Is both parts of the hypenative word Hands-on capitalized in an ad with bullets.


1 Answer 1


The Chicago Manual of Style, Sixteenth Edition, says:

8.159 Hyphenated compounds in headline-style titles [...]
1. Always capitalize the first element.
2. Capitalize any subsequent elements unless they are articles, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, or, nor), or such modifiers as flat or sharp following musical key symbols.
3. [...]

One of the examples given to illustrate these rules is

A History of the Chicago Lying-In Hospital (2; “In” functions as an adverb, not a preposition)

Likewise, “On” is an adverb in “Hands-On”, so it should be capitalized according to the Chicago Manual of Style.

The MLA Handbook, Eighth Edition, states:

When you copy an English title or subtitle, capitalize the first word, the last word, and all principal words, including those that follow hyphens in compound terms.

As just stated, “On” is an adverb in “Hands-On”, i.e. a principal word, so it should be capitalized if you’re following the MLA Handbook.

But there are many other styleguides out there, which might have different rules regarding compound terms, so it really depends on the styleguide you have to (or choose to) follow.

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