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    #1

    Question use of the in front of countries

    Hello all,

    When do we use "the" in front of country names?

    For example i have always heard people saying "I will go in the United States" or "In the UK people drink a lot of beer"

    However, i have never heard or read "I will go holidays in the Greece"...

    So what is the correct use of the in front of country names?

  1. IvanV's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: use of the in front of countries

    In English most cities and countries never take the definite article, but there are many that do. It is commonly used with many country names which derive from names of island groups (the Philippines), mountain ranges (the Lebanon), deserts (the Sudan), seas, rivers and geographic regions (the Middle East). Such use is declining, but for some countries it remains common. Since the independence of Ukraine, most style guides have advised dropping the article, in part because the Ukrainian Government was concerned about a similar issue involving prepositions. Another example is Argentina which is now more usual than 'the Argentine' which is old fashioned.

    The definite article is always used for countries whose names are descriptions of the form of the state rather than being purely geographical; for example, the United States, the Soviet Union, the Czech Republic.

    The U.S. Department of State and CIA World Factbook show the definite article with only two countries: The Bahamas and The Gambia.


    Source: Article (grammar) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    #3

    Re: use of the in front of countries

    hmmm thanks for this clarification. However the question remainds.. do i say "in UK" or "in the UK" ?

    i have heard both of them...

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: use of the in front of countries

    Say "in the UK"

    The Bahamas
    The Netherlands
    The Ivory Coast
    The United Arab Emirates
    are a few others.

    There aren't many, compared to the great number of countries in the world.

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    #5

    Re: use of the in front of countries

    in the Ukraine.

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    #6

    Re: use of the in front of countries

    Is the sentence 'I will go in the United States' correct?:o I never heard people saying that.. Please throw some light on this.

    Thanks,
    Kiran

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: use of the in front of countries

    Quote Originally Posted by kiranlegend View Post
    Is the sentence 'I will go in the United States' correct?:o I never heard people saying that.. Please throw some light on this.

    Thanks,
    Kiran
    No, the correct preposition is 'to', 'I will go to the United States'.

  4. IvanV's Avatar

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    #8

    Re: use of the in front of countries

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    in the Ukraine.
    Ukraine or "the Ukraine"?

  5. Shawnock's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: use of the in front of countries

    Never heard the Ukraine.

    As IvanV correctly mentioned, the use of article 'the' is mostly used for countries whose names are descriptions of the form of the state rather than being purely geographical.

    These are exceptions and do not follow any rule.

    However, in case of the United States and the United Kingdom, it is said that the word 'United' makes the words 'States' and 'Kingdom' more specific. Therefore, we use 'the' in these cases.

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    #10

    Re: use of the in front of countries

    Both "in Ukraine" and "in the Ukraine" are heard.

    The article is a hangover from before the break-up of the USSR, but it is still used fairly commonly.

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