Learn English – Need for using the article “the” before “United States of America”?


Usually, we do not use the definite article, the, before names of countries but we use the before "United States of America".

Is there a specific reason for using the article before the country "United States of America"?

Best Answer

The is used in front of countries that have:

  • plural names:
    the Netherlands

  • a general geo-political noun of place, e.g. republic, emirate, kingdom, state:
    the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom.

On a related note, see this post on the capitalization of articles in names:

You only capitalize The when it is the first word in a title of book or a play. . . . In contrast, the word the is not normally capitalized in front of proper nouns that aren’t titles, like . . . the United States of America. . . .

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