How would you explain the need to use “the” in front of a name of a river (the Themes, the Nile etc.)? Is it just a sort of tradition or do you see a river as probably a complex of its banks, the bed, the water and so forth? And would it be really a big mistake to drop “the” when one talks about rivers?
Thank you in advance.
I just think of the water.
Yes — unless you're using it adjectivally or attributively:...would it be really a big mistake to drop “the” when one talks about rivers?
'I fell in the river at Liverpool; believe me—you don't want to swallow a mouthful of Mersey water'.