I have an easy question about the usage of the definite article in a context like: " the station of [City name]"

What are the differences between these sentences?

A) The station of Rome is one of the biggest in Italy.

B) Rome Station is one of the biggest in Italy.

C) The "Roma Termini" station in Rome is one of the biggest in Italy.

D) Rome's station is one of the biggest in Italy.

They are all correct, aren't they?

My teacher of English told me it's incorrect to use the possessive case with city names even if you can find it on books etc.

  • 1
    Since Rome has probably several major stations I'd go with C. Grammatically the sentences are all correct. – Helmar Aug 17 '16 at 22:36
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    "London's Victoria Station" is perhaps not as commonly used nowadays as "London Victoria Station" (or just "Victoria [Station]"), but one couldn't label it 'incorrect'. Though there certainly is a trend towards the dropping of the Saxon genitive for associative rather than possessive situations. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 17 '16 at 22:49
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    I'd go with @Helmar but stronger. C is correct, and the other three are ambiguous or meaningless. A and D are meaningless because there is no unique train station in Rome; B is meaningless because Rome Station is not quite correct as a translation of Roma Termini and except insofar as someone will guess what is meant, the subject is a non-existent location. Compare "Italy's city is one of the biggest in Europe." Grammar OK, content unfathomable. – Andrew Lazarus Aug 18 '16 at 0:20
  • @Test1234 - Your English is excellent, but I don't understand the relevance of the use of the definite article to your question. All of your examples are correct. – Mark Hubbard Aug 18 '16 at 18:50

They are all correct.

Your English teacher is incorrect about the possessive case and city names. "Rome's population is growing steadily" is just as grammatically correct as "The population of Rome is growing steadily".

As to the differences, there is little difference. The problem is going to be that you're dealing with something (station) that a large city is going to have many of. Thus, you'd need to use a particular title or some distinguishing descriptive to let your reader know which one this applies to.

If you were dealing with something that a city might be expected to have only one of, such as a City Hall, then these sentences might all be acceptable with no objection at all.

However, sometimes using "of " can sometimes be awkward-sounding, and the 's possessive might be preferred instead. "Rome's city hall" sounds better than "The city hall of Rome". But both are perfectly grammatical and mean the same thing.

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