Definite article "the" with places/buildings

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ppl11

New Member
Polish
Could you tell if this is correct? Why sometimes the names of schools, museums and churches have the definite article while the others have not?

Kazimierz Wielki Primary School in Przedbórz

John Paul II Junior High School in Przedbórz

Folk Land Museum in Przedbórz

Church of Saint Alex in Przedbórz
Should I use "the" before the names? There is no "official name" in these cases (I mean whether is with "the" or not). What would you use?
I know that with "of" phrases the article "the" is used but I also found a confusing case:
In wikipedia there is the name:
the Johns Hopkins University
but on their website there is:
Johns Hopkins University
Could you explain this?
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Speaking very generally, we use the article before schools, museums, churches, etc., but not before most universities. Exceptions are often made for state and city colleges and universities: the State University of New York, etc.
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    We also say, for example, "The X Museum in (city)" to distinguish it from "The X Museum in (another city)". For instance, if we don't use initials (MOMA or MoMA) we'd say "The Museum of Modern Art in New York City", or "New York's/New York City's Museum of Modern Art".
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    You must
    (i) make a distinction between a name and a name used adjectivally.
    (ii) understand that, in basic terms, the is a determiner (a demonstrative adjective), similar and related to "that", and is used to specify a noun or acknowledge that it has been mentioned before, or that the noun is common knowledge.

    "Where did you go to school?"
    "Kazimierz Wielki Primary School in Przedbórz" -> a name/title similar to John
    "Is Kazimierz Wielki Primary School famous?" -> a name similar to John
    "Not as famous as ........the ...........................Kazimierz Wielki Primary..... School in Warsaw," -> Specifying.
    "Not as famous as ........that .........................Kazimierz Wielki Primary...... School in Warsaw," -> Specifying.
    ..........................demonstrative adjective...... name/title used adejctivally....noun.

    So Kazimierz Wielki Primary School can (i) be a name, or (ii) can mean a/the/this/my school that is described by a name - Kazimierz Wielki Primary School.

    Now note that all singular countable nouns (e.g. school in this case) need to be qualified by a determiner (a/the/this/my, etc.), but names do not.

    John is tall -> no the
    Kazimierz Wielki Primary School is tall -> no the
    The school is tall -> the qualifies school.
    The Kazimierz Wielki Primary school is tall -> the qualifies school.
     

    ppl11

    New Member
    Polish
    I don't understand these two examples:

    John is tall -> no the
    Kazimierz Wielki Primary School is tall -> no the
    The school is tall -> the qualifies school.
    The Kazimierz Wielki Primary school is tall -> the qualifies school.

    Why is no the in Kazimierz Wielki Primary School is tall? The meaning is the same, I think.

    Why is sometimes "the" sometimes not?
    Królewska Katedra na Wawelu p.w. św. Stanisława BM i św. Wacława - History
    John Paul II Cathedral Museum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    especially, in titles, in the main body of the text? Why is it so confusing?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Why is no the in Kazimierz Wielki Primary School is tall? The meaning is the same, I think.
    The meaning is the same but the function of the words is not the same.

    "Is Kazimierz Wielki Primary School famous?" -> a name similar to John - no the
    "Is .........John .............................famous?" -> -> a name similar to Kazimierz Wielki Primary School - no the

    "Not as famous as ........the ...........................Kazimierz Wielki Primary..... School in Warsaw," -> Specifying.
    "Not as famous as ........that .........................Kazimierz Wielki Primary...... School in Warsaw," -> Specifying.
    ..........................demonstrative adjective...... name/title used adejctivally....noun.

    Why is it so confusing?
    Because Polish does not have a definite article and English does. Don't worry, eventually you will know when (and when not) to use the and a/an.
     

    ppl11

    New Member
    Polish
    If I have to write a text about my school, would it be correct to put it this way?
    Kazimierz Wielki Primary School lies in Łódź Voivodeship, in a beautiful town of Przedbórz.
    or
    The Kazimierz Wielki Primary School lies in Łódź Voivodeship, in a beautiful town of Przedbórz.
     

    ppl11

    New Member
    Polish
    BTW I know when to use the and a/an. I have problems with no articles or the with buildings.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If I have to write a text about my school, would it be correct to put it this way?
    Kazimierz Wielki Primary School lies in Łódź Voivodeship, in a beautiful town of Przedbórz.
    or
    The Kazimierz Wielki Primary School lies in Łódź Voivodeship, in a beautiful town of Przedbórz.
    In the US both forms are used. The public schools that I went to did not use the articles. Many private schools do use the articles: the Dalton School, for example. For a school in Poland, that is, one that does not have an official English-language name, I would use the article.
     
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