For example why people use "Island of Jamaica" and "Macquarie Island". The latter doesn't use any preposition. When the preposition should be used and when not?

  • 1
    related, possbile duplicate: english.stackexchange.com/questions/131805/isle-vs-island
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Dec 31, 2013 at 21:52
  • Don't we already have questions about "University of X vs X University" and "City of Y vs Y City"?
    – GEdgar
    Dec 31, 2013 at 22:38
  • Hello, and welcome to EL&U. You might be interested in our sister site, English Language Learners; you can find it here. It is very helpful in answering basic questions. Dec 31, 2013 at 23:51
  • The suggested duplicate doesn't address the use of of. I proposed what might be a general rule in another question/answer.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jan 1, 2014 at 18:12

1 Answer 1


We use The Isle of X when that is its name in English: The Isle of Man, The Isle of Dogs, The Isle of Capri.

We use X Island when that is its name in English: Canvey Island, Vancouver Island, Holy Island.

We use just the simple name when that is its name in English: Guernsey, Anglesey, Crete; but for clarity we can use the descriptive phrase "The island of" in these cases.

There are some islands where there are alternative names: Manhattan or Manhattan Island; but in many cases, the name used is fixed as one of the three forms above.

I'm afraid you just have to learn which islands have which form of name.

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