Could you tell me if the following sentence is correct or not? It seems to me that it is not correct because as I know, definite articles are never used with personal names. The only thing that I worry about is that I found this sentence on a website for learning English.

That evening, jack saw the Maria and Angela. They looked hungry so he offered them a hot meal.

Source pdf: http://www.cmlab.csie.ntu.edu.tw/~cathyp/eBooks/LearningEnglish/EnglishTown/Unit%20overview%20-%20Level%207%20Unit%204.pdf


3 Answers 3


As voxanimus noted, that use is incorrect.

The only correct use I can think of that works that way is when speaking of a well-known individual.

For example, in this exchange:

Dennis Ritchie is dead.

Not the Dennis Ritchie? dmr? The guy who developed C?

That instance of the would be emphasized so that it would be pronounced just like the pronoun thee, so /ðiː/ with a long, drawn-out vowel.

  • Yes. And you could make up a scenario where this usage would make sense in: "Jack saw the Maria and Angela."
    – GEdgar
    Commented Dec 11, 2011 at 18:22

No. That sentence is wrong.

Unless the Maria and Angela are works of art (or other inanimate, named objects like museums) that consume food.


If Maria and Angela are people, the would not normally be found in front of their names. It might help us understand why the website uses this example if you could provide a link to it.

Although personal names are not normally found with the definite article, there are exceptions when the name is preceded by an adjective or postmodified by a relative clause and in the case that Wudang illustrates.

  • I added a link to the source, but it doesn't help much.
    – Hugo
    Commented Dec 11, 2011 at 22:53
  • 1
    @Hugo: No, it doesn't. The organization behind it seems a fairly serious one, so the insertion of 'the', and the small letter in 'jack' may have been an oversight. If so, they should be more careful. Commented Dec 12, 2011 at 8:15

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