Normally I know that it's incorrect to put an article before proper nouns but in this case I doubt whether I need to put an article before the proper noun.

The context is:

"The main difference is that (the?) Atlas has no body, unlike the rest of vertebrae"

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    What is "Atlas" in this context? is this a person, a political party, a species?
    – Kreiri
    Nov 1, 2015 at 14:26
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    Also, "unlike the rest of vertebrae". Nov 1, 2015 at 14:34
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    @Kreiri, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_(anatomy) (it's the top cervical vertebra). Nov 1, 2015 at 14:37
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    Where did the sentence come from? Did you write that? If you did, yes, you need the definite article. And the name of the vertebra is not written with the capital 'a'. It's "the atlas", not "the Atlas". Nov 1, 2015 at 14:39
  • . . .and 'rest of the vertebrae' too.
    – peterG
    Nov 1, 2015 at 22:40

1 Answer 1


It isn't a proper noun here. It should be treated as a common noun,countable, so you are quite right when you use articles. The definition can be easily found Oxforddictionaries.com.

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