Do you need articles when we are talking about objects of geography? There are some rules for countries, others for streets and squares, the third ones for rivers and seas. And there are a number of exceptions for each of the categories, when the rules do not work. The articles are used or not used with some objects simply because "it happened". Some things remain beyond the logical explanation. Let us try to figure it out.
The article is needed only in two cases – first, if there is what is called a "form of government" in the name of the country – an alliance, a kingdom, states, a republic, and so on. Therefore, there is an article in the names of such territories (it remains in the abbreviations – the USA, the UK). We will add here the UAE – the United Arab Emirates for lovers of exotic and skyscrapers, and the USSR, the GDR for those who remember the Olympics-80 and the Berlin Wall.
I returned from a trip to the USA.
The second case, when countries need an article – when the name of the country is a plural noun. Usually, it is islands lost among the ocean, for example, the Philippines or the Seychelles. There is also not an island state, in the name of which there is a plural – the Netherlands.
An exception that is hardly useful in life – a small African country the Gambia, it is perhaps the only one that is written with the article "for no particular reason".
Someday I will definitely fly to the Maldives.
Contestants from the Netherlands were quite good.
Everything is simple with cities – the article is not needed. The only exception to remember is the Hague. Or you might not remember it if you do not plan to often mention this city of international symposiums and conferences.
Very strange, but I remember only the magnificence of the bridges and the parliament from Budapest, although we stayed there long enough.
There is one addition to this rule. In the popular "the city of" turn of speech, the article in front of the city is always needed – the city of Paris, the city of London. Incidentally, this applies to all geographical objects in which there is of – for example, the Statue of Liberty.
The city of Paris is the dream of many travelers.
Streets, Squares, Alleys and Cul-De-Sacs
The article is also not used in these cases. Therefore, no matter how famous the street is, remember this rule.
Yesterday we walked in the central park because the weather was magnificent.
Oceans, Seas and Rivers
It so happened that many objects associated with water need the article. Whether it be the ocean, the sea or the river – welcome to the studio: the Indian Ocean, the White Sea, the Amazon. Bays and canals are connected with water, so: the Panama Canal, the Greifswald Gulf.
The Suez Canal is the shortest waterway between the ports of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
No one can fully experience all the power and beauty of the Pacific Ocean.
But English also decided not to simplify the task here: there is water in the lake, but there is no article: Lake Baikal. Of course, the same applies to ponds. You cannot find water in the desert, but the article is needed: the Gibson, the Karakum. In general, "remember this, but rather write down, because it is impossible to understand".
One simple piece of advice – if your profession is not related to the use of correct articles in the light of the above topic, do not worry if you do not remember all the rules. It will be enough for you to know the basic set of standard rules and the most common names of countries and waters. And if there is a need to know whether an article is required for a particular object – open the Wikipedia, enter the name and read the article: you will see immediately whether it is needed.