UKC

Definite article mountains

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Is there a rule on when to put "the" before the name of a mountain? Everyone says "the Matterhorn" but I don't know of anyone saying "the Mont Blanc". In French it's definitely "le mont Blanc" though. They even seem to say 'le Ben Nevis", which makes me very uncomfortable, even though I normally call it "the Ben".

So should I say "the Dent Blanche", "the Mönch", or "the Gran Paradiso"?

In reply to Suncream:

> Is there a rule on when to put "the" before the name of a mountain? Everyone says "the Matterhorn" but I don't know of anyone saying "the Mont Blanc". In French it's definitely "le mont Blanc" though. They even seem to say 'le Ben Nevis", which makes me very uncomfortable, even though I normally call it "the Ben".

When I climbed in the Alps in the late 60s - early 70s of British climbers typically called Mont Blanc 'The Blonk'. 

> So should I say "the Dent Blanche", "the Mönch", or "the Gran Paradiso"?

IIRC, the normal way British climbers refer to all three of those is with the definite article. cf. The Eiger.

 alan moore 22 Nov 2021
In reply to Suncream:

What are the UK ones?

The Skirrid

The Sugar Loaf 

The Wrekin

The Cat's Back

The Black Hill

The Cheviot

The Buachallie

The Cobbler 

...most of them Anglicised nick-names probably.

 Kevin Woods 22 Nov 2021
In reply to Suncream:

And to add some west coast; the Aonach Eagach, Am Bodach, the Cuillin, A' Mhaighdean, An Teallach. Reasonably common. I guess there's probably a case for a definitive article more than it is added, if you know what Dent Blanche means, then adding it likely sounds a lot less odd.

In reply to Suncream:

> Is there a rule on when to put "the" before the name of a mountain? Everyone says "the Matterhorn" but I don't know of anyone saying "the Mont Blanc". In French it's definitely "le mont Blanc" though. They even seem to say 'le Ben Nevis", which makes me very uncomfortable, even though I normally call it "the Ben".

> So should I say "the Dent Blanche", "the Mönch", or "the Gran Paradiso"?

There doesn't appear to be a rule: The North Face of the Eiger, The Matterhorn... Everest, K2.

 john arran 22 Nov 2021
In reply to Suncream:

No doubt there are numerous exceptions, but surely the starting point should be that if the mountain name is a normal noun or noun-adjective combination, a definite article prefix wouldn't sound wrong, but for proper nouns it would.

 Kean 22 Nov 2021
In reply to Suncream:

From my copy of "Practical English Usage" (Michael Swan)

"Names of single mountains usually have no article (Everest, Snowdon). But we use the with the names of European mountains if their name has an article in the local language: Das Matterhorn, La Meije. Exception (ain't there always): the is not used before Mont(e): Le Mont Blanc is called Mont Blanc."

Pick the bones outta that!

Post edited at 11:31
 deepsoup 22 Nov 2021
In reply to Kean:

> But we use the with the names of European mountains if their name has an article in the local language:

The Wyddfa?

In reply to alan moore:

Shropshire seems quite keen on it. As well as The Wrekin there's The Lawley, The Long Mynd and The Ercall. 

 hang_about 22 Nov 2021
In reply to Suncream:

The Peaks?

 nathan79 22 Nov 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

The Mount Snowdon?

 Bojo 22 Nov 2021
In reply to Suncream:

I believe there's one in France called The Vignemale

 John2 22 Nov 2021
In reply to Suncream:

I have to say, English people who refer to'the Ben' remind me of those who refer to their wives as 'the wife'.

 ianstevens 23 Nov 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

Need to brush up on your Cymraeg it seems… (yr does the same job as the)

In reply to nathan79:

> The Mount Snowdon?

Yr Wddfa.   

 deepsoup 24 Nov 2021
In reply to ianstevens:

> yr does the same job as the

Precisely my point.  (I was being funny. Ha ahahaaa .. I'll get my coat.)

"But we use 'the' with the names of European mountains if their name has an article in the local language"

 Lankyman 24 Nov 2021
In reply to alan moore:

> What are the UK ones?

> The Skirrid

> The Sugar Loaf 

> The Wrekin

> The Cat's Back

> The Black Hill

> The Cheviot

> The Buachallie

> The Cobbler 

> ...most of them Anglicised nick-names probably.

Been thinking about this and can't think of many. There is The Schill in the Cheviots and The Calf in the Howgills. Does The Old Man of Coniston count?

 cb294 24 Nov 2021
In reply to Kean:

That would be ALL Swiss/Austrian/German/Italian mountains with German names, then. I cannot think of a single exception, and would even say "der Everest" in German.

CB

 freeflyer 25 Nov 2021
In reply to Suncream:

What I really really want to know is this:

Who is this Ben Nevis guy anyway?

 alan moore 25 Nov 2021
In reply to freeflyer:

> Who is this Ben Nevis guy anyway?

Nobody seems to know. He's something to do with clouds, or heaven or hell. Not sure which is true.

Post edited at 06:28
 ianstevens 25 Nov 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

> Precisely my point.  (I was being funny. Ha ahahaaa .. I'll get my coat.)

Ah the joys of text based communication and the way it reflects the mindset of the reader

 McHeath 25 Nov 2021
In reply to freeflyer:

> What I really really want to know is this:

> Who is this Ben Nevis guy anyway?

When I read the recent thread title "Ben Klibreck from Crask Inn" I honestly assumed it would be asking for info about a former landlord or similar, I'd never heard of the mountain before... 

 nniff 25 Nov 2021
In reply to freeflyer:

> What I really really want to know is this:

> Who is this Ben Nevis guy anyway?

Do you mean the Ben Nevis or some other bloke of the same name?

 DundeeDave 25 Nov 2021
In reply to alan moore:

Some more UK ones:

The Cairnwell

The Saddle

The Devil's Point

The Inaccessible Pinnacle

 Doug 25 Nov 2021
In reply to DundeeDave:

anyone mention The Stuic yet ?

In reply to Lankyman:

The Cheviot 

 Darron 26 Nov 2021
In reply to Suncream:

we apply it to routes too of course:

The Corner

The Gates

The Sloth

any others?

 Cobra_Head 26 Nov 2021
In reply to Kean:

> Pick the bones outta that!

Pick bones outta that!!

 pec 22:00 Sat
In reply to Kean:

> "Names of single mountains usually have no article (Everest, Snowdon). But we use the with the names of European mountains if their name has an article in the local language: Das Matterhorn, La Meije. Exception (ain't there always): the is not used before Mont(e): Le Mont Blanc is called Mont Blanc."

As well as those called Mont something, "The" isn't generally used before European mountains which are called Pic or Piz something, presumably because they basically mean the same as Mont.


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