Sometimes I’m writing for an academic client—an actual university, not college student trying to con a writer into writing their essay. Or I’m writing about the coolest holiday of all—Halloween, when trees are at their most autumnal. Seasons. They come and they go. But when, oh when, do you make them proper with capitalization? Let’s take a walk down the seasonal lane, shall we?
Yes to Capitalize Seasons
To start, in general, you’re not going to capitalize the seasons. That’s the big, grammatical reveal today. However, there are times when to capitalize seasons. According to Grammarly, capitalize the seasons when the word, i.e., spring, summer, fall, etc., is part of a proper noun. Such as with a proper name or title. Here are some proper uses of when to capitalize seasons:
- Summer Olympic Games aka the Games of the Olympiad
- Winter Olympic Games
- Sad Summer Festival
- Duluth Fall Festival
Also, keep to the norm by capitalizing the season when it is the first word in a sentence or question, such as “Winter is your favorite season?” Finally, if you are calling someone a name according to a season, such as Summer, Winter, Autumn, or Spring, well, that’s going to be capitalized, too. Those are givens to us grammar hounds, but it’s good to know the seasonal capitalization rules—so you know when they are broken.
Generally Not Capitalized
Yes, that’s the case—you generally do not capitalize the seasons. When talking about going on a summer road trip, fall leaf-peeping adventure, or spring break, it’s all common enough to keep to the lowercase leadership. For example:
- In Your Autumn Guide to Australia, From The New York Times (and Friends), The Australia Letter, a weekly report from the Australian bureau, states, “Below you’ll find a collection of informed tips for what to do, eat, see, drink and more over autumn in Australia, from Times journalists and local friends of The Times.”
Two primo examples of autumn in two different formats. Capitalized when part of the title, not capitalized when used in reference to a season.
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