Names of musical groups can have either no article or the definite article: Queen, the Beatles, Dire Straits, the Supremes.
The choice of name depends on the group, and so it is possible to deliberately break ordinary rules of article usage for stylistic reasons. However most plurals still have the definite article, for example: the Rolling Stones, the Shadows, the Eurythmics, the Doors.
In our own time the Rolling Stones have developed a similar reputation.
Names of festivals
Names of religious and other festivals have no article: Christmas, Easter, Carnival, Ramadan, Midsummer’s Day, Mother’s Day, and so on. (But note the 4th of July.)
Easter is a great time in Poland.
But one particular event can be picked out by using the definite or indefinite article.
We appreciate the rare luxury of a Christmas at home.
Names of organizations
· Names of well-known institutions, foundations, organizations typically have the definite article, and they keep it when they are abbreviated: the United Nations (the UN), the BBC, the FBI, the Ford Foundation.
The TUC runs ten-day courses all over the country.
The BBC never reported my speeches.
If an abbreviation is pronounced as a word, then there is no article. So “the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries” is usually called “OPEC” /əυpek /. Other examples are “NATO” and “UNICEF”
· Some names of charities do not have the definite article: Oxfam, Christian Aid, Mencap.
· Businesses and chains of shops are referred to with no article: General Motors, Sony, Woolworths, Shell, Nissan, Singapore Airlines.
Now Collins have brought it out in a new translation.
This applies even when abbreviation is used which is not pronounced as a word: BP /bi:pi:/ (British Petroleum), KLM, BA, ICI, IBM and so on.
…corporations like IBM, RCA and Xerox.
However if a word like “company” is used, then the definite article is used: the Bell Telephone Company.
You can find alternatives like: “General Electric” and “GEC” as well as ”the General Electric Company”.
Names of political institutions
The following names typically have the definite article
· The names of most political or government bodies and institutions: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Department of Trade and Industry, the State Department, the Cabinet.
Look at the percentage of lawyers in the Senate.
This is true also of foreign institutions, translated or not: the Bundestag, the Supreme Court, the Finance Ministry, the Supreme Rada, and so on.
Exceptions to this are: Parliament (but the House of Parliament), Congress, and names of councils: Kent County Council, Leeds City Council.
It happened when I was elected to Parliament in 1964.
But names of locations and buildings that are used to refer metaphorically to political institutions stay as they are: Whitehall, Westminster, Downing Street, Washington, the Kremlin.
· Official titles: the Secretary of State, the Foreign (or Prime) Minister, the King, the Premier.
But article is not used if the name accompanies the title: President Washington
· Names of political parties: the Labour party, the Conservative party, the Republicans.
· Names of law enforcement bodies, civil and military: the Army, the Navy, the state militia, the police, the Air Corps.
· Names of bills, acts, and other legislative deliberations: the Magna Carta, the Missouri Compromise.
The Use of Articles with Some Semantic Groups of Nouns (1)
Names of Seasons
· Names of seasons are used without articles if they show a certain time of the year.
It was spring. I like spring.
Note that you do not usually use the definite article after “It is” and “It was”
· When you are talking about a specific occurrence of a season, you usually use the definite article.
You’ll feel better in the spring.
· The definite article is also used when these nouns are modified by particularizing attribute or when the situation makes them definite:
It happened in the spring of 1930.
The spring was cold and rainy.
In dates you say “spring 1974” but “the spring of 1974”
· The indefinite article is used when these nouns are modified by a descriptive attribute.
It was a cold spring.
· When names of seasons are modified by the adjectives early or late, no articles are used.
It was early spring.
In American English it is more common to refer to the seasons with the definite article (except after “next” and “last”).
Names of Months and Days of the Week
· As a rule names of months and days are used without articles.
May is a spring month.
My day off is Friday.
· When these nouns are modified by a particularizing attribute and when it is clear from the context what day in a week you are talking about the definite article is used.
The May of 1949 will always rest in my memory.
