From Cambridge dictionary:

He was born in the small town of Castleford, in Yorkshire.

  • I'm not sure whether I understand this correctly. Is it a town called "Castleford"? Or there is a bigger place like a county or state contains a town called Castleford, hence we say "the town of it" as it is the capital of the state.

  • Why we don't just say "in a small town called Castleford"?

  • I've never heard "the nation of England" before. But I wonder whether this is a correct way to say "England".

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    The village of Littleton, the town of Castleford, the city of Leeds, the county of Yorkshire, the kingdom of England. All quite normal. – Michael Harvey Jan 3 at 17:23
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    The continent of Europe. [area or place type] of [name]. – Michael Harvey Jan 3 at 18:25
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    Some collocations are more common (i.e. - more idiomatic) than others. But note that in your specific example, the main reason for including the small town of is precisely because it's small, so it's potentially useful for the reader to know that at least it's a town (as opposed to a village or hamlet). You'd rarely see this form used for better-known things (the large city of London, for example). It's just a "literary device", that learners should probably avoid - it's never necessary, and in many contexts it just won't work very well (but it's hard to know which). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 3 at 19:03

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