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Дом The Use of Articles with Names of Persons
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Unit 8

Generally no article is used with names of persons:

There was a letter from Susan inviting me to a party.

I did not see Charles Strickland for several weeks

1. No article is used:

· if names of persons are modified by such de­scriptive attributes as little, old, young, dear, poor, honest:

Young Jameson, standing by the little piano, listened with his dim smile.

When dear old Emily went back to town after staying with them for a fortnight, she sent the children a doll's house.

· with the names of members of a family, such as Mother, Father, Aunt, Uncle, Grandmother, Grandfather, Baby, Nurse, Cookwhen they are treated as proper names by the members of that fam­ily. In this case such nouns are usually written with a capital letter:

"How nice that you've come!" she said. "Mother is still resting, but she will be down soon."

She went into the hall: "Is Nurse back?”

· with 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.

However, both the definite and the indefinite articles may be occasionally found with names of persons.

2. The definite article is used:

· with a name in the plural to indicate the whole family:

The Elliots were intelligent people.

He didn't even know the Browns had a daughter.

· with a name modified by a particularizing attribute:

Is he the Jones who is a writer?

Now she was more like the Julia of their first years of marriage.

· with a name modified by a descriptive attribute or appositive noun to describe a person and it’s job or to indicate a permanent quality of the person:

the artist William Turner, the wonderful actor Harrison Ford, the late (=dead) Buddy Holly;

The astonished Tom could not say a word.

· in certain titles: the Reverend John Collins, the Prince of Wales (but Prince Charles), the Duke of Westminster, the Countess of Harewood.

· with names of people to mean someone famous. In this case the definite article should be stressed and pronounced /Di/:

”I met Paul McCartney the other day.” “You mean the Paul McCartney?”

· in the descriptive names of some monarchs, in special names, titles, and epithets: William the Conqueror, Ivan the Terrible, Alfred the Great.

3. The indefinite article is used:

· to indicate that one member of a family is meant:

I have often wondered if Arthur was really a Burton.

· with a name modified by a descriptive attribute when it is the cen­tre of communication in the sentence:

He was met at the door by an angry Isabel, who demanded to know what he meant by coming home at that hour.

· when a name is preceded by Mr, Mrs or Mis’s it may be used to denote “a certain”, or “someone called…”or when you don’t know the person yourself:

He was a lawyer, a Mr Reid from Melbourne.

I heard it from a certain Mr. Brown.

There’s a Dr Kenneth Perch on the phone. (= I haven’t heard of him before)

Note. Sometimes, owing to a change of meaning, names of persons become count­able nouns indicating concrete objects. The articles with such nouns are used in accord­ance with the general rules for countable nouns. Such nouns usually indicate:

a) a product or a work by someone:

Lanny has sold them an especially fine Goya.

He wanted to know how much a Binick cost.

There was a rack of books and among them he saw a Hemingway.

b) typical features associated with a well-known name:

She felt like an Alice in Wonderland.

Mozart was called the Raphael of music.

You are quite a Monte Cristo.

Jane plays tennis well, but she’ll never be a Steffi Graf.


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