Grammar-ease: When to Capitalize a Season

So, here in New Hampshire, we had one of the coldest winters (or is it Winters) on record, weeks of single-digit and below zero temps.

Then we had April, definitely labeled spring (or is it Spring) on the calendar. It was filled with temps averaging in the 40s.

daffodils_april_10_03_editedNow it’s May 4th and temps are in the 80s.

To say we had a short spring (or is it Spring) is crazy, but, honestly, 80 degrees after weeks in the 40s? I’d say summer (or is it Summer) is here! It’s definitely shorts and t-shirt weather!

To the topic of this post — it’s a common question: Do you capitalize the seasons when writing about spring, summer, winter, or fall?

The short and simple answer is: no.

You only capitalize the season of spring, summer, winter, or fall when it’s part of a title or the name of an event.

You wouldn’t capitalize “spring break,” but you would if it was in reference to, for instance, the event known as”Spring Break 2015: Bermuda Bound.”

Correct examples:

  • signs of spring are everywhere
  • ushering in spring
  • shake off the winter blues and celebrate spring
  • fall foliage is a few months away
  • 2016 Winter Cruise: Sail Away to Hawaii
  • Mayberry’s Fall Festival

It’s been a while since I posted a grammar article.

Would you like to see grammar tips again?

LisaJJackson_2014Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell their stories. You can connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

45 thoughts on “Grammar-ease: When to Capitalize a Season

  1. I always used to capitalize seasons, until I read an article last fall (hah!) which stated what you’ve written. Still bugs me to write them without capitalizing, but I’m adjusting!

  2. I taught writing to college and university students for many years. Your WP “lessons” would have been most helpful. I’m sure many teachers and professors would appreciate more of the same. Numerals written out or not would be a great topic review. Thanks.

  3. Reblogged this on Andrea Hunter and commented:
    I know many writers think the publisher’s editors will correct all the bad grammar in our writing, but the truth is, they really don’t have time for it. They are busy trying to make you book read and flow well, and shouldn’t be bombarded with poor grammar. Having just been to a writer’s conference with agents, editors and authors, one thing is clear. editing your own work before you get to the agent is crucial. Then there’s the question of self-publishing. If you don;t have a good grasp of grammar, you are doomed. So, sit back and take a moment to read this wonderful post from Lisa J. Jackson. It will do you a world of good!

  4. So, spring is not capitalized when you’re talking about the flowers and such, but when you talk about Spring Break of 2015: Bermuda Bound, it is? That just sucks! Now I have to go and rewrite all those times I capitalized it! LOL Just kidding, I think…

    I will have to check, just to be sure I got it right. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Jen, I can relate, I recently proofed a newsletter and suggested that all references to spring be capitalized. Thankfully, the woman didn’t listen to me, so the newsletter didn’t get published with all those errors. But, honestly, this year, I feel the need to capitalize the season because winter was much too long for me. 🙂

  5. Lisa, I’m glad to see you put an exclamation point in mid-sentence with only one space following, and the rest of the sentence following that. Example: …as in the arctic! just kidding.

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