[Grammar] "the" + supermarket/store name? and the embassy?

tvu732

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Hello,
I've read a lot about how to use "the" with proper nouns. However, the rules omit a lot of cases, so I'm often confused, especially when it comes to the foreign names of some buildings.

For example:
(1) My house is near BigC supermarket.
(2) My house is near BigC.
(3) My house is near Lotte department store.
(4) My house is near Lotte.

Do I need to add "the" to any of the sentence above? Supposed that the listener knows what supermarket/store I meant, and there're not many BigCs and Lottes around (so I don't add "a").

Another example:
(5) I live near Swedish embassy.

I'm confused about both issues: whether I should add "the" and whether it should be "Sweden" or "Swedish". Of course things will be easier if I use "the Embassy of Sweden", but I don't want to do that.

P/S: I've read these links about definite article:
https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.../determiners-and-quantifiers/definite-article
https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/nouns-proper.htm
https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/59271/why-there-is-the-before-some-names-but-not-others
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Hello,
I've read a lot about how to use "the" with proper nouns. However, the rules omit a lot of cases, so I'm often confused, especially when it comes to the foreign names of some buildings.

For example:
(1) My house is near BigC supermarket.
(2) My house is near BigC.
(3) My house is near Lotte department store.
(4) My house is near Lotte.

Do I need to add "the" to any of the sentence above? Supposed that the listener knows what supermarket/store I meant, and there're not many BigCs and Lottes around (so I don't add "a").

I would put "a" or "the" before all of them.

Another example:
(5) I live near Swedish embassy.

I'm confused about both issues: whether I should add "the" and whether it should be "Sweden" or "Swedish".

Say "Swedish." It tells us what kind of embassy it is. And I again, I would put an "a" or "the" before it.

Of course things will be easier if I use "the Embassy of Sweden", but I don't want to do that.

​You're right. That would be very unnatural.

P/S: I've read these links about definite article:
https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.../determiners-and-quantifiers/definite-article
https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/nouns-proper.htm
https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/59271/why-there-is-the-before-some-names-but-not-others

Whether to use "a" or "the" depends on context. If you give us more complete conversations, we can help you figure out which to use.
 

GoesStation

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Only the Swedish embassy is really possible. There's only one embassy in each country, so assuming your interlocutor knows what country you live in, you must be speaking of a specific embassy.
 

tvu732

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Whether to use "a" or "the" depends on context. If you give us more complete conversations, we can help you figure out which to use.

In my examples 1-4, the listeners knows what BigC/Lotte I'm talking about, so there's no need to use "a" here. What I'm confused it whether I should add "the" or not. In many cases of proper nouns (buildings' names), we don't need to add "the".
 

tvu732

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Only the Swedish embassy is really possible. There's only one embassy in each country, so assuming your interlocutor knows what country you live in, you must be speaking of a specific embassy.
Thanks, that what I thought. Do you have any opinion about examples 1-4?
 

GoesStation

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When the supermarket's name looks like a family name, people around here tend to use the possessive: I live near Kroger's. Many supermarkets have possessive names like Tom's or Dot's which also don't allow an article. Otherwise, we use the article appropriate to the situation: My house is near the IGA; We used to live near a Safeway.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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In my examples 1-4, the listeners knows what BigC/Lotte I'm talking about, so there's no need to use "a" here. What I'm confused it whether I should add "the" or not. In many cases of proper nouns (buildings' names), we don't need to add "the".

As I said, you probably want an article for both examples. If there's it's clear that there's just one particular store, it's the. Likewise, if it's clear that you're just talking about one particular, use the.

GS's example above is right, however. Sometimes it's better to not use an article for a store name - if the article you're dropping is the: I live near Shop & Save.

Thanks, GS!
 

emsr2d2

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Only the Swedish embassy is really possible. There's only one embassy in each country, so assuming your interlocutor knows what country you live in, you must be speaking of a specific embassy.

Depending on your understanding/definition of "embassy", that's not necessarily true. Click here to see, for example, how many British embassy-type buildings/offices there are in India.
 

emsr2d2

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There is only one High Commission (the British equivalent of an embassy in Commonwealth countries.

True, but many people don't know the difference between an embassy, a High Commission and a consulate.
 

GoesStation

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[/I]Unfortunately, we are not consistent:

We go to (no article) church, college, hospital, jail, prison, school, university, work.
We do the same in American English except for one: we go to the hospital.
 

tvu732

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Sometimes it's better to not use an article for a store name - if the article you're dropping is the: I live near Shop & Save.

Thanks, GS!

Let me summarize the answers so far:

1/ When the store has a possessive name or owner's name (e.g. I live near Kroger's), don't use articles. (This rule is already well articulated in grammar books.)

2/ In all other cases, if there's just one particular store, or everybody knows that I'm talking about one particular: use 'the'. Otherwise, use "a". Example: My house is near the IGA; We used to live near a Safeway.

--> I see that my examples belong to (2), therefore need to have "the".

