Do you capitalize hyphenated words in a title?

Hyphenated words are complicated and depend on which style you are using. You can find the rules for hyphenated words for CMOS and APA below or you can use our free capitalization tool.

Using The Chicago Manual of Style:

  1. Always capitalize the first element.
  2. Capitalize any subsequent elements unless they are articles, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions
  3. If the first element is merely a prefix or combining form that could not stand by itself as a word (anti, pre, etc.), do not capitalize the second element unless it is a proper noun or proper adjective.
  4. Capitalize the second element in a hyphenated spelled-out number (twenty-one or twenty-first, etc.) or hyphenated simple fraction (two-thirds in two-thirds majority).

Using APA:

  1. Capitalize the first and second element of a hyphenated phrase.

To automatically capitalize your titles with the correct rules for hyphens, try our free capitalization tool.


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