Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Tedwonny is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    323
    Post Thanks / Like

    Alice in 'the' wonderland?

    I have always thought that by adding the definite article 'the', it sounds much better and grammatically speaking, the story revolves around a particular wonderland, right? Why then is it Alice in wonderland?

    A daft question but I'd love to hear your sharing. thanks

  2. #2
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,696
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Alice in 'the' wonderland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    I have always thought that by adding the definite article 'the', it sounds much better and grammatically speaking, the story revolves around a particular wonderland, right? Why then is it Alice in wonderland?

    A daft question but I'd love to hear your sharing. thanks
    So...you would have it to be, "Alice in the Wonderland"? Does this sound correct to you, "Alice in the Germany"? I suggest that you review how articles are used in English.

  3. #3
    Tedwonny is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    323
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Alice in 'the' wonderland?

    Of course Alice in the Germany is not correct. Germany is a proper noun.
    wonderland noun - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online
    Wonderland, even if one has not checked a dictionary, seems more like a common noun and 'the' may be appropriate if we are referring to a particular one.

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,411
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Alice in 'the' wonderland?

    It is a proper noun.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,696
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Alice in 'the' wonderland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    Of course Alice in the Germany is not correct. Germany is a proper noun.
    wonderland noun - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online
    Wonderland, even if one has not checked a dictionary, seems more like a common noun and 'the' may be appropriate if we are referring to a particular one.
    You are confusing a wonderland (anyplace that is wonderful) with Wonderland, a specific place in the story Alice in Wonderland. This Wonderland is as specific as Germany is and is a proper noun. The wonderland that Alice visited was called Wonderland. The author could have used another name, say, "Alice in Greenland". You wouldn't rename this, "Alice in the Greenland", would you?

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,689
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Alice in 'the' wonderland?

    I think Gillnetter's logic is right, but I suppose that Lewis Carroll could have used the article if he wanted to, though it strikes me as better without it.

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,691
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Alice in 'the' wonderland?

    I wonder whether the generic term 'wonderland' even existed before Lewis Carroll coined it for a particular place (of course, when I say 'place' it didn't actually exist; it was in a fictional work, and even within that fictional work it was dreamed.)

    b

Similar Threads

  1. Alice in Wonderland: A Play for A Novel?
    By Ducklet Cat in forum Literature
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 21-Dec-2010, 02:12
  2. [General] Alice in Wonderland: My Share of Questions :)
    By Ducklet Cat in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 16-Oct-2010, 12:44
  3. Alice in Wonderland
    By Tinkerbell in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 17-Sep-2010, 18:38
  4. Alice in Wonderland
    By Adam Cruge in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-May-2010, 14:53
  5. Alice in wonderland
    By Adam Cruge in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 25-Apr-2010, 12:00

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •