There are plenty of questions on Stackexchange and the web about when to capitalize "the" in titles like "The New York Times." But most of those questions have to do with referring to a periodical as a publication. But how about sentences like these (imagine these taken from a work of fiction):

  • "If I'm not mistaken, the New York Times seems light today."
  • "I bought a copy of The London Times, but I forgot to get the New York Times."
  • "Look what's in that package from Aunt Sophie, the New York Times."

Here one is not referring to the periodical as a publication (as in, e.g., "It was in The New York Times yesterday"), but as an object. (Yes, in the last two sentences it might be preferable to use "a" instead of "the," but "the" works fine.)

I'm sorry my question was not clearer. Perhaps this will clarify: Suppose you see the sentence: "Mr. Buffett bought (the/The) New York Times this morning." If he literally became the owner of the publication, you would capitalize "The," but not if all he did was buy a copy of today's paper. Right?

  • 3
    Does this answer your question? Article before newspaper name
    – livresque
    Oct 26, 2021 at 21:48
  • @liveresque I'm afraid not. No one seems to have the kind of situation I described above in mind. Here's another sentence: "The newsboy tossed the New York Times in a puddle this morning, thus ruining Tuesday's Science section."
    – airfoyle
    Oct 26, 2021 at 22:44
  • The normal rule applies. Saying "I saw it in The New York Times" it's irrelevant whether you're talking about a physical object (a newspaper) or an abstract entity (online). There are idioms like "I bought a Times" meaning "I bought a copy of the Times", and they may function differently, but that doesn't seem to be primarily what the question is about, unless you want to ask about a specific case.
    – Stuart F
    Oct 28, 2021 at 13:20

1 Answer 1


Capitalize "The" if "The" is part of the name.

So, for example, looking at the building (or the front page) we see that "The" is included:

The headquarters of The New York Times.

But if "The" is not part of the name, then it could be in lower case.

A front page of the Chicago Tribune.

Another example:
This newspaper is called The Times. So it is better not to say The London Times. Sometimes you do see The (London) Times or The Times of London.

  • I'm sorry my question was not clearer.
    – airfoyle
    Oct 28, 2021 at 12:50

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