I read a lot of explanations about the uses of the definite article, but it sort of made me more confused instead of clarifying about what I had in mind:

In a given story which takes place in a fictional world, there is a place called Sky Shrine. In that world there’s no other shrine in the sky, or another place with the same name to consider. What would be correct to say: “I’m going to Sky Shrine” or “I’m going to the Sky Shrine”?

And (the root of my doubt), considering the given context, if I would name the chapter or the whole story with this place’s name, what would fit better: “Sky Shrine” or “The Sky Shrine”, or is it a style choice? Would be “The Sky Shrine” incorrect?

What would be the difference if Animal Farm by George Orwell was called The Animal Farm instead?

  • 1
    Animal Farm=title. I'm going to an/the animal farm.
    – Lambie
    Mar 4 '20 at 20:34

In general, when the name of a thing includes what that thing is, we use “the”:

  • the Empire State Building (a building)
  • the Eiffel Tower (a tower)
  • the Suez Canal (a canal)
  • the Three Gorges Dam (a dam)

So, if your “Sky Shrine” is a shrine, you should use “the”. If it’s something other than a shrine, you shouldn’t.

However, this is a very loose rule with many exceptions, so if it’s a name you made up, you can decide whether it follows the rule without being objectively wrong either way.


I don't know that there is a universal rule here, however, I would lean towards using "the" as man-made structures frequently use it.

  1. The Empire State Building
  2. The Vatican
  3. The Taj Mahal

However, there are plenty of examples that don't use it. 1. I went to Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs play 2. I go to church at Saint John The Baptist Catholic Church

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