1. What makes South Baltimore a good place to live?
    Rule: when a direction immediately precedes a name of a city, capitalize the direction and the name of a city.
  2. Where is the south side of Baltimore?

Question: In sentence 2, 'south' is lowercase but it still precedes the name of a city so why is it not capitalized?

  • 2
    It doesn't immediately precede it! Just because south comes somewhere before a city in the same sentence, that's no reason to capitalize it. Jul 20, 2021 at 10:59

1 Answer 1


In the first case it's a part of a place name. A good example of this is "South Korea". In the second case "the south side" is not a part of the place name of "Baltimore".

From editorsmanual.com:

Don't capitalize names of directions like north, south, east, and west when used to refer to direction and location, but do capitalize these words when they appear in the names of places and regions.

If you Google it, you'll see that the Wikipedia article states that:

South Baltimore is a neighborhood in the Southern District of Baltimore, located to the west of the neighborhood of Riverside and south of Federal Hill.

So in the same way that "South Korea" is a nation, "South Baltimore" is a neighborhood, and it's therefore capitalized as the word "south" just happens to be a part of the name.

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