Exceptions to using the definute article

There is no article:

  • with names of countries (if singular)
    Germany is an important economic power.
    He's just returned from Zimbabwe.
    (But: I'm visiting the United States next week.)
  • with the names of languages
    French is spoken in Tahiti.
    English uses many words of Latin origin.
    Indonesian is a relatively new language.
  • with the names of meals.
    Lunch is at midday.
    Dinner is in the evening.
    Breakfast is the first meal of the day.
  • with people's names (if singular):
    John's coming to the party.
    George King is my uncle.
    (But: we're having lunch with the Morgans tomorrow.)
  • with titles and names:
    Prince Charles is Queen Elizabeth's son.
    President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
    Dr. Watson was Sherlock Holmes' friend.
    (But: the Queen of England, the Pope.)
  • After the 's possessive case:
    His brother's car.
    Peter's house.
  • with professions:
    Engineering is a useful career.
    He'll probably go into medicine.
  • with names of shops:
    I'll get the card at Smith's.
    Can you go to Boots for me?
  • with years:
    1948 was a wonderful year.
    Do you remember 1995?
  • With uncountable nouns:
    Rice is the main food in Asia.
    Milk is often added to tea in England.
    War is destructive.
  • with the names of individual mountains, lakes and islands:
    Mount McKinley is the highest mountain in Alaska.
    She lives near Lake Windermere.
    Have you visited Long Island?
  • with most names of towns, streets, stations and airports:
    Victoria Station is in the centre of London.
    Can you direct me to Bond Street?
    She lives in Florence.
    They're flying from Heathrow.
  • in some fixed expressions, for example:
  • by car
  • by train
  • by air
  • on foot
  • on holiday
  • on air (in broadcasting)
  • at school
  • at work
  • at University
  • in church
  • in prison
  • in bed
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