Please look at this phrase:

the book by H.G. Wells “The Time Machine”

Is it OK to use the definite article with "book" if the book title already contains an article? Are the any rules for such cases?

Thanks in advance!

  • 2
    The article is required in every example I can think of. Can you provide an example sentence where you think it could be omitted?
    – The Photon
    Commented Jul 30, 2020 at 17:37
  • 1
    There is an incomplete example sentence posted. Suppose you say "I read book by H.G. Hells The Time Machine." It lacks a definite or indefinite article before 'book'. Commented Jul 30, 2020 at 18:33

2 Answers 2


Yes, you should use an article with "book".

It doesn't matter that the title contains an article - you aren't referring to the title, you are referring to the book.

A good question to ask would be what if the title contained a different article?

Of course, if you were referring to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, it would be:

The Shakespeare play "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

It is the book and the play because these are unique. If you were referring to an individual copy of the book, or a particular production of the play, you would use the indefinite article:

A production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream".
A copy of "The Time Machine".


While the presence of an article in a proper noun may affect whether you put an(other) article immediately before the proper noun itself, it doesn’t have any further-reaching effects.

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