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Section 11.8.3.4

Articles and Proper Nouns

In general, do not use an article with a proper noun unless the noun contains a prepositional phrase.


Unacceptable

the MIT, the America

Acceptable

MIT, America

Unacceptable

United Statesof America

Acceptable

the United States of America


However, there are special cases to take note of.

  • You should use the definite article with a proper noun that includes or refers to geographical terms such as river, ocean, bridge, region, or building:

  • Unacceptable

    Charles River, Atlantic Ocean, Harvard Bridge, Northeast, ComputerMuseum

    Acceptable

    the Charles River, the AtlanticOcean, the Harvard Bridge, the Northeast,the Computer Museum


  • You should use the definite article with plural lakes, mountains, and islands:

  • Unacceptable

    Galapagos Islands, Great Lakes, Rocky Mountains

    Acceptable

    the Galapagos Islands, the GreatLakes, the Rocky Mountains

    Unacceptable

    the Long Island, the Lake Superior,the Mount Washington

    Acceptable

    Long Island, Lake Superior, Mount Washington


  • If you are unsure whether you should use an article with a particular proper noun, check the noun in a specialized dictionary.

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## Articles and Proper Nouns ##
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