Should You Capitalize 'Is' in a Title?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on March 20, 2023

Writing titles can be tricky business because you need to know which words to capitalize and which ones not to. Want to know whether or not you should capitalize 'is' in a title? Read on.

In short:

  • The answer is always yes: you should capitalize the word 'is' in a title at all times, regardless of the style guide you use.

Are You Supposed to Capitalize 'Is' in a Title?

The reason this question gets asked so often s because there's a lot of confusion around which words should and shouldn't be capitalized in titles. And that's due to the fact that it depends on your style guide.

Whether's the Chicago Manual of Style, the American Psychological Association (APA), the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, or one of the many other style guides; they don't all agree on what should and shouldn't be capitalized in a title.

But one thing they do all agree on is that all verbs should be capitalized without exception.

'Is' is a verb. It's the present indefinite tense of the verb 'to be.' It often gets overlooked as a verb because it doesn't describe an action, but that's because it's a "state of being" verb. That doesn't make it any less of a verb, so again, the answer is yes; you should always capitalize it if you use it in a title.

Top Tip! Often the verb 'is' is contracted and joined with the word 'it' to make it look like this: 'it's.' In this case, you wouldn't capitalize it.

Examples of 'Is' in a Title

I'm going to show you some real-life title examples that contain the word 'is' so you can see that they are always capitalized.

My Name Is Nobody

Everything Is Illuminated

Fame Is the Name of the Game

Tender Is the Night

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Notice how some words aren't capitalized in these titles, like short words of less than four letters and determiners. But the verb 'is' is always capitalized.

Now here are some examples of made-up titles that contain the word 'is.' Because even if you're making up your own title, if it has the word 'is,' you'll still need to capitalize it.

Reading Blogs Is a Great Way to Improve Your Grammar

Why Meditation Is Your Best Option for Destressing

Did You Know a Dog Is Friendlier Than Your Best Friend?

Is Your Child Spoiled? Six Ways to Tell

Green Is the Color You Want to Be Wearing This Season

Concluding Thoughts on Capitalizing 'Is' in a Title

So the bottom line is that you should always capitalize 'is,' no matter the style guide you are using. As for other capitalization rules, you'll be best off consulting your style guide for that.

If you found this article helpful and would like to learn about more grammar rules, visit our blog.

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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