Capital Letters with the Seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn (Fall), and Winter)
The Quick AnswerThe seasons are not written with capital letters unless they form part of a name. For example:
- I am leaving in the winter.
- I live near Winter Mountain River.
Capital Letters and the SeasonsThe four seasons (spring, summer, autumn () / fall (), and winter) are not written with capital letters.
The names of the seasons are common nouns (the words we use for things, e.g., boy, dog, bridge) not proper nouns (the names we give to things, e.g., Peter, Rover, The Golden Gate Bridge). This is why the seasons are not given capital letters.
Examples of Lowercase and Capital Letters and the SeasonsBelow are some examples of the seasons being used in sentences.
- Where are you going this spring?
- This is the second time I have been skiing this Winter. (In this example, the word "Winter" does not form part of a proper noun. Therefore, it should be written with a lowercase letter.)
- Let's visit the Winter Palace. (In this example, the word "Winter" does form part of a proper noun. Therefore, it is correctly written with capital letter.)
- Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. (French poet Victor Hugo)
- There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been! (English poet Percy Bysshe)
When a Season Name Forms a Proper NounIf a season name forms part of a name (i.e., a proper noun), then give it a capital letter. In the examples below, the proper nouns are in bold.
- There were some incredible masks at the Rhine Winter Ball.
- Each solstice is a domain of experience unto itself. At the Summer Solstice, all is green and growing, potential coming into being, the miracle of manifestation painted large on the canvas of awareness. At the Winter Solstice, the wind is cold, trees are bare and all lies in stillness beneath blankets of snow. (Author Gary Zukav)
Personification of the Season NamesBe aware that there is a ruling that states that if a season is given a human trait (i.e., personified), then it can be given a capital letter. For example:
- He was touched by Winter's icy breath. (In this example, winter has been given a human trait.)
- The leaves had been subjected to Autumn's touch.