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Is there any rule of where to place the name of a brand/movie/book (before or after the noun)?

I would usually put it before the noun if the name has only one word. Examples:

  • The "Apple" brand is worth billions of dollars.
  • The "Cambridge" dictionary is very good.

But I am not sure when the name has more than one word. Examples:

  • The movie "The Untouchables" / "The Untouchables" movie is great!
  • The website "Stack Exchange" / "Stack Exchange" website is popular.
  • There is no need for all those apostrophes. – Lambie Aug 23 at 22:54
  • Not even in the multi-word names? – Alan Evangelista Aug 23 at 23:09
  • No, never. In a publication, they sometimes put names of publications in italics. – Lambie Aug 24 at 15:44
  • The issue here is that usually, one would write: The Untouchables is a great movie. If you write, The Untouchables movie, it is usually to contrast it with The Untouchables book, for example. – Lambie Aug 24 at 17:12
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When the proper name (Apple inn this case) functions as an adjective (more strictly as a noun adjunct in amny cases), modifying the noun as in

The Apple brand is worth billions of dollars

most often the name goes before the common noun. But when the generic term (the word that describes the kind of thing this is, "movie" in this case) serves as an adjective or noun adjunct, as in

The movie The Untouchables was very good.

In short, whichever term is functioning as an adjective, to modify the other, which is functioning as the main noun of a noun phrase, tends to go first.

However, these are only tendencies, and contrary examples can be framed that will work.

(Quotes are used for titles of short works. Italics are used for full-length films, books, and other independent works. Quotes can also be used to indicate that a word is beign mentioned, not used as in The word "three" has five letters.)

  • You say "when the name functions as an adjective" and then "when the generic term serves as an adjective"? Name = generic term? I have not understood the difference between the both situations. Could you make it clearer? – Alan Evangelista Aug 24 at 6:17
  • @Alan I have edited the answer in an effort to make it more clear. Please read it and leave a comment telling me if that helped or not. I used "generic" as the opposite of "proper name" here. – David Siegel Aug 24 at 14:32
  • It is clear now, thanks! However, I don't think that "movie" is an adjective in my example. "movie" cannot be anything else than a noun. – Alan Evangelista Aug 24 at 16:02
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    @Alan Within a Noun Phrase,consisting of several nouns one noun, usually the last mentioned, severs as the primary or head noun, and other nouns are Noun Adjuncts and serve to modify the head noun, and therefore function as adjectives. see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noun_phrase – David Siegel Aug 28 at 23:52
  • Thanks for the explanation. IMHO the term "noun adjunct" (or "qualifier noun") is more accurate than "adjective" and avoids confusion. Anyway, the most important question is still open: how do I choose which noun qualifies and which one is qualified? (the movie XYZ vs the XYZ movie) ? For instance, why would I choose "movie" to be the qualifier noun of "The Untouchables" instead of the other way around? – Alan Evangelista Aug 29 at 0:31

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