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How shall I start? Well, I guess all non-natives were taught rules like these:

"Use the definite article with the names of museums, galleries, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels"
OR
"Use the definite article with the names of airports, railway stations, castles, palaces and similar structures if the name is in the form of COMMON NOUN + STRUCTURE. Otherwise (PROPER NOUN + STRUCTURE), don't use the article."

That's why we have The White House but (no article) Buckingham Palace.

But, to be honest, I've never really liked that sort of "rules". In my opininon, they have too many exceptions and cause confusion.

In the text below, NAT means a rule taken from a book written by a native speaker, NON-NAT means just the opposite - a book written by a non-native.

---------------------

1) What about the names of bridges? I've seen two rules that contradict one another:

a) (NAT) Always use "the" with the names of bridges.

b) (NON-NAT) Follow this pattern:

COMMON NOUN + BRIDGE = THE
(PROPER NOUN - NAME OF A PERSON) + BRIDGE = NO ARTICLE
NAME OF A PERSON + BRIDGE = THE

Is any of those two correct? All English names of bridges I've seen so far had the definite article except for Tower Bridge. Some examples:

0 Tower Bridge, The Severn Bridge, The Clifton Suspension Bridge, The Golden Gate Bridge, The Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Well, Tower, Severn, Clifton and Sydney Harbour are all proper names. Not sure about Golden Gate. It seems that rule a) is more likely to be correct. Rule b) starts and ends with Tower Bridge Emotion: wink

---------------------

2) What about the names of lakes? Again, I've seen two rules:

a) (NAT) Never use "the" with the names of single lakes.

b) (NON-NAT) LAKE + NAME, LOCH + NAME = NO ARTICLE, OTHERWISE = THE.

Well, we have Lake Baikal, Loch Ness, Lake Superior etc. But what about Baikal without the word "lake"? Is that correct? Something tells me rule a) is more likely to be correct.

(Note: don't forget The Great Lakes :-) ).

---------------------

3) What about the names of waterfalls? Surprise: I've seen only one rule (NON-NAT): Never use the definite article with the names of waterfalls.

Well, I've seen The Horsheshoe Falls and The American Falls in an article about (no article here) Niagara Falls.

Thank you in advance for your patience!

Another posts about articles will follow :-).
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Hi,

I've just answered your Part II thread. It seems similar in many ways. Let's stick with that one for a while, OK?

Best wishes, Clive
To make it simple, I've just condensed the above post into two easy questions:

1) Can anyone think of a bridge other than Tower Bridge that doesn't take the definite article?

2) Do the names of single lakes that don't have the words lake or loch in them take the definite article? I don't think so. Example: Baikal.

I thank you in advance and look forward to reading your comments.
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Hi,

1) Can anyone think of a bridge other than Tower Bridge that doesn't take the definite article?

Westminster Bridge. London Bridge.

2) Do the names of single lakes that don't have the words lake or loch in them take the definite article? I don't think so. Example: Baikal.

I don't know what you mean by don't have the words lake or loch in them. I've always seen it written as 'Lake Baikal'.

Offhand, I can't think of any lakes where you would use 'the' in the name.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi,

Westminster Bridge. London Bridge. You got me. Emotion: wink

Offhand, I can't think of any lakes where you would use 'the' in the name. Neither can I.

Could you please try to solve this little argument:

http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/Verbal/cqndb/Post.htm

P.S. I meant the names of lakes without the words "lake" or "loch"
Except "The Great Salt Lake" in Utah.
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That's a good one, GG.

Let's label it idiomatic Emotion: smile.

Or... maybe.... it's because the word lake isn't the first word in the name. Compare with Lake Superior, Lake Baikal, Loch Ness.
I was trying to think why some are X Lake and some are Lake X. It seems that Lake X is far more common - but I'm not sure of that.

In Maine, we had Moosehead Lake, but Lake Segago. And I have no idea why. Anyway, neither has a "the."
Fortunatelly, these are just names of lakes. I'm sure Clive would say that one doesn't often mention lakes in an everyday conversation (unless one doesn't come from Minnesota or Finland).

P.S. Re-reading my post, I'm wondering if "unless one doesn't come from" is grammatically correct. I would say it is, but why? Looking at it from a purely logical point of view:

Step#1: unless = if not
Step#2: if not + doesn't = if one comes from... (two negatives become positive) ---> this wouldn't make sense together with the first part (doesn't often mention...)

Hmm, I must have just picked up the expression somewhere.
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