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The Use of Articles with Names of Persons

§ 60.Generally no article is used with names of persons.

e.g. There was a letter from Susaninviting me to a party.
Idid not see Charles Stricklandfor several weeks.

No article is used either if names of persons are modified by
such attributes as little, old, young, dear, poor, honest.

e.g. Young Jolyon,standing by the little piano, listened with his

dim smile.

When dear old Emilywent back to town after staying with
them for a fortnight, she sent the children a doll's house.

We find no article with names of members of a family, such
as Mother, Father, Aunt, Uncle, Grandmother, Grandfather,
Baby, Nurse, Cook,
when they are treated as proper names by the
members of that family. In this case such nouns are usually writ-
ten with a capital letter.

e.g. "How nice that you've come!" she said. "Motheris still resting,

but she will be down soon."
She went into the hall: "Is Nurseback?"

§ 61. However, both the definite and the indefinite articles
may be occasionally found with names of persons.
The definite articleis used:

1) with a name in the plural to indicate the whole family,

e.g. The Elliotswere intelligent people.

He didn't even know the Brownshad a daughter.
He's very different from the rest of theJacksons.

2) with a name modified by a limiting attribute,

e.g. Is he the Joneswho is a writer?

Now she was more like the Juliaof their first years of marriage.

3) with a name modified by a descriptive attribute when the limi-
tation is clear from the context or situation (a) or when the at-
tribute indicates a permanent quality of the person in question (b).

e.g. a) A remarkable number of guests went without coffee be-
cause it was not the right sort, a detail that had been
overlooked by the embarrassed Otto.

b) He slapped him on. the shoulder, which startled and slight-
ly annoyed the prim George Augustus,

The indefinite articleis used:

1) to indicate that one member of a family is meant,

e.g. I have often wondered if Arthur was really a Burton.

2) with a name modified by a descriptive attribute when itis
the centre of communication in the sentence,

e.g. He was met at the door by an angry Isabel,who demanded to
know what he meant by coming home at that hour.

Note 1. If a name is preceded by Mr, Mrs or Miss it may be used with the in-
definite article to denote 'a certain'.

e.g. He was a lawyer, a Mr Reidfrom Melbourne.

My landlady knocked at the door and said: "A Mr Parkis to see you," thus in-
dicating by a grammatical article the social status of my caller.

Note 2. Sometimes, owing to a change of meaning, names of persons become
countable nouns indicating concrete objects (a) or typical features associated with
a well-known name (b). The articles with such nouns are used in accordance with
the general rules for countable nouns.

e.g. a) Lanny has sold them an especially fineGoya.
He wanted to know how much a Buickcost.

There was a rack of books and among them he saw a Hemingway,
b) She felt like an Alice in Wonderland.
Mozart was called the Raphael of music.
Swithin smiled and nodding at Bosinney said: "Why, you are quite a Monte


TheUse of Articles with GeographicNames
§ 62. Inthe use of articles with geographic names there are
two prevailing tendencies: some of them are traditionally used
without any article, others require the definite article.

As there seems to be no principle underlying the difference in
the use or the absence of the article with geographic names, it is
more convenient to divide them into semantic groups and consider
the use of articles in each of them.

1) Names of continents are used without any article, e.g. Eu-
rope, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America, North America.

No article is used either when names of continents are modi-
fied by such attributes as northern, southern, western, eastern,

central, minor, south-west, south east, Latin, e.g. Northern Eu
rope, North America, Central Africa, Asia Minor, South East
Asia, Latin America,

But we say the Arctic and the Antarctic (regions) meaning the
sea and the land round the North and South poles.

2) Names of countries (a), states or provinces (b), cities (c),
towns (d) and villages (e) are, as a rule, used without any article.

e.g. a) France, Great Britain, China, Brazil, etc.

b)California, Kashmir, Brittany, Katanga, etc.

c)Moscow, Oslo, Rome, Delhi, etc.

d)Brighton, Hastings, Tartu, etc.

e)Grasmere, Patterdale, Appledore, etc.

