1

Is there any rule in English regulating when I can omit the definite article before names?

Here is the list of banks of Taiwan taken from Wikipedia (no need to read through it, just go ahead and scroll to the bottom):

Chunghwa Post

Bank of Taiwan

Land Bank of Taiwan

Taiwan Cooperative Bank

First Commercial Bank

Hua Nan Commercial Bank

Chang Hwa Bank

Citibank Taiwan

Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank

Taipei Fubon Bank

Taipei Star Bank

Cathay United Bank

Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China

Bank of Kaohsiung

Mega International Commercial Bank

O-Bank

Taiwan Business Bank

Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan

Taichung Bank

King's Town Bank

Hwatai Bank

Taiwan Shin Kong Commercial Bank

Sunny Bank

Bank of Panshin

COTA Commercial Bank

Union Bank of Taiwan

Far Eastern international Bank

Yuanta Bank

Bank SinoPac

E.SUN Commercial Bank

KGI Bank

Taishin International Bank

Jih Sun International Commercial Bank

EnTie Commercial Bank

CTBC Bank - China Trust

As it can be seen, none of these names contain definite article "the". However, if you go to the respective wiki page of each bank, you will see that almost all of those pages start with the article 'the' placed right before the bank's name. Later in the text, however, the article is sometimes omitted.

So, is there any rule in English telling me whether I should say:

Jack usually transfers his money to Chang Hwa Bank.

or

Jack usually transfers his money to the Chang Hwa Bank.

?

1
  • The articles are usually dropped from titles for sake of brevity . – Cardinal Jun 2 '19 at 22:19
3

Here you are encountering Wikipedia-specific conventions on article names and usage. See, among other places, the administrative guideline page Wikipedia:Naming conventions (companies) where it is said:

In some cases, leading articles (usually The) and suffixes (such as Company, International, Group, and so forth) are an integral part of the company name and should be included as specified by the company, especially when necessary for disambiguation (for example, The Walt Disney Company and The Coca-Cola Company). In other instances, such as with JPMorgan Chase & Co., the common usage of JPMorgan Chase is preferred.

...

Regardless of the article title, the first sentence of the article should normally begin with the full legal name of the company ...

Thus, the usage in the titles and first paragraphs of Wikipedia articles may not be a good guide to more general usage.

When "the" is part of the formal name of a bank, as it often is, it will be used in formal contexts. Even when it is not, a definite article may be used for emphasis, or for a more formal style. But in informal contexts, and particularly in news articles and headlines where brevity is of value, any article is often dropped.

2
  • Thank you! "But in informal contexts, and particularly in news articles and headlines where brevity is of value, any article is often dropped" - So, just to make sure, I can drop the article from my sentence about Jack then (it is spoken by his friend), right? – brilliant Jun 4 '19 at 9:40
  • 1
    @brilliant yes in informal speech that would be fine. – David Siegel Jun 4 '19 at 13:16

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