The meeting will take place not later then the second Monday in May.
· Names of days are used with the indefinite article when we identify one day of the week in general or when we mean one of many Mondays, Fridays.
Robinson Crusoe found his servant on a Friday.
Don’t do it on a Monday.
I was always washing on a Monday and baking on a Wednesday.
Compare this with “He bought it on Monday”, meaning “last Monday”
· Names of months are used with the indefinite article when modified by a descriptive attribute.
A cold May is the usual thing in our city.
Names of Parts of the Day
To this group of nouns belong: day, night, morning, evening, noon, afternoon, midnight, dawn, dusk, sunrise, sunset, daytime, nightfall and the like.
1. These nouns are used without articles:
· If day and morning, mean 'light', and night and evening mean 'darkness', or if they denote a certain part of the day.
Day broke and we started.
The sun had gone and night had come.
Day is meant for work, night for sleep.
· When they are used as predicative.
It was evening when he decided to lay his books aside and take a walk.
It was dusk but I could see Henry walking across the field.
· When these nouns aremodified by the adjectives early, late, high, broad because these adjectives do not describe the morning or night, but only show the time:
It was high noon.
It was lateevening.
It was earlymorning.
· After the prepositions at, by, about, past, before, after, towards, till, until: at night, at dawn, by day (âäåíü), by night (âíî÷³), by noon, by midnight, past noon, about midnight, before dawn, after sunset.
After midnight I walked to the beach with him.
· There is no article with the nouns morning, day and dawn when they are used as subject to the verbs to break, to be at hand; the same is true of the nouns evening, night, dusk when they are followed by the verbs to fall, to gather, to set in, to be at hand, to come.
Day was breaking when we set out.
The sky was overcast and dusk fell early.
Dawn was breaking among the olives.
· When they are modified by the names of the days of the week and the words tomorrow and yesterday.
She was here yesterday afternoon.
I went to Aunt Milly's house on Friday evening.
I shall see him tomorrow morning.
Note. Compare: We met on Saturday night (Ìè çóñòð³ëèñÿ ââå÷åð³ ìèíóëî¿ ñóáîòè) and We met on a Saturday night (Ìè çóñòð³ëèñÿ ÿêîñü ââå÷åð³ ó ñóáîòó).
· In the following phrases:
all day (long)night after nightin the dead of night
day after dayday in day outlate at night
all night (through)from morning till night(to work) day and night
But we say: all through the night and all through the day.
· In attributive of-phrases. Yet, the definite article is used when a particular day, night is meant.
He always woke up with the first sounds of morning.
2. The definite article is used:
· When the speaker uses these nouns to mean a particular day, night. Very often it is clear from the situation or the context but it may also be expressed with the help of a particularizing attribute.
The night was warm and beautifully still.
He decided to spend the afternoon with his friends.
The weather was very cold on the day of his arrival.
Sometimes we find a descriptive attribute with nouns denoting parts of the day, but the definite article will still be used when the situation makes them definite.
I could see a few faint stars in the clear night.
· If nouns denoting parts of the day are used generically.
He used to spend the morning lying about the beach.
I often sat up the night with him and read to him to ease his pain.
· In some prepositional phrases where they are to be treated as set phrases: in the morning, in the evening, in the daytime, in the afternoon, in the night.
3. The indefinite article is used:
· When these nouns are the centre of communication in the sentence and are modified by a descriptive attribute.
I spent a sleepless night.
It was a fine, warm night and Charles and I decided to walk home. On a hot September evening he strolled idly to the embankment.
Names of Longer and Specific Periods
The definite article is used:
· With names of decades, centuries and historic periods and events, which refer to only one particular period: the 1900’s,the Cambrian Period, the Middle Ages, the First World War (but World War II)
· With points in a progression: the beginning, the middle, the end.
· With points in a time continuum: the past, the present, the future (but at present)
It is possible to use an indefinite article when talking about the life of one particular person: He has a future.