Usually there is no article before
the name of a place name,
BUT use “the” before the name of
a place that is plural.
I lived in Japan.
He lived in the United States.
The hurricane formed over
Katrina formed over the Bahamas.
But none of the “rules” work
Katrina hit New Orleans.
(English speakers don’t follow the
rule because they don’t even know
that New Orleans is plural—it is
However, usually a plural place
name has “the.”
Recently, a terrible storm hit the
He is from the Netherlands = He is
We live in the United States.
Tatiana is from Russia.
She is from the former Soviet
At first, Katrina was a Category 1
No article with Katrina because is is
a singular name. We give
hurricanes the names of people.
This is the first time I’ve mentioned
the storm category, so I use “a.”
Katrina was one of the largest disasters in U.S.
history because of the failure of the levee
I’m not talking about failure in general. I’m
talking about a specific event –the fact that the
levees broke and caused flooding.
We often use “the” for a specific noun that you
are picturing in your head when you say it.
There was great criticism of the way
the government handled the crisis.
I’m talking about a specific way and
a specific crisis.