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When it comes to churches and so on, which one is correct?

  1. Our hotel is near St. John's church.
  2. Our hotel is near the St. John's church.
  3. Our hotel is near the St. John church.
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Ooh. This could be more interesting if we include things like "near the Frauenkirche", "near Guildford Cathedral", "near the London Eye". –  Andrew Leach May 2 '13 at 11:27
If it is near St. John's church, it sounds like the Church is owned by a person called St. John. –  mplungjan May 2 '13 at 11:49
see: english.stackexchange.com/questions/59271/… and more. –  MετάEd May 2 '13 at 11:49
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marked as duplicate by MετάEd, tchrist, Kris, Kristina Lopez, FumbleFingers May 6 '13 at 21:22

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1 Answer

Your first answer is correct.

In my area we have a hotel near St. Andrew's Church. It is also near the Fulwell Methodist Church.


I visited the Freeman Hospital. I didn't find it as nice as St. Cuthbert's Hospital.


I did have a nice day out at St. Peter's Cathedral but the weather wasn't as nice as when I visited Durham Cathedral.

Note: you could say "the Durham Cathedral" as I did with "the Freeman Hospital" but places, especially buildings have no set rules around this. In short, use "the" if it sounds correct but definitely not if the building name is possessive as in the case of "St. Paul's", etc.

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So if mr. St. John bought St. Andrew's church and you wanted to give directions to it to the friends of St. John - it would still be St. John's church :| –  mplungjan May 2 '13 at 12:23
@mplungjan: No, even you have to concede that he is called Mr St John, whereas St John (the Baptist) died quite some time ago. –  TimLymington May 2 '13 at 12:46
An interesting point: St John's is the Anglican church in this area; the Baptist chapel is in Station Road, next to a Catholic oratory named Our Lady of Succour. –  TimLymington May 2 '13 at 12:50
But it is mr. St. John's house right next to the church he owns –  mplungjan May 2 '13 at 12:57
If they knock down the oratory ... so long, Succour. –  MετάEd May 3 '13 at 3:42
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