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English Club : Learn English : Grammar : Nouns : Proper Nouns

Proper Nouns without THE

We do not use "the" with names of people. For example:

first names Bill (not *the Bill)
Hilary
surnames Clinton
Gates
full names Hilary Gates

We do not normally use "the" with names of companies. For example:

  • Renault, Ford, Sony, EnglishClub.com
  • General Motors, Air France, British Airways
  • Warner Brothers, Brown & Son Ltd
If the full (registered) name of a company starts with "The", then we use "The" if we use the full name, for example:
  • The Post Publishing Public Co., Ltd

We do not normally use "the" for shops, banks, hotels etc named after a founder or other person (with -'s or -s). For example:

shops Harrods, Marks & Spencer, Maceys
banks Barclays Bank
hotels, restaurants Steve's Hotel, Joe's Cafe, McDonalds
churches, cathedrals St John's Church, St Peter's Cathedral

We do not normally use "the" with names of places. For example:

towns Washington (not *the Washington), Paris, Tokyo
states, regions Texas, Kent, Eastern Europe
countries England, Italy, Brazil
continents Asia, Europe, North America
islands Corsica
mountains Everest

Exception! If a country name includes "States","Kingdom", "Republic" etc, we use "the":

states the United States, the US, the United States of America, the USA
kingdom the United Kingdom, the UK
republic the French Republic

We do not use "the" with "President/Doctor/Mr etc + Name":

the president, the king President Bush (not *the President Bush)
the captain, the detective Captain Kirk, Detective Colombo
the doctor, the professor Doctor Well, Dr Well, Professor Dolittle
my uncle, your aunt Uncle Jack, Aunt Jill
  Mr Gates (not *the Mr Gates), Mrs Clinton, Miss Black

Look at these example sentences:

  • I wanted to speak to the doctor.
  • I wanted to speak to Doctor Brown.
  • Who was the president before President Kennedy?

We do not use "the" with "Lake/Mount + Name":

the lake Lake Victoria
the mount Mount Everest

Look at this example sentence:

  • We live beside Lake Victoria. We have a fantastic view across the lake.

We do not normally use "the" for roads, streets, squares, parks etc:

streets etc Oxford Street, Trenholme Road, Fifth Avenue
squares etc Trafalgar Square, Oundle Place, Piccadilly Circus
parks etc Central Park, Kew Gardens

Many big, important buildings have names made of two words (for example, Kennedy Airport). If the first word is the name of a person or place, we do not normally use "the":

people Kennedy Airport, Alexander Palace, St Paul's Cathedral
places Heathrow Airport, Waterloo Station, Edinburgh Castle

Proper Nouns with THE »

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