One of my colleagues has been to the USA recently, and I want to ask him how the country is. Which of the below is grammatically correct?

  1. How is USA?


  1. How is the USA?

Is "the" actually required in the above context?

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The correct grammatical way to say it would be

How is the USA?

because USA stands for United States of America. It would be incorrect to say

How is USA?

because this means

How is United States of America?

It is missing a definite article (the), since there is only one USA.

So, to answer your question, yes, you would need the "the".

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  • The article is required because states is a countable noun, not because there is only one USA. You wouldn't ask how is the Russia? although you could ask how is the Russian Federation? – choster Mar 10 '17 at 16:07
  • @choster Then wouldn't you say how are the USA, as there are fifty of the states?. – davidlol Mar 10 '17 at 16:33
  • @davidlol You could say that, and it was more common to do so in the 19th century, but the country is a single entity composed of multiple states, and it is conventional to speak of it as a whole, no different from the Philippines is, the United Arab Emirates is, and so forth. – choster Mar 10 '17 at 16:46
  • I'm really not convinced by this argument. Once the abbreviation becomes a standalone idiom to the point no one really expands it mentally anymore. – Sridhar Sarnobat Mar 15 '19 at 18:07

I think that it would be The United States of America in the same way that Buckeyes fans talk about The Ohio State University. I believe 'The' implies a certain federation between States that value their independence and the ability to make and uphold their own laws; regarding the use of the indicative preposition 'the', perhaps the truth of the matter is that it may be subjective to age... I would say yes, personally; as stated above, I appreciate the use of the properly idenifying preposition and all it implies. With that said, if you are a millennial, and elect to use the term 'America' outside of the usual context and conjecture, then screw it... 'Merca!

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  • article. Excuse me, you are right, it is not a preposition. It's the indicative article. – Kevin Davis Apr 5 '17 at 14:59

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