Is “It” Capitalized in a Title?

When writing, is it capitalized in a title? This question is debated by many writers and scholars of the English language as many feel that all words of less than five characters should not be capitalized. The flip side of that argument is that the two-character word “it” should be capitalized because it is a pronoun and considered a major part of speech.

Others will argue further that typically, “it” is used as the subject, and the subject should definitely be capitalized. Otherwise, it might downplay the significance of the subject and the premise of the story or article altogether.

Luckily, there are style manuals that set the rules for writing. This includes writing text along with writing titles.

So, Is “It” Capitalized?

The short answer is yes, but take a moment to peer through the reasoning behind this. It’s useful to understand this reasoning especially given the multiple writing styles in use and their differences. When writing, it is useful to remember general guidelines pertaining to what components of your title should be capitalized. Generally, the following should be capitalized:

  • the first and last words of your title
  • all nouns (especially proper nouns)
  • pronouns (he, she, etc)
  • adjectives
  • adverbs
  • verbs
  • subordinate conjunctions (as, although, however, if, etc)

On the other hand, coordinate conjunctions (and, or, nor) and unimportant words, especially those fewer than five letters in length, are rendered in lower case. So turning our attention back to the word ‘it’, the question arises: why do you capitalize it in a title?

‘It’, classifies as an article and as you may already have noted above, as a rule of thumb, all articles are capitalized when writing a title for an article. Articles stand in for some person or entity under discussion, an entity that no doubt associates with some noun (or proper noun). Again, turning our attention to the list above, nouns are capitalized in titles too! It is only fitting, therefore that pronouns, as ‘replacements’ for some nouns, are capitalized. Of course, if the word ‘it’ comes at the beginning or the end of the title, or if it used as a proper noun (referring to the popular Pennywise movie, for example), then it becomes unquestionably necessary to capitalize it in the title.

As always, consistency is the most recommendable habit when choosing what style of writing to adhere to. Should one choose to capitalize aspects of a title following one writing standard, they would be better off doing it throughout their writing. Any divergence or mixing of styles could be interpreted as a typographical blunder at best by the reader.


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