(Samu Rani, Hyderabad)

Some people refer to the Netherlands as ‘Holland’: when we talk about Holland, we do not use the definite article. Similarly, we don’t use ‘the’ before the names of other countries like ‘America’, ‘England’ and ‘India’. But we do make use of the definite article when we talk about the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. This is because several independent countries have come together to form the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. Similarly, we say ‘the Philippines’ because the country consists of many islands coming together. When the name suggests that the country is the union of several states or body, then the definite article is used. Several provinces have come together to create the Netherlands. Holland is just two of the provinces in the Netherlands.