When you write the days of the week, you capitalize their names. Here’s an example: On Saturdays, I hone my communication skills for my career development.
You do the same thing for months. Take this as an example. A majority of the motor-vehicle fatalities happen in July and August, which means that you need to exercise caution and drive safely during these months.
So are seasons capitalized, as well? Should you follow the same logic and apply the same capitalization rule just like in days and months?
The answer is not necessarily.
More often than not, you’ll see these words written completely in lowercase. This doesn’t automatically mean, however, that you’ll never have to capitalize seasons. You just need to be familiar with the rules. If you’re having trouble deciding when to capitalize season names (and when not to), this guide is for you.
Do You Capitalize Seasons?
Seasons come. Seasons go. Capitalizing the first letter of these words, in many cases, is a “no.”
Here’s why: The names of the seasons are common nouns.
You might be thinking, “What do the guidebooks say on this matter?” The capitalization of seasons in the AP stylebook is clear: both seasons, along with their derivatives, should be in small letters. Apart from the four seasons, any words that you form from them, such as summertime and wintertime, should be in lowercase.
You may argue that this rule is unfair. After all, people capitalize July and Tuesday, so why not summer?
This is a valid question. Then again, if people were to capitalize the names they give to specific time periods, wouldn’t they have to do the same thing to morning or afternoon? You can debate and argue (respectfully) as much as you like. Heck, you could even write to us to tell us your opinion on the capitalization of seasons.
As things stand right now, however, seasons are common nouns. This generally means no capital letters for them.
When to Capitalize Seasons
There are, of course, exceptions to the general rule.
Here are a few situations wherein you can capitalize the first letter of seasons:
When You Personify the Season
Personification is a figure of speech that gives an abstract notion, inanimate object or animal attributes or qualities found in a human being. If you’re planning to use a season this way, make sure that you capitalize the first letter of the word.
When You Use the Season As a Title
You should capitalize the name of the season when you use it as a title.
When You Begin a Sentence with a Season
You still need to adhere to normal sentence capitalization rules. If you’re starting a sentence with a season, you should capitalize the first letter of the word per usual.
When Used as a Proper Noun
You should capitalize a season when you plan to use them as part of a proper noun.
What are Examples of Seasons Beginning with a Capital Letter?
Here are a bunch of examples that show seasons spelled with a capital letter:
Seasons as a Proper Noun
- The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics will push through this year. Unfortunately, this marks the first time that the event will have no spectators in the stands.
- I saw some awesome masks at the Manchester Winter Ball.
- All is green and growing at the Summer Solstice.
Sentences that Start with a Season
- Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you’ve got to do is call.
- Summer is my favorite season.
- Spring is in the air. Can’t you smell it?
Season Used as a Title
- I love listening to Summer Sunshine, a song produced by The Corrs.
- Not sure what book you should read next? Consider “Russian Winter” by Daphne Kalotay, an engrossing fiction novel that combines notorious events in human history with personal history.
- Have you read the poem “Song for Autumn” by Mary Oliver?
- We will muse on Summer’s ploys (a line from “Summer” by Charles Mair)
- And Spring arose on the garden fair (a line from “The Sensitive Plant” by Percy Shelley)
- Autumn is a sassy season. She flips her skirts over the trees. They blush from what she reveals (taken from Seasons Personified, a poem by Jean Robinson)
Quiz Time: Should You Capitalize This Season?
Let’s see how well you know when to capitalize seasons. See if you can determine the correct answers to this short exercise:
- Some birds travel south for the (winter, Winter).
- I met the love of my life at the (summer, Summer) solstice.
- My dad used to say that (autumn, Autumn) was the best season.
- During the holidays, I often hear the song (winter, Winter) Wonderland on the radio.
- Cozy up in military-style outerwear this (fall, Fall).
We hope that this handy guide gives you the answer to the question “Are seasons capitalized?” Just remember these rules we’ve outlined if you plan to use the name of a season in your writing.