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Is there any rules for referring to the name of a river, such as the river + name?

For example, when referring to the Danube River, should I say "the Danube River", "the Danube" or "the River Danube"?

Ngram Viewer shows "the Danube" is the most common, which is no surprise, whereas "the River Danube" is the least.

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The names of some organizations like Commissions of the Danube River uses the pattern the name + river. I understand we need the "the", because there’s only one Danube in the world. How about the place of river?

For the Seine, "the Seine river" is the least.

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"the river Thames" is triple the use of "the Thames river"

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Ususally the name of the river is sufficient.

If you need to say "river" it comes before the name. So you say "The river Danube". "The Danube river" is possible, but ngrams is being deceived.

You can also use "Danube" attributively on expressions like river valley:

the Danube river valley the Danube river basin the Danube river nutrient load

You should parse these as [Danube] [river-valley]. These show up as false positives on Ngrams for "Danube River".

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  • Thank you. your answer is very informative. Btw, the names of some organizations like Commissions of the Danube River uses the pattern the name + river.
    – PutBere
    May 25, 2020 at 23:43
  • In American English, the word "river" ususlly comes after the name. "Danube River" would be preferred here. May 26, 2020 at 2:26

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