## Question about "the" before names

9

1

For example I want to discuss one movie called "A" (it's just an example name) with my friend. Do I need to use the definite article before its name. Example:

I want to talk about the "A" with you (Let's talk about the "A"). Did you like it?

or

I want to talk about "A" with you (Let's talk about "A"). Did you like it?

12

No.

If there is a definite article in the title, you say it as part of the title:

Today, I would like to discuss The Bridge on the River Kwai with you.

However, if there isn't, you don't need to add one.

Today, I would like to discuss Kind Hearts and Coronets with you.

The only time you would see an added article would be if the film title is used as an adjective phrase modifying a noun that take an article. For example, you would say:

I have the soundtrack stuck in my head.

and:

I have the soundtrack to Kind Hearts and Coronets stuck in my head.

Therefore, if you use the title as an adjective phrase, you would also say:

I have the Kind Hearts and Coronets soundtrack stuck in my head.

But this is because "soundtrack" needs the article, not because the title does.

You should also be aware that, if there is an article in the title, when you use it as an adjective you would normally not repeat the adjective. So, for example, it would be more common to hear:

I have the Bridge on the River Kwai soundtrack stuck in my head.

than:

*I have the The Bridge on the River Kwai soundtrack stuck in my head.

Thank you for your answer! May I ask you one more question: If I want to talk with my friend about my favourite music group "Queen". What is correct to say than: Let's talk about the "Queen" or Let's talk about "Queen"? – user5369 – 2014-05-12T15:51:19.653

3+1 for Guinness references. Note that if an attributive is set before the title the article is required: "Alec Guinness starred in the extraordinarily funny Kind Hearts and Coronets." – StoneyB on hiatus – 2014-05-12T15:59:17.513

5Bands follow the same rules as film titles. If you say, "Let's talk about the Queen" people will think you want to discuss Elizabeth Mountbatten-Windsor, not Freddie Mercury. There are only a few categories of proper names that regularly take articles: ship names ("the Titanic") is the only one that springs to mind. – chapka – 2014-05-12T16:10:52.873

I'd probably say: 'Today, I would like to discuss the movie "Kind Hearts and Coronets" with you.' Unless given the context it was immediately obvious that I was talking about a movie. – Cruncher – 2014-05-12T18:06:04.983

2It may be to note that if the sentence would use an article which would differ from the title, informal writing would probably favor dropping the title from the article; formal writing would virtually demand a restructuring: "I like the soundtrack from An Affair to Remember" might informally be written as "I like the Affair to Remember soundtrack". I'm not sure in what cases that would be acceptable formally--one could talk about a New York Times crossword puzzle even though the banner on the page reads The New York Times. Movie titles seem like they should keep "The", though. – supercat – 2014-05-13T04:10:06.480

2

Putting the definite article the to proper noun is not a common practice. For the movies, the definite article goes if it is in the title. For example: The Expendables. Otherwise, it's just spoken the way the title is.

I want to talk about 'The Expendables'. Did you like it?

I want to talk about 'Captain America'. Did you like it?

You can still put the this way...

I want to talk about the movie Captain America; did you like it? - it took the, it's specific, the only movie - Captain America.

Thank you for your answer! May I ask you one more question: If I want to talk with my friend about my favourite music group "Queen". What is correct to say than: Let's talk about the "Queen" or Let's talk about "Queen"? – user5369 – 2014-05-12T15:55:49.230

1

Ask yourself - does it have it in their title? If no, you cannot put. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_%28band%29 On the other hand, if you still want, say *Let's talk about the band Queen.* Hope it's clear.

– Maulik V – 2014-05-12T16:04:49.793

Talking about the Queen would have the British monarchy as subject rather than music, wouldn't it? – Hagen von Eitzen – 2014-05-12T20:28:37.267

Or the Danish monarchy, or Spanish, or Dutch, or whatever, @HagenvonEitzen. – TRiG – 2014-05-12T22:57:57.133

@TRIG Admittedly, this may have been my fault because I'm German and our language usage may have interfered: People often say things like "Gestern war die Queen im Fernsehen", but not "Gestern war die (englische) Königin im Fernsehen." On the other hand, all the other queens are genereally referred to as "die spanische Königin" (and not e.g. "la Reina"), "die schwedische Königin" or "Königin Silvia" etc. That's why reading "the Queen" (especially capitalized) locked my brain on Britain. – Hagen von Eitzen – 2014-05-13T17:55:34.427