Imagine two places exist, both called The Haunted Forest. How would I specify which forest is being referred? Would one say the northernmost Haunted Forest, or the northernmost The Haunted Forest?

If the is dropped, what is the rule that makes it appropriate to do so, and would it be any different if instead of a place, I referred to, for example, a book title?

  • Why not just say: "The Haunted Forest of/in extreme north"?
    – user20934
    Jun 28, 2012 at 5:57
  • 1
    I like to know I have options. I am looking for a pattern here, not what sounds best.
    – tyjkenn
    Jun 28, 2012 at 6:02

3 Answers 3


The simple answer is that generally you don't use the definite article twice. It's just awkward. One the is enough to define what you're talking about.

If one is referring to the Ashdown Forest*, you don't use "the English The Ashdown Forest" to contrast it with another. It's "the English Ashdown Forest".

Similarly with book titles. The Homecoming is a title of a book by Harold Pinter. It's also a book by Ray Bradbury. But again, it's not "The The Homecoming by Pinter is longer than Bradbury's," it's "The Homecoming by Pinter is longer." Typographical conventions help with book titles of course.

*It's quite surprising how many references to "Ashdown Forest" it's possible to find. But one is always "on the Ashdown Forest," not "in Ashdown Forest."

  • But what's the answer to OP's question? How will you refer to the northernmost "The Haunted Forest"?
    – user20934
    Jun 28, 2012 at 7:50
  • The northernmost Haunted Forest, just as my "English Ashdown Forest" example.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 28, 2012 at 7:59

In the Wikipedia article of The Economist, I found one sentence where "Economist" was not preceded by "the"; everywhere else it was "The Economist".

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Similarly, in the article of The Times, I found a sentence where instead of "The Times", "Times" was used.

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And now, I have a faint recollection that I have seen "the" being dropped in many similar situations. Thus, you would say, "the first Economist was published in..." rather than "the first The Economist was published in...".

So, in your case, I can safely say that you have to drop "the", and write it as:

...the northernmost Haunted Forest...

  • 'The' is not being dropped, it is being used in the proper part of the sentence. Where are your references to actual grammatical rules, such as those I included in my answer?
    – bee.catt
    Jun 28, 2012 at 14:51
  • I still do not understand what makes it okay to move the the outside the name/title. From my understanding, that would create a new, yet similar title. Image if there are to amusement park attractions, one called Batman and one called The Batman.
    – tyjkenn
    Jun 28, 2012 at 17:19
  • @tyjkenn If you have two such parks, then you can easily distinguish them when you start a sentence with the name of the park - "The Batman..."/"Batman..." . But if you have a ondition similar to what you asked in your question, then it would definitely be confusing. But this is similar to a problem where you have two people with the same full names. How would you solve it? You would make another (distinguishable) reference to each person. Same way, you would solve the "Batman" problem!
    – user20934
    Jun 28, 2012 at 18:24
  • If the names are distinct, why are they treated as the same sometimes by dropping the the?
    – tyjkenn
    Jun 28, 2012 at 23:57

"The" is not part of the name, but is the 'definitive article' the part of the sentence that shows you are talking about a specific forest and not forests in general. "The" would not be dropped, as this article is always used before a proper noun naming a forest (see my answer to this question: Why use "the" for oceans/seas/rivers etc. but not lakes? ). Since "the" is not part of the actual name of the forest (it is the article, not the noun), you would say "the northernmost Haunted Forest".

  • What if it is part of the name?
    – tyjkenn
    Jun 28, 2012 at 6:32
  • 2
    Completely wrong! What if "the" is part of the name? For e.g., "The Doon School"?
    – user20934
    Jun 28, 2012 at 6:33
  • 1
    If I publish a book called The Adventures of Tyjkenn, 'the' is part of the title.
    – tyjkenn
    Jun 28, 2012 at 6:36
  • 1
    Would't the title simply rename the object it represents directly through substitution without modification? Here's a tricky one: a book titled The The Book: the Usage of the Word The.
    – tyjkenn
    Jun 28, 2012 at 7:07
  • 1
    So, just to clarify, if you were swimming at the northern shore of the Red Sea, you would be swimming in the northern Red Sea, not the northern The Red Sea. 'The' may be used as part of a name, but it is still a definitive article, and is treated the same as a definitive article anywhere else. You wouldn't say 'the northern The Thames' or 'the British The Times' or 'the English The Queen' or 'the new The Doon School campus'.
    – bee.catt
    Jun 28, 2012 at 7:31

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