I am an airport agent at an airline in Brazil.

As soon as some passengers arrive from their origins and need to check their bags for the domestic connection, they come to an area called 're-checkin'.

Whenever they check their respective bags, I have to escort them to terminal 2.

I would like to know if it would be ideal to say "Now, to board, you must go to the terminal 2" or "Now, to board, you must go to terminal 2", without the article?

  • Are we using the definite article here because some kind of determiner is mandatory before singular nouns?

  • Are we using the article because we are being specific? If so, how can I be sure that the information is specific? I've lost count of how many times I've seen sentences that seemed specific, but didn't contain an article.

In addition, I'm asking "how should I use the article in situations like this" and not asking for proofreading of the sentence itself, haha. thanks.

1 Answer 1


Without the article. A noun phrase like Terminal 2 is roughly similar (grammatically) to, “I’ve read a lot of my book; I’m already on page 132.” So we don’t use a the.

To be more explicit, the sentence, “You must go to Terminal 2” is perfectly valid, whereas “You must go to the terminal 2,” though perfectly understandable, is not natural English.

Terms like “Terminal 2,” “Gate A13,” and “Pier 6” are essentially names. So just as we wouldn’t say, “You must go to the Paris,” we wouldn’t use the with any of those terms either.

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    How may I clarify? What’s unclear? Apr 29 at 1:16
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    I’ve edited my answer. Does that resolve it for you? Apr 29 at 1:19
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    When you check into a hotel, the clerk at the reception desk gives you a key to room 604, not the room 604. When your first idea doesn’t work out, you switch to plan B, not the plan B. When you’re shopping for tomato paste, you find it in aisle 7, not the aisle 7. Apr 29 at 1:46
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    It’s a noun phrase because of its grammatical properties, not its semantic ones: it’s a phrase that acts like a noun (meaning it can be the subject of verbs, the object of prepositions, stuff like that). You’re right that “It’s on sink” would be no good. There may not be any deeper reason for “no the in Terminal 2” than simply that that’s what is done in English. Your question is a perfectly reasonable one, but it’s answer may be, “That’s just how English is.” Apr 29 at 2:31
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    @Portugueseporto The last part of this answer is enough: "Terminal 2" is the proper name of the terminal, and in English, we do not put "the" before proper names unless it's already in the name: "The Republic of Korea" (the official name of South Korea).
    – gotube
    Apr 29 at 20:56

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