Don’t capitalize surname of directions favor north, south, east, and west when supplied to refer to direction and location, but do capitalize this words when they appear in the name of places and also regions.

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ExamplesThe mines are located in the western part of the plateau.Each morning, the sunlight rises in the east.
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Infographic: room compass points like north, south, east, and west capitalized?

Table the contents

Direction and location

Don’t capitalize words choose north, south, east, and also west when offered to indicate a direction. Additionally lowercase derivative words like northern, northerly, and eastbound as soon as referring to a direction.


ExamplesFarley want to take trip west yet boarded a train the was eastbound.The storm came under upon united state from the east.We overcome the border right into Mexico and also drove south.The climate is tropical in southern Nigeria.The tribe traveled eastward come escape the famine.
ExamplesTumkin travel by bus come the phibìc of Slovakia.The persimmon thrives in southern climes.Tremors were felt in the northern region of the country.Our eastern borders have been left unguarded.The researchers measured lava flows situated to the northeast the Tharsis Tholus.We hid between the trees in the southwest edge of the park.

Names the regions

Capitalize directions and also compass clues (like north, east, northeast, eastern) when they take place in name of regions.


ExamplesMaya freshly published a coffee-table publication on the lighthouses of the Northeast.The film has actually been accused the pandering come the West, providing to viewers one exotic, romanticized version of the East.I am reading a publication written in 1893 around the deities and demons of the far East.The Eastern levels of Colorado receive tiny rainfall v the year.The West coastline is culturally quite various from the east Coast.North America and South America space continents in the western Hemisphere.

Eastern and also Western Europe

The indigenous eastern and western offered with Europe space lowercased when used to mean location however capitalized as soon as they describe a specific region based top top the political departments of Europe.


Serbia is a beautiful nation in eastern Europe.Anita has actually published a document on the increase of populism in western Europe.

Names of hemispheres

Names of hemispheres might be capitalized or lowercased, back capitalizing is much more common, an especially in academic writing. The Chicago hands-on of Style says capitalizing, if Merriam-Webster, in its dictionary entries, reflects the names of hemispheres lowercased, v the capitalized forms noted as variants.


ExamplesWind equipment twist clockwise in the southern Hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the northern Hemisphere.
Wind equipment twist clockwise in the southern hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the north hemisphere.A map focused on the east Hemisphere rather of the western Hemisphere will have the Indian ocean at the center.
A map focused on the eastern hemisphere rather of the west hemisphere will have the Indian ocean at the center.

Capitalization of such words is a issue of style rather 보다 grammar. Choose a style, and follow it consistently throughout your document.

Names the places

Capitalize direction words like north, northern, and also south when they kind part the the surname of a place. (Names of areas are suitable nouns and also are hence capitalized.)


ExamplesMaya has actually moved to north Ireland.She to be born in southern Africa in 1993.From Indonesia, us went by bus to east Timor.Nesbit thrived up in what was then West Germany.

Remember no to capitalize indigenous such as north and northern when using them merely to show location or direction.


ExamplesIt can obtain cold in the northern component of the province, especially when northerly winds carry snow in winter.Tea is grown in the eastern an ar of the country.I wish ns were one Arctic tern, moving south for the winter.He vacationed critical summer on Scotland’s west coast.

North and also South Poles

North Pole and South Pole, as names that places, room capitalized, however the terms northern lights and also southern lights (for the aurora borealis) are usually lowercased.


ExamplesLast year, Tumkin checked out the north Pole to check out the north lights.The south Pole point out the southernmost allude of the Earth.

Other ideal nouns

Capitalize names of directions once they are part of a appropriate noun, prefer the surname of a company, publication, or university.


ExamplesFor sailors, the phibìc Star point out the way due north.Maya’s poem was simply published in The southern Review.Tumkin i graduated in 1998 from the college of West Nusquam.

Cultural references: East and West

Capitalize “East” and also “West” (or “Eastern world” and “Western world”) when supplied to refer to the peoples and cultures the the world.


ExamplesMozart is just one of the best composers of west music.My girlfriend is a doctor of eastern medicine.Her recipes room a wonderful combination of East and West.In college, i took a food on eastern philosophy.
ExamplesOases are uncovered in the western an ar of the desert.We should thrive yams in the eastern section of the field.In summer, the wind blows native west come east.We love holidaying in the east Mediterranean.She is a westerner traveling v Asia.

The American West and South

References to the American West and also the American southern (when introduce to the regions and also cultures the the united States) are usually capitalized.


ExamplesFarley is dressed favor a cowboy directly out of a Western.Maya has actually written a publication of stories and songs the the West.On Sundays, they cook a classic Southern dinner.His publication presents a realistic portrait the the southern as it remained in the 1860s.

Time zones

Names of time zones and time standards might either it is in capitalized or lowercased, depending upon the layout you follow. Any kind of proper noun or proper adjectives (e.g., Greenwich, Philippine, European) are, that course, capitalized.


ExamplesCoordinated universal Time or coordinated universal timeEastern Time or east timeEastern typical Time or eastern traditional timeCentral Daylight Time or central daylight timeGreenwich average Time or Greenwich mean timePhilippine standard Time or Philippine conventional timeCentral european Summer Time or central European summer time

In the shortened form of a traditional time, either capitalize or lowercase the region, but don’t capitalize the word time.


Style guides differ in their recommendations about whether to capitalize time zones. The Chicago manual of Style suggests lowercasing them (eastern traditional time), if the AP Stylebook proposal capitalization (Eastern conventional Time). Inspect which format manual your publishing follows, and also remember to stay regular in intake within a document.


Usage guide

Before capitalizing words like east, west, north, and south, examine whether you are using lock as component of a ideal noun or just to refer to direction or location. Don’t capitalize direction (we cruised due east) and also locations (western India), however do capitalize compass points as soon as they happen in suitable nouns (North Korea, South Sudan, East Dunbartonshire, the an excellent Western Plains). Also remember that when such indigenous are used in cultural references, they are normally capitalized (Western philosophy, Eastern literature).



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Lowercase compass clues (e.g., west) as soon as using lock to indicate direction.

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Lowercase compass points like north once they refer to a location rather than the name of a region.

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The southern United states is a an ar commonly recognized as “the American South” or simply “the South.” Words favor south space capitalized when they fall within a suitable noun.

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When state such together Eastern and Western are offered to refer to human being cultures, they are capitalized.

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Capitalize words choose east and also west when they are supplied as cultural references.

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