Everyone knows that the English language can be a bit of a minefield. And when you throw grammar and punctuation into the mix, it becomes even more complicated.
Are you writing an article about international leadership? Perhaps you are completing a college project on UK prime ministers.
If so, you might be wondering whether the phrase ‘prime minister’ is capitalized?”
Is Prime Minister Capitalized?
The short answer is yes. Well, at least sometimes.
You see, when used with names, instead of names or as an appositive, titles and political entities like ‘prime minister’ should be capitalized.
Here are a few examples:
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (with names)
- Welcome, Prime Minister (instead of names)
- Today, the President met with Boris Johnson, the current UK Prime Minister (as an appositive).
If ‘prime minister’ is not being used to replace a name, it should not be capitalized.
- The prime minister is looking forward to meeting you.
- The prime minister lives at No. 10 Downing Street.
- Boris Johnson, prime minister.
- Boris Johnson is the current prime minister for the UK.
The same applies to other professional titles such as professor, president, and king. For example:
- Say hello to Professor Jeremy White (initial capital for professor – as it is being used with names)
- Professor White is here to see you (initial capital for professor – as it is being used instead of names)
- Barack Obama was the United States’ first black president (lower case for president as it is not being used to replace a name and it is not being used as an appositive)
As you can see, both words in ‘prime minister’ need to start with a capital letter or both need to start with a lower case letter, depending on the context. (Unless, of course, the word ‘prime’ is at the start of a sentence, when it will always need to have a capital letter).
As well as the above, you also need to comply with any style guides you are working with. For example, many workplaces and education establishments will have their own ‘rules’ in place to determine when and where you should use initial capitals. Consistency is key, so if you’re still not sure, always check with your boss or lecturer.
To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.