You should only capitalize directions, such as east, when you are referring to it as the proper noun, such as “in the East.” If you are merely referring to a direction, such as “go east on I-90,” then you should keep east lowercase.
Some common examples of when you should capitalize east include:
- down East
- the Deep East
and when you should lowercase it:
- in the east of France
- go east on I-90 and then south
What about capitalizing eastern or Easterner?
The same rules apply to capitalizing eastern as capitalizing east. If you are referring to a group of proper nouns such as “the Eastern States.” However, if you’re referring to a general location, such as “the eastern winds” then eastern should be lowercase.
You should always capitalize Easterner since it refers to a group of people who are proper nouns.
To know what other words you should capitalize, try our free title capitalization tool.