I see that an article "the" is needed to describe the headquarters of the US Department of Defence: The Pentagon.

From my grammar book to show the usage of articles, I found that "the" is not necessary with companies, e.g., Microsoft, nor with major landmarks, e.g., "Central Park". However, "the" is necessary with building names, "the Hilton".

So, "the Pentagon" uses an article "the" to symbolize the building? In general, is there any good logic behind the usage of "the" with proper nouns?


1 Answer 1


Even though they are unique, some landmarks use the definite article, and some do not. As far as I know, there is no pattern to this and, for the most part, you have to memorize each separately:


The White House

The Statue of Liberty

Kensington Gardens

Buckingham Palace

The Tower of London

And so on.

  • 3
    I think a common, but not hard in fast rule is that the "The" tends to imply when there is a non-unique word in the name. There are many statues, many white houses, and many towers, but only one Statue of Liberty, only one White House, and only one Tower of London. However proper names like "Buckingham" and "Kensignton" don't require the "the"
    – mstorkson
    Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 22:03

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