A friend of mine and I are having a long standing debate about the correctness of a sentence.
Informing me what he was doing later that day he said:
I am going to the Asda later.
Note: To anyone outside of the UK, Asda is a supermarket/grocery store.
I corrected him and said, "don't you mean, I am going to Asda later".
He insists that the definite article "the" is needed because he is referring to a particular Asda near where he lives.
I argued that he didn't state which Asda he was referring to (and it is not obvious to me) so therefore the definite article is incorrect. If he had said "I am going to the Asda near my house", that would make more sense.
He states that "... Asda near my house" is implied because he knows which Asda he is talking about, but I argued that I do not know which Asda he is talking about so the "... near my house" cannot be implied.
It is my (arguably limited) understanding that we don't use the definite article when referring to place names or company names (there are exceptions of course).
- I am going to the Germany on holiday
- I am going to the Walmart later
But if we add the context "...near where I live", Asda becomes a noun because we are now referring to the actual store or building so the definite article is needed.
"I am going to the Asda near where I live"
So, to settle a long standing debate. If I have no knowledge of the "Asda" he is referring to, can he imply it and use the definite article "the"?
In response to the answers below:
Consider the following:
A proper noun is a noun that in its primary application refers to a unique entity, such as London, Jupiter, Sarah, or Microsoft
Asda is clearly a proper noun.
With regard to the use of definite articles and proper nouns:
In general, do not use an article with a proper noun unless the noun contains a prepositional phrase.
With the above in mind, it seems logical to me that the following statement is incorrect.
I am going to the Microsoft later.
Therefore my reasoning is that "I am going to the Asda later" is also incorrect.
"Later" is not a preposition so I believe that the only time you can use the article is when the person communicating the intent converts the proper noun into a noun i.e. place, thing.
I am going to the Asda store.
"Store" makes it a noun. As does a prepositional phrase "... near where I live".
In summary, it is my belief that:
"I am going to the Asda near where I live" is correct.
"I am going to the Asda" is not.
Happy to be wrong!