In today’s lesson, we’ll cover two confusing capitalization rules. Here we go!
Rule 1 – Seasons
Capitalize days of the week and months of the year, but don’t capitalize seasons unless the name of the season is being used as part of a proper noun.
We do not capitalize winter or spring in these sentences since they are both being used to name seasons.
Here, Summer and Winter are words within proper nouns, so we capitalize them. Summer Olympics names a specific event, and Brian’s Winter is the title of a book.
Rule 2 – North, South, East, & West
Capitalize north, south, east and west when referring to specific regions, but don’t capitalize them when referring to directions.
The West and Southern California are specific regions, so we capitalize them.
Here, west and south are being used to describe direction, so we keep them lowercase.
BONUS Rule 3 – Family Names
Rule 3 – Family Names
Capitalize family names when you use them as a specific person’s name.
Don’t capitalize titles used after possessive adjectives or the words a, an, or the.
Aunt Edna and Mom are being used as a specific person’s name, and neither of has have a possessive adjective/pronoun or article before them, so they should be capitalized.
Dad has the word my before it, so it should start with a lowercase letter.
BONUS Rule 4 – Courses
Capitalize titles of specific courses.
Don’t capitalize titles of general courses unless they are derived from proper nouns.
Chemistry and English are both being used as the titles of general courses. Chemistry is not derived from a proper noun, so it should be lowercase. English is a proper noun, so it should be capitalized.
Tip: The names of languages are proper nouns, so they should always be capitalized.
Here, Chemistry and English are in the titles of specific courses, so they should be capitalized.
Directions: Correct the mistakes (if any) in the following five sentences. You’ll find the answers below.
- In the Winter, my Mom plans to vacation in southern California.
- My sister is a French teacher at a school South of the airport.
- I signed up for English 303 next semester.
- My Brother and Sister will help Aunt Cindy with her garden this Spring.
- Mom and Dad always ask me to shovel the driveway during the winter.
You can learn more capitalization rules here if you’d like.
- In the winter, my mom plans to vacation in Southern California.
- My sister is a French teacher at a school south of the airport.
- I signed up for English 303 next semester. (no changes)
- My brother and sister will help Aunt Cindy with her garden this spring.
- Mom and Dad always ask me to shovel the driveway during the winter. (no changes)