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  1. #11
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    Re: Netherlands and Switzerland.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMadBaron
    A quick review of the countries of the world turns up The United Arab Emerites, The Grenadines, The Maldives and The Soloman Islands. A little more problematic are The United Kingdom and The Congo.....
    It's a rule, so there's bound to be exceptions. What about, *The Canada

  2. #12
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Netherlands and Switzerland.

    Plural names of countries, and names with ' United' or 'Republic' take 'the'.

  3. #13
    Hayk Guest

    Re: Netherlands and Switzerland.

    This thread reminded me an excellent passage from my favorite book on grammar, hope you all will like it too.

    “An elementary rule of thumb will often remain embedded in the learner’s mind, all the more so if it was impressively taught. A teacher I know, whose mother-tongue had no equivalent of a and the, had once told, ‘Use the indefinite article when a noun is first introduced. Whenever the same noun recurs, put the definite article before it.’ In support of this precept, he could have quoted Sweet’s example: A man wants to speak to you. I do not know who he is – he is not the man who was here yesterday. This was his guiding light in any composition he wrote, in every lesson he gave. It led him often aright, often astray. He could never understand why the famous line from Shakespeare’s Richard III, A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horseshould not be: ‘A horse, the horse, my kingdom for the horse.’”

    Nice is not it?
    Sorry for deviating the topic a little.
    Last edited by Hayk; 21-Nov-2004 at 13:29.

  4. #14
    TheMadBaron Guest

    Re: Netherlands and Switzerland.

    Plural names of countries, and names with ' United' or 'Republic' take 'the'.
    I'm not sure that 'United' has anything to do with it.... The U.S.A. and the U.A.E. have the plural form, and the 'Kingdom' bit necessitates the 'the' in the U.K.

    I live in Thailand.
    I live in the Kingdom of Thailand.
    I live in Kingdom of Thailand.

    If the North and South of Ireland were ever reunited, I think you could say "I live in United Ireland".

    So, it's the States, the Kingdom, the Republic.... but if you want to tell me that that's why The Republic of Congo is sometimes called "The Congo", you'll have to tell me that the Republic of Ireland is *"The Ireland."

    I'm with Casiopea and Hayk on this one. There are exceptions to every rule.

  5. #15
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Netherlands and Switzerland.

    The Congo is a weird one- the Ukraine dates back to its being a region; maybe the Congo comes from the river?????

  6. #16
    sanukeeeeeeeeeee Guest

    Re: Netherlands and Switzerland.

    Thanks.

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