The capitalization of seasons has specific rules in the English language. When the seasons are used generally, they should not be capitalized; however, when seasons are used in a title, then the first letter should be capitalized.
Capitalization Rules for Seasons
Rule 1: Seasons as Generic Nouns
Seasons, such as winter, spring, summer and fall, do not require capitalization because they are generic nouns. Some people may confuse these words as being proper nouns and try to capitalize them using that rule of capitalization.
- The winter season allows for many snow related sports.
- My favorite flowers bloom in the spring.
- This summer’s heat wave lasted over a month.
- We often take long drives to look at autumn foliage.
Rule 2: Seasons as Titles
When a season is used in a title, the capitalization rule that applies to titles should be utilized. For example, in this sentence, “The Fall 2014 Semester Ends in December,” Fall 2014 would be considered a title and therefore capitalized.
Exceptions to the Rules
One obvious exception to these two rules would be if the season were being used as the first word in a sentence. For example, “Summer time is my favorite time of year.”
Another exception to the above rules would be for stylistic purposes in poetry if the season were to be personified. For example:
And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
- An excerpt from “The Sensitive Plant” by Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Capitalization of Seasons
By YourDictionaryThe capitalization of seasons has specific rules in the English language. When the seasons are used generally, they should not be capitalized; however, when seasons are used in a title, then the first letter should be capitalized.
A Little Help with Capitals
This resource details standard capitalization rules.
Contributors:Chris Berry, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2013-07-12 11:45:25
This handout lists some guidelines for capitalization. If you have a question about whether a specific word should be capitalized that doesn't fit under one of these rules, try checking a dictionary to see if the word is capitalized there.
Use capital letters in the following ways:
The first words of a sentence
When he tells a joke, he sometimes forgets the punch line.
The pronoun "I"
The last time I visited Atlanta was several years ago.
Proper nouns (the names of specific people, places, organizations, and sometimes things)
Worrill Fabrication Company
Golden Gate Bridge
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Family relationships (when used as proper names)
I sent a thank-you note to Aunt Abigail but not to my other aunts.
Here is a present I bought for Mother.
Did you buy a present for your mother?
The names of God, specific deities, religious figures, and holy books
God the Father
the Virgin Mary
the Greek gods
Exception: Do not capitalize the nonspecific use of the word "god."
The word "polytheistic" means the worship of more than one god.
Titles preceding names, but not titles that follow names
She worked as the assistant to Mayor Hanolovi.
I was able to interview Miriam Moss, mayor of Littonville.
Directions that are names (North, South, East, and West when used as sections of the country, but not as compass directions)
The Patels have moved to the Southwest.
Jim's house is two miles north of Otterbein.
The days of the week, the months of the year, and holidays (but not the seasons used generally)
Exception: Seasons are capitalized when used in a title.
The Fall 1999 semester
The names of countries, nationalities, and specific languages
The first word in a sentence that is a direct quote
Emerson once said, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
The major words in the titles of books, articles, and songs (but not short prepositions or the articles "the," "a," or "an," if they are not the first word of the title)
One of Jerry's favorite books is The Catcher in the Rye.
Members of national, political, racial, social, civic, and athletic groups
Green Bay Packers
Friends of the Wilderness
Periods and events (but not century numbers)
Words and abbreviations of specific names (but not names of things that came from specific things but are now general types)