Is On Capitalized In A Title?

Is on capitalized in a title? Learn more about these English grammar rules below.

You may have gotten confused by a lot of title capitalization rules during school growing up. It can be difficult to move from sentence case to title case, and even experienced article and essay writers have trouble from time to time. For example, is on capitalized in title case?

On is a preposition. Therefore, it is a minor word and it usually does not need to be capitalized. On the other hand, there are still some situations where you need to capitalize on. For example, it needs to be capitalised if it is the first word of a title, subtitle, header, or subheader.

How can you figure out when short words need to be capitalized? Take a look at the most important rules to follow below.

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Different Style Guides, Similar Rules

Is on capitalized in a title?

You have probably seen a few stylebook options from different organizations. Entities such as the Associated Press, the American Psychological Association, the New York Times, and even the Chicago Manual of Style have published their guidelines. You have probably used MLA style a lot as well.

Fortunately, regardless of whether you are following the MLA handbook, AP style, or APA style, title case rules should be the same. Therefore, you only have to remember one set of rules, regardless of which set of guidelines you follow. To figure out title case, you must learn the difference between major words and minor words. 

Want to learn more? Read our article about style guide templates. It’ll help you pick the right one.

We also explain how to write a style guide for a business.

The Rules of Major Words and Minor Words

Is on capitalized in a title?
The word “on” is a preposition so it usually does not have to be capitalized

There are eight parts of speech in the English language, and the part of speech of the word in question will dictate whether it is a major word or a minor word. For example, short prepositions, coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, and articles are considered minor words.

In contrast, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs are considered major words. In general, you need to capitalize major words in title case. On the other hand, you do not need to capitalize minor words.

After you identify the part of speech of the word a question, you can categorize it as a major word or minor word. On the other hand, there are still some situations where you need to capitalize minor words. These include: 

  • The first word of the title and the last word of the title need to be capitalized regardless of the category of the word you are using. The first word of a title always needs to be capitalized.
  • You need to capitalize all words that are four letters long or longer, regardless of where they fall in the title.
  • You always need to capitalize the first letter of a word following an end punctuation mark. This includes periods, question marks, and exclamation marks. 
  • You should capitalize both words in a hyphenated compound.

Based on the rules above, there are still situations where short words need to be capitalized. Keep these rules in mind, and you should be able to follow title case successfully. 

When Do You Capitalize On?

Because the word “on” is a preposition, it usually does not have to be capitalized. On the other hand, you do need to capitalize this word if it follows an end punctuation mark. You also need to capitalize this word if it is the first word a title or the last word of a title.

Finally, make sure you capitalize this word if it is part of a hyphenated compound. Most of the time, you don’t need to capitalize “on” in title case, but you need to remember the exceptions above. 

Final Word on Is on Capitalized in a Title?

Even though it can be difficult to remember these title capitalization rules, you will get used to them the more you use them. For example, you usually do not need to capitalize “on” because it is a short preposition and a minor word; however, there are still some situations where it has to be capitalized.

Consider using a title capitalization tool or a converter to help you learn title case. With a bit of practice, switching from sentence case to title case is going to feel like second nature. 

Need help with fixing capitalization issues in your work? A good grammar checker saves hours of time. It’ll help you find and fix odd capitalization issues fast. You can also set rules about capitalizations and house style.

To find out more, read our Grammarly review 

FAQs About Is on Capitalized in a Title?

Do I need to capitalize short words in title case? 

You need to capitalize short words if they are major words, but you do not need to capitalize and short words if they are mi or words. There are still some exceptions where short minor words must be capitalized.

Why don’t I need to capitalize the word on?

It is a preposition and a minor word, so you do not need to capitalize it.

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