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Thread: The + country

  1. #1
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    The + country

    Regarding countries, I've heard we only use the article 'the' in front of countries like the USA and the UK. Like that:

    "I was born in the USA" - " I live in the UK" - "He comes from the United States."
    but
    "I was born in China" - "I live in Italy" - "She comes from Germany"

    Is it correct ? Are there other countries with which we should use 'the'?
    And the beginning t in 'the' should be capitalized? Like
    "He comes from The United States"?

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: The + country

    Anywhere that is a confederation of states, such as the USSR, the USA, the UK, needs the article. It is not capitalized.

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    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Re: The + country

    There are other confederations of states, for instance Canada and Brazil which do not ask for the article. I think maybe only the ones which begin with United ?

    Thanks for the USSR example.

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    Re: The + country

    Well I studied a little more, and found out the following:

    The UK is more to be considered as a confederation of states.
    The USA is more to be considered as a federation of states.

    So if the article the is to be used only before confederations it should not be used with the USA. If it is to be used only with federations, besides the USA,
    we have Germany and Brazil also as federations - and the UK is not a federation.

    What about Canada, I think it is both an internal federation and it also belongs to an external confederation, right?

  5. #5
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: The + country

    The UK, USA and the USSR consist/ed of sovereign states which also have/had a federal government overall. This is the pattern to which the European Union's political movement is aspiring.

    Canada is not in the same position, nor is Germany.

  6. #6
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    Re: The + country

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    Well I studied a little more, and found out the following:

    The UK is more to be considered as a confederation of states.
    The USA is more to be considered as a federation of states.

    So if the article the is to be used only before confederations it should not be used with the USA. If it is to be used only with federations, besides the USA,
    we have Germany and Brazil also as federations - and the UK is not a federation.

    What about Canada, I think it is both an internal federation and it also belongs to an external confederation, right?
    I reckon there's a simpler rule that one should follow:
    use the article the with countries that have a common noun within its name:
    the UK = the United Kingdom
    the USA = the United States of America


    use the article the with countries whose name is in the plural:
    the Netherlands
    the Philippines

  7. #7
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    Re: The + country

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    The UK, USA and the USSR consist/ed of sovereign states which also have/had a federal government overall. This is the pattern to which the European Union's political movement is aspiring.

    Canada is not in the same position, nor is Germany.
    Well regarding Canada and Germany, I can only say that I think maybe you are not completely correct. After all, all of them are federations. But let us not discuss this somewhat technical political point. Let me just point the following: If any of these nations change its political regime, without changing the name, will the use of the article the with such nation modify ?
    I do not think so.

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    Re: The + country

    Thank you very much for this information engee30 !

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    orangutan is offline Member
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    Re: The + country

    I think the main point is that the country names that require "the" are made up of common nouns and adjectives, rather than being proper nouns in their own right. This is true also of "the Nether Lands". I'm not sure about the Philippines, but I think it may be short for the Philippine Islands.

    Incidentally I would hardly describe the UK as a conferederation, though it may develop into one.

    (I have just seen that Engee has already posted most of this - sorry for the duplication.)

  10. #10
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The + country

    Hello I am 'The French',

    Engee30 give us a good rule, and your question about the different federations or federal gouvernments isn't important for the use of the indefinite article 'the'.

    For information the UK is a group a different countries not like Germany or Canada or another else.

    Have a nice day.

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