So what about your example above, I live near Shop & Save. Is there any rule to explain it? Or is it still okay that sometimes we can omit "the"?
 
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tvu732

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The original question was about proper nouns, but I'll add this note about some common nouns.Although there may well be more than one bank, theatre, etc in a town, when we think of these things as institutions rather than buildings or people, we normally use the definite article in BrE:

I am going to the bank, chemist('s), cinema, dentist('s), doctor('s), post office, pub, supermarket, swimming pool, theatre.

Unfortunately, we are not consistent:

We go to (no article) church, college, hospital, jail, prison, school, university, work.

Hi, I have a question regarding the noun 'shop'. When we say "I'm going to the shop(s)", is "shop" singular or plural? Because I've seen that in my textbook English Unlimited, when talking about places in town, most nouns are in singular form: I'm at the airport / the cinema... but "I'm at the shops". Seems it's the British way of saying "I'm doing shopping", right?
 

emsr2d2

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If I'm definitely only going to one shop, I say "I'm going to the shop". If I'm heading into town, to several streets with several shops available to me, I could say "I'm going to the shops". In fact, I would simply say "I'm going shopping" or "I'm going into town" for the latter situation.
 

tvu732

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If I'm definitely only going to one shop, I say "I'm going to the shop". If I'm heading into town, to several streets with several shops available to me, I could say "I'm going to the shops". In fact, I would simply say "I'm going shopping" or "I'm going into town" for the latter situation.

Thanks emsr2d2.

Just checked Oxford Dictionary:

Shop - [FONT=&quot]a building or part of a building where you can buy goods or services.
[/FONT]
Example:
([FONT=&quot]British English)[/FONT] I'm just going down to the shops. Can I get you anything?

Seems that more often that not, people go to several shops at the same time. :)
 

emsr2d2

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I don't think you can reach any conclusions about the frequency of people visiting more than one shop at a time based on one example sentence from a dictionary. The sentence is exactly that - an example of the word "shop" (albeit in the plural) in use.

In residential areas of the UK, we have something called a "corner shop" (in other countries, they're convenience stores, I think). There could be one every half a mile or it could be the only shop for four or five miles in very rural areas. In that instance, if a person leaves their house to head for the only shop in the area, the example sentence would be "I'm just going down the shop. Can I get you anything?"
It all depends on context and situation.
 

tvu732

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In residential areas of the UK, we have something called a "corner shop" (in other countries, they're convenience stores, I think). There could be one every half a mile or it could be the only shop for four or five miles in very rural areas.
Thanks for the information on corner shops. That's very interesting.

Now I only have one last question, the example given by Charlie Bernstein: I live near Shop & Save. The shop's name is not the owner's name or contains the possessive 's. Why doesn't it have "the" before it? Is there any rule that we can generalize here?



P/S: I added this part because a quick look at some English articles confused me again. For example, this one:
http://www.bookatable.co.uk/blog/london-landmarks-where-to-eat

In this article, the author introduced some restaurants. Many of them have no "the" before their names, although they do not fall into the special category of containing owner's names or possessive 's.

I know these examples are not exactly like the ones in my original post ("I live near the XYZ store"), but could you kindly explain why so many of them do not have "the"? Similar, I've seen many pieces of writing to introduce / give information on a hotel, a restaurant... usually their names do not have "the", not only in the title but in the content part as well.


...if you’d rather be indoors, look out of glittering floor-to-ceiling windows at European brasserie-café Blueprint...

A stone’s throw away is Skylon Grill, where you can continue the ‘views’ theme while dining atop Royal Festival Hall, or Latin American favourite, Las Iguanas on the South Bank.

Trusty Italian Zizzi Victoria is a favourite family restaurant near Buckingham Palace, while the plush Hamptons Barboasts its very own gin bar, and suitably plush Art Deco design. ==> "Zizzi Victoria", but "the plush Hamptons Barboasts"???
 
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tvu732

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"I live near Shop & Save."


...if you’d rather be indoors, look out of glittering floor-to-ceiling windows at European brasserie-café Blueprint...

A stone’s throw away is Skylon Grill, where you can continue the ‘views’ theme while dining atop Royal Festival Hall, or Latin American favourite, Las Iguanas on the South Bank.

Trusty Italian Zizzi Victoria is a favourite family restaurant near Buckingham Palace, while the plush Hamptons Barboasts its very own gin bar, and suitably plush Art Deco design. ==> "Zizzi Victoria", but "the plush Hamptons Barboasts"???

Any idea please?
 

GoesStation

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The extract is written in a breezy journalistic style which omits a number of articles. I'd use the definite article with all of these except Las Iguanas, whose name begins with one (albeit in Spanish).
 

Tarheel

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I guess it depends on the name. I live near a Food Lion. Normally I don't use an article. I say, for example, I'm going to Food Lion. There's also an Aldi nearby. I might say, for example, I'm going to Aldi.
 

Tarheel

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I am fairly sure it should be:

...the plush Hamptons Bar boasts its own gin bar....
 
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