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Fall, Autumn, and Indian Summer

The weather where you live may be different, but with cooler temperatures and rains, summer is already showing signs of being over. Summer officially ends on August 31st, so let's talk today about the season that comes after summer. 

 

The most common American English name for the season after summer is fall. The word possibly came from Old English or Old Norse into British English. By the 20th century, it had fallen into disuse in Britain. 

 

The fall is my favorite season in New York.

Caption 10, Caralie and Annie: Get to Know Each Other

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Spring is long gone, and summer's over, and we're ready for fall.

Captions 36-37, Food Talk with Sigrid: Simple Summer Vegetables

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Third, we have fall, or you could say autumn, when the leaves turn golden.

Captions 21-22, Lydia Explains: Weekdays, Seasons and Months

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The other English word for this season, as you can see in the last caption above, is autumn. This is the standard British English word for the season. It's also common in American English, though a bit more formal than "fall."

 

The Changing of the Guard happens throughout autumn and winter,

Caption 27, In London with Lauren: Buckingham Palace

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It's the end of October, so we are in the middle of autumn.

Captions 4-5, Sigrid: Pumpkin Season

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Meanwhile, autumn has painted its colors on the Alps.

Caption 21, The Last Paradises: Realm of the Golden Eagle

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The last caption does not mean that the season is literally taking up a brush to paint. It's metaphorically describing how in autumn, the green leaves of the trees change color to orange and gold!

 

Some years we get lucky and have a few weeks in fall (or autumn) when it's warm and sunny. This is commonly called Indian summer in English. Nobody knows where this phrase really came from, but other languages also have a name for this phenomenon. In many European languages, it is called "old woman's summer," and in some South American countries, it is called "little summer."

 

You're like an Indian summer in the middle of winter

Caption 27, Katy Perry - Thinking Of You: Behind The Scenes

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and watch the Lydia Explains video to learn more about seasons. You can also find more videos by searching for "autumn" and "fall."

The Four Seasons

The four seasons in English are winter, spring, summer, and fall. The season "fall" is also called "autumn." The name of the seasons are written lower-case. Different places and cultures have different ways of reckoning the dates of the seasons, but by scientific meteorological methods, winter in the northern hemisphere is from December 1 to February 28 (or 29 in a leap year). In the southern hemisphere winter is from June 1 until August 31.

 

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In the winter it's very cold in New York. -Almost freezing.

Caption 7, Caralie and Annie - Get to know each other - Part 2

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Spring in the northern hemisphere is from March 1 to May 31, in the southern hemisphere from September 1 to November 30.

 

First, we have spring, when the leaves turn green.

Caption 19, Lydia explains - weekdays, seasons and months

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Summer in the northern hemisphere is from June 1 to August 31, in the southern hemisphere from December 1 to February 28 or 29.

 

The summer is especially beautiful this year.

Caption 2, Nature & Wildlife - Search for the Ghost Bear - Part 5

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Fall (or autumn) in the northern hemisphere is from September 1 to November 30, in the southern hemisphere from March 1 to May 31.

 

Third, we have fall, or you could say autumn.

Caption 21, Lydia explains - weekdays, seasons and months

 Play Caption

 

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Further Learning
Search for examples of the seasons on Yabla English to see them used in a real-world context. 

Vocabulary

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