the Philippines

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Odessa Dawn

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Rover_KE

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Why do we use a definite article before the word "Philippines?" Does that mean that "Philippines" is the short for "the Republic of the Philippines" or since it is a group of islands? It's both of those.



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BobK

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With geographical names, there is often a definite article; you just have to learn them. Something to watch for is that your language may attach an article but English doesn't: o Brasil is just 'Brazil'. Sometimes an article gets automatically tacked on to a place-name (though this doesn't happen so much in English - examples that spring to mind are 'Le Havre' and 'O Porto' [the interesting there is that they elide with other words - au Havre, no Porto - but there's the possibility that I'm starting to talk to myself... ;-)).

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5jj

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The only city that I can think of whose English name begins with an article is The Hague.
 

SoothingDave

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There is also "The Netherlands" and "The Ukraine" as countries with articles.
 

5jj

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Ukraine officially dropped the article in 1993.
 

SoothingDave

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That's nice for them, but I think most people here would still use it. Old habits die hard.
 
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