In the process of preparing for IELTS, I was practicing Writing Task 1.
In the task it is said:

Below is a map of the city of Brandfield. ...

Commonly, the first sentence of an essay should rephrase the task, so I came up with:

The map presents a sketchy scheme of

and here I stopped in doubts because I wanted to rephrase the city or Brandfield as the Brandfield city, but I didn't know if it's correct or not.

Research conducted before asking:
In British National Corpus of SkELL, there is only 1 entry of the city of Moscow, but more than 25 of the Moscow city. 2 of the city of Tokyo , but 0 of the Tokyo city.

After this research, there is a small probability that not any city can be rephrased in this fashion. This is why I'm asking you.

Is this allowed to rephrase any the city of %Name% to the %Name% city?
Or at least the city of Brandfield in particular?

  • 3
    The answer to your second question is "no". Call the city what the city calls itself. Municipalities have names which are decided upon by legislative bodies. If the town presents itself as "Brandfield City", it should be referred to by that name. There may also be, somewhere, a "City of Brandfield", so some precision is called for. However, it is customary to refer to large and well known polities as "the city of Los Angeles" or "the city of Rotterdam". However, we almost never use a locution like "the Los Angeles city", so the answer to your first question is also "no". – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Nov 21 '16 at 8:35
  • 1
    I don't think it's grammatically incorrect either way, but people tend to avoid saying "xx city" unless city is part of the name like New York City or Sun City to avoid confusion. You will typically hear "city of Brandfield" or just "Brandfield". You could also say something like, "The following map presents Brandfield, a quaint town in xxx" – iMerchant Nov 21 '16 at 8:39
  • @iMerchant If the name on the charter is City of Brandfield, it should be called that. Otherwise, in applying the concept elsewhere, he may come up with "the City of New York city. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Nov 21 '16 at 8:43
  • "sketchy scheme" is an unusual periphrasis for "map". Isn't the test looking for something like "A map of the city of Brandfield is shown below" or "The city of Brandfield is shown on the map below"? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 21 '16 at 10:07
  • @TRomano, It is likely that you are right. I've made a question regarding this part. – Ramid Nov 21 '16 at 10:18

Yes, it is allowed to replace "city of X" with "X city", but it will often sound a little odd. And it's not allowed to replace it with "X City" since capitalising "city" creates the impression that "X City" is its official name, which it probably isn't as otherwise "city of X" would be "city of X City".

Usually one would simply say "X" unless there were some reason to emphasise that X is legally a city rather than a town, borough, township, village, or some other form of organisation.

Most people don't know, or have any reason to know, whether a given municipality is a city or town. They use "city" if it's big, "town" if it's middling, and perhaps "village" if it's tiny.

"Sketchy scheme" sounds quite odd, since "sketchy" implies incompleteness, casual inaccuracy, or even (these days) unrelability. Is that what you want to convey?


The full and complete name for Los Angeles (which was originally named in Spanish) is:

"The city of our Lady, Queen of the Angeles"

(La ciudad de nuestra dama La Reina de Los Angeles)

In Spanish, "the Angels" is "Los Angeles" thus comes the common shortened version:

"The city of Los Angeles." (AKA The City of the Angels)

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