'In the Summer' or 'In Summer': Which is Correct Usage?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on November 3, 2022

Is it ‘in the summer’ or ‘in summer’? When it comes to prepositions, using them correctly can be challenging for a lot of people. But we’ll cover that and more in this article.

If you want the short and sweet answer, ‘in the summer’ and ‘in summer’ are both correct. It all depends on the context in which you’re using the word because there’s no real difference.

‘In Summer’ or ‘In the Summer’?

As you just learned above, there is no real difference between saying ‘in the summer’ and ‘in summer,’ although you might hear ‘in the summer’ more often.

‘In summer’ is usually used at the beginning of a sentence, or it’s broken up. For example, you might hear people say, “In late summer 2023…” or “In summer attire.”

Summer Definition and Meaning 

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘summer’ is “the season between spring and autumn comprising in the northern hemisphere usually the months of June, July, and August or as reckoned astronomically extending from the June solstice to the September equinox,” “the warmer half of the year,” and “a period of maturing powers.”

It can also mean “of, relating to, or suitable for summer,” or “sown in the spring and harvested in the same year as sown.”

The verb is defined as “to pass the summer,” or “to keep or carry through the summer, especially to provide (cattle, sheep, etc.) with pasture during the summer.”

Understanding Prepositional Phrases

The phrase ‘in the summer’ and ‘in summer’ are both prepositional phrases.

So what’s a preposition?

A preposition is a word or group of words used before a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase to show time, place, direction, location, or spatial relationships. They’re also used to introduce an object.

Take a look at some examples of prepositional phrases:

  • In the middle
  • On Main Street
  • Behind you
  • After the game
  • Before school
  • During work
  • Around the corner
  • In the mail
  • Over the bridge
  • After church
  • From her
  • On the couch
  • With passion
  • Without thinking
  • With her mother

How to Use the Terms in a Sentence Correctly

Now that we’ve defined the word ‘summer’ and talked about both terms being correct let’s see how best to use them in a sentence.

Check out a few examples of how to use ‘in the summer’ correctly:

  • We’re going to Disney World in the summer.
  • I don’t like going to camp in the summer; it’s just not fun for me.
  • We always ride our bikes every day in the summer.

Now, let’s see a few examples of how to use ‘in summer’ correctly:

  • In summer 2022, we did a lot of lawn mowing.
  • I feel most fulfilled in summer months.
  • In summer attire, she headed out of the house.

Concluding Thoughts on ‘In the Summer’ and ‘In Summer’ 

In closing, using the terms ‘in the summer’ and ‘in summer’ are both acceptable. It all depends on how you choose to express yourself.

Unlike terms like laying in bed/lying in bed, and bear with me, both terms, in this case, are acceptable to use. Just make sure your sentences make sense when you read them.

If you struggle with prepositional phrases, such as interested in/interested on, in and within, or unto or onto,  check out our library of confusing words to help you through whatever word or phrase you’re struggling with.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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