If I stop frequenting a place (like a Gym), should I say "I left..." or "I left the..."?

In my mind, sounds to me like I should use "I left the gym", of if I use the name of the gym "I left HeroesGym" (without "the"). Is it correct?

2 Answers 2


Proper nouns do not need the in front of them, this would include nouns that are the names of places.

If the noun is a proper noun that's a name of a place, and there is more than one such place, a/an is used if needed:

So I heard every time you walk into a Wal-Mart that a door greeter talks to you.

Wal-Mart is a proper noun, but there is more than one Wal-Mart, and we don't mean a specific Wal-Mart, so a is used.

Every time I go into Wal-Mart a cashier smiles at me.

We can tell the writer/speaker means "the Wal-Mart" - which in this context probably means the one the writer/speaker lives closest to and considers "their" Wal-Mart.

Now ...

Every time I go into the Wal-Mart a cashier smiles at me.

What the above can do is imply that "the Wal-Mart" which the writer/speaker is talking about is special from every other Wal-Mart. We wouldn't know why from just the sentence above - but that reason could be specified.

Every time I go into the Wal-Mart down there a cashier smiles at me.

From this we can infer that "the Wal-Mart down there" is not the usual Wal-Mart that the speaker/writer normally shops at.


If you say "I left the gym" by itself, that will sound like you just left the gym building.

A better way would be to qualify it "I left my gym for good" or say "I quit my gym." In which both cases it would sound more natural to say "my gym." Within the context of a conversation, you could even say "I left my gym" and be understood.

(Similarly, "I left HeroesGym for good." "I quit HeroesGym.")

Whether you would refer to the specific gym would depend on the conversation.

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