For example if I were to write a title called,

"The First Letter of Each Major Word in the Title Should Be Capitalized"

Is this one correctly written?

Should I capitalize "be" as well here?


There are different thoughts about this.

Many song titles have every word capitalised, not just the "major" ones. This list has over 5000 examples, and even words like "the" and "of" are capitalised.

For other kinds of titles, such as in most kinds of journalism where only the "major words" are capitalised, you might want to follow these definitions (source):

  • Major words: Nouns, verbs (including linking verbs), adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, and all words of four letters or more are considered major words.
  • Minor words: Short (i.e., three letters or fewer) conjunctions, short prepositions, and all articles are considered minor words.

Your question is about "be", which as a verb falls into the definition of "major". I can see why, with only 2 letters, some would argue it is "minor".

My personal feeling is that the words "should be" really work together as a phrase, and both words ought to be treated the same way. I would make a decision to either capitalise both or neither. That way, the word "be" doesn't stand out as different between two capitalised words. If I were being tested on English grammar, and going strictly by the definitions above, I would lean towards capitalising both because it is a verb.

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