Earth or the Earth / earth or Earth

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Oros

Senior Member
Korean
<<Several threads on the same topic have been merged here.>>



Bangladesh has been ranked as the most corrupt country on earth in the latest list of corrupt nations published by Transparency International.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4353334.stm
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I just wonder why did the learned journalist drops the article before the word 'earth'. Is it wrong to say on the earth in this context?
 
  • pieanne

    Senior Member
    Belgium/French
    "On the earth" is "in (our) world". "On the earth" would be used when you oppose the (planet) earth to other planets, or make a distinction between them.
     

    Oros

    Senior Member
    Korean
    1. Mr Gates is the richest man on the earth.

    2. Mr Gates is the richest man on earth.

    Which is the correct sentence?

    In the article, you will read the following. I can't fathom the meaning of the word perception in this context. What does it mean? Perception has the meaning of your belief. You can't perceive corruption, can you?


    This is the fifth year in a row that Bangladesh has topped the corruption perception index.
     
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    pieanne

    Senior Member
    Belgium/French
    I'd say n° 2. N°1 might suggest there are richer people living on Mars.

    Well, you can "become aware" of it. Corruption is underground, so you can't be aware of all the perception that is going on.
     
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    Markus

    Senior Member
    Canada - English
    "on Earth" is definitely the correct usage. It is an expression that means "in the whole world". "on the earth" is not an expression so thus it takes a literal meaning, that is, on the ground as opposed to in the air or underwater (or on Mars). Note that I capitalized Earth because we are talking about the planet, not the dirt. I think it was a mistake of the author not to capitalize it.

    For your second question, people can indeed "perceive" corruption. When people believe their country is corrupt, this will spread by word of mouth until everyone believes it whether or not they have had personal first-hand experience with corruption. Perhaps they have a friend who told them a story about someone who had to bribe a police officer to get out of a ticket. This is perceived corruption. It may or may not actually exist (but it probably does).

    pieanne said:
    I'd say n° 2. N°1 might suggest there are richer people living on Mars.
    That's not really correct. "The richest man on Earth" might also suggest that there are richer people living on Mars. But since there aren't other people living on Mars yet, it is equivalent to "The richest man in the universe". When we have people living on other planets we will need to revise this expression.
     
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    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Oros said:
    In the article, you will read the following. I can't fathom the meaning of the word perception in this context. What does it mean? Perception has the meaning of your belief. You can't perceive corruption, can you?

    This is the fifth year in a row that Bangladesh has topped the corruption perception index.
    Oros: This question should really have been asked in a separate thread. But I am hoping that the on earth v on the earth question has been answered, so I'll pick up on this one.

    The purpose of the Transparency International index, as I understand it, is to present information about how the different countries are perceived - how they are seen from the outside.

    So it is not the corruption that is perceived or measured in the index, it is the extent to which the country is perceived to be corrupt that is measured.
     

    Oros

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I thank everybody for the reples.

    Now it is clear about the perception of corruption. It take place under the table. When it surfaces, you perceive it.

    It should be the richest man in the world.

    The words 'on the Earth' tantamount, on the ground, in the air, etc.

    Should it be same with the other planets?

    There are no human beings living on Sun.

    There are no human beings living on the Sun. This is wrong.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Some other idea crossed my mind too. We skip the article when it comes to proper nouns. We don't say the Germany is a wealthy nation. It is Germany is a wealthy nation.

    The God helped me. This is not correct.

    God helped me. This is correct.

    By the same token, it shoud always be Earth not the Earth.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I am really sorry to disappoint you.
    It isn't as easy as that:(

    It should be the richest man in the world.:tick:
    ... or the richest man on earth.

    There are no human beings living on Sun.:cross:

    There are no human beings living on the Sun.:tick: This is wrong.

    Some other idea crossed my mind too. We skip the article when it comes to proper nouns. Often, but not always.

    We don't say the Germany is a wealthy nation. It is Germany is a wealthy nation.:tick:

    God helped me. This is correct.:tick:

    You may find THIS POST with links about articles useful.
     

    Oros

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thanks Panjandrum

    I am really sorry to disappoint you.
    It isn't as easy as that:(


    Yes, of course this is a tall order for me.
     

    lapachis8

    Senior Member
    Mexico-Spanish
    Hi,
    In the phrase:

    "Four billion years ago, Mars and Earth...?" or....
    "Four billion years ago, Mars and the Earth...?"

    which one is correct?
    cheers
     

    lapachis8

    Senior Member
    Mexico-Spanish
    Random1 said:
    I would say "Earth," as it is a proper noun and doe not require an article. Notice on Mars you did not say "the" on either sentence?
    Random,
    I did a google search before posting this message and came across this sort of sentences:
    Friends of the Earth is the US voice of an influential, international network of grassroots groups in 70 countries.

