Why the 'the'?

cvrefugee

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I think I've figured it out. We use "the" before an adjective. For example:

We live in the United States of America. What kind of states? United.
 

Shawn

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But as someone else pointed out, we also say the Balkans, or even the Sudan. Those aren't adjectives.
 

cvrefugee

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Who says the Sudan? The Sudan desert? The Balkan islands? The Philippine islands? They're still adjectives, even if we shorten it.
 

Shawn

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I've heard the Sudan before... :(
 

LP

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Unless you're putting an adjective over a singular noun, "The" is not added.

Example would be if you said "The great Houdini". Houdini is a proper noun, and there is only one Houdini, but you don't say "The Houdini". Anything thats a proper noun (names pretty much) don't have "The" at the front.

The America won't work because America is a proper noun.
The United states works because state is not a proper noun.
I think I've figured it out. We use "the" before an adjective. For example:

We live in the United States of America. What kind of states? United.
Congratulations, I'd already mentioned it before.

We say the Balkans because its become a plural noun (even though its a name of a place in its singular form: Balkan). The Americas, for instance, works. You don't say The America because its a proper noun and its also singular. Unless its something like The great America or something, but then you've just added an adjective, which is how you can put a "The" in front of a proper noun.

I guess putting "The" in front of interstates is a So-cal thing (I'm from San Diego). In SD we always put "the" in front of everything. Even when I come up here to norcal I'm always saying "Take the 580 all the way to the 13, and then take the 13 upto college avenue if you want to get to Berkeley"
 

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For anyone interested, I've found this. Everything you ever wanted to know about the use of articles :)
 

teeb

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Why is it 'the BBC' but never 'the NBC' or 'the ABC'?
This one I think comes down to history.

The BBC was the only channel on UK tv for a while - it was 'the' bbc or 'the' thing on television. And it stuck.

Whereas in the States, both NBC and CBS (for example) started broadcasting around 1939, 1940 (according to a quick wiki) so there wasn't really one dominant channel.


edit - just to confuse things further, we say 'ITV' and not 'the ITV' to refer to Channel 3 in the UK.
 

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This thread would have been a lot more suited if someone just wrote within the first four posts:

"BECAUSE IT JUST FECKING IS."
 
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cvrefugee

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Congratulations, I'd already mentioned it before.

We say the Balkans because its become a plural noun (even though its a name of a place in its singular form: Balkan). The Americas, for instance, works. You don't say The America because its a proper noun and its also singular. Unless its something like The great America or something, but then you've just added an adjective, which is how you can put a "The" in front of a proper noun.

I guess putting "The" in front of interstates is a So-cal thing (I'm from San Diego). In SD we always put "the" in front of everything. Even when I come up here to norcal I'm always saying "Take the 580 all the way to the 13, and then take the 13 upto college avenue if you want to get to Berkeley"
I missed that part about the adjective, sorry.
 

toma_alimosh

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Jesus Christ ...
Guys, why do you bother, who the hell cares if there's an article or not? A lot of the English speaking world would even have trouble pronouncing the names of places, so don't worry about it.
 

Peter3hg

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And is another one that has varying use between the US and UK. For example we would say two thousand AND seven but as far as I can tell people would say two thousand seven in the US.
 

thedguy

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And is another one that has varying use between the US and UK. For example we would say two thousand AND seven but as far as I can tell people would say two thousand seven in the US.
AND is use to signify a dot or period in math. If you say "two-thousand seven" you're saying "2007" but if you say "two-thousand and seven" it's actually "2000.7"

At least thats what my 9th grade Algebra teacher told me.
 
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watto

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AND is use to signify a dot or period in math. If you say "two-thousand seven" you're saying "2007" but if you say "two-thousand and seven" it's actually "2000.7"

At least thats what my 9th grade Algebra teacher told me.
Well, I never head of that one!
 

cvrefugee

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AND is use to signify a dot or period in math. If you say "two-thousand seven" you're saying "2007" but if you say "two-thousand and seven" it's actually "2000.7"

At least thats what my 9th grade Algebra teacher told me.
I've never heard that before. We learned to say "and" before the last two digits of any large number (unless the second-to-the-last digit is a zero). For example:

3,325,215 would be read - three million, three-hundred twenty-five thousand, two-hundred and fifteen

3,325,205 would be read - three million, three-hundred twenty-five thousand, two-hundred and five.

However, we don't use "and" when saying a date in history, that would just sound weird.
 

LP

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I missed that part about the adjective, sorry.
No no, np. Sorry if I came off as a douche :p

No.

Because it obiviously JUST FECKING IS NOT
Dude calm down appa. Chumma eduku kovam varudhu unaku?

For the non-Tamil speakers that means "Why are you getting easily angered". Actually I'm not even sure if the chvvkumar is Tamilian, I just wanted to say something in Tamil for fun :p
 

chvvkumar

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Extremely sorry for bumping such an old thread!

Better to rectify the misconception even if it is too late :)

I was being sercastic in parapheasing what NoBoss said.I did not get angry or anything but was just poking fun.

I apologize to "No Boss" if I sounded like im angry at you.Sorry!

EDIT:
@LurkerPatrol
Thanks dude, but im Telugu not Tamil ;)
 
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