In this answer someone explains why there is a definite article in front of the car model The Volkswagen Golf Mk7. It appears many car models have the in front their names. E.g. The Ford Focus, The Ford Escort, The Ford Fiesta.

However, here, another person logically explains why we should not use the in front Ford Edsel:

Not and never "the Ford Edsel", because this would suggest, that a company other than Ford has also manufactured a car model named Edsel.

The person there uses the same logic to explain the in front of iPhones, ships, and newspapers. It did seem like sound logic to me. But, a search on the Internet has shown that some English speakers actually use the in front of Ford Edsel, e.g. here and here.

Granted, Ford Edsel is not a name of one model like The Ford Fiesta, but still I am little confused with this now. Can we really say the Ford Edsel or not? What about the logic in that reddit thread, is it correct?

  • Note, don't capitalize the "The" in these usages, unless it's part of an actual name or title. Thus "I watched the Matrix trilogy [lowercase t], starting with The Matrix [uppercase T]." Commented Feb 6 at 19:56
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    DO NOT rely on Reddit for grammar advice! The Boeing 747, the Ford Focus, the VW Beetle, all fine. Commented Feb 6 at 19:57
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    Also, wow; just ignore and forget that Reddit post. It takes something that could be clearly explained and makes it more confusing, and makes some unjustifiable assertions ("Not and never the iPhone 14"). Maybe the author should edit the wikipedia page; look how many instances of "the iPhone 14" there are there! Commented Feb 6 at 20:00
  • Ford explained in 1958 that “The Edsel is new but it’s actually the germination of an idea conceived by Edsel Ford who thought years ago that the company should have greater representation in the medium-price range.” Commented Feb 6 at 20:00
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    Generally it's the Ford Fiesta when referring to the model as a product, but a Ford Fiesta when talking about an individual vehicle. Commented Feb 7 at 8:27

1 Answer 1


This is where emphasis, or voice stress comes into play. If, when referring to "the Ford Edsel" you stressed the name 'Ford', it would sound like you were differentiating it from another Edsel. The same could be achieved in text by using italics. But otherwise, there would be no reason to think that you were suggesting another vehicle with the same model name existed. To say you should "not and never" use the definite article with a vehicle name just to avoid this confusion is utterly baseless. Further, this has nothing to do with the definite article specifically - the same would be true if you were using an indefinite article.

Think about personal names comprising of a forename and a surname. When referring to someone by their full name, you'd usually say both names together without any particular stress on either. However, if you wanted to differentiate between a person and another member of their family, you might put extra stress on their first name; likewise, if you wanted to help differentiate between two people who shared a forename, you might put additional stress on their surname. The name of a vehicle, comprising of a manufacturer name and a model name is similar in this respect.

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