Which form is preferred when we speak about the region in South America and not the Amazon river?

Do we need to use the definite article before Amazon and no article at all before Amazonia?

"There are snakes in Amazonia."

"There are snakes in the Amazon."

Are these sentences grammatically correct?


"The Amazon" (which, yes, needs the definite article) is much more common than "Amazonia". I'd hesitate to call the latter incorrect, but to my ears it's verging on archaic.

That said, both your sentences are grammatically correct.


Amazon is the river and not the forest region. The Amazon is also used to refers to the region that includes all watershed of the Amazon, but the watershed is only a portion of the Amazonia. If you want to refers to the large forest region in northern South America, then the correct name is Amazonia rather than Amazon.


The preferred way to refer to the region, and not the river, depends on the specific subject you want to talk about. Is it the Amazon basin? Is it the Amazon forest? Amazonia is also an option (two references below). However, all are gramatically correct.

Patrick Lavelle et al. 2016, from France, published on 'Global Environmental Change': http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095937801630053X

Michael J. Lathuillière1 et al., 2016, from Canada, published on 'Hydrology and Earth System Sciences': http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/20/2179/2016/

Some more considerations:

I'm being more subjective here, but 'Amazonia' sounds broader than 'the Amazon'. No one will question you are referring to the forest in the first case, but the second case may take a little more brain processing, because the word 'Amazon' can refer to so many other things.

Best regards.

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