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I have read rules on using articles... They say we should not put an article before names of lakes like Lake Erie, Lake Kissimmee, Lake Rabun.
But we do use the with groups of lakes like the Great Lakes
But I have read two examples that I can not understand, why is THE used:

  • Go jump in the lake.
  • The lake was frozen.
  • We swam in the lake.
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Do not use the before the names of lakes (Lake Erie, Lake Kissimmee, Lake Rabun) The word "lake" is just a simple noun so you need to plate an article before it, it's not a name.

  • Let's go to Lake Michigan. (no article)
  • I don't won't to go to the lake, I want to go to the river.
  • Okay, let's go to the Illinois River.
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  • Since you used a river in your example phrases, it might be nice to add an explanation in your answer as to why a definite article is used with some geographic bodies and not others. I know your link does explain that, but the answer is a little bit confusing as-is, because the examples don't directly relate to the answer. – RaceYouAnytime Apr 18 '17 at 23:39

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