(the) Central London

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NevenaT

Senior Member
Serbian/Croatian
Hello people!

Unfortunately I don't have any sentences that could give you context, but I'll try to make them up.

1) There was a murder in the Central London.
2) There was a murder in Central London.

I would without doubt say the second one is correct, but is there any context in which you'd use 'the' in front of it?
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The question is: Would you write "There was a murder in the London"? Not under any circumstances I can think of, assuming we are referring to the city and not to a hotel, theater, etc., of the same name. Adding an adjective to make the location "Central London" doesn't change that.

    Hugh Anchor delivers jellied eels to pubs in the Central London districts of Islington and Lambeth.
    This isn't the same thing. The main noun here is "districts." They are further defined as Central London districts, but the construct "the districts" is not unusual and adding a modifier to them doesn't change that, either.
     

    NevenaT

    Senior Member
    Serbian/Croatian
    Yeh I guessed, but a friend was writing an essay, gave it to me to check it and said in her English workbook it said 'the central London', I didn't know why but assumed it could be a part of a larger phrase and thus used attributively. I'll have to ask her to look at that workbook again. So the answer is definitely 'no' when used on its own.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, there are contexts in which 'the central London' would be used.

    I just answered a post in which I did not capitalise 'central'. I'm not sure what is correct in this respect. There is 'Outer London' and 'Inner London', or is it 'Central London'?

    1)There was a murder in the Central London. :cross:
    2) There was a murder in central London. :tick:
    '
    I live in an outer London borough.
    I live in the outer London borough of Sutton.
     

    NevenaT

    Senior Member
    Serbian/Croatian
    All right, but could you say 'The murder happened in the central London', I'd still presume no article should be used as it is a proper noun central is modifying?
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    ... I live in the outer London borough of Sutton.
    But here, again, the main noun is "borough," not "London." Saying "the borough" is not at all unusual. "London" serves simply to describe what kind of borough the speaker lives in. The fact that the normal word order creates the colocation "the London" doesn't change the principles involved. If adjectives followed the nouns they modify in English, as they do in many other languages, this example wouldn't exist.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    All right, but could you say 'The murder happened in the central London', I'd still presume no article should be used as it is a proper noun central is modifying?
    Not with 'the', no. 'In central London' is what I'd write.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    All right, but could you say 'The murder happened in the central London', I'd still presume no article should be used as it is a proper noun central is modifying?
    Central London is the normal description of the centre of London, which is surrounded by the capital’s suburbs and outskirts. Under no circumstances can it be called “the Central London”.

    But obviously, when it’s used attributively (i.e. when it acts like an adjective) – as in “one of the Central London boroughs” – it will usually have an article before it and the related noun after it.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The grammar principle is this: find the main noun. Maybe it's "London," maybe it's "district," maybe it's "borough," maybe it's something else. Remove all the adjectives, or other words that act as adjectives, that describe it. Then decide if that noun should have "the." The adjectives do not affect that decision.

    For example:

    This is an expensive house. (It costs more than most other houses.)
    This is the expensive house. (Of the three houses we talked about, this is the one I said costs the most.)
    This is expensive software. (It costs more than most other software.)

    These three sentences have an indefinite article, a definite article, and no article at all. Ignore the adjective "expensive" in deciding which of those choices is correct.
     
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