May I know which is correct? Heavy rain season or heavy raining season? What should I put in between an adjective and noun? Thanks

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    The usual term is rainy season, so what people seem to use most often is heavy rainy season. See Ngram. Note that heavy modifies rainy season, so it seems to be used mainly when there is a heavy rainy season and a light rainy season. – Peter Shor Nov 27 '15 at 14:51
  • The usage will vary depending on what part of the world we are talking about; for instance, in Thailand, one would speak of a [cool] wet season in contrast to the cool [dry] season and hot [dry] season; whereas in East Africa, a distinction might be drawn between the long rains season and the short rains season; whereas in Panama the distinction is between the green season and dry season. But you must also distinguish between a [heavy] [rainy season] and a [heavy rainy season], the former being more commonly used. – choster Nov 27 '15 at 18:12

Here's an example: "The monsoons are a season of heavy rains." Another might be, "Heavy rains occur during the summer season." Both of your examples would sound a little awkward to a native American English speaker, because neither heavy raining nor heavy rain is considered a season.


The usual expression is rainy season. From Wikipedia:

The rainy season, or monsoon season, is the time of year when most of a region's average annual rainfall occurs. It usually lasts one or more months.[1] The term "green season" is also sometimes used as a euphemism by tourist authorities.[2] Areas with wet seasons are dispersed across portions of the tropics and subtropics.[3]

You should note that the article is actually called Wet Season, which is another good alternative.

  • The Australian tropics are subject to heavy and monsoonal rains for four months a year, and it is universally called the Wet Season [usually capitalised], and often shortened to just the Wet. A "big Wet Season" would normally be the way it is modified. The corollary of this is the five-month Dry Season, while between the two are the Build-Up (to the Wet), and less commonly, the Build-Down (from the Wet). – Cargill Nov 27 '15 at 17:06
  • To clarify, my answer is based on US usage. Of course, other countries may use different terminology. – Steven Littman Nov 27 '15 at 18:19
  • I would be interesting to know if other English-speaking countries with a distinct wet-dry tropical climate use "Rainy Season" or "Wet Season". – Cargill Nov 27 '15 at 21:36

There is no way to do what you want. The reason is sort of interesting. You would need to modify "rain" in the phrase "rainy season" with the modifier "heavy", but "rain" is inside the word "rainy". You can't modify part of a word. Once the several meaningful parts of a word get put together into a single word, they are sealed away from any syntactic process, such as modification.

Because of this principle, it is also not possible to use the "rain" part of the word "rainy" as the antecedent for an anaphoric pronoun (which was pointed out by Paul Postal in his paper Words as Anaphoric Islands). For instance, ?*"The rainy season this year has had especially heavy ones." Or even worse is trying to pronominalize part of a word: *"Heavy rains have characterized this year's one-y season."

There are occasional exceptions to this principle, but they tend to be interpreted as linguistic jokes.


It is appropriate to use: "Heavy rainy season".

For E.g: Heavy rainy season in Latin America and the Caribbean could cause significant outbreaks.

  • This article seems to suggest that the countries mentioned might have an especially heavy rainy season; that doesn't make it the name for a wet season in general. Rather, it means that this particular wet season will be heavier than normal. – Steven Littman Nov 27 '15 at 18:19

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