To capitalize, or not to capitalize— that is the question.
Every writer or blogger wants the “i’s dotted, and t’s crossed” while presenting their work. When it comes to capitalization in titles, you might get stumped on the word “to.”
Let’s break down the rules to capitalizing “to” below.
Is “To” Capitalized in a Title?
Capitalization in titles depends on multiple variables. You need to keep them in mind when you use a title that includes “to”.
Here’s what you should ask when you capitalize your title:
Does “To” Come at the Beginning or the End?
Always capitalize the first word of your title, regardless of its grammar usage. In these cases, it doesn’t matter if you’re using “to” as a preposition, adverb, or infinitive.
On the other hand, title case rules get tricky when “to” comes at the end of your heading. In these instances, your writing style determines the capitalization of titles.
Some writing styles require you to capitalize the last word of your title, while others don’t have specific rules.
In the Beginning of a title:
- To Kill a Mockingbird
At the end of a title:
AP, MLA, Chicago, Wikipedia, and New York Times (always capitalize to)
- Top 5 Places to Fly To
- Why Everyone Needs Someone to Cry To
APA, AMA, and Bluebook (capitalization of titles determined by grammar function)
- 9 Things to Look Forward to
Is “To” a Preposition?
Grammar functions determine whether “to” will be capitalized or not. If you’re using it as a preposition, don’t capitalize it.
- Let’s go to the mall
Please note that this rule applies to all the writing styles (AP, MLA, Chicago, Wikipedia, New York Times, APA, AMA, and Bluebook).
What Happens When You Use “To” As an Adverb?
You need to capitalize “to” in titles when using it as an adverb. It usually happens when you’re using expressions like “to and from” or as an adverb where it doesn’t follow a noun.
- Moving To a Goal
- When He Pulled the Door To
Bonus: The Case of the Infinitive
When you use “to” with a verb, it becomes an infinitive (to write, to be, etc.). In these cases, the writing style will determine the capitalization of your titles and headings.
If you’re using AP style, you will use to + verb in uppercases. You will use lowercase for “to” in infinitives for the other writing styles.
- Nothing To Hide
- How To Grow Tomatoes in Your Backyard?
AMA, APA, Bluebook, Chicago, MLA, New York Times, Wikipedia
- Nothing to Hide
- How to Grow Tomatoes in Your Backyard?
In a Nutshell: It Depends
Capitalization in titles for “to” may vary depending on how you use it and where it’s placed within the heading.
You need to capitalize “to” when it’s the first word of your title, used as an adverb, or as an infinitive (for AP style only). You also use uppercase for “to” when it comes at the end of your title while working on AP, MLA, Chicago, Wikipedia, and New York Times styles.
You don’t need to capitalize it in all other instances, especially when you’re using “to” as a preposition.
You may resume writing your next masterpiece now that we’ve cleared things out.
Best of luck!
And remember you can always automatically capitalize your titles using our title capitalization tool.