According to the rules, we need to use "the" when we refer to peninsulas: the Balkan Peninsula, the Taymyr Peninsula, the Breton Peninsula, the Crimean Peninsula. However, is there any rule for the use of articles when the word "peninsula" is ommited? Why the Crimean Peninsula becomes Crimea, but the Balkan Peninsula retain "the" in the Balkans? How is it defined? For instance, does the Taymyr Peninsula become Taymyr or the Taymyr?

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    Please tell me more about "the rules". What rules are these? Are they written down anywhere?
    – James K
    Jul 31, 2021 at 10:16
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    Fun fact: "The Crimea" was common for many years. Jul 31, 2021 at 10:18
  • The 'Balkans' name comes from the Balkans mountain range. Jul 31, 2021 at 10:19
  • @JeffreyCarney - likewise 'the Ukraine. The Gambia is still a current name. Jul 31, 2021 at 10:20
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    @JamesK, "the rules" are the basic English grammar rules that you can find in any guidebook, or on any website that explains the usage of articles. For instance: grammarly.com/blog/geographical-use-the dictionary.cambridge.org/ru/… Jul 31, 2021 at 10:27

2 Answers 2


The names of these peninsulas seem to take the form of adjectives. Breton is the adjective related to the region of Brittany (Bretagne). Crimea and the Balkans are the names of regions - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balkans. I had to look up the Taymyr Peninsula, but it seems Taymyr/Taymyria is also the name of a region.


I think you have "the rule" the wrong way round.

The name "Crimea" or "The Balkans" comes first. There is no perfect rule for deciding if a place name has "The" as part of the name, but I'll note that plurals are more likely to have "The" (the Balkans, the States) but there are exceptions (The Levant)

Then you form the name of the peninsular using the place name as a determining adjective

Let's go to a peninsular.

Which peninsular?

The Balkan/Crimean/Cornish/... peninsular.

And "The" is included because the name determines which penisular.

So you don't form "the Balkans" from "The Balkan peninsular" but the other way round. "The Balkans" don't retain "the", they always had it.

As for Taymyr, it doesn't conventionally have "the".

As your link says:

Language is always changing. Fifty years ago, Argentina was known as “the Argentine,” and the Falkland Islands always had the definite article in front of it. But Argentina is now perfectly standard and you may even hear people say “I come from Falkland Islands.”

  • I doubt you'll hear many if any British Falklanders saying I come from Falkland Islands. They do still speak English over there! :) Jul 31, 2021 at 11:31

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