You should only capitalize directions, such as north, when you are referring to it as the proper noun, such as “in the North.” If you are merely referring to a direction, such as “go north on I-90,” then you should keep north lowercase.
Some common examples of when you should capitalize north include:
- down North
- the Deep North
and when you should lowercase it:
- in the north of the United States
- go north on I-90 and then south
What about capitalizing northern or Northerner?
The same rules apply to capitalizing northern as capitalizing north. If you are referring to a group of proper nouns such as “the Northern States.” However, if you’re referring to a general location, such as “the northern winds” then northern should be lowercase.
You should always capitalize Northerner 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.