The use of Articles before Geographical Names





Prefixes and Suffixes Index

The use of Articles before Geographical Names :

Why do we use the Articles before Geographical Names?



We tend to use the definite article with:


  • seas (the Atlantic, the Pacific, the North Sea)


  • mountain ranges (the Alps, the Andes)


  • island groups (the British Isles, the West Indies)


  • areas (the Midlands, the Lake District, the Middle East)


  • rivers (the Danube, the Blue Nile, the Thames)


  • deserts (the Gobi, the Sahara)


  • hotels and pubs (the Red Lion, the Grand Palace)


  • cinemas and theatres (the Playhouse, the Majestic)




  • We generally use no articles with:


  • continents (Africa, South America, South East Asia)


  • counties and countries (Oklahoma, Bulgaria, Nigeria)


  • towns and principal buildings (Ely Cathedral, Oxford University)


  • lakes (Lake Como, Lake Windermere, Derwent Water)


  • mountains and volcanoes (Everest, Etna, Vesuvius)




  • Of course, there are always exceptions:


    The UK, The USA, The UAE, The Netherlands, The Hague. It is just a matter of learning them!


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