No article is used either when these nouns have such at-
tributes as north(ern), south(ern), east(ern), west(ern), ancient,
old, new, central, industrial, medieval, modern,
e.g. West Germa-
ny, Old England, Ancient Greece, Southern France,

Some of these nouns, however, are traditionally used with the
definite article (though nowadays there is a tendency to omit the
article with some of them), e.g.

a) countries: the USA, the FRG, the Argentine (but: Argenti-
na), (the) Lebanon, the Netherlands (the Low Countries), the
Cameroon, the Senegal, (the) Congo,
b) provinces: the Ukraine the Crimea, the Caucasus, the Ruhr,
the Tyrol, the Transvaal, the Riviera, the Soar,
c) cities: the Hague.
3) Names of oceans(a), seas (b), straits(c), channels (d), canals
(e), rivers
(f), and lakes(g) usually take the definite article, e.g.

a) the Pacific (ocean), the Atlantic (ocean), the Indian (ocean),
the Arctic (ocean);

b)the Baltic (sea), the Mediterranean (sea), the Black Sea,
the Adriatic (sea), the North Sea, the South Seas,

c) the Magellan Strait, the Bering Strait, the Torres Straits,
and also the Kattegat, the Bosporus, the Dardanelles, the Skager

rah, etc.;

d)the English Channel;

e) the Kiel Canal, the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal, etc.;

f)the Volga, the Thames, the Nile, the Amazon, the Missi-

g) the Leman, the Baikal, the Ontario, etc.

But when names of lakes are preceded by the noun lake (which
is often the case), no article is used, e.g. Lake Baikal, Lake Ohio,
Lake Como, Lake Superior, Lake Ladoga,

4) Names of bays generally have no article, e.g. Hudson Bay,
Baffin Bay,

5) Names of peninsulas have no article if the proper name is
used alone, e.g. Indo-China, Hindustan, Kamchatka, Labrador,
Taimir, Scandinavia,
etc. But we find the definite article if the
noun peninsula is mentioned, e.g. the Balkan Peninsula, the Kola

6) Names of deserts are generally used with the definite arti-
cle, e.g. the Sahara, the Gobi, the KaraKumt etc.

7) Names of mountain chains (a) and groups of islands (b) are
used with the definite article, e.g.


a) the Rocky Mountains, the Andes, the Alps, the Pamirs, etc.;

b) the Philippines, the Azores, the Bahamas, the East Indies,
the Canaries, the Hebrides, the Bermudas,

8) Names of separate mountain peaks (a), separate islands (b)
and waterfalls (c) are used without any article, e.g.

a) Elbrus, Mont Blanc, Everest, Vesuvius, etc.;

b) Sicily, Cuba, Haiti, Cyprus, Newfoundland, Madagascar, etc.;

c) Niagara Falls, etc.

9) Names of mountain passes are generally used with the defi-
nite article, e.g. the Saint Gotthard Pass, etc.

§ 63. Geographic names that generally take no article may be
occasionally found with the definite or indefinite articles. This oc-
curs in the following cases.

1) The definite article is found when there is a limiting at-

e.g. In Ivanhoe Walter Scott described the England of the Middle

2) The indefinite article is found when a geographic name is
modified by a descriptive attribute which, brings out a special aspect.

e.g. The flier went on to say: "There will be a different Germany

after the war.
" It was a new Russia that he found on his return. Note. The definite article is always used with the pattern: a common noun + of + a
proper name, e.g. the City of New York, the village of Grasmere, the Cape of Good Hope, the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Gibraltar, the Straits of Malacca, the Straits of Dover, the Bay of Biscay, the Bay of Bengal, the Gulf of Finland, the Lake of Geneva, the Island of Majorca, etc.

