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"

  • 1
    What is "Atlas" in this context? is this a person, a political party, a species? – Kreiri Nov 1 '15 at 14:26
  • 2
    Also, "unlike the rest of vertebrae". – Victor Bazarov Nov 1 '15 at 14:34
  • 1
    @Kreiri, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_(anatomy) (it's the top cervical vertebra). – Victor Bazarov Nov 1 '15 at 14:37
  • 1
    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". – Victor Bazarov Nov 1 '15 at 14:39
  • . . .and 'rest of the vertebrae' too. – peterG Nov 1 '15 at 22:40

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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.