Westminster Abbey

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  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English

    No, I'm afraid it can't. Any place of worship is always referred to in full, e.g. St. Pauls Cathedral, York Minster, St. John's Church.

    Whereas the answer is correct with respect to Westminster Abbey, the "always" generalization is not.

    I frequently heard simply "St. Paul's" referring to the cathedral, not to mention that it is occasionally referred to simply as St. Paul's (with the apostrophe, by the way) on that cathedral's own web site.

    And, when was the last time you heard Paris' famous cathedral on the Seine referred by its formal name, Notre-Dame de Paris? (Our Lady of Paris)

    I'll end what could be a rather long list by pointing out that most English writers are happy with "St. Peter's" in Rome, rather than writing out "St. Peter's Basilica."
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    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    And you could't clip the name even in a context where it's clear you're referring to a church ('the wedding will be at Westminster') because there's a Westminster Cathedral (which is Catholic) in addition to Westminster Abbey (which is Anglican). In any case, clipping is more likely to occur if the church is named after a saint. It's perfectly normal for people to say, 'I attend St Thomas's because the preaching is more vibrant there than at St George's.'
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