Definite/indefinite article or nothing in front of a well-known chain store

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meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi, when you refer to a well-known chain store, is it necessary to add the indefinite (or definite) article before the name of the store/shop? Please see the following example which uses a famous UK supermarket whose milk expired before the expiry date when I was in England many years ago.

My other half gave me a bell when I was shopping at (a) Tesco.

I think "a Tesco" here means "one of the Tesco stores". Is "the Tesco" more natural because it's a well-know chain (even when the person the speaker is talking to doesn't know at which Tesco store the speaker was at that time)? Or do you usually omit the article?
 
  • truffe2miel

    Senior Member
    91
    French (France)
    Hi,
    I'd feel more comfortable with nothing before Tesco "I was shopping at Tesco".
    Maybe you'd add a definite article if you'd want to express some issue specifically linked to one shop in particular ("my friend works in this Tesco").
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    You omit it altogether in that sentence.

    Note: We ususally add an S on the end of these shope names in a sentence like this: Tescos / Sainsburys. No idea why. Maybe as though it was Mr Tesco's shop.

    We don't do it with Asda!

    However:

    We'll find a Tescos while we're out.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you both very much for the replies.

    We ususally add an S on the end of these shope names in a sentence like this: Tescos
    Really? That's interesting, and really good to know. But isn't "Sainsbury's" their official store name? I used to shop there often, and their website says "Sainsbury's".

    (I didn't know that Tesco was a person's name.)
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Oh yes, I got muddled about Sainsbury's - the issue there is whether or not they use an apostrophe!

    Tesco is so called officially, but the "s" is often added in conversation. I don't think it is a person's name. I got this from Wikipedia, but I doubt this blend of names is common-knowledge:
    Tesco was founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen as a group of market stalls. The Tesco name first appeared in 1924, after Cohen purchased a shipment of tea from T. E. Stockwell and combined those initials with the first two letters of his surname
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Tesco is so called officially, but the "s" is often added in conversation.
    Thanks Suzi. It's interesting people there add "s" to Tesco etc. (but not Asda etc.). I'm sure chains like Budgens, Waitrose, etc. don't need the additional "s". :)

    I wonder if it's the same in the U.S., Canada, etc...
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Thanks Suzi. It's interesting people there add "s" to Tesco etc. (but not Asda etc.). I'm sure chains like Budgens, Waitrose, etc. don't need the additional "s". :)

    I wonder if it's the same in the U.S., Canada, etc...
    Yes. It would be harder to add the sound to words which already include a "z" .. I have no idea about the US!
     
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