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Using Articles with Country Names

Using articles with country names seems difficult. But really it is not. There 3 clear rules that I can give you to help you know when you should use articles with country names.

Rule 1: we use ‘The’ if the county’s name includes a common noun.

For example, the United States of America has the common noun ‘States’ in its name, so we need to use ‘The’.

Here is another example: The Islamic Republic of Iran contains the common noun ‘Republic’, so we need to use ‘The’.

Below is a list of some more common country names that have common nouns and use the article ‘The’:

The Central African Republic

The Republic of Korea (South Korea)

The Russian Federation (Russia)

The Roman Empire (Rome)

Rule 2:‘the’ is used before any country name if the name contains ‘of’.

Here is the structure: The ___ of ___.

Look below at these examples:

(Countries with ‘of’)

The United States of America

The Republic of China

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

The Islamic Republic of Iran

Rule 3: we use ‘The’ if the country is an island country.

Look below at these examples:

(Island nations)

The Maldives

The Marshall Islands

The Philippine Islands (The Philippines)

Here is the summary:

Rule 1 is that we use ‘The’ if the county’s name includes a common noun.

Rule 2 is ‘The’ is used before any country name if the name contains ‘of’.

Rule 3 says we use ‘The’ if the country is an island country.

To learn more about Articles view our most recent blogs:

How to Use Articles in English 1 

How to Use Articles in English 2

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By Luke

ETO American English teacher

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