words “father” and “law” are capitalized so the phrase would read “Father-in-Law.”

Is Aunt Capitalized?

The word “aunt” can be capitalized depending on how it is used in a sentence or title. In a title, “aunt” is capitalized. When used generically in a sentence such as: “my aunt said to visit her,” then the word “aunt” is lowercase because it is a generic noun.

Correct: The other day I went shopping with my aunt.

However, when referring to an aunt by name such as “Aunt Audrey,” then the word aunt is capitalized because it is a part of the name so it becomes a proper noun. This is also true when asking a question of your aunt.

Correct: My Aunt Audrey is the best.
Correct: Can I go to the movies, Aunt?

Is Uncle Capitalized?

The word “uncle” can be capitalized depending on how it is used in a sentence or title. In a title, “uncle” is capitalized. When used generically in a sentence such as: “my uncle said to visit her,” then the word “uncle” is lowercase because it is a generic noun.

Correct: The other day I went shopping with my uncle.

However, when referring to an uncle by name such as “Uncle Jim,” then the word uncle is capitalized because it is a part of the name so it becomes a proper noun. This is also true when asking a question of your uncle.

Correct: My Uncle Jim is the best.
Correct: Can I go to the movies, Uncle?

Is Grandma or Grandmother Capitalized?

The word “grandma” or “grandmother” can be capitalized depending on how it is used in a sentence or title. In a title, these words are capitalized. When used generically in a sentence such as: “my grandma said to visit him,” then the word grandma is lowercase because it is a generic noun.

Correct: My grandma is the best.
Correct: My grandmother loves me.

However, if you are addressing your grandma directly, such as when asking a question, then you should capitalize the word grandma.

Correct: Can I go to the movies, Grandma?
Correct: Can I go to the movies, Grandmother?

The same holds true for any other names you might call your grandmother.

Is Grandpa or Grandfather Capitalized?

The word “grandpa” or “grandfather” can be capitalized depending on how it is used in a sentence or title. In a title, these words are capitalized. When used generically in a sentence such as: “my grandpa said to visit him,” then the word grandpa is lowercase because it is a generic noun.

Correct: My grandpa is the best.
Correct: My grandfather loves me.

However, if you are addressing your grandpa directly, such as when asking a question, then you should capitalize the word grandpa.

Correct: Can I go to the movies, Grandpa?
Correct: Can I go to the movies, Grandfather?

The same holds true for any other names you might call your grandfather such as “papa” or “papap.”


Capitalize My Title is a dynamic title capitalization tool used to make sure your titles or headlines use proper capitalization rules according to various style guides include APA, AP, MLA, and Chicago. It also counts your words and checks for grammar issues.

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