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Articles with Geographic Names

The use of articles with geographical names has certain patterns. For
example, the name of a river is used with the definite article, and the name of
a lake is used without any article. The name of one mountain (or one island)
is used without any article, and the name of a mountain chain (or a group of
islands) is used with the definite article.
The meaning may change depending on the presence or absence of the
definite article. For example, Mississippi is the state of Mississippi, while the
Mississippi is the Mississippi iver.
The words !island, state, city, district! are capitali"ed if they are part of the
geographical name (#tlantic $ity, %llis &sland). &f they are not part of the
name, they are not capitali"ed (the city of 'oston, the island of (reenland).
)uch words are capitali"ed in titles (# 'rief *istory of the $ity of +ew ,ork)
and may be capitali"ed in formal writing.
The words !north, east, south, northern, western, central!, and the like are
capitali"ed if they are part of the geographical name (the +orth )ea, +orthern
&reland, $entral #merica) or part of the name of the region regarded as a unit
(the -est, -estern %urope, the %ast, the Far %ast). &f such words are used
for indicating direction or as descriptive terms, they are usually not capitali"ed
(the north, the west, the southeast, the south of France, western #sia,
northern #frica, central #ustralia).
%xamples in the groups below are listed under the two headings. +o article/
#rticle the. &t is much easier to memori"e articles with geographical names in
this way. For easier study of the articles, standard %nglish and ussian
abbreviations (Mount 0 Mt., )treet 0 )t., etc.) have not been used in this
material.
Continents and geographical areas
No article:
#merica, +orth #merica, )outh #merica, 1atin #merica, %urope, #sia, #frica,
#ustralia, #ntarctica/
+orth #frica, -estern %urope, %astern %urope, $entral #merica, )outh #sia,
)outheast #sia, $entral #sia, )iberia.
Article the:
the -estern *emisphere, the %astern *emisphere, the +orthern *emisphere,
the )outhern *emisphere/
the #rctic, the #ntarctic, the Far %ast, the Middle %ast/
the +orth 2ole, the )outh 2ole.
Oceans, seas, gulfs, bays, lakes
Article the:
the #tlantic 3cean 4 the #tlantic, the 2acific 3cean 4 the 2acific, the #rctic
3cean, the &ndian 3cean/
the Mediterranean )ea 4 the Mediterranean, the $aribbean )ea 4 the
$aribbean/
the ed )ea, the 'lack )ea, the $aspian )ea, the +orth )ea, the 'altic )ea,
the 'arents )ea, the 'ering )ea, the ,ellow )ea/
the )ea of 3khotsk, the )ea of 5apan/
the (ulf of Mexico, the 'ay of 'engal, the (ulf of Finland, the 'ay of 'iscay,
the 2ersian (ulf.
But: *udson 'ay, )an Francisco 'ay.
No article:
1ake 'aikal 4 'aikal, 1ake 6ictoria, 1ake )uperior, 1ake *uron, 1ake Michigan,
1ake %rie, 1ake 3ntario, $rater 1ake, 7tah 1ake, 1ake (eneva, (reat 2ond.
But: the (reat )alt 1ake, the (reat 1akes (8 lakes).
Riers, straits, canals, currents, waterfalls
Article the:
the #ma"on 4 the #ma"on iver, the +ile 4 the +ile iver, the Mississippi 4 the
Mississippi iver, the Missouri 4 the Missouri iver, the io (rande, the
,angt"e 4 the ,angt"e iver/
the Thames 4 the Thames iver 4 the iver Thames, the )eine 4 the )eine
iver, the 9anube 4 the 9anube iver/
the #mur 4 the #mur iver, the 9nepr 4 the 9nepr iver 4 the 9nieper, the
1ena 4 the 1ena iver, the 3b 4 the 3b iver, the 6olga 4 the 6olga iver, the
,enisei 4 the ,enisei iver, the #mu 9arya/
the )trait of (ibraltar, the )trait of 9over (2as de $alais), the )trait of
Magellan, the 'ering )trait/
the 9ardanelles, the 'osporus 4 the 'osphorus/
the %nglish $hannel (1a Manche), the Mo"ambi:ue $hannel/
the )ue" $anal, the 2anama $anal, the %rie $anal/
the (ulf )tream, the Florida $urrent, the 5apan $urrent (the ;uroshio)/
the 6ictoria Falls 4 6ictoria Falls, +iagara Falls 4 the +iagara Falls, the
#merican Falls, the $anadian Falls, the *orseshoe Falls 4 *orseshoe Falls.
!slands
No article:
(reenland, 5ava, $yprus, Madagascar, *okkaido, )akhalin, 5amaica, %llis
&sland.
But: the &sle of Man.
Article the:
the island of (reenland, the island of 5ava, the island of $yprus, the island of
Madagascar, the island of 5amaica.
Article the:
the Falkland &slands 4 the Falklands, the #leutian &slands 4 the #leutians, the
;uril &slands 4 the ;urils, the 'ahamas 4 the 'ahama &slands, the $anary
&slands 4 the $anaries, the 2hilippine &slands 4 the 2hilippines.
the 'ritish &sles, the 6irgin &slands, the Florida ;eys, the -est &ndies, the
#"ores.
