Do we use articles before nouns that are followed by titles? For instance:

J. R. R. Tolkien is famous for [the] book "The Lord of the Rings."

[The] movie "Fast & Furious" has too many sequels.

I don't like [the] book "Dracula," but I like the movie of Francis Ford Coppola.

In [the] article "Anti-Vax Insanity," The New York Times elaborates on the vaccine response in the US.

Or is it the same logic as with nouns followed by personal names? For instance, we say:

Actor Alfred Molina is of Spanish descent.

Writer Doris Lessing won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2007.

  • Not quite sure about the grammar, but the sentences seem highly unnatural to me without articles. Aug 9, 2021 at 8:54

1 Answer 1


The answer is that it depends. I doubt that you can make a rule for all occasions.

Most would say that Tolkien is famous for (his book) The Lord of the Rings. Generally, it would be unnecessary to refer to "his book".

The movie, Fast and Furious,..... is correct.

Your third example (Dracula) is also correct with the article although many people might rephrase it as: I don't like Dracula as a book but I do like Francis Ford Coppola's movie version/interpretation.

Your "anti-vax" example requires the article.

In both your last examples, you omit the definite article (the) as a kind of shorthand. But, more formally, the article is required.

The answer to the question about inclusion/exclusion is that it depends of the context and the example.

So it's natural to say: King Edward III, President Bush and Doctor Smith without the article, but not Physiotherapist Jones, Teacher Davis, or Engineer Grey. It's about idiom rather than logic.

  • Thank you very much, a very clear answer :) Aug 9, 2021 at 11:39

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