Feb 7th, 2011, 04:43 am
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Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
| | Re: Definate articles with proper nouns
Yes, more or less. In English, "the" is not used to qualify a name - here Toronto, but also eg Susan and Microsoft (both of which could be preceded by a definite article in some other languages - for example Italian).
In your second example, Toronto is only acting as an adjective - the article is qualifying area. not Toronto. Compare eg
A : There's a lot of industry in the area.
B : I sorry, I don't follow. Which area?
A : The Toronto area
The only exceptions to this are names which are made up of adjective + noun - eg the United States, the Netherlands (nether = low), and so can be used with the article without breaking any rules, and a couple of odd ones like The Gambia - though even here there's a theory that it derives from the word "Gambura" meaning "place of the king" - which would explain the article.