My American friend corrected me when I said I was going to Ukraine on holiday; it should be "the Ukraine", she said. I've never heard the article used before the name of the country on the BBC. I've scoured the forum and had a look at previous threads. However, the question remains unanswered for me. I see 'the' in my books and don't hear it on the radio. Which do you say/hear more often?
Which do you teach?
Your American friend is out of date.
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.
(1) You young people, of course, do not realize that when people such as I were
young, we regularly used "the" before the names of some countries:
The Ivory Coast
(2) And, of course, we always referred to the U.S.S.R.
(3) Today, we still always refer to the Philippines.
(4) I do not claim to be a Spanish speaker, but I do know that they used to
use the definite article for countries, such as La Argentina and el Peru. They also
used to refer to los Estados Unidos (the United States). But now it is just
(5) Personally, I wish we still used the definite article. "The Lebanon" sounds so
much more romantic and exotic than simply "Lebanon."