Is it right if I say: Example: China

  1. Full Name: People's Republic of China
  2. Name: China

Example: United States

  1. Full Name: United States of America
  2. Name: United States

If wrong, then when to include the republican state's title?


Countries generally have official long and short versions of their name. This has nothing to do with whether or not they are a republic: for example, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Normally, people use the short name but you can always use the long name if it makes things clearer.

In fact, sometimes, people use unofficial long names for countries for clarity. For example, Ireland is both an island and a country whose territory is about 85% of the island. Officially, the country is just called "Ireland", with no long form but people use the unofficial name "Republic of Ireland" to disambiguate between the country and the Island of Ireland.

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  • So are my above examples (in the description) accurate? – XPMai Nov 18 '14 at 12:54
  • @XPMai In most cases, yes, it's fine to just say "China" and "the United States". If you're talking about the dispute between China and Taiwan, it might be better to use the more formal names but, in most other situations, "China" and "the United States" are fine. – David Richerby Nov 18 '14 at 16:11

In most cases, the short name of a country suffices. The long name is usually unnecessarily formal. However, you should use the official name in some diplomatically sensitive situations. Examples include:

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  • So are my above examples (in the description) accurate? – XPMai Nov 18 '14 at 12:53
  • @XPMai: yes, your examples are correct. In the case of China, we often just say "China" when the meaning is clear from context. To be more clear, we might say "China" for the PRC and "Taiwan" for the RoC, or sometimes "Mainland China" for the PRC. – Dalbergia Feb 16 '16 at 20:44
  • 2018 update: FYROM is changing its name to Republic of Northern Macedonia. – 200_success Jun 16 '18 at 23:43

You include the full name of a state when you don't want ambiguity about what nation you are meaning to identify. In English, "China" might refer to either the Republic of China [Taiwan] or the People's Republic of China. America might refer to the United States of America, or one of the continents in the Western Hemisphere. The "United States" could refer to the "United States of Mexico", the formal name of the country, or the "United States of America".

In most cases, especially informally, it is probably going to be acceptable to use merely "China", or "United States", or for the latter, even "USA".

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  • So is my above example (in the description) accurate? – XPMai Nov 18 '14 at 12:54

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