Titled versus Entitled

Titled versus entitled can cause confusion for learners of English because titled and entitled in the past were used in the same way to refer to the name of something. 

However, these days the tendency is for them to have distinct meanings as entitled is mainly used to refer to believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

Titled

Titled is an adjective and it can be used in two different ways. In relation to:

  • Books, films or paintings
  • People

It is similar to referring to what someone or something is named or called. 

Books, films, paintings etc

In this context it is used after a verb and means 'with the title of'.


Examples:

  • I read a book titled 'The Great Escape'
  • Should an artist have titled works in their paintings portfolio?
  • He wrote a piece for the local newspaper titled "Living in the 21st Century"

People / Person

People who are titled have a special word, such as Sir or Lady, before their own name, in order to show that they have a high social rank.


Examples:

  • He has several titled friends, such as Lady Jane Simpson and Sir John Ridley
  • She is a member of the titled ranks


Entitled

Entitled is when a person has a feeling that they have the right to do or have what they want without having to deserve it or work for it, just because of who they are.


Examples:

  • Rich kids often feel entitled and think everything should be done for them
  • His entitled behaviour embarrassed everybody in the room


Summary of Titled versus Entitled Grammar



When using these words as adjectives use titled to talk about:

  • the name of something such as a book, film, painting or article, or
  • to refer to the special social rank of somebody

Use entitled to refer to someone who thinks they are deserving of things or special treatment just because of who they are. In other words, someone who thinks they are important.

It is true that entitled can officially be used in the same way as the first meaning of titled. For example:

  • The book is entitled "The Great Escape"

However, in general usage these days people do not tend to use it in this way and use the word titled.