Recent­ly, some­one end­ed up on my web­site search­ing for the phrase “is wife cap­i­tal­ized”. Although that’s not a fre­quent search phrase used by my web­site vis­i­tors, I thought it would make a good top­ic for this week’s blog post.

So, is wife cap­i­tal­ized? Well, in short, no.

There are actu­al­ly (pret­ty much) only 3 times to cap­i­tal­ize a word:

  1. Prop­er nouns (like Cana­da, Jane, and Saskatchewan)
  2. First word in a sen­tence
  3. Main words in a title

Wife isn’t a prop­er noun. Take the fol­low­ing sen­tence, for exam­ple:

Susan, I’d like to intro­duce my wife, Mandy, to you.

In this sen­tence, Mandy is the prop­er noun. Wife is sim­ply a com­mon noun.

Now, if hus­band was the first word in a sen­tence, of course it would be cap­i­tal­ized, like in this exam­ple:

Hus­bands should love their wives.

Final­ly, if wife is part of the title of a work, like a book or film, then it would be cap­i­tal­ized.

The Dummy’s Guide for Find­ing a Wife

So, if wife is the first word in a sen­tence or part of a title, then by all means cap­i­tal­ize it. Any oth­er time, just leave it low­er­case.

If you have a gram­mar ques­tion, email it to me at kim.​siever@​hotppper.​ca, and I will answer it here.

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness. Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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