khe12 (khe12) wrote in linguaphiles,
khe12
khe12
linguaphiles

Definite article before proper nouns in English

There are several country names in English which are used with the definite article. I'd like to know the reason of this rule. I can understand why the definite article is used with "the Netherlands" and "the Hague", but I have no idea why it is (was?) necessary with "the Ukraine" and "the Sudan". Does anybody know the origin of this rule?
PS: I'm Russian myself and I know the etymology of the word "Ukraine" in Russian. Yes, if there were articles in the Russian language, this name would be used with the definite article. But why is (was?) it used in English in such a way? 
Thank you for your answers, and excuse me for my poor English. 
Subscribe

  • I guess basic is too basic.

    You have to love how slang evolves. In my day, insulting someone was dissing someone from the word disrespect. Now it is throwing shade, especially…

  • The Australian Vernacular... Mate

    Here's an article about Australian slang words, tacked onto a story about an ex-pat USA citizen grappling with what looks & sounds to be the base…

  • translations of the Bhagavad Gita

    An old friend was talking with C and me lately, and she expressed an interest in learning more about the ideas behind yoga, and particularly about…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 8 comments