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I've never seen any rules regarding the usage of the definite article with the names of cemeteries, memorials and gates.

Could some native speaker please read my assumptions below and decide whether they're correct?

Before I start, I would like to quickly review the "categories" that are frequently used when describing the usage of articles with proper nouns:

I. Never use "the" with the name of <structure, building...>
II. Always use "the" with the name of <structure, building...>
III. PROPER NOUN + <structure, building...> = no article, COMMON NOUN + <structure, building...> = THE (The White House X 0 Buckingham Palace)
IV. No obvious rules at all Emotion: wink

1) From what I've read and heard, I've come to the conclusion that the definite article is always used with the names of memorials. I.e. the names of memorials fall into category II. Some examples:

The Menin Gate Memorial
The Vimy Ridge Memorial
The Saint Julien Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial


In Europe, there are many war memorials called e.g. "The Canadian Memorial", "The Australian Memorial" etc.

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2) I'm not sure about cemeteries. I've seen the names of many famous cemeteries without the article, e.g.:

Arlington National Cemetery
Tyne Cot Cemetery
Pere-Lachaise Cemetery
Calverton National Cemetery


On the other hand, I've seen some names of cemeteries in non-English speaking countries that contained the definite article even though the names of the cemeteries followed the "PROPER NOUN + Cemetery" pattern.

And what about "The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial"? What if I remove the "and Memorial" part? Will I have to remove the article as well? I'd say so.

What if someone decides to start their own cemetery and calls it, say, "White Cemetery"? Will it have the article?

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3) I used to think the names of gates (and triumphal arches) always take the definite article. Examples:

The Menin Gate
The Ishtar Gate


However, today I've come across India Gate (without the article). I see absolutely no system here because Menin, Ishtar and India are all proper nouns.

That's all. More on articles in another post Emotion: wink.

As always, thank you very much for your patience.
Comments  
Hi,

I've never seen any rules regarding the usage of the definite article with the names of cemeteries, memorials and gates. I don't think rules get quite so specific, do they?

Could some native speaker please read my assumptions below and decide whether they're correct?

Before I start, I would like to quickly review the "categories" that are frequently used when describing the usage of articles with proper nouns: Like most native speakers, I can use articles well, but I would have trouble defining clear rules for their use. However, let me try to comment on the following.


I. Never use "the" with the name of <structure, building...>
II. Always use "the" with the name of <structure, building...>
Perhaps I am overlooking something here, but I and II seem to directly contradict each other. Or maybe that is the point that you are making?
III. PROPER NOUN + <structure, building...> = no article, COMMON NOUN + <structure, building...> = THE (The White House X 0 Buckingham Palace) I'm not sure that III is correct. eg The Chrysler building.
IV. No obvious rules at all I'd prefer to say that there are general guidelines that can be helpful to learners, but there are no absolute rules that must apply rigidly. The use of articles with names is often idiomatic.

1) From what I've read and heard, I've come to the conclusion that the definite article is always used with the names of memorials. I.e. the names of memorials fall into category II. Some examples:

The Menin Gate Memorial
The Vimy Ridge Memorial
The Saint Julien Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial


In Europe, there are many war memorials called e.g. "The Canadian Memorial", "The Australian Memorial" etc.


These all sound fine. I'd explain it by saying that there are many memorials, and thus the definite article is used in order to specify a particular one.

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

2) I'm not sure about cemeteries. I've seen the names of many famous cemeteries without the article, e.g.:

Arlington National Cemetery
Tyne Cot Cemetery
Pere-Lachaise Cemetery
Calverton National Cemetery


The above sound fine. I don't have a good explanation. I think to some extent a related factor is how you are using the name. For example, it would be OK to put up a big sign that says Pere-Lachaise Cemetery. On the other hand, both of these sound reasonable:

Yesterday, I visited Pere-Lachaise Cemetery.

Yesterday, I visited the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery.


On the other hand, I've seen some names of cemeteries in non-English speaking countries that contained the definite article even though the names of the cemeteries followed the "PROPER NOUN + Cemetery" pattern.

And what about "The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial"? What if I remove the "and Memorial" part? Will I have to remove the article as well? I'd say so.

What if someone decides to start their own cemetery and calls it, say, "White Cemetery"? Will it have the article?


My last comment above seems to aply to the queries just above, too.

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

3) I used to think the names of gates (and triumphal arches) always take the definite article. Examples:

The Menin Gate
The Ishtar Gate


However, today I've come across India Gate (without the article). I see absolutely no system here because Menin, Ishtar and India are all proper nouns. As I said at the start, it can be very idiomatic.


I can see that you are really trying hard to get an understanding of this. I wish I could offer you better help. Let me finish by saying that if you make a mistake with an article in talking about one of these places, it will be a mistake of very little importance and your listener will still understand your meaning very clearly.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi Clive,

thanks for the answer. Here are my remarks:

I've never seen any rules regarding the usage of the definite article with the names of cemeteries, memorials and gates. I don't think rules get quite so specific, do they?
Yes, you're right. Luckily, there are forums like this one where non-natives can ask the natives.



