Capitalization of Seasons: What To Know

Are you curious about the capitalization of seasons? Do you need to capitalize summer, fall, winter, and spring? Learn more about these rules below!

When you take a look at writing assignments for blog posts, articles, essays, and even scientific research papers, you may notice that people capitalize the days of the week and the months of the year. On the other hand, when it comes to the seasons, you will usually see them using lowercase letters instead of uppercase letters. So, when it comes to the capitalization of seasons, do you need to use capital letters?

As a general rule, you should not capitalize the seasons. They are common nouns, not proper nouns. Therefore, you should only capitalize seasons when you capitalize common nouns in your writing assignments, regardless of whether you are following the New York Times style guide or AP style.

What else do you need to know about these capitalization rules? Take a look at a few key points below.

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Why Do You Not Capitalize the Names of Seasons?

Capitalization of seasons

There are a lot of people who instinctively capitalize the names of seasons because they think they are proper nouns. In actuality, the seasons are not proper nouns. They are common nouns. Therefore, they should not be capitalized regularly.

The biggest reason why people confuse the names of the seasons with proper nouns is that people think they are similar to the days of the week and the months of the year. Because the seasons are common nouns, they only need to be capitalized when you are capitalizing common nouns. 

When Should You Capitalize the Names of Seasons?

Capitalization of seasons
You need to capitalize the names of seasons when they are part of a title or proper name

There are a few situations where you need to capitalize words like summer, spring, fall, autumn, and winter. For example, if this word comes at the beginning of a sentence, then you need to capitalize the first letter of the word. This is similar to other common nouns when they start a sentence. If they are at the start of a sentence, they need to be capitalized accordingly.

In addition, you also need to capitalize the names of seasons when they are part of a title or proper name. For example, you need to capitalize the word “winter” when you talk about the Winter Olympics. You also need to capitalize the word “summer” when you talk about the Summer Olympics.

If there are any situations where one of the seasons is being personified, then it needs to be capitalized in that situation. If you are having a difficult time remembering these exceptions, then you may want to take advantage of an automatic grammar checking tool that can help you, such as Grammarly.

A Few Examples of Capitalizing Seasons

If you need help keeping these rules in mind, it may be beneficial to take a look at a few examples. These include:

  • The Tokyo Summer Olympics were a bit different this year, but overall, most of the athletes are very happy to compete.
  • The local region is going to have one of the hottest summers on record this year.
  • The fantastic work titled “Edge of Winter” really put a lot of things in great perspective for the reader. 
  • A lot of leaves are going to be tumbling to the ground in the foreseeable future as the temperature drops this fall. 

Hopefully, these examples can help you figure out when you need to capitalize the names of seasons and when you don’t. 

Final Word on Capitalization Of Seasons

There are a lot of grammar rules to remember and it is easy to get confused. If you have questions about the seasons, remember that they are common nouns. Therefore, they only need to be capitalized if they are part of a proper name or if they come at the beginning of a sentence.

It can be helpful to take a look at a few examples to figure out when you need to capitalize these words. Once you have gone through the exercise a few times, it should become second nature. That way, you can use proper grammar when you are writing the days of the week, the months of the year, and the names of seasons. 

Need help with fixing capitalization issues in your work? A good grammar checker saves hours of time. It’ll help you find and fix odd capitalization issues fast. You can also set rules about capitalizations and house style.

To find out more, read our Grammarly review 

FAQs About Capitalization of Seasons

How come I do not need to capitalize the names of the seasons in my writing?

You do not need to capitalize the seasons of the year because they are common nouns. Therefore, they should only be capitalized if they are part of a proper noun or if they are the first word of a sentence. 

Is the name of a season different from the name of a month in the English language?

Yes, the names of months are different from the names of seasons, even if it is your favorite season.

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  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.