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    #1

    down Potomac or down the Potomac River

    Does the name of a river always take the defenite article?

    A ferry drifts down Potomac or the Potomac or the Potomac River?

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: down Potomac or down the Potomac River

    The name of a river virtually always takes the definite article. "Drifts down Potomac" is incorrect.

    The only exception I've been able to think of is when the word country is appended. You could correctly say, for example, "Colorado River country has become a popular tourist destination."

    Interestingly, the appending of other nouns does not have this effect. You must say "the Nile delta" and "the Amazon basin" and "the Thames valley".

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    #3

    Re: down Potomac or down the Potomac River

    The Potomac.
    The Potomac River.
    Either of these.

  3. mayita1usa's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: down Potomac or down the Potomac River

    I can't think of a time when we DON'T use the definite article; therefore...
    A ferry drifts down Potomac or the Potomac (or the Potomac River).
    However, we do have the adverb downriver that applies to any non-specific river: The ferry drifted slowly downriver.

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