Do you capitalize both parts of a hyphenated word in a title?

"My Ex-Wife Hates Me"


"My Ex-wife Hates Me"

  • 2
    Just to echo VonC's answer: given the choice, a title like Co-Founder feels more appropriate with a capital initial in the second word.
    – benbland
    Mar 6, 2014 at 11:41

1 Answer 1


Capitalization of hyphenated words in general is really more a question of style than anything else.
In other word, choose a rule and be consistent with it:

From Garbl's writing center:

When capitalizing hyphenated words in a title, choose a style and follow it consistently.

Simplest is to capitalize only the first word unless later words are proper nouns or adjectives:

Unique benefits for part-time violinists,
All-American flag-waving techniques.

Second is to capitalize all words except articles, short prepositions and short conjunctions:

Over-the-Counter Acid Reducers for Sale Here,
A Matter-of-Fact Approach to Guitar Tuning,
A New Park-and-Ride Lot for Commuters.

Optional exceptions to the second style are to lowercase the word after a prefix unless it is a proper noun or adjective and to lowercase the second word in a spelled out number:

Anti-intellectual Conduct,
Twenty-first Century Values.

In your case, since "ex-" is a prefix:

My Ex-wife Hates Me

  • 1
    So if one writes "My Ex-Wife Hates Me", it is still correct, just that the optional exceptions mentioned in the answer is not observed?
    – tvk
    Nov 5, 2017 at 20:33
  • 1
    @FangJing I suppose so, since all words are capitalized.
    – VonC
    Nov 5, 2017 at 20:36
  • 1
    How would you suggest 'add-on' be used here: "Introducing Health-Check - New Add-On to Product X"? Jul 14, 2020 at 8:23

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