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  1. #1
    milan2003_07's Avatar
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    Default New York City / Mexico City

    Hi,

    The administrative center of the New York state is called New York City. The capital of Mexico is called Mexico City. Why is the word "City" used in both cases? Is it done in order not to confuse the name of the state and country, respectively, with the names of the cities? In what other cases is the word "City" used in addition to a city's name?

    Best

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    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: New York City / Mexico City

    Yes, it's to distinguish New York City from New York State (or even New York County).

    In the case of New York, the actual name of the city does not contain the word "city," but people use it to avoid confusion. You can talk about New York and do not have to always add "city."

    In other cases, like Oklahoma City, the word "city" is part of the name. You would not just say "Oklahoma," to talk about that city. Carson City in Nevada is another example of cities that formally have "city" in their names.

    (Interestingly enough, Mexicans refer to what we call "Mexico City" as just "Mexico." So you can be in the country of Mexico and see road signs directing you how to get to "Mexico.")

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    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: New York City / Mexico City

    Oh, and New York city is not the capital of New York state. Albany is. So NYC is a center of many things in the country and the world, but it is not the administrative center of New York state.

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    Default Re: New York City / Mexico City

    Thanks for your reply. I know that New York can be used without "City", but the latter is often done to avoid what we call confusion. I also think that when you say you're going to New York most people will understand that you're going to New York City.

    I didn't know that sometimes the word "City" is compulsory like in the examples you've provided. By the way after reading your post the name "Salt Lake City" came to me because the Olympic Games of 2002 were held there.

    Are there any other cities located outside the USA, except for Mexico City, which use the word "City" as an optional or compulsory part of the whole name?

    Thanks

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    Default Re: New York City / Mexico City

    Durham, the county town of County Durham in England, is sometimes called Durham City.

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    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: New York City / Mexico City

    i can't think of any off the top of my head. There are cities in Mexico that are named "Ciudad Juarez," for example.

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    milan2003_07's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York City / Mexico City

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Durham, the county town of County Durham in England, is sometimes called Durham City.
    So it turns out that the word "City" is always used when the name of a city coincides with that of a bigger unit - a country, a country, a state, etc.

    Are there situations when we use "Town" instead of "City" for the same purpose when speaking about a smaller place than city? As we all know cities are always bigger than towns or at least they have to be so.

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    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: New York City / Mexico City

    As we all know cities are always bigger than towns.. . .
    I'm afraid that's not true, Milan.

    Everglades City, USA, is a dot on the map of Florida, with a population of 500 (yes - 500).

    In the UK the city of St David's has 18,000 inhabitants whilst the town of Reading has 240,000.

    Rover
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 28-Jan-2011 at 22:33.

  9. #9
    milan2003_07's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York City / Mexico City

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    I'm afraid that's not true, Milan.

    Everglades City, USA, is a dot on the map of Florida, with a population of 500 (yes - 500).

    In the UK the city of St David's has 18,000 inhabitants whilst the town of Blackburn has 105,000.

    Rover
    To tell the truth this is very strange. I was taught and I suppose most people will agree that cities are normally bigger than towns. Of course we usually measure the size by area, but the population also indicates to us if a city is big or not. Only in Africa, I think, and probably in India and China very many people can reside on a small territory. In all other cases when a city is densely populated it is really big. London, Paris, Madrid, New York, Moscow, Buenos-Aires, etc. These are all cities.

    So I can't understand how can a smaller place be called "city" and a bigger one - "town". How can you, natives, explain the logic behid this?

    Thanks

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    Default Re: New York City / Mexico City

    There is no logic.

    You are right that, in general what one would call a "town" is smaller than what one would call a "city." But that's only in general.

    In my experience in the US, a "city" is a legal entity. A town is not. A township is. A borough is. A village isn't.

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