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“The” before the names of bridges

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

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“The” before the names of bridges

Postby SARDORBEK » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:19 am

Dear ALAN!
We have come across the names of bridges with and without "the" many times.
e.g.
Brooklyn Bridge
Tower Bridge
but
The Severn Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge

What specialties do the names of bridges have in terms of article usage?
Is there a difference between AmE. and BrE.?
In standart British English which one is mostly used?
Could YOU give a clear explanation (with examples) please?
Many thanks...
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Re: “The” before the names of bridges

Postby Alan » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:08 am

There is no absolute rule, but generally names of bridges are prefixed by 'the' when - as is the case with the vast majority - they are named after either the river that they span or the city/area in which they are located. ('Tower Bridge' obviously corresponds to neither of these cases!)

I think you'll find that the standard full names of two of the examples you cite are 'the Brooklyn Bridge' and 'the Sydney Harbour Bridge', although they might well be abbreviated in informal/conversational usage.
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