I have increasingly noticed my British compatriots referring to places such as "Cancun, Mexico" or "Riga, Latvia" or even "Plymouth, Devon" in their spoken English.

As far as I am concerned, the above usage is suitable for use only on an envelope. I would always insert the word "in" between the city and the county or country in spoken English.

I wonder if this style is a recent American influence. I know that it is standard practice for Americans to refer to their cities using the format "city, state" in spoken American English.

I would be most interested to hear others' views on this!

1 Answer 1


I think it's likely to be influenced by American English. However, there may be occasional "native" British examples when there are two towns of the same name in different counties, such as Richmond, Surrey and Richmond, Yorkshire. I invariably catch myself saying Ashford, Kent, for example. And if one of the pair is much smaller and less well-known, we also may do it: Newcastle, Staffs, for example.

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    I would say that it was quite traditional British usage to say 'Newport, Monmouth (or Gwent)' to distinguish it from Newport, Staffs. What is very American is to speak of 'Paris, France' as distinct from Paris, Texas, when a Brit would assume that the capital of France was meant. Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 9:32

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