What are italics?
Italics are a sloping kind of writing. The characters slope to the right, as you see here:
This sentence is in normal type.
This sentence is in italic type.
The noun is "italics". The adjective is "italic". So we also call italics "italic type".
When to use italics
We use italics for several different reasons, including:
- Emphasis (like stress on a word when speaking):
It wasn't my fault you forgot the key!
- Titles of books, films, plays, poems:
Have you read War And Peace?
- Names of vehicles (ships, spacecraft etc):
Titanic sank in 1912.
Was Challenger a space ship?
- Referring to words as words:
The words a/an and the are articles.
Your sentence has the word important three times.
- Sometimes in novels, to show thinking:
He is so ugly, thought Tara.
Italics are not really possible in handwriting. There are too many different styles of handwriting, and much handwriting tends to slope to the right anyway! But we can do most of the above in other ways. For example, we can show emphasis with underlining ( ). We can indicate titles of books, films and so on with quotation marks (" ").