"eninsulas, capes
Article the:
the &ndochina 2eninsula 4 the &ndochinese 2eninsula, the ;amchatka
2eninsula, the #laska 2eninsula, the ;ola 2eninsula, the 'alkan 2eninsula, the
&berian 2eninsula.
But: &ndochina, ;amchatka, #laska, &beria.
No article:
$ape *orn, +orth $ape, $ape $helyuskin, $ape $anaveral, $ape $od.
But: the $ape of (ood *ope.
#ountains, olcanoes, hills
No article:
%verest 4 Mount %verest, Fu<i 4 Mount Fu<i 4 Fu<iyama, ;iliman<aro 4 Mount
;iliman<aro, %lbrus 4 Mount %lbrus, %tna 4 Mount %tna, 6esuvius 4 Mount
6esuvius/
Mount -hitney, Mont 'lanc, 1assen 2eak/
$apitol *ill, Telegraph *ill.
But: the ;ilauea 6olcano.
Article the:
the *imalayas 4 the *imalaya Mountains, the #pennines 4 the #pennine
Mountains, the ocky Mountains 4 the ockies, the 7ral Mountains 4 the 7rals,
the $aucasus Mountains 4 the $aucasus/
the 2amirs 4 the 2amir, the Tien )han 4 the Tian )han/
the $ordilleras, the #ndes, the 2yrenees, the #lps/
the 'lack *ills, the 'erkshire *ills.
"lateaus, canyons, plains
Article the:
the Tibetan 2lateau, the $entral )iberian 2lateau, the Mexican 2lateau, the
$olorado 2lateau/ the (rand $anyon/
the (reat 2lains, the ussian 2lain (the %ast %uropean 2lain), the -est
)iberian 2lain, the Turan 2lain.
$eserts, alleys
Article the:
the )ahara 4 the )ahara 9esert, the ;alahari 4 the ;alahari 9esert, the
#rabian 9esert, the (obi 4 the (obi 9esert, the ;ara ;um/
the uhr 6alley, the +ile 6alley, the 6alley of the ;ings.
But: 9eath 6alley, )ilicon 6alley.
Countries, states
No article:
#merica, #ustralia, (reat 'ritain, 'ritain, %ngland, $anada, &reland, +ew
=ealand/
#rgentina, 'elgium, 'ra"il, $hile, $hina, 9enmark, %gypt, France, (ermany,
(reece, *olland, *ungary, &ndia, &ran, &srael, &taly, 5apan, 1ebanon,
1uxembourg/
Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mo"ambi:ue, +orway, 2oland, ussia, )pain,
)audi #rabia, )wit"erland, Turkey.
But: the $ongo.
Article the:
the 7nited )tates (the 7.).), the 7nited ;ingdom (the 7;), the ussian
Federation, the +etherlands, the 2hilippines/
the Federal epublic of (ermany, the epublic of $uba, the ;ingdom of
9enmark, the ;ingdom of )pain, the $ommonwealth of #ustralia.
%tates, proinces
No article:
#rkansas, $alifornia, 9elaware, (eorgia, &llinois, ;entucky, 1ouisiana,
Massachusetts, +ew ,ork 4 +ew ,ork )tate, 3klahoma, 2ennsylvania, hode
&sland, Texas, 7tah, -ashington 4 -ashington )tate/
#lberta, 'ritish $olumbia, Manitoba, +ewfoundland, 3ntario, >uebec,
)askatchewan.
Article the:
the state of $alifornia, the state of +ew ,ork, the state of Texas, the state of
-ashington, the province of 3ntario, the province of >uebec.
Cities, towns
No article:
#msterdam, #thens, 'arcelona, 'erlin, 'russels, $airo, 9elhi, *avana, 1isbon,
1ondon, 1os #ngeles, Madrid, Montreal, Moscow, Munich, +ew ,ork, 3slo,
2aris, 2hiladelphia, 2rague/
io de 5aneiro, ome, )aint 2etersburg, )tockholm, )ydney, Tokyo, Toronto,
6ienna, -arsaw, -ashington 4 -ashington, 9.$.
But: The *ague.
Note: 9.$. ?@di.@si.A 0 the 9istrict of $olumbia.
No article:
#tlantic $ity, ;ansas $ity, +ew ,ork $ity (+,$), 3klahoma $ity, >uebec $ity,
Mexico $ity, 2anama $ity, $ape Town 4 $apetown, Fort ;nox.
Article the:
the city of #thens, the city of Moscow, the city of +ew ,ork, the city of 3slo,
the city of ome, the city of Tokyo, the city of -ashington, the town of
'edford.
%treets, aenues, highways
No article:
Main )treet, -all )treet, BCnd )treet, 3ak #lley, Maple 'oulevard, Fifth
#venue, )ixth #venue, 2ennsylvania #venue, 'roadway, 1exington oad,
oute DD, *ighway DB.
But: the #rbat, the Mall.
Article the:
the #venue of the #mericas, the )ilk oad, the +ational oad, the Freedom
Trail, the 'lue idge 2arkway, the TransE$anada *ighway, the 2an #merican
*ighway, the 1incoln *ighway, the F9 9rive.