Before I start, I would like to quickly review the "categories" that are frequently used when describing the usage of articles with proper nouns: Like most native speakers, I can use articles well, but I would have trouble defining clear rules for their use. However, let me try to comment on the following.

That's the tricky thing. Native speakers say things like "Where's my glasses?" or "My brother and me", some of them even mix up things like "who's" and "whose" or "lie" and "lay", yet they are masters of article usage (the only famous mistake I can think of is Armstrong's famous statement made after he stepped on the surface of the Moon) Emotion: wink.


I. Never use "the" with the name of <structure, building...>
II. Always use "the" with the name of <structure, building...>
Perhaps I am overlooking something here, but I and II seem to directly contradict each other. Or maybe that is the point that you are making? I'm afraid you are Emotion: wink. These are just 4 independent categories. E.g. I've been taught thatthe names of streets usually fall into category I, the names of single mountains usually fall into category II, the names of castles, palaces, cathedrals, airports etc. usually fall into category III, the names of newspapers and magazines fall into category IV etc. Emphasis on the word usually (E.g. I think that Germany's highest mountain takes the article - the Zugspitze)


III. PROPER NOUN + <structure, building...> = no article, COMMON NOUN + <structure, building...> = THE (The White House X 0 Buckingham Palace) I'm not sure that III is correct. eg The Chrysler building. Well, this category is sometimes modified like this: If the proper noun is a name of a person, use the article. And Chrysler was a surname, wasn't it?
IV. No obvious rules at all I'd prefer to say that there are general guidelines that can be helpful to learners, but there are no absolute rules that must apply rigidly. The use of articles with names is often idiomatic.
This last category was meant as a kind of joke to emphasise the fact that usage of articles with names of such places is often idiomatic (as you pointed out in your post).

1) From what I've read and heard, I've come to the conclusion that the definite article is always used with the names of memorials. I.e. the names of memorials fall into category II. Some examples:

The Menin Gate Memorial
The Vimy Ridge Memorial
The Saint Julien Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial


In Europe, there are many war memorials called e.g. "The Canadian Memorial", "The Australian Memorial" etc.


These all sound fine. I'd explain it by saying that there are many memorials, and thus the definite article is used in order to specify a particular one.

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

2) I'm not sure about cemeteries. I've seen the names of many famous cemeteries without the article, e.g.:

Arlington National Cemetery
Tyne Cot Cemetery
Pere-Lachaise Cemetery
Calverton National Cemetery


The above sound fine. I don't have a good explanation. I think to some extent a related factor is how you are using the name. For example, it would be OK to put up a big sign that says Pere-Lachaise Cemetery. On the other hand, both of these sound reasonable:

Yesterday, I visited Pere-Lachaise Cemetery.

Yesterday, I visited the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery.
I've just done an internet search and found both. The reason may be that the French name of this cemetery is Cimetière du Père-Lachaise - if I wanted to use the French name in an English text, I would use the article.


Thanks for your patience. Check out my post about bridges and lakes for something less idiomatic Emotion: wink
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Hi again,

I didn't know that Armstrong made a mistake. What did he say that was wrong?


I. Never use "the" with the name of <structure, building...>
II. Always use "the" with the name of <structure, building...>
Perhaps I am overlooking something here, but I and II seem to directly contradict each other. Or maybe that is the point that you are making? I'm afraid you are . These are just 4 independent categories. E.g. I've been taught that the names of streets usually fall into category I,<<< I don't understand how it can deal with streets if it talks about structures/buildings. I guest there is more to these categories than you mentioned in your post.

I can't imagine an everyday conversation in which you need to mention the names of a lot of cemeteries, memorials and gates.

Best wishes again, Clive




I don't understand how it can deal with streets if it talks about structures/buildings. I guest there is more to these categories than you mentioned in your post.
Oops, my mistake. Sorry for that. It can be structures, buildings, places, streets, vehicles, vessels... Anything that can have a name.

I didn't know that Armstrong made a mistake. What did he say that was wrong?
One of my colleagues, a Brit, came up with this. I told him I thought that natives didn't make mistakes in articles. He told me that Armstrong actually said "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" and that there was an article mistake.

I've just checked it on the Internet for you. So, find the mistake and then check out this link:
http://www.snopes.com/quotes/onesmall.asp

I can't imagine an everyday conversation in which you need to mention the names of a lot of cemeteries, memorials and gates.

Yes (well, unless one doesn't work for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission) Emotion: wink.
Hi,

I didn't know that Armstrong made a mistake. What did he say that was wrong?
One of my colleagues, a Brit, came up with this. I told him I thought that natives didn't make mistakes in articles. He told me that Armstrong actually said "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" and that there was an article mistake.


I read it. Thanks very much for bringing this up. I'll have to think about it a bit.

Clive
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??? i hate redind!!!!!!!!!!!! who cares about germany well i do LOL!!!!!!!
Hi,

Can anyone tell me how is that what Mr. Armstrong said contains an article mistake?