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Canary Islands or the Canary Islands?

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

How do I know which geographical features should have 'the' in front of them and which should not?

Mountain ranges all start with 'the', but not specific mountains:

  • the Himalayas, but not the Mount Everest.

  • the Alps, but not the Mont Blanc.

  • the Highlands of Scotland, but not the Ben Nevis.

"I went to the Himalayas and climbed Mount Everest."

"I visited the Highlands of Scotland and saw Ben Nevis."

Groups of islands all start with 'the', but not individual islands:

  • the Greek islands, but not the Santorini.

  • the Balearic islands, but not the Ibiza.

  • the Canary islands, but not the Tenerife.

"I sailed around the Greek islands and stopped off at Santorini."

"I went to Ibiza on holiday, it's one of the Balearic islands."

Seas and oceans all start with 'the':

  • the Atlantic Ocean

  • the North Sea

  • the Pacific Ocean

  • the Mediterranean Sea.

"The Canary Islands are in the Atlantic Ocean."

"The Balearic Islands are in the Mediterranean Sea."

Rivers all start with 'the':

  • the Amazon River

  • the Nile River

  • the Yangtze River

"Brazil is one of the countries through which the Amazon River flows."

"The third longest river in the world is the Yangtze River."

Canals all start with 'the':

  • the Panama Canal

  • the Suez Canal

  • the Corinth Canal

"Egypt is home to the Suez Canal."

"If you travel to Greece, you can visit the Corinth Canal."

Hopefully this blog post will have helped you to answer the following question:

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