Hello, everyone,

With regard to the "definite article," I've taught my students the following rules:

1. Use 'the' for the range of mountains, e.g. the Alps, the Himalayas, the Rockies, BUT "Everest" without 'the' as it's just one mountain. (Or Mountain Everest)

2. Use 'the' with unique things, e.g. the Nile, the sun, etc.

One of my students said:

"It's ONLY one Everest, Mr. Hussein, right? so it's unique, and you told us to use 'the' before unique things, so why it's "Everest" not "the Everest"?

What's your suggested answer?


Many thanks...

Last edited by Hussein Hassan
Original Post

Hi, Hussein,

Names of rivers, of mountains, and of mountain ranges are just that: names. Names are generally not preceded by "the"; however we do use "the" before the names of rivers and before the names of mountain ranges.

We do not use "the" before names of individual mountains. Instead, we simply say, e.g., "Mt. Everest," "Mt. Kilimanjaro," etc., pronounced "Mount Everest" (not "Mountain Everest") and "Mount Kilimanjaro" (not "Mountain Kilimanjaro").

Mt. Everest is an individual mountain in the Himalayas. It is just a brute fact of English that we say that instead of "The Mt. Everest is located in Himalayas." Names of mountain ranges need "the." Names of mountains don't accept it.

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