“In Summer” or “In The Summer”: Which is Correct?

When talking about the season of “summer,” it’s important to understand how prepositions work with it. It’s also important to know whether “summer” works independently or whether “the summer” is a better choice. This article will explore those questions for you.

Is It “In Summer” Or “In The Summer”?

“In summer” and “in the summer” are both correct. We typically use “in summer” to refer to the season in general. We might use “in the summer” for the same reason, though “the” is generally more common to specify the exact “summer” we want to talk about.

in summer or in the summer

It might help you to understand them by seeing them both in action:

  • In summer, the flowers are at their brightest.
  • In the summer, the flowers are at their brightest.

Technically, both of these sentences are correct. However, it’s much more common to see “in summer” in this regard because it refers to “summer” as a general season, where “flowers” are typically at their brightest amount.

On the other hand:

  • In the summer, I’m going to visit my family.
  • In summer, I’m going to visit my family.

These examples aren’t both correct. Only the first one is because we’re specifying that when the current year’s “summer” arrives, we will visit our family. The second example doesn’t work because we are not specifying the exact “summer” we mean.

Examples Of How To Use “In Summer” In A Sentence

Some further examples will go a long way to helping you understand the small differences. They’re not all that noticeable, and many native speakers will use both phrases interchangeably.

  1. In summer, it’s much easier to find a job while you’re not at school.
  2. In summer, many institutions put on events to attract new joiners for the new academic year.
  3. In summer, the animals around the farms are at their happiest.
  4. In summer, you’ll find it hard to see snow falling from the sky.
  5. The temperatures around these parts in summer are the highest in the world.
  6. We don’t like to go out much in summer because we like to stay cooler indoors.
  7. In summer, our air conditioners work overtime to make sure we’re happy.

“In summer” is the more general phrase of the two. We use it mostly when referring to now specific summers. Instead, we talk about the season of “summer” as a whole, where the same thing is expected to happen every single year with no changes.

Examples Of How To Use “In The Summer” In A Sentence

“In the summer” has slight differences that it would help to know about. Once you understand what these differences are, you’ll be in a much better position to decide whether “the” is necessary for you or not.

  1. In the summer, I’d like to visit the North Pole to see what the fuss is about.
  2. We like to travel in the summer, and this year will be no different.
  3. I am going to see her in the summer, and I can’t wait.
  4. In the summer of ’69, I made my closest friends.
  5. In the summer, I find it hard to get out and about because it’s always too hot.
  6. I am going to make sure I try at least four new activities in the summer.
  7. I will be sure to visit them both in the summer.

“In the summer” is the more specific variation. We can use “the summer” to refer to a specific season. Usually, it means the “summer” season that is coming up in this current year unless we specify otherwise (i.e., “the summer of last year”).

Is “In Summer” Or “In The Summer” Used The Most?

It may also help to see which of the two variations is more common. Sometimes, this might open our eyes and help us determine which form native speakers are more likely to use in their own writing.

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “in the summer” is the most popular choice. Both of them are fairly popular, but “in the summer” wins overall, and it works the best because it allows us to talk about upcoming or previous plans we’ve made.

in summer and in the summer usage

Generally, when we refer to the season of “summer,” we want to talk about our plans.

While “in summer” does sometimes allow us to do this, it’s much better when making general statements. That’s why it’s not the most popular choice of the two.

However, you may notice on the above graph that before 1900, “in summer” was the more popular choice. It’s likely that people didn’t value “the” as the more specific phrase of the two, and they might have been much more interchangeable back then.

Is It “In Summer” Or “On Summer”?

“In summer” is the most popular choice when using any prepositions with the season. However, there might sometimes be cases where we see other options, like “on summer.”

“In summer” works whenever we talk about things that happen within the duration of the summer season. “On summer” is incorrect on its own, but when we include a specific event or thing after it (i.e., “on summer vacation”), we can use it to talk about that thing.

“On” is the more specific preposition of the two, meaning it doesn’t work without showing the reader what we’re talking about.

For example:

  • Correct: In summer, the flowers grow large.
  • Incorrect: On summer, the flowers grow large.

However, specifying the “summer” event allows us to correctly use “on:”

  • I am on summer vacation, and I’m going to make the most of it!
  • We are on summer break, and we’d love for you to join us.

Which Other Prepositions Can Be Used Before “Summer”?

“During” is the only other preposition that is appropriate to use with “summer.” It works well when we want to show that something happens during the time of the summer season. It’s almost identical to using “in summer.”

You might notice how similar “during” is to “in” from the following:

  • During summer, I’d like to visit all of the museums around this city!
  • You won’t catch me going out in those waters during summer!

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