Sometime like this case I don't know if I can put the name before or after the label (movie in this sentence)...

The movie "Die Hard" or The "Die Hard" Movie?

The variable "X" or The "X" variable?

Are they both correct? What is their difference? What is the application of each?

My question is not about "the" (like this), but the order of the "movie" and "Die Hard"

  • possible duplicate of Question about "the" before names
    – Maulik V
    Jun 15, 2015 at 8:40
  • I've ansewered this elsewhere. Check the link on my above comment
    – Maulik V
    Jun 15, 2015 at 8:41
  • 1
    @MaulikV Thanks but my question is different, I don't ask about "the", I ask about the order of name and the value
    – Ahmad
    Jun 15, 2015 at 8:51
  • it's a matter of style Ahmad.
    – Maulik V
    Jun 15, 2015 at 8:57
  • Related: “I hate red color” or “I hate red”: why exactly is the first option ungrammatical. -- It was unfortunate that one of the OP's examples is about movies. (People would simply call its title.) But when talking about an instance of a type, from a learner's perspective, there are too many choices, e.g.: the color red or a color red or the red color or a red color or just color red or just red color or just red or even a/the color called red! The variable X or perhaps just variable X falls into this kind of construction. Jun 15, 2015 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


...the movie Die Hard ...
...the Die Hard movie...

Since this movie is quite a franchise, with multiple versions, we can also have

...one of the Die Hard movies.

In the first, Die Hard is a name in apposition to "movie". That is how names are typically given in English: My uncle Joe..., the movie On the Waterfront.

In the second, the two-word title, Die Hard, is used attributively as an adjective. This, too, is possible, but the longer the title, the less likely it becomes because this form is a type of concision. This would not be likely: "...the They Shoot Horses, Don't They? movie...". The title would most likely be truncated when using this form:

... in the They Shoot Horses movie...

  • Then they are alternative to each other, while the first one is common?
    – Ahmad
    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:44
  • They are both common. The second form is slightly "curt" or abrupt or "clipped". Jun 15, 2015 at 11:52
  • But you would only use "the XYZ movie" if you believe XYZ is well-known to your audience, and somehow distinctive. "Die Hard", for instance, was wildly successful and spawned (at last count) 4 sequels, so the usage is appropriate (for most Americans). But it's probably not appropriate to talk about "the Primer movie" except with a rather selective bunch of SF fans. Jun 15, 2015 at 20:05
  • 1
    I pretty much agree. With the the XYZ movie form, the speaker assumes the listener/reader is previously acquainted with the movie, either that, or the speaker has already mentioned it. Jun 15, 2015 at 22:00

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