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Using the definite article before a country/state name

I am from India, and I do not say that I am from “the India”. But someone from USA would say “I am from the United States of America.” Why do you need to use the extra “the” in the second case?

marked as duplicate by Andrew Leach, Brian Hooper, RegDwigнt Sep 26 '12 at 13:08

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  • India is a proper noun. Though name of country is the Republic of India. – Dheerendra Nov 29 '15 at 14:54

Very simply:

If the country name is common nouns, use the - the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom.

If it is a group of islands, use the - the Bahamas, the Maldives.

If it the name is common nouns followed by 'of', use the - the United States of America, the Peoples Republic of China.

If the name is taken from a geographical feature, you should use the - the Yemen, the Lebanon. This last one is declining though.

India is just a plain old proper noun, like a persons name, and hence takes no article.

  • Apart from fishingintheyemen.com? There's a question too. – Andrew Leach Sep 26 '12 at 13:08
  • "Often heard with 'the': Argentine, Congo, Gambia, Yemen, Lebanon, Sudan, Netherlands, Philippines, Bahamas, Ukraine" -> bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18233844 I agree that I haven't often heard 'The Yemen' outside that excellent film, but I have rarely heard 'the Sudan' or the 'the Lebanon' either. – Roaring Fish Sep 26 '12 at 13:25
  • I always use The with all those names, but then I'm reactionary. – Andrew Leach Sep 26 '12 at 13:53
  • @Andrew: Do you mean "retrograde" or "retrogressive" (tending towards or resulting in a worse state {retrograde ideas}) rather than "reactionary" (wanting to preserve outmoded traditions). – user21497 Sep 26 '12 at 16:47
  • 1
    No, I meant reactionary. – Andrew Leach Sep 26 '12 at 18:04

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