Nouns: Articles with proper nouns - Английский язык с Марией Батхан.

Nouns: Articles with proper nouns

Nouns: Articles with proper nouns

A proper noun defines a noun: it can be a special place, person, or organization. These nouns are nearly always capitalized in a sentence.

No article is usually used with a person's name, last name and nickname.

Anna lives in Moscow, Russia.


Sometimes we talk about a certain family and use their family name. We may want to do so if we want to speak generally about all members of the family. In this case, we should use “the” before the surname.

The Browns are very rich, they donate a lot of money to various charity projects.


When we refer to the nation in general, we may or may not use "the" (Canadians), but when nationalities end with -ss, -ch, -es, -sh, we should use “the”, because the plural form of these nouns is identical to the singular form.

The French are very stylish people.


We also use “the” when we are talking about the exact person and we want to specify his/her name. Please note that the definite article will be stressed in oral speech.

That’s not the Anna Smith I went to college with.


When a well-known person is the most famous person with such a name and we want to show it, we can stress “the” to emphasize it. The article is always stressed in oral speech.

Did you really meet the George W. Bush?


We can use “the” before a noun that can show us a person’s job.

The singer Mylene Farmer.


A/an” or zero article may be used with a name of a certain person to talk about the particular qualities of this person.

Tom Shane plays chess very well, but he will never be a Garry Kasparov.


When we refer to a product made by a particular brand or to a particular artist’s work, we also use “a/an”.

Wow! You’ve bought a Lamborghini.

Do you really think this painting could be a Picasso?


If you don’t know the person, you can use “a/an” before his/her name, meaning “somebody”.

There is a Mrs. Adams outside waiting for you. Do you want to see her?


With the names of public institutions such as: museums, hotels, restaurants and monuments, we use “the”, as well as with the names of committees, organizations, associations, and government agencies.

If you are fond of art, you should visit the National Gallery.

The British Parliament consists of the Crown-in-Parliament, the House of Lords and the House of Commons.


When we are talking about unique objects:

- astronomical names: the Sun, the Great Bear, the Milky Way, the North Star.

- geographical names: the North Pole, the Arctic.


But we should remember that we use the definite article if a country’s name reflects its political system: the UK, the USA, the Czech Republic.

Do you know who the president of the USA is?


- mountain ranges: the Alps, the Urals, the Rockies.

Note that we don’t use the definite article with a separate mountain: Fuji, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus.

The highest mountain above sea level is Everest.


- seas, rivers, canals, oceans: the Black Sea, the Thames, the English Channel, the Pacific Ocean.


Note that we don’t use “the” with the names of lakes.

- parts of the world: the North, the West, the South, the East.

- deserts: the Gobi, the Sahara.


We don’t use any articles with streets and squares; cities (except the Hague) and countries (except those whose names reflect their political system); schools, universities and colleges; companies and airports.


We can only use “a/an” when we say what is typical to a certain place.

A school is there to give you knowledge, not to provide you with entertainment.