    Contains an online archive of images of the Earth from the late Precambrian era over 60 million years...

    The Earth Council was created in 1992 as a direct result of the Earth Summit.
    As a non-native speaker of English, I was in doubt about the article, in spite of being a proper known as you say. It would be really helpful if you justify your answer with a reliable reference, but thanks anyway.
    cheers
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    Generally, I would say yes, but there are expressions like 'What on Earth are you doing?' which do not take the article. Scientifically I am sure the article would always be used.
     

    nytas

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Porteno, thanks for your explanation. But I read on a textbook the following sentence "People inerested in finding out different facts about Earth and its people may study different branches of geography." So I guess the sentence is wrong, am i right?
     

    mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    To me the sentence seems perfectly normal. I teach science, and when we talk about Earth as a planet, there isn't necessisarily the preceding the word.
    Venus is about the same size as Earth.
    Earth's geography is fascinating!
    When the astronauts were on the Moon, Earth appeared as a large orb setting before their eyes!
     

    nytas

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Hi mjscott, as far as I know, we usually have "the" before moon, sun? Do you suggest that you don't have "the" before planets like Venus, Earth and so on?
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    One certainly would not use the article before the names of the other planets, nytas, only in the case of the sun, the moon and the Earth. However, as mjscott points out, apparently some people do not insist on the use of the article, so perhaps it's alright. Your text book might have been written by someone who follows that trend, and therefore could be considered acceptable.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I believe that Earth (without "the") is fairly common in the case where you are treating it as a proper name for the planet.

    "Earth is 90,000,000 miles from the sun", for example.

    It's also used poetically in this way:

    "Earth and all stars, loud-rushing planets,
    Sing to the Lord a new song!"

    "... on earth as it is in heaven..."

    To me, "Earth" without the article is used where you could use a first name, like Terra. If the sentence doesn't work well with a proper name in it, adding "the" is probably a good idea.
     

    Fospia

    Senior Member
    English (United States) and Spanish (Cub
    When do you capitalize the name of our home planet?
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    From The Associated Press Stylebook (used by nearly all American newspapers and journalism schools):

    "Generally lowercase (see thread on lowercase); capitalize when used as the proper name of the planet."
     

    Fospia

    Senior Member
    English (United States) and Spanish (Cub
    I used to believe that when followed by "the" it is lowercase; however, after reading several NASA articles I have noticed this rule is not always followed.
     

    Effected

    Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    << Moderator's note: I have merged this thread with previous threads on the topic. >>

    Hello Everyone,

    IEEE Society has just updated their Facebook Page status that says,

    #NASA has successfully transmitted data between the moon and Earth, using laser beams sent from this device. The transmission set new communication records with download rates of 622 megabits per second.
    In this status they wrote the moon but they didn't write the with Earth,
    also, first letter of moon is small.

    Is this the correct way to write ?
     
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    Effected

    Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    It didn't really answer my question as the response are too ambiguous , don't know which one to follow.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I have moved this most recent question with earlier discussion.

    As Effected points out, the previous discussion contains conflicting views.
    Please read the earlier discussion before adding your contribution.

    Cagey, moderator.
     
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    EStjarn

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Is this the correct way to write ?
    I don't know that it's incorrect to write that way, but it sure is inconsistent. I notice Wikipedia capitalizes 'the Moon'.

    In your sentence, I would prefer "the Moon and Earth" to "the Moon and the Earth." I find the former more to the point.
     
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    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    From The Associated Press Stylebook (used by nearly all American newspapers and journalism schools):

    "Generally lowercase (see thread on lowercase); capitalize when used as the proper name of the planet."
    I think it is hard to define whether it is general or not. For instance: He is the richest person on Earth. It can be interpreted in different ways. One could be labeled so called general usage. In the other case we could also emphasize he is the richest on Earth, not on the moon or etc. I am confused here.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary says it is often capitalized.

    It would not be required to be capitalized, however.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    Sreekanthyskn, as you can tell from this thread alone, we've had a number of discussions on this topic, so I've merged your question with one of the existing threads. I hope this thread, or Packard's reply, answers your question, but if not, you're welcome to ask them in this thread.

    JustKate
    English Only moderator
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I wouldn't capitalize it in a sentence like: "I wouldn't marry you if you were the last man on earth." To me that's a conceptual use, meaning "the world". I would capitalize it in a sentence where it was referring to the physical planet: "It takes several minutes for a radio signal to travel from Earth to Mars."
     
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