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USE OF ARTICLES WITH PROPER NOUNS

 

Names of persons.

1. Names of persons are used without articles.

 

Sarie looked at Lanny and Celia. (Abrahams)

 

2. Names denoting the whole family are used with the definite article.

 

The Dashwoods were now settled at Berton. (Austen)

 

3. When names of persons are used to denote a representative of a family, the indefinite article is used.

 

“Florence will never, never, never be a Dorabey,” said Mrs. Chick. (Dickens)

 

4. Names of persons modified by a particularizing attribute are used with the definite article.

 

You’re not the Andrew Manson I married. (Cronin)

The tall blond man of forty is not much changed in feature from the Godfrey

Cass of six-and-twenty. (Eliot)

 

5. Names of persons used as common nouns take the article according to the general rule on the use of articles.

 

Swithin smiled and nodding at Bosinney said: “Why, you are quite a Monte

Cristo.” (Galsworthy)

Mozart has been called the Raphael of music.

 

6. Nouns denoting military ranks and titles such as academician, professor, doctor (both a profession and a title), count, lord, etc. followed by names of persons do not take the article. In such cases only the proper noun is stressed: Colonel Brown, Doctor Strong.

Common nouns denoting professions followed by names of persons are used with the definite article. In this case both nouns are stressed.

 

The painter Gainsborough has left many fine pictures.

 

7. Nouns expressing relationship followed by names of persons do not take the article: Aunt Polly, Uncle James.

 

She turned to Cousin Clixam. (Bennett)

 

Nouns expressing relationship not followed by a proper noun and the nouns nurse, cook, baby do not take the article when used by members of the family.

 

“I’d like to see Mother,” said Emily. (Qalsworthy)

If other people’s relations are meant, the article is used.

 

The son is as clever as the father.



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8. The use of articles with names of persons modified by adjectives is varied.

In most cases no article is used with names of persons modified by the adjectives old, young, poor, dear, little, honest, lazy.

 

...she is the widow of poor Giovanni Bolla... (Voynich)

He saw that old Chapin wanted to moralize a little. (Dreiser)

 

When modified by other adjectives and participles names of persons take the definite article.

 

He thought Amelia worthy even of the brilliant George Osborne. (Thackeray)

The astonished Tom could not say a word.

 

9. Names of persons modified by the adjective certain are used with the indefinite article.

 

I heard it from a certain Mr. Brown.

 


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The use of the indefinite article with class nouns. | Geographical names.

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