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    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 150
    #1

    Smile articles with buildings

    Hi there,

    how come that with Buckingham Palace we use no article but with The Eiffel Tower there is one?

    Could somebody help me?

    Thank you very much!


    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 364
    #2

    Re: articles with buildings

    I guess its random.

    In the US it would be 'the' Empire State building, but Grand Central station. Mount Rushmore but 'the' statue of liberty. France has Notre Dame but 'the' Louvre.

  1. siegfried_rus's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 21
    #3

    Re: articles with buildings

    Quote Originally Posted by thod00 View Post
    I guess its random.

    In the US it would be 'the' Empire State building, but Grand Central station. Mount Rushmore but 'the' statue of liberty. France has Notre Dame but 'the' Louvre.

    All the examples refer to popular names, which have their story behind them. I do hope that the use/non-use of the definite article before a casual proper name is rather more predictable, depending on a group it belongs to...

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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • Hong Kong
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      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: May 2007
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    #4

    Re: articles with buildings

    Quote Originally Posted by kukinecka View Post
    Hi there,

    how come that with Buckingham Palace we use no article but with The Eiffel Tower there is one?

    Could somebody help me?

    Thank you very much!
    (Not a teacher)
    Hi, kukinecka. According to "Collins Cobuild English Guides on Articles", "With proper nouns(unique in nature) the use of articles is fixed; some have the definite article and some have no article, and except in unusual cases there is no change(P.54)"
    Well, indeed, as a non-native English speaker like you, this kind of problem has also been troubling me a lot. I have flipped through many grammar books in the past for an answer but to no avail. As a result, I have made a collection of these sorts of terms myself for reference when need be. However, my humble advice is: to play safe, you'd better google the term to find out whether it is accompanied by a definitie article or not. For example, the French for the "Effel Tower" is "La tour Eiffel". So its English counterpart should be provided with a definite article. Conversely, "Buckingham Palace" is not found to be preceded by a definite article when I google it in the search engine. Therefore, the definite article can be spared with. Maybe, a general rule WITH EXCEPTIONS is that the definite article is normally not used before buildings, places, schools/colleges/universities with proper names of persons and places. Hence, there is no hard and fast rules, Just CHECK, CHECK, CHECK for sure.

    To name a few:

    No article is used before a building:
    Peet Hall
    Ely Center
    Dawes House
    Krug Hall
    Hall Memorial Building
    Hughes Gymnasium
    Merrill Learning Center
    Kendall School

    With the Definite Article:
    The Landmark
    The Effel Tower
    The White House
    The Taj Mahal
    The Sing Pao Building
    The Seven Seas Shopping Centre
    The Sun Hung Kai Centre

    Zero Article:
    Prince's building
    Alexandra House
    Exchange/Tiananmen/Trafalgar Square
    Statute/Time Square
    Mei Foo Sun Estate
    Citiplaza
    Buckingham Palace
    Windsor Castle
    Last edited by albertino; 18-Mar-2009 at 04:32.

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