When I googled for an answer to the question what causes seasons?, the search results showed titles with and without the before seasons. For example, Nasa's question

What causes the seasons?

Which version is correct?

  • 3
    That's often an indicator that both versions are both grammatical and idiomatic. Sometimes you need an article, sometimes you ought to exclude one, and sometimes it doesn't really matter.
    – J.R.
    Jul 7, 2018 at 10:43
  • 1
    The link you provided has the article used (or not used) in different contexts. The article is sometimes fine (even required) and sometimes not. So, both versions are "correct." Jul 7, 2018 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


As you have found, both forms are idiomatic and correct grammar. In this context I would prefer "the seasons", as it is the four seasons, as determined by our common knowledge. We can use "the" when something is determined by knowledge we assume to share.

The president is visiting England.

(I assume you know which president I am refering to)

The seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earths axis.

(I assume you know which seasons I am referring to.)

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