northern, easter, western, southern (capitals or lower case?

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Anonymous

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Is there a rule in grammar that says when northern, southern, eastern, western should be capitals?

e.g northern Europe, Eastern Germany, western Russian, Southern France

I always want to have capitals

Is there a right or wrong?
 

RonBee

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Directions are not normally capitalized unless they are part of the name of a region that has more or less specific boundaries. Thus:
  • northern Europe
    western Russia
    southern France
    Eastern Europe

:)
 

Tdol

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They are adjectives, so should only be capitalised when they are parts of names, or, as Ron says, recognised areas. ;-)
 
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