HTML <i> Tag

By Jonathan Griffin. Editor, SEO Consultant, & Developer.

· 2 min read


The <i> tag is used to define some text in an alternative voice or mood without emphasizing it. The text usually displays in italic.


<p><i>I wonder whether this will be italic</i> thought The Webmaster.</p>

I wonder whether this will be italic thought The Webmaster.


  • An opening and closing tag are required.
  • Examples of usage include:
    • Taxonomic designation
    • Technical terms
    • Idiomatic phrases in other languages. In these cases it is recommended to add the lang attribute to denote the language. For example:
      <p>Del Boy used to say <i lang="Fr">je suis un pois<i> 
      every time he met a French person</p>
    • Transliteration
    • A thought
    • A ship name in Western texts.


The <i> element only supports the Global Attributes.

Best Practices

  • You should consider whether other elements might be more appropriate. For example, you can use the <em> tag to stress emphasis while still making the text italic. Alternatively, for definitions you could use the <dfn> tag, or to mark as important you can use the <strong> tag.
  • The <i> element is an inline element. You should use it to mark up parts of a text rather than entire blocks. If you wish to italicize a leading paragraph, for example, then you should use CSS.


Browser Support




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