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As the summer months begin to give way to autumn, the stoic Ukrainian soldiers are fighting through the heavily defended Russian lines across the south of their country, as multiple breaches across the most heavily defended lines have been widely reported.

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"The summer months" means "June, July, and August".
June already gave way to July, and July did to August, and August did to September.
Moreover, calendar months don't 'give way' to their successors and they abruptly end at midnight on their last day.
Therefore, I think that "months" is not natural or idiomatic.
What do you think about that?

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    It has a literal meaning in that it does refer to June, July and August; it's just another way of saying 'the summer'. The writer could just as well have said As summer gives way to autumn... Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 8:16
  • @KateBunting What's the reason "the summer months" could not be replaced with "June, July, and August"? If it were replaced, the sentence would not be make sense. Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 8:40
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    @Englishgood why do you think it doesn't make sense? It sounds okay to me: "As June, July, and August begin to give way to autumn, the stoic Ukrainian soldiers are fighting through the heavily defended Russian lines across the south of their country, as multiple breaches across the most heavily defended lines have been widely reported." Another advantage (or disadvantage, depending on your needs) of "summer months" is that it allows for different definitions of summer. In the US, summer is typically held to start at the solstice in late June and last until the equinox in late September.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 8:50
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    It's contrasting the summer months with autumn, setting up a comparison or a significant point in the middle of a process. It could say "on or around August 31st" but you'd lose the contrast between what happened in summer and what will happen in autumn which the author is concerned with.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 9:18
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    It's perfectly fine. I don't understand why people around here complicate everything so much.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 15:21

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It's just a bit of literary flower. You could just as well replace the summer months with summer or indeed with a list of months' names. The only objection I have to the list of names is that it is possibly a bit awkward. But only possibly -- it's not a strong objection at all. It is only a question of style. It's certainly not true that it makes no sense:

As June, July, and August begin to give way to autumn, the stoic Ukrainian soldiers are fighting through the heavily defended Russian lines across the south of their country, as multiple breaches across the most heavily defended lines have been widely reported.

It is probably not possible to establish objectively whether "the summer months" denotes literally a set of months or metaphorically the summer season that occurs during those months. It probably evokes both to varying degrees in most listeners. But it does not matter as far as understanding the passage: the meaning is clear.

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