The Use of Articles with Miscellaneous Proper Names

§ 64. This group of proper names includes names of various
places, objects and notions. Within certain semantic groups of
these nouns the use of articles is not stable — it may vary from
proper name to proper name. Hence it is sometimes necessary to
memorize them as separate items. In other instances it is possible
i to outline only the general tendency in the use of articles within a
semantic group.

1) Names of streets (a), parks (b) and squares (c) tend to be
used without any article, e.g.

a) Oxford Street, Southampton Row, Kingsway, Pall Mall, Pic-
cadilly, Fleet Street, Whitehall, Wall Street,

But names of some streets are traditionally used with the defi-
nite article, e.g. the Strand, the High Street and some others.

Note. Names of streets in foreign countries are sometimes used with the de-
finite article, e.g. the Rue de Rlvoli (in Paris), the Via Manzoni (in Milan), etc.

b) Hyde Park, Central Park, Memorial Park, Regent's Park,

But: the Snowdonia National Park, the Botanical Gardens, etc.

Note. Names of parks in foreign countries are often used with the definite article, e.g. the Gorki Park (in Moscow), the Tiergarten (in Berlin), etc.

c) Trafalgar Square, Russel Square, Hyde Park Corner, Picca-
dilly Circus, Leicester Square,
2) There is no article with names of universities and colleges,
e.g. London University, Cambridge University, Oxford University, Harvard University, Trinity College, etc.

Note. The definite article is used in the combinations: the University of Lon-
don, the University of Moscow,

3) There is a growing tendency not to use any article with names of airports and railway stations, e.g. London Airport, Moscow Airport, Victoria Station, etc.

4) Names of theatres (a), museums (b), picture galleries (c),
concert halls (d), cinemas (e), clubs (f)
and hotels(g) tend to be
used with the definite article, e.g.

a) the Coliseum Theatre, the Opera House, the Bolshoi The-

b) the British Museum, the Scottish National Museum, etc.;

c) the National Gallery, the Tate {gallery), the Tretiakov Gal
lery, the Hermitage, the Louvre,

d) the Festival Hall, the Albert Hall, the Carnegie Hall, the
Chaikovsky Hall,

e) the Empire, the Dominion, the Odeon, etc.;


f) the National Liberal Club, the Rotary Club, etc.;

g) the Ambassador Hotel, the Continental Hotel, the Savoy, etc.

But in newspaper announcements and advertisements the arti-
cle is usually not found with these nouns.

5) Names of shipsand boatsare used with the definite article,
e.g. the Sedov, the Titanic, etc.

6) Names of newspapers and magazinesare generally used
with the definite article, e.g. The Times, The Guardian, The Lan-
etc. Note, however, Give me a Times, please.

7) The use of articles with names of separate buildingsvaries
from name to name and should be remembered as a special item,
e.g. Scotland Yard, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, etc.
But: the Old Bailey, the Tower, the Royal Exchange, etc.


8) Names of territoriesconsisting of a word combination in
which the last word is a common noun are generally used with the
definite article, e.g. the Lake District, the Yorkshire Forests, the
Kalinin Region, the Virgin Lands,

9) Names of months(a) and the days of the week(b) are used

without any article,

e.g. a) January, February, March, etc.

b) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.

Compare, however: We met on Friday ('Мы встретились в
прошлую пятницу'} and We met on a Friday ('Мы встретились

однажды в пятницу').

10) Names of state institutions, organizationsand political

partiesare used with the definite article, e.g. the Liberal Party

the National Trust, the Church, the London City Council, etc. But:
Parliament (in Great Britain), (the) Congress (in the USA), NATO.

11) Names of languages are used without any article unless
the noun language is mentioned, e.g. English, French, Japanese,
etc. But: the English language, the Italian language, the Polish

Note. Note the phrases: Translated from the German and What is the French
for "book"?

12) We find the definite article with names of some gram-
matical categories,
such as names of tenses, moods, voices, cases
and others, e.g. the Past Indefinite, the Passive Voice, the Condi-
tional Mood, the Genitive Case,

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