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    #1

    Should you put "the" before names of roads?

    Hello there,

    I'm an English learner from Japan.
    As mentioned in the title, I'm wondering whether or not I should put "the" before the name of a road.

    In japan, a lot of roads (expecially expressways) have their own unique names and just by those names people will know right away which road is talked about.
    So the way i see it, those road names are proper nouns and there's no need to put "the" in fornt of their names.
    But sometimes I hear native English speakers use "the" in fornt of names of Japanese expressways.
    I thought it might be because they are not familiar with Japanese expressways so that they feel a little bit more certain and secure by adding "the" to the name. Or are there any grammatical rules "the" should be used here?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

  1. opa6x57's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Should you put "the" before names of roads?

    I live on "Lost Mines Road" ... In speaking, writing, I never say I live on "the Lost Mines Road".

    Nearby, there is a recreational trail. The name of the trail is "The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes" ... the "The" is part of the actual name of the trail.

    The main highway through this area is "Interstate 90". Another route to Spokane is "Appleway Road".

    I might say to someone, "I am going to Spokane and I believe I will drive on the interstate." I would not say, "... I believe I will drive on the Interstate 90."

    When referring to a specific road/street (Interstate 90 or Lost Mines Road) - I wouldn't use "the" unless "the" is part of the actual name of the road.

    I hope these examples help...
    =============================
    Not a teacher. 53 year old American.

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    #3

    Re: Should you put "the" before names of roads?

    @ opa6x57

    Thanks for your response.
    I clearly understood those examples including the "Interstate" part and I feel more confident about the usage now.

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    #4

    Re: Should you put "the" before names of roads?

    In BrE, we don't use the article with names, but we do say the M25 for motorways (freeways) and there are a few roads that generally take the article- The Mall and The Strand in London, for example, but these are rare.

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    #5

    Re: Should you put "the" before names of roads?

    @ Tdol

    Hello, thanks for your response.
    What does "M25" stand for? ...Motorway 25?
    Would you say "Motorway 25" without the article? and add "the" to it when you say "M25" for short?
    If so, it would be quite understandable to me.

    Since no Japanese roads are born to go with the article, I'm trying to figure out if there's a good pattern to apply to them.

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    #6

    Re: Should you put "the" before names of roads?

    It does stand for Motorway, but we always say and write the M+number.

    PS Other roads can be classified as A or B + number (the A6, the B243, etc) and we would use the article then too.

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Should you put "the" before names of roads?

    In the US, the practice of using "the" before the name of a particular road seems to be determined strictly by local tradition. For example, here in Detroit many expressways have two names - the alpha-numeric designation and an actual proper name. A large portion of I-75 is also known in Michigan as the Chrysler Freeway (named for Walter Chrysler, founder of the Chrysler Corporation). Some people refer to that stretch of highway simply as "I-75," while others call it "the Chrysler." But for the most part street names in the US are very rarely referred to using "the"; in casual conversation people say "take I-94 west to the airport" or "I live in Birmingham, just a few blocks east of Woodward and north of 14 Mile." (By the way, we typically also don't refer to "Road" or "Avenue" when discussing roads in AmE, even if the proper name of the street is "Woodward Avenue" or "14 Mile Road." We abbreviate as much as possible. )

  3. buggles's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Should you put "the" before names of roads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    In the US, the practice of using "the" before the name of a particular road seems to be determined strictly by local tradition. For example, here in Detroit many expressways have two names - the alpha-numeric designation and an actual proper name. A large portion of I-75 is also known in Michigan as the Chrysler Freeway (named for Walter Chrysler, founder of the Chrysler Corporation). Some people refer to that stretch of highway simply as "I-75," while others call it "the Chrysler." But for the most part street names in the US are very rarely referred to using "the"; in casual conversation people say "take I-94 west to the airport" or "I live in Birmingham, just a few blocks east of Woodward and north of 14 Mile." (By the way, we typically also don't refer to "Road" or "Avenue" when discussing roads in AmE, even if the proper name of the street is "Woodward Avenue" or "14 Mile Road." We abbreviate as much as possible. )

    Not so in BrE. We always use the full name. e.g. "Leave Manchester by Deansgate, onto Liverpool Road, left onto Tootil Drive, left onto Eccles New Road then straight on down Eccles Old Road until you reach the M602."

    buggles (not a teacher)

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    #9

    Re: Should you put "the" before names of roads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kengo View Post
    Hello there,

    I'm an English learner from Japan.
    As mentioned in the title, I'm wondering whether or not I should put "the" before the name of a road.

    In japan, a lot of roads (expecially expressways) have their own unique names and just by those names people will know right away which road is talked about.
    So the way i see it, those road names are proper nouns and there's no need to put "the" in fornt of their names.
    But sometimes I hear native English speakers use "the" in fornt of names of Japanese expressways.
    I thought it might be because they are not familiar with Japanese expressways so that they feel a little bit more certain and secure by adding "the" to the name. Or are there any grammatical rules "the" should be used here?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****
    ***********************


    Kengo,


    Here in Southern California, freeways (expressways, parkways, etc.)

    use the definite article:

    Take the 101 to Universal Studios./ Take the Hollywood Freeway

    north./ There's been a terrible accident on the 5.


    THANK YOU

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    #10

    Re: Should you put "the" before names of roads?

    @ Ouisch, buggles and TheParser

    Hello everyone. Thanks for your responses.
    It's very interesting, as Ouisch pointed out, the usage seems to differ from place to place even in the same country .

    Here in Japan, most (quite probably all) toll roads have their own unique names. Toll-free roads however sometimes have two names like Ouisch's example.
    Near my home, there's a toll-free national highway called either "Route 170" or like "Outer loop-line" and actually I know of at least a couple of roads that are called "Outer loop-line". As the name sort of gives away, the name's used for roads that run like a loop around a big city.
    From what I gather from all the advice, I think I should use "the" for those that can be confusing like this loop-line thing.
    Anyone, please let me know if this conclusion of mine doesn't sound right to you.

    Thanks again everyone. It's been very informative here.

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