I read Unit 78 of "English Grammar in Use, Raymond Murphy, 4th ED" last night. In "A" section of the unit it's stated:

"Names of important public buildings and institutions (for example, airports, stations, universities) are often two words: Manchester Airport       Harvard University
The first word is the name of a place ('Manchester') or a person ('Harvard') These names are usually without the."

Later in the exercise section I encountered the following fill in question:

"... is in Paris"

I looked up the answer, and it was "The Eiffel Tower". But based on the explanation it must be "Eiffel Tower", without "The", because "Eiffel" is the name of the designer of the tower.

Any response would be appreciated.

  • 3
    'Usually' being the operative word! It may be illogical, but we always say 'The Eiffel Tower'. Commented Mar 14, 2020 at 17:05

3 Answers 3


We usually omit "the" in this situation.

However, particularly iconic buildings often have "the" as part of the name:

The Leaning Tower of Pisa
The White House
The Brandenburg Gate

Buildings that are less unique generally don't have "the"

Cabot Tower (in Bristol)
Attenborough Tower (Leicester)

Note that the French say "la tour Eiffel". A direct translation of this is the Eiffel tower, and this is the idiomatic name in English.


This post from the English Language & Usage SE may assist: "Why there is “the” before some names but not others [closed]"

The top answer there gives some general rules for how adding "the" works.


As you have already quoted, "These names are USUALLY without the." So you will have to accept that there are always exceptions such as the one you have already mentioned, i.e the Eiffel Tower or even the London Eye and the Lincoln Memorial.

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