according to [the?] London Health Department

better_in_time

Senior Member
Chinese, Thai
I wonder if I have to use "the" in the sentence below:

According to the graph presented by [the] London Health Department, the number of Chinese restaurants increased dramatically.

Thanks!
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Yes, you should use "the" -- the only time I can think it might not be used is in a newspaper headline where you're trying to save space: Germs cause illness according to London Health Department.
     

    MilkyBarKid

    Senior Member
    British English
    How many London Health Departments are there?
    One
    So the name is specific: the London Health Department.

    The Grand Canyon.
    The Great Dividing Range.
    The Rocky Mountains.
     

    better_in_time

    Senior Member
    Chinese, Thai
    Thanks MilkyBArkid

    This might be a bit off-topic...what about when we talk about a department in a company (e.g., Toyota Sales Department), does the same logic applies?
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    "The" would be required here and in similar circumstances (e.g. "according to the Department of Homeland Security..."). Another exception is when the name is used attributively: "according to London Health Department spokesman Jane Dougherty...".
     

    MilkyBarKid

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes.

    and note: "...does the same logic apply."

    As a statement: "It applies in this sentence/situation also."

    As a question: "Does it apply in..."
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It really depends with these whether they're proper names. There is actually no organization with the name London Health Department, but there might be a health department that covers London, so you can call that the London health department ('the' and lower case). Likewise, there is the Toyota sales department, the Tokyo stock exchange, Vienna airport, the New York fire brigade. We perhaps don't know what they're officially called, but we can talk about them using general words. These mostly require 'the' (airports don't).

    With some proper names 'the' is optional: (the) Royal Bank of Scotland, (the) Massachusetts Institute of Technology. If there was actually something called (the) London Health Department, it would probably be an optional-'the' proper name too.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello better in time
    Do you have a source for this sentence? Is it a quote or your own composition?
    My problem is that I have never heard of anything called "London Health Department", with or without 'the' in the title.


    :)

    Hermione
     

    better_in_time

    Senior Member
    Chinese, Thai
    Thanks for all replies.

    Hi Hermione. That's actually from a handout from my writing class. I am learning to describe statistical information. If you say so, I think it's just an unreal source of information. thanks.
     

    EStjarn

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    From Practical English Usage (2005) by Michael Swan:
    "The is unusual in the titles of the principal public buildings and organizations of a town, when the title begins with the town name: Oxford University. With the names of less important institutions, usage varies: (The) East Oxford Community Centre."
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    That's actually from a handout from my writing class. I am learning to describe statistical information. If you say so, I think it's just an unreal source of information. thanks.
    Thanks!

    We have a national government department called the Department of Health.
    I can't make up my mind which sounds better for this imaginery "London Health Department". I wouldn't leave out 'the' or capitalise, 'The' in the middle of a sentence though.( cf London Fire Brigade)

    "According to the London Health Centre ...

    Hermione
     
    If you say so, I think it's just an unreal source of information. thanks.
    I wouldn't call it "unreal" so much as unspecific. We do this often in English: We know that a particular institution must exist, but we don't know the exact name for it, so we call it by a descriptive name that explains what we mean.

    In such situations, I agree with Hermione that the that inexact name requires "the" (as do many proper names, of course). It should also not be capitalized, although that is a topic for a different thread.

    I think we should contact the Miami police department.

    I think we should contact the Miami-Dade County Police Department.

    We know that Miami (of all places!:)) must have a police department, but we don't know the exact name for it, so we just call it "the Miami police department."

    When we know and use the proper name of the organization, then capitalization is required, and "the" might or might not be necessary.
     
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