Capitalization of titles

Today I'm going to talk about one specific use of capitalization: titles. This will include royal titles (King, Queen) and titles used in place of names (Mom, Dad).


  • Only capitalize if you use the person's name.
    • King Henry VIII was married six times.
    • King Henry VIII divorced Queen Katherine of Aragon.
  • Do not capitalize if referring to the generic office/title.
    • The king was married six times.
    • King Henry VIII divorced his queen, Katherine of Aragon.
  • This rule is the same for all titles, offices, etc. For example:
    • Pope John Paul; the pope
    • Senator John Kerry; the senator
    • the prince; Prince of Wales

Personal titles

  • When using a personal title (Mom, Dad, Grandma, etc.), there is a simple rule to determine if you should capitalize it. Ask yourself "Would this sentence make sense if I put the person's real name instead of the title?" If yes, it should be capitalized. 
    • Mom is the best.
    • I love you, Grandma.
  • Do not capitalize if the title is preceded by a word such as "my", "her", etc.
    • My mom is the best.
    • I love my grandma.

Is there another use of capitalization that you have trouble with? I'm happy to answer your questions. Thanks for reading!