Your name is a proper noun. A proper noun is the special word that we use for a person, place or organization, like John, Marie, London, France or Sony. A name is a noun, but a very special noun - a proper noun. English proper nouns have special rules.
|common noun||proper noun|
|country, town||England, London|
|shop, restaurant||Maceys, McDonalds|
|month, day of the week||January, Sunday|
|book, film||War and Peace, Titanic|
Capital Letters with Proper Nouns
RULE: We always use a Capital Letter for the first letter of a name or proper noun. This includes names of people, places, companies, days of the week and months. For example:
- They like Anthony. (not They like
- I live in England.
- She works for Sony.
- The last day in January is a Monday.
- We saw Titanic in the Odeon Cinema.
Proper Nouns without THE
We do not use "the" with names of people. For example:
|first names||Bill (not
|full names||Hilary Gates|
We do not normally use "the" with names of companies. For example:
- Renault, Ford, Sony, EnglishClub (not
- General Motors, Air France, British Airways
- Warner Brothers, Brown & Son Ltd
- 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|
|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:
|states, regions||Texas, Kent, Eastern Europe|
|countries||England, Italy, Brazil|
|continents||Asia, Europe, North America|
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 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
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
We normally use "the" for country names that include "States","Kingdom", "Republic" etc:
|States||the United States of America/the USA|
|Kingdom||the United Kingdom/the UK|
|Republic||the French Republic|
We normally use "the" for names of canals, rivers, seas and oceans:
|canals||the Suez Canal|
|rivers||the River Nile, the Nile|
|seas||the Mediterranean Sea, the Mediterranean|
|oceans||the Pacific Ocean, the Pacific|
We normally use "the" for plural names of people and places:
|people (families, for example)||the Clintons|
|countries||the Philippines, the United States|
|island groups||the Virgin Islands, the British Isles|
|mountain ranges||the Himalayas, the Alps|
Look at these sentences:
- I saw the Clintons today. It was Bill's birthday.
- Trinidad is the largest island in the West Indies.
- Mount Everest is in the Himalayas.
We normally use "the" with the following sorts of names:
|hotels, restaurants||the Ritz Hotel, the Peking Restaurant|
|banks||the National Westminster Bank|
|cinemas, theatres||the Royal Theatre, the ABC Cinema|
|museums||the British Museum, the National Gallery|
|buildings||the White House, the Crystal Palace|
|newspapers||the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Post|
|organisations||the United Nations, the BBC, the European Union|
We normally use "the" for names made with "of":
- the Tower of London
- the Gulf of Siam
- the Tropic of Cancer
- the London School of Economics
- the Bank of France
- the Statue of Liberty