If someone lives in USA he'd say,

I live in the United States Of America.

But if someone lives in India, he would not say,

I live in the India.

The better way seems to say,

I live in India.

So what is the rule to decide with which country do we use The?


2 Answers 2


You usually use "the" with countries whose names include words like kingdom, states, or republic such as The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The United States, The United Kingdom, The Republic of China, etc. We also use the definite article with countries which have their names as plural nouns such as The Philippines, The Netherlands, etc.


We use "The" where the name refers to an area that is a collection of some kind, or a structure of some kind. What do I mean by this?

I lived in China vs The People's Republic of China
I lived in America vs The United States of America

There are some notable exceptions such as The Netherlands, which is because it refers to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. You'll notice that other countries don't follow this though. It's mostly a matter of convention, which will change over time, as it has with The Ukraine, which no longer uses the article.

Unfortunately, these countries just have to be learnt individually.

  • By area do you mean that the place might not actually be a country but just a specific area.
    – user31782
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 10:20
  • Sometimes, but some countries are specific areas as well. The Bahamas, for instance. And some countries were previously just certain areas.
    – jimsug
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 10:21
  • A big clue is of or an adjective before the country name. The United Kingdom. But then, you also get Great Britain.
    – jimsug
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 10:23
  • So the the is fixed in the country's name itself?
    – user31782
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 10:28
  • Should I write "If someone lives in USA he'd say," Or "If someone lives in the USA he'd say,"
    – user31782
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 10:43

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