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As you may know the word "the" never appears on the label of products made in any country except the USA. I've found both "Made in USA" and "Made in the USA" on product labels, but which is the right one?

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, ab2, Phil Sweet, Mitch, GoldenGremlin Aug 9 '16 at 1:59

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The definite article does appear before the names of certain countries:

  • "The USA"
  • "The United Kingdom"
  • "The Russian Federation"
  • "The (former) Soviet Union"
  • "The Republic of South Africa"
  • "The Bahamas"
  • "The Ivory Coast"
  • "The Philippines"
  • "The Netherlands"
  • "The Gambia", just to mention the most important ones.

Therefore, you should use the article when you write "made in..." although it is often omitted on labels.


  1. When to use "the" with country names
  2. The Definite Article

corrigendum - An ngram search charts "Ivory Coast" much more frequently than "The Ivory Coast"

  • One downvote! It would help if you said why. I would try to improve it. – Centaurus Aug 5 '16 at 22:28
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    You're mixing official and short form country names! Might as well include the United Mexican States, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, etc. But it seems the leading "the" is not considered an actual part of these official names by Wikipedia, the CIA world factbook and other sources. They only have the short forms The Bahamas and The Gambia starting with "the". On the other hand, the Articles of Confederation pretty clearly indicate that the official name of the US is "The United States of America". PS: Not my downvote. – Junuxx Aug 5 '16 at 23:57
  • @Junuxx Apart from "Russia" and "South Africa" (without their political complements) you don't omit the article when referring to countries such as The Netherlands, The Philippines, The UK, The USA and The Ivory Coast. – Centaurus Aug 6 '16 at 0:10
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    That's mostly true in practice I guess, but it still depends 1 2 3. And Ivory Coast is officially Côte d'Ivoire now. On the other hand again, people also often say The Sudan and The Ukraine. – Junuxx Aug 6 '16 at 0:29
  • @Centaurus I'd say that's true for most of them, but I've only heard people say Ivory Coast without the article. Whether that's officially correct or incorrect I don't know, but it's certainly much more common than the others. – curiousdannii Aug 6 '16 at 12:56

Omission of articles and conjunctions is common in any kind of telegraphic English, that is, the highly compressed language of newspaper headlines (see ), diaries, road signs, sports calling, text messages, and so on— product labels included.

Both Made in USA or Made in the USA are fine in that regard, interpreted to mean Manufactured in the United States of America. You can find examples of other countries, as well, e.g. Made in ROC/Made in PRC for goods from the Republic of China (Taiwan) and from the People's Republic of China respectively.


When it comes to labels, a lot of times space is at a premium so you will very often see "Made in USA". This is grammatically incorrect but it's not wrong for this usage. As an example, here is one such label:

Made in USA Sign

But many companies also use a version with "the"...

Made in the USA Sign

Now, you can actually avoid the entire thing by going with another option - change the text to "Made in America". Now you don't have to worry about whether it's correct and it's still clear which country you mean... the one downside is that it's still the same number of characters, so it's not going to save you any space:

Made in America Sign

  • 1
    "it's still clear which country you mean" not sure of that. Seeing that on a label, I would fear a deception. – njzk2 Aug 6 '16 at 2:58
  • 1
    The "Made in the USA" example is objectively wrong because OMG that font. It burns my eyes. – David Richerby Aug 6 '16 at 13:01
  • Space is at a premium... and yet they put flags? – svavil Aug 6 '16 at 16:20

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