Using articles 3 – Proper nouns continued

The following lists and examples are extracted from I hope that they will clarify article usage even further, when it comes to proper nouns.


Use ‘the’ with the names of:

  • oceans
  • seas
  • coasts
  • rivers
  • swamps
  • archipelagos
  • collections of lakes (such as the Great Lakes)
  • mountain chains
  • deserts
  • references on the globe (such as the Equator, the North Pole)
  • geographic regions (such as the Northwest, the Middle East)
  • bridges (except Tower Bridge)
  • pagodas
  • hotels
  • theaters
  • museums
  • institutes
  • skyscrapers
  • the Sun, the Moon
  • extraordinary works of art or architecture (such as the Mona Lisa, the Colosseum, the Great Wall of China, and the Taj Mahal)


  • James visited the Hermitage, a famous museum in St. Petersburg.
  • I would love to visit the North Pole.
  • Nina walked over the Rialto Bridge.




Do not use an article with:

  • individual lakes
  • individual islands
  • beaches
  • waterfalls
  • individual mountains (except the Matterhorn)
  • canyons (except the Grand Canyon)
  • people’s first names
  • streets (except the High Street)
  • public squares
  • hospitals
  • stadiums
  • malls
  • parks
  • churches
  • temples
  • universities
  • colleges
  • languages
  • religions
  • days
  • months
  • holidays


  • Have you ever visited Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris?
  • Kenta is Buddhist.
  • We went camping in King’s Canyon.

HOWEVER: There are additional exceptions to some of the above categories. For example, THE is often used in the pattern “the … of …”.


  • The University of Colorado
  • The Temple of Ranakpur
  • The Cathedral of Siena



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