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    #1

    northern London / north France

    Hi,

    When I googled it, I saw the usage of 'north London' and 'northern France' but not 'northern London' nor 'north France.' Why? I feel really confused.

    *self-made*

    We live in north London.
    We live in norhern London.

    We live in north France.
    We live in northern France.

    Which are OK?

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: northern London / north France

    Quote Originally Posted by ademoglu View Post
    not 'northern London'


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    While you and I wait for the answer, I found something in my favorite spot: the "books" section of Google. I typed "northern London" (with the quotation marks) and found quite a few examples.

    Here are just four:

    1. "Sigmund Freud lived, worked, and died in this spacious three-story house in northern London." -- FROMMER'S LONDON (2011).

    2. "[I]t was resolved to erect on this spot a place of popular entertainment for the working class of northern London." -- OLD AND NEW LONDON (perhaps 1878).

    3. "There is a good view of northern London and the country towards Highgate, Hornsey, and Essex." -- BRADSHAW'S HANDBOOK TO LONDON (2012).

    4. "A venture to northern London takes in Regent's Park and its beautiful rose garden." -- NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER (2011)

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    #3

    Re: northern London / north France

    A British member can chime in on the specifics of London. This type of use is in part convention and in part a designation of whether a geographic area is separate or a part of the larger.

    For example, I live in western Pennsylvania. That is, the western part of the state of Pennsylvania. Next door is the state of West Virginia. It is a separate state from Virginia.

    Southern California is a part of California. North Dakota is its own state.

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: northern London / north France

    http://www.londontown.com/LondonAreas/North%20London/
    It seems to me that 'North London' is a name, but I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: northern London / north France

    As far as I understand it, in this context, the meaning in BrE is the same as that given by SoothingDave.

    "North" when used as an adjective tends to relate to whole items: eg. countries, states, counties or even well defined areas with proper boundaries within a county. e.g. North Somerset (in the red boundary) http://tinyurl.com/pktt94d , North Yorkshire (in the red boundary) http://tinyurl.com/obfpl3u , or even North America http://tinyurl.com/ofd2v93 (the whole continent).

    "Northern" tends to refer to part of something else; a region, or a more vague area, where the boundaries might not be so clear cut and may have changed much over time. e.g. "Northern Ireland" - the part of Ireland in the north, "Northern Europe" - the vague part of Europe in the north [vague because where does south actually end and north begin?] and "Northern hemisphere" the north half of the globe.

    As Matthew pointed out "North London" is a name for a defined area of the city including specific London boroughs. However, the confusion arises because you can quite legitimately talk about "northern London", to mean a more general concept of everywhere in London north of the Thames.


    So going back to your sentences:

    North London is OK. [A specific area of London].
    Northern London is OK. [A more vague area of London covering anywhere north of the Thames].
    North France - Doesn't work. [Because to my knowledge there isn't a specifically defined region known as "North France"].
    Northern France is OK, as this is just a relatively vague name for anywhere within the northern half of France. However, generally we tend to think of it as being the areas along the north coast.
    Last edited by Eckaslike; 05-Aug-2015 at 23:50.

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    #6

    Re: northern London / north France

    Not A Teacher
    Although Mattew is right about North London, it is a region of Lodon unfortunately the Website he links to is incorrect in the definition it gives.
    As Eckaslike says North London is a specific area of London defined by Government for certain purposes including areas such as the boroughs of Barnet and Enfield. It does not include all the areas that are north of the River Thames as that website suggests.

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    #7

    Re: northern London / north France

    Any rules about this aren't applied consistently though. We have states called Western Australia and South Australia. They are similar political entities. Since they were named in the 1800s, maybe the convention hadn't been set yet.

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: northern London / north France

    In my nation, Southern China covers a larger area than South China.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: northern London / north France

    In the Chicago area, North Chicago is a city that is 32 miles from the center of downtown Chicago. Northern Chicago refers to the northern